Are you taking the right vitamins?

Even for someone skilled and with years of experience, without objective testing to establish where the deficiencies exist, your doctor’s best efforts may come up short.

by Dr. Bill Gallagher — 

Most of us take some vitamins and supplements to correct imbalances, reverse diseases or simply maintain better health. The rate of success with these will, of course, vary from person to person; but more so, success depends upon having taken the right supplements in the first place.

Have you ever wondered if your vitamins are working, if they are the right ones for you or if you could be feeling even better? There are two things to consider when determining which supplements to take.

First, what is your goal? If your concern is about disease, you will do well to see a medical doctor and get a prescription. Be aware, however, that even the medical establishment will admit that most prescription drugs do not correct diseases; they only manage them. Know, too, that all prescription drugs come with a warning label listing all the contraindications and possible complications. Ideally, your aim should be to get healthy enough that you do not need prescription drugs to feel better.

Just as organic gardening can produce stronger plants with fewer pests and weeds, a healthy body in proper balance is less likely to be stricken by disease. Having your body in balance is essential to good health.

Next is the question of how to decide what you need in terms of vitamins and supplements. There are two ways to do so: by either subjective or objective findings. Subjective findings leave much to be desired because there can be so many variables involved. On the other hand, objective testing, such as laboratory testing, is scientifically verifiable and will consistently show the same results, time after time.

Visit any health food store and you will see people muscle testing each other to determine which bottles to purchase, and even to figure out how many capsules to take every day. Stick around long enough, and you may even see someone using a pendulum for their testing. While better than no tests, these are subjective tests that can be influenced by the tester, and because of that, the results can vary widely.

Others are fortunate enough to have a doctor with enough knowledge to help them better understand what is needed. Unfortunately this, too, is subjective and can be unintentionally influenced by a need to move a certain product off the shelf or the doctor’s preconceived notion of what you need.

Even for someone skilled and with years of experience, without objective testing to establish where the deficiencies exist, your doctor’s best efforts may come up short. You also run the risk of becoming a member of the Product of the Month Club or Diagnosis of the Month Club.

To be absolutely sure your are taking the supplements that will do you the most good, you should have objective testing that includes bloodwork and urine analysis to unequivocally identify your deficiencies. Such precise testing also allows follow-up testing to demonstrate whether your supplements have had a positive effect on your health. Retesting two months later allows you to readjust your vitamin regimen so you continue to receive optimal benefit from the supplements you take.

Just as medical doctors use laboratory tests to determine proper diagnoses, these same tests can be used to locate imbalances that, when corrected, can lead to better health without drugs. Be sure you are taking the right supplements at the right time to achieve your own peak health.


Dr. Bill Gallagher is a chiropractic physician and Science Based Nutrition doctor who practices in Scottsdale, Ariz. 480-513-3909 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 2, April/May 2007.

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