Why I started carrying supplements, and why I resisted it for so long
I don’t like it when people get confused about what I do. As a chiropractor, my job is to help the brain and body communicate clearly. I simply detect and remove subluxations, the interference to that communication channel, and the body functions the way it was designed. I don’t “fix” colic, reflux, or ear infections. I’m not the one who heals the babies’ asthma, allergies, or eczema. What I do is allow the body to function optimally, and then everything has the opportunity to fall in line.
A lot of alternative health care providers use nutritional supplementation in one of two ways: as a way to prevent a problem or alleviate a symptom. The way I practice doesn’t really fit into either of those boxes.
If you think of it, how many places do you go to make sure your body is optimally functioning before a symptom shows up? Maybe you go to a gym, or the farmer’s market to buy locally, naturally grown produce. Both of these are examples of activities you could substitute with being on the company softball team or regular grocery store food. There doesn’t seem to be the same health benefit, though, of exercising sporadically or of consuming the “Dirty Dozen.”
I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the quality of supplements patients were bringing back into the office when I’d give them a blanket recommendation for probiotics for their children. It seems that everyone and their mom has jumped on the probiotics bandwagon, and that includes some pretty large corporations that see this as a profit-taking opportunity.
I run a small business, I can respect that nutriceutical companies need to go where the market is.
But what I can’t condone is passing off a product loaded with sugar, food dyes, and barely containing any beneficial bacteria (certainly not enough to have a therapeutic impact) as equivalent to the probiotics I’ve been recommending. Something had to change.
I’m partnering with ProThera and Klaire Labs to offer Ther-Biotic Children’s Chewable and Ther-Biotic Infant Formula probiotics. I’ve referred patients to Klaire for years, and they’ve provided me with research for each strain in their formulations, how the probiotics are harvested and stored, and have paid attention to details like being allergen (dairy, gluten, soy, egg, nut, etc) free.
I’ve also started carrying a probiotic for my patients with a history of autoimmune issues called Sacchromyces boulardii, and I’ve recently discovered it’s also effective at displacing candida. If you look at the cytokine research (that’s the language the immune system cells use to talk back and forth with each other), lactobacillus and bifido bacteria seem to stimulate a shift in the immune response more towards long term cellular (or Th1) immunity. That’s the opposite of what you want with someone who has that system functioning on overdrive. Sacchromyces boulardii stimulates the other language, for short term humoral (Th2) immunity. The research indicates that this might be a significant difference for people dealing with autoimmune issues like RA, IBS, and Crohn’s disease who have seen their symptoms increase with traditional probiotics.
Folic-Acid Free Prenatal
Finally, I decided to carry ProThera’s Prenatal Formula for mothers who are looking for an alternative to prenatal vitamins containing folic acid. The evidence for the safety of long-term use of high doses of folic acid are mixed, with some camps suggesting this synthetic form of folate may be tied to health risks, and others saying it doesn’t. What we do know is that folic acid has to be converted to methylfolate (specifically, 5-MTHF) in the body, and there are some implications to the by-products of that conversion that Dr. Kelly Brogan covers nicely (scroll to “Folic Acid is Not Methylfolate”).
There are a small population of women who lack a gene to perform this folic acid conversion, but the larger sentiment behind why I’m carrying it is that it simply seems a little easier on the body, and I’ve wanted to give women the option since questions on the supplement surfaced several years ago. This decision didn’t come lightly. The substance Metafolin (L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate) used in the prenatal was patented by Merck. But like the blind squirrel that finds the nut, apparently, even Big Pharma can get something right.
What I’ve always strived for is to make sure people could clearly see the impact adjustments have on their life. I’m not a chiropractor who uses the adjustment as just another tool alongside a whole lot of supplements, exercises and physiotherapy. Patients come to Mama’s to get adjusted and if I can point people towards something to help with symptoms outside of the office, I do that. My hope is after 3 years in the area that our mission and intent is clear.
The bottom line is that supplements and chiropractic work well together to promote optimal health. If I’m going to be recommending that my patients take supplements, I want to be sure that I’m recommending the very best kind.
Look for these supplements in our offices at your next visit!