Treating many baby boomers in my practice I often see the many degenerative conditions associated with aging. I also see people consuming piles of drugs, often with known hazardous side effects. On occasion I have worked with the patient and their doctor to reduce or eliminate prescription medications and replace them with safer and sometimes more effective natural remedies. Being a boomer myself, I am determined to delay the onset of these uncomfortable and debilitating problems as long as possible. To achieve this end, I take a select group of herbs and supplements
Two issues frequently arise when considering natural products vs drugs. One is convenience. What! Nine tablets a day!? Yes. Natural remedies are generally less potent and therefore safer, but require larger dosing. Also, they usually take longer to produce results, as they are working to support the body’s healing and function rather than just covering up symptoms like pain. Get used to it. Second is cost, as supplement s are in most cases not covered by insurance, the exception being certain health savings accounts that will reimburse. Its just a matter of priorities. Do you spend that $50 or $100 on new clothes, expensive sports equipment or concert tickets, or invest in your long term health and wellbeing. Depends on your life goals, and is a personal choice.
Like me, my patients are constantly bombarded by advertising for health and anti-aging products on Facebook, email and telephone. Making informed decisions on choices can be overwhelming. Many people present a rag tag collection of supplements based on every source from People Magazine to Dr. Oz. Often they will ask me what I personally use. I have put together a program of products that include some general supplements with many varies benefits with others specifically for my age and health condition.
First are adaptogens, herbs to counter the damaging effects of stress while building strength, endurance and stamina, speeding recovery from physical activity, building immunity and improving mental function. Who can’t use all this? Next are systemic enzymes with anti-inflammatory, scar dissolving, immune enhancing and cardiovascular benefits. Vitamin D has become a big deal in the health news the last couple years for a whole list of reasons. Antioxidants fight free radicals said to contribute to over sixty diseases including cancer and diabetes. For my focused products I use glucosamine sulfate proven to benefit arthritis in my knee, but be careful choosing products as some commonly sold have no evidence of actual benefit. Then I add garlic, CoQ-10 and l-carnitine and potassium with magnesium for heart health.
For breakfast or lunch I drink a smoothie containing green superfoods, an all-star team of nutrients, with omega oils for inflammation, brain building, healing, cardiovascular health and physical performance. I prefer plant based oils over krill or fish because animal oils are great for omega 3 but lack omega 6.
A word of caution: buying products online can be risky. Watch for imposters, expiration dates and potency. One customer, thinking he was saving $20 on a $150 purchase, actually spent seven times more to buy online. Finally, as I sit writing this article, I receive an email warning of an enzyme product on the market cut with antibiotics. Good luck to you in your pursuit of a happy healthy life into old age!
Jim Martin, LAc
Serving Washington and Columbia counties since 1994, including cities and communities of Scappoose, St Helens, Warren, Rainier, Columbia City, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Beaverton, Aloha, Portland, Gaston, Banks, North Plains, Carlton and Yamhill Oregon
Pain, aging, degeneration, herbs, supplements, acupuncture, nutrition, superfoods