Nutritional Supplements and Prescription Drugs

If you're concerned about whether or not you should take a particular nutritional supplement, because of a health condition or prescription drugs you are taking, consult with your doctor.

You may wonder what good this will do, since many doctors know very little about nutrition and dietary supplements.

Your doctor may not know much about nutritional supplements, but she or he should be familiar with any potential problems associated with a particular substance and how it relates to your health condition or prescription drug regimen. [Pharmacists can also be of some help.]

To avoid any personal bias or competition from your doctor regarding a supplement, simply ask if the ingredient(s) of the supplement (from a copy of the "Supplement Facts" panel that you bring in) can cause you any health problems or present any particular concerns. You can avoid product names (trademarks) and your reason for supplementing - and specifically focus on the ingredients (and amounts) as they apply to your personal health.

Though problems with the use of most nutritional supplements are rare, in some cases supplements should be avoided. For example, if you are about to undergo surgery, certain supplements, foods, and drugs that thin your blood may not be advised.

Nutritional supplements are very safe, and many have been used for thousands of years without any significant problems. If you have a serious health condition or using prescription drugs, it is best to consult your health care professional for advice. [© 2003 W.I.N., Inc.]

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