A life of moderation: my individualized medicine series introduction

For the next few weeks, I will be posting links and critiques on ideas and substances to instil balance on how you and we as a society view things in health. I quite frankly cannot read one more word on the latest and greatest thing to solve your health problems. Our world is so much about quick fixes, and I have so many patients coming into the office with bags of supplements, vitamins, and the latest “health crazes” like bee pollen or spirulina that will cure everything if you just take one teaspoon every day. I am so sick of reading articles praising a nutrient like Vitamin D and then the very next day reading an author completely bashing the heck out of it. No wonder everyone is so confused. Additionally, if you have a health condition already that has certain parameters (i.e. osteoporosis), then your concerns are going to be completely different than the general public. You are unique, and special, and that’s a good thing!

What happened to moderation? What happened to getting a little bit of something being fine for you, but not for me? Why are we reading things in magazines and thinking it will be the answer for us because the product looks nice in the bottle? The train of thought that says the woman in the magazine has no wrinkles and she looks good, so therefore we also will feel good if we take said vitamin. It’s called advertising. The same advertising goals had people smoking Camel cigarettes over Marlboros in the 1950’s because doctors recommended them in the papers.

Do you believe everything you read in a magazine?

As a naturopathic doctor, I am supposed to be the source of information for all things natural, foods included. That idea alone is crazy also; the accumulation of information from multiple sources (professional and educated) and their assessment for you should be a guiding factor into what is good for you, and you alone. What nutrients you need versus what your friend needs should not be the same, nor foods! If we are all trying to extend and improve our quality of life, we will not have a holy grail from which we can drink like in Indiana Jones to be youthful and healthy to infinity. Does anyone remember the knight at the end of that movie? Sure he lived a long time, but he was also exhausted!

I am going to be giving the pros and cons for a few substances that are often in popular media for their health benefits. To start, coffee, wine, green tea, turmeric, calcium, B12 will be on the list. Some of these posts will have supported studies, and some will just be some good common sense lists to get you to think about why that may or may not you should have the intervention in your life. Some of the posts will advocate you get some blood work done, or go take a walk, or to stop buying every nutrient that you see on Dr. Oz. I have no problems with Dr. Oz, but I do think some of us can take the advice seen on the show just a little to the extreme…

The choice will ultimately be yours about what is truth and what is fallacy! When you are a little more educated on these ideas, then you can take it into your life and make some decisions.

If there are any substances you would like me to discuss, drop me a comment. I would like whomever is reading these posts to head into 2013 with a greater sense of calm that you are doing the best you can for your health, and which things are actually worth considering, and which to completely ignore when popular media yet again discusses the same intervention simply because there is nothing else to say.

Stay tuned for post one: Coffee Conundrums. To your health!

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