Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

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Do We Really Need Vitamin Supplements?

Monday, 22 Jun 2009 03:19 PM

Question: I was told by my doctor that we get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our diet. He says that we don't need supplements and that supplements are a waste of money. What do you think?

Dr. Brownstein’s Answer:


I used to say the same thing after graduating from medical school. Unfortunately, that is how doctors are trained. I would ask your doctor how many times has he checked nutrient levels in his patients and what experience does he have in prescribing nutrient-based therapies?

My experience has been clear: The standard American diet is woefully lacking in basic nutrients. It is not hard to identify nutrient deficiencies in the vast majority of my patients. In fact, those with chronic illnesses usually have lower nutrient levels compared to patients not experiencing a chronic illness.

The best way to get nutrients is to eat a healthy diet without refined food products. Presently, that is difficult to do. Our food supply is awash in foods containing refined flour, salt, oil, and sugar. Furthermore, our food supply provides us with fewer vitamins and minerals than 20 years ago. I feel it is important to work with healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable about nutrition and natural therapies. These professionals can include chiropractors, nurses, dentists, doctors, acupuncturists, and others.

My experience has clearly shown the value of using appropriate supplementation to not only treat illness but to promote health. I have seen the positive effects of supplementation in my patients. I have also witnessed the problems with vitamin and mineral imbalances in my patients. The proper use of vitamins and minerals can make the difference between health and illness.






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