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Categories of Supplements

2016 December 5 by



There are so many types of nutritional supplements, and so much information and promotion, that it’s often difficult to know what supplements are appropriate. Taking a general multivitamin is no longer considered adequate. And the number of specific supplements available is overwhelming. I have suggested a program in other articles, but in this article I would like to just categorize the different types of supplements that are helpful to take in different situations.

Universal supplements

There are a few supplements that are a good idea for everyone to take, including babies, young children, and adults.

Vitamin D: Virtually everyone is deficient in vitamin D because of inadequate sun exposure for most of the year. Everyone should be taking vitamin D and have a target blood level of 50-100 ng/mL. It usually takes 5,000-10,000 IU/day to bring up your level this high.

Omega 3 fats: The typical sources for these beneficial fats are fish oil and flax seed oil. They support brain function and prevent inflammation. A typical adult dose is about 1,500 mg of EPA.

Probiotics: Healthy immune function and digestive health depend on a healthy digestive tract lining and the right balance of intestinal bacteria. A broad spectrum probiotic with at least 20 billion CFU is a good idea.


As we age our bodies produce less antioxidants that prevent inflammation and tissue damage. Taking some antioxidants after age 50 is a good idea. And taking the most potent antioxidants gives you more bang for your buck. Some of the best antioxidants are N-acetyl-cysteine (the building block of your body’s own production of glutathione), resveratrol, astaxanthin, CoQ10,  and alpha lipoic acid.

Immune system support

Anyone struggling with low resistance to infections or autoimmune disease could benefit from taking adaptogens that balance immune function. The best product for this purpose is a medicinal mushroom formula containing reishi, shitaki, cordyceps, and others. Astragalus is an herb that serves this function, and often these formulas will include astragalus as well.


Although it is most beneficial to get vitamins from fruits and vegetables, taking a high quality multivitamin can provide insurance that you’re getting what you need. If vitamins are natural and food sources they will generally be better absorbed.


There are many supplements that can treat specific imbalances in the respiratory tract, digestive system, brain function and cognition, mood disorders, and other health problems. These include amino acids, specific herbs, and vitamins/minerals. A trained nutritionist/herbalist can provide prescriptions for your unique set of symptoms and imbalance.

Our stressful lives often result in energetic deficiency states, including adrenal insufficiency and other hormone deficits (thyroid, sex hormones, or neurotransmitters). Tonification treatment with specific herbs and supplements can bolster the underlying deficiency and help reestablish healthy function of glands that contribute

Inflammation is often a major factor in the pathology of chronic disease including heart disease, arthritis, organ degeneration, diminished brain function, and cancer. An anti-inflammatory nutritional support program is essential in controlling these disease processes.


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Supplements for Children

2016 September 9 by



Here’s a program that I think works well as a preventive winter supplement regimen for 3-12 year old children. It will maintain healthy immune function and ensure that they are getting adequate nutrients. Of course, a healthy whole foods diet is ideal, but often children are picky eaters and parents don’t always have control over food choices once their children are out in the world.

You can get all of these supplements through the Emerson eLink on the homepage of my website or click here. Use the patient access code “doctor” to register and place your order on the site. These supplements are taste-tested by my young patients and most children think they are yummy.

Here’s the list. There may be comparable supplements out there, but I know the quality and value of these particular products.

Vitamin D3 with K2 liquid by Orthomolecular 2 drops/day for healthy immune function

Omegavail lemon smoothie by Designs for Health (DFH) 1 tsp/day as a good source of omega-3 fatty acids for brain development, optimal nervous system function, and prevention of inflammation

Orthobiotic powder by Orthomolecular 1 scoop/day as a good source of beneficial probiotics for digestion and the immune system

Phytomulti Kids by Metagenics 2/day as a chewable multivitamin

Cal Apatite Bone Builder Chewable by Metagenics 2-3/day. A chocolate flavored calcium/magnesium supplement for children who don’t get enough calcium because of dairy restriction, or kids who suffer from sleep problems or growing pains

Immunoberry by Designs for Health 1-2 ml/day. A berry flavored liquid immune building formula with medicinal mushrooms, astragalus, and elderberry as a preventive for winter viruses. (It comes with a graduated dropper. Use more for older children.)



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Staying on the Path to Health

2016 July 6 by


Wherever you are on your life’s journey, health is always a foremost concern. You may be in great health or you may be struggling with symptoms or serious health problems. Everyone has weak areas that flare up. Athletes are plagued with stress injuries. Some of us have recurrent digestive issues or headaches or joint pains. Others struggle with chronic inflammatory conditions. Whatever your level of health, it’s always a good idea to periodically reassess your needs and consider the best program to achieve optimum energy and freedom from symptoms.


Start with diet, the key to good health. Stick to the program that fits your needs best. It may be a low carbohydrate paleo diet, or you may have discovered that you need more carbs for energy or sports performance. Stay away from those high-calorie bakery goods with empty calories. Focus on brightly colored fresh fruits and vegetables.


Stick to your exercise program. Increase it. Walk, run, lift, cycle, play. Get outside into nature. Take advantage of the healing power of the trees and sun.


Review the supplements you take. If you have digestive problems, take probiotics and herbal formulas that heal the intestinal tract (glutamine, licorice, aloe, slippery elm). If you have recurrent inflammatory conditions, take plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory supplements (resveratrol, n-acetyl-cysteine, turmeric). If nervous system problems or memory problems are a concern, take nutrients that nourish brain and nerve function (huperzine, acetyl-l-carnitine). And if immune problems are prevalent, take medicinal mushrooms and Astragalus and vitamin D. These are examples of supplements that may help these conditions. The right program for you should be individualized according to your unique needs.

Stress reduction

Our lives are filled with stressful events that trigger anxiety, worry, and discouragement. These need to be countered with positive experiences, support, and stress reduction techniques. Integrate relaxation and centering techniques into your daily practice. These may include meditation, yoga, tai chi, or deep breathing practices. Take breaks during your day and stretch, or close your eyes for a few minutes and focus on your breathing. Clear your mind and your mood will improve. Relax and your body tension will dissolve.

Your program

If you need help in developing or refining a program for optimum health, I am available for consultations in my office or through a phone or video conference. Stay healthy and live a long and joyous life.


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Do you need to take supplements?

2015 December 26 by



In an effort to remind you of some important health tips I am sending some of the best selected previous posts for your new year health program.

A supplement program

Your need for supplements depends on many factors. Your age, the quality of your diet, and your state of health will all be factors to consider. For example, if your diet consists of whole foods, organically grown, with very little processed or packaged food, and a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, then you will be getting many valuable antioxidants and vitamins from your diet. Include some calcium sources, clean protein products, and healthy fats and your diet may be perfect. In that case you may be fine with just a vitamin D3 supplement whenever you are not exposed to significant sunlight. Remember that organic produce contains significantly more vitamins and antioxidants than commercially grown, agribusiness produce. The extra cost will be recouped in your need for less supplements.

Which Supplements?

If your diet is less than perfect, then you may want to include an omega-3 fat source in the form of Antarctic krill oil, fish oil, or flax oil, a high quality multivitamin, antioxidants in the form of vitamin E (400 IU mixed tocopherols), CoQ10 (50-100 mg), or resveratrol (100-200 mg), and probiotics. Similarly, if you are older than 50 then your body’s own production of these nutrients is decreasing, and taking them will help to restore and maintain your youthful state. Everyone needs to take vitamin D3 unless you have plenty of sun exposure (for example, during the summer) or if you have been tested and have adequate vitamin D levels (50-100 ng/mL). The correct dosage for adults is usually 5,000-10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day (preferably with vitamin K2 to assist absorption).

If your health is compromised or your vitality is depleted by stress or illness, then you will benefit from specific supplements. Any digestive symptoms may be a sign of an intestinal imbalance that will benefit from a probiotic supplement and a prebiotic such as fructooligosaccharides, arabinogalactan, and inulin. Digestive support can make a huge difference in your absorption of nutrients from foods and from supplements. A digestive enzyme supplement may be helpful in this process as well, especially if there are signs of reduced breakdown of foods, symptoms of gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort.


Many forms of chronic illness are a result of inflammatory processes. Allergies, arthritis, heart disease, skin disorders, and diabetes all involve chronic inflammation. Taking antioxidants and anti-inflammatory supplements will always benefit these conditions.

The type of anti-inflammatory from supplements and herbs will depend on the type of inflammation. An omega-3 fat supplement with adequate levels of EPA has a general anti-inflammatory effect. Specific illnesses will call for specific forms of treatment. For example, allergies are often helped by taking Quercetin, stinging nettle, bromelain, and n-acetylcysteine. Arthritis sufferers notice reduced joint pain and swelling by taking bromelain, turmeric (Curcumin), and Humulus lupulus (reduced iso-alpha acid preparations RIAA from hops). Auto-immune conditions will also need a combination of supplements with significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.


If you are concerned about accumulation of toxins or exposure to radiation then you may benefit from supplements that help detoxify metals and radiation. This includes a chelating agent such as chlorella or modified citrus pectin. In addition, antioxidants, liver support, and digestive support will encourage the metabolism and elimination of heavy metals and radioactive elements.

I would be happy to discuss a specific supplement plan that fits your needs and supply you with high quality and lower cost supplements. Just send an email to



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Staying Healthy

2015 September 3 by



Here are my five tips to maintain your good health and stay young.


Keep moving. Avoid sitting. If you must sit for your job or school, take frequent breaks to walk and stretch. Climb stairs instead of using an elevator. Schedule exercise at the gym and go for walks or runs on other days. Remember, your metabolism slows down by ten percent every decade after you reach 40 and you need to step up your activity to compensate. Regular exercise will improve your mood and prevent gradual weight gain.


Unless you are a serious athlete, avoid eating starches. Cut down on baked products and grains that slow metabolism and contribute to weight problems. Your diet should be primarily fruits, vegetables, and protein sources from dairy, eggs, meats, nuts, and beans. Eat whole foods and avoid processed food in packages. And try to eat as clean as you can, avoiding produce treated with pesticides and meats from animals fed hormones and antibiotics.


Get out into nature. Exposure to trees and the outdoors improves bodily functions, lowers blood pressure, and improves your mood. Go for a walk in the evening. Go for hikes in the forest on the weekend. Breathe the fresh air. Studies have shown that even putting a picture of the ocean, the mountains, or a forest at your work station has a positive effect on your health.


Maintain a spiritual practice. Meditate or practice relaxation techniques with deep abdominal breathing. Go to a yoga class. Your spiritual life will help to balance the inevitable stress that accompanies your busy daily schedule. Take a break and focus on your breath. It will help to slow things down and maintain a positive outlook.


Your daily supplement program should be tailored to your individual needs, but most everyone will benefit from taking vitamin D, probiotics, and omega 3 fats from fish oil. Anyone over 50 should also consider taking antioxidants that prevent inflammation and the changes that accompany aging. Supplements like resveratrol, astaxanthin, n-acetyl cysteine, and L-carnitine are all powerhouse anti-aging antioxidants.


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