Dietary supplements are everywhere. Claiming to help all health conditions from cosmetic desires to chronic illnesses, the supplement industry had an estimated market size of $115 billion in 2018 (Grand View Research, 2019). In a myriad of forms and spanning a variety of nutrients, supplements are designed to help support individuals’ health by supplying nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, fiber, phytochemicals, enzymes, and many other compounds that our bodies need. But with over 50,000 dietary supplements available in the United States alone, how are you to know which ones can help you?

First off, when looking into supplementation, it is essential to know which particular nutrients your individual body needs. Having a nutritionist analyze the nutrients in your diet or using a dietary nutrition calculator can give you a key into understanding which supplements may be helpful for you personally. Additionally, micronutrient blood testing can also reveal which nutrients could use a boost in your body. Symmetry now offers such testing through SpectraCell Laboratories, so ask us if you are interested in learning about how to do this. Overall, be critical when looking into supplementation and ask your health provider if you have questions. There are many supplement companies out there and they put a lot of money into marketing and advertising, so it is important to do your own research and consult your health practitioners when choosing a supplement.

Moreover, after figuring out which supplemental nutrients are important for your individual body, picking a high-quality supplement is crucial. Many supplements are not made with quality ingredients, or the form of the nutrient may not be readily absorbable and utilizable by the body (a term known as “bioavailability”). For example, folic acid is not always effectively converted into folate, so taking a folic acid supplement rather than a folate supplement can be ineffective or create excess work for the body. Further, supplements may have fillers or additives that your body then must process in the same manner as it processes toxins, adding to one’s toxic load. So, if you are choosing to use supplements, it is a good idea to do research into the quality of supplement brands. Symmetry provides supplements from Nutri-West, Pure Encapsulations, Pure Essence, Nordic Naturals, and a few other high-quality brands. Come in and ask us about it as we are happy to answer any questions you have regarding how this test may be helpful for you. Our Alameda office can be reached at (510) 769-0125 and gethealthy@symmetryhealthcenter.com, and our Oakland office at (510) 654-2207 and info@symmetryhealthcenter.com.