Alternative Medicine

Alternative Meds Go Mainstream

Even though billions of dollars a year is being shelled out for alternative medicines, the decision to try those hot new supplements is grounded on only a friend’s recommendation or gossip. Do you ever wonder why that is? Doctors are admitting to being unfamiliar with the products and unsure of their benefits.

You might be concerned about your cholesterol is being a little high and have heard that you can actually lower it with some magical new product. It sounds great but then you wonder what brand is best, do they really work and are they safe. Check the package ingredient list and look it up! There is a new PDR for Nutritional products to give you information which are for real and which are a waste of money. There is an ever-growing array of these functional foods, vitamins, minerals, sports nutritional products, amino acids, probiotics, metabolite, hormones, enzymes and cartilage products, so you should spend time researching these various products.

This consists of a 600-page book that gives doctors and laymen a complete reference source for these alternative remedies. It provides a scientifically validated and trustworthy compendium of chemical formulations, indications, actions and even potential hazards of nearly every alternative med in use. A whole bunch of stuff out there is not accurate and not to rely on, according to Sheldon Saul Hendler, MD, PhD, so choose a reliable source such as the PDR. except for herbs and botanicals and is a critique of these products. Many of the items in the herbal PDR are exclusively medicinal and the nutritional supplements include only bioactive substances found in foods that we eat. Information on substances only available outside the U.S. is also provided. The entry for each substance will begin with a list of common trade names and a description of its chemical structure, then if they are legitimate. A comprehensive summary of existing scientific research follows and a rundown on potential side effects, adverse reactions, interactions with prescriptions and nonprescription drugs and foods. Finally, a proper dosage, where applicable, is listed. This is why it’s called Physician’s Desk Reference. Most supplement books are too simplistic, and they are wrong.

It’s obvious we are in a new era where patients are taking control of their healthcare and empowering themselves. This PDR has been written with the consumer in mind and is less obtuse. Self-prescribing may not always be the best idea, but at least this book gives them ready-to-use access to more authoritative information than simply what they hear via the grapevine.

The PDR isn’t flawless, though. The PDR reference is great for what it covers, but it doesn’t cover it all. From the healthcare provider’s point of view it is handy and useful, concise and comprehensive. Most doctors haven’t been trained and often are not even interested, so they know relatively little about dietary supplements. They often neglect to ask their patients about supplements, as they don’t know what to do with the information once they have it.

They view this reference guide as a bridge between the patients and health professions. Most patients leave their physicians out of the loop because they think the physician knows little about nutritional supplementation. The physician now has a reliable source.

Dr Fredda Branyon

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