Tieraona Low Dog, MD, vitamin supplements

Are you getting all the nutrients you need from the food you eat? We are often advised to eat a well-balanced diet, but many people find that difficult. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be hard even to know what it means.

Should You Take Dietary Supplements?

Dr. Tieraona Low Dog suggests that many of us need nutritional insurance because we are not loading our plates with vegetables three times a day. But different individuals have differing nutritional needs. What dietary supplements make sense for you?

An African-American woman in Minneapolis needs more vitamin D than a light-skinned fellow in Tampa. Men should not be taking multi-vitamin-mineral supplements with iron, but premenopausal women usually do need iron in their dietary supplements.

How Do Your Medications Affect Your Nutritional Needs?

If you are taking certain drugs for heartburn, such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or omeprazole (Prilosec), you could be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as falling short on other crucial nutrients such as magnesium. People taking the diabetes drug metformin may also need to be boosting their nutritional intake beyond what they can get in their food. Dr. Low Dog has spent months investigating the effects of medications on nutritional needs, and she tells you how to fortify your life with the right dietary supplements.

This Week’s Guest:

Tieraona Low Dog, MD, is Fellowship Director of the Interprofessional Fellowship in Integrative Health & Medicine with the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine. She is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of integrative medicine, dietary supplements, herbal medicine and women’s health.

She is a founding member of the American Board of Physician Specialties, American Board of Integrative Medicine and the Academy of Women’s Health. She has served as Chair of the US Pharmacopeia Dietary Supplements/Botanicals Expert Committee.

Her books include: Women’s Health in Complementary and Integrative Medicine; Life Is Your Best Medicine; and Healthy at Home. Her latest is Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and More. For more information, see her website: drlowdog.com

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Buy the CD

Listen to the CD and read the information-packed book

Download the mp3

Air Date:January 30, 2016

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  1. Anne

    I saw iron mentioned. I’m 65 and a recent blood test showed I was low in iron. I actually think it has helped me with sleep and leg pain.

  2. Ann

    Vitamins, even those for children give me rapid heart beat. I have tried many brands, but it makes no difference. I wonder what could be in there that totally winds me up.

  3. Kate
    Altadena CA

    Oh my. Are you guys being bought out by the supplement industry? Hearing your new ad for supplements makes me cringe. Can I trust you? If you need more money how about asking your listeners? I’m sure we would be willing to pay more.

    All th evidence I have read or watched says that the silver bullet theory doesn’t play out in reality. We don’t even know what the whole food contains besides the element that has been identified, but isolating the element doesn’t appear to have the same effect.

    I am 73. I was told by my PC 20 years ago that I should take Vitamin B.

  4. Maggie
    Vancouver Island

    In response to Dan.B. : in Florida, in reference to “Lightheaded after drinking Coffee”…
    I had a similar affect from drinking coffee, but for the longest time I had no idea the affect of ‘light headedness’ came from the consumption of a caffeinated beverage., until I mentioned it to a few people at a gym I was working out at. Apparently that is not an uncommon reaction for a certain demographic. Anyways, I basically have found I can enjoy a cup of coffee if it is ‘after’ a meal (absolutely not first thing in the morning). I need it to be fresh (not sitting around in a canister for a couple of hours), not Starbucks (way too strong). I have a half& half mix of decaf/caffeinated at home & enjoy a normal size cup once or twice a day tops! I even had light sensitivity from the caffeine before I was enlightened to my problem, & bear in mind that many OTC melds contain caffeine, so taking a Tylenol to help will only magnify the problem. Hope this is a bit helpful.

  5. Sandra

    I appreciate your very informative programs very much.
    I also have found it most helpful to be able to download the program later and listen to it taking notes so that I can fully comprehend the information, look up information where I need clarification and review it again.
    I have been able to share this information with many patients.
    Many do not have internet or do not receive your program in their area, but you helped me access the program so that I could get the information to them.
    I cannot afford to buy the discs you have available but you have helped me obtain the information so that I could review it.
    Thank you

  6. Paul
    Endicott, NY 13760

    Hi, I believe that lecithin is a supplement that one can take as a source of choline besides egg whites. FYI Thank you

  7. Jon
    RDU, NC

    I listen to the show every week and browse some of the books mentioned. One of my concerns is that I get good information, to be sure. However, my difficulty is I find myself in information overload. Basically this results in doing little or nothing to change my dietary lifestyle. What I (we) need is something simplified, uncomplicated, easy to read, assimilate, follow through with and record/report. Without the simplicity approach of a good, healthy diet, I fear that most people will attempt to make changes that are not feasible in syncing with the demands of their particular life style, resulting in just giving up, false starts, or complete failure. We are being bombarded with a dizzying array of diets, health scares, supplements, OTC medications, herbs, or foods that are either good for us one day or bad for us the next. Keep it simple — that’s the key to success. Simplicity is the approach I’d like to hear from you and your guests. Thanks

    • Sandy

      Sandy R. Jan. 31 FL 5:30 pm
      I, for one, do not want my information watered down. Too many sources already do that. Those who want that can find it all over magazines and the various “health letters.” Please, keep up your standards! Thanks.

  8. Nemila
    Cary NC

    As a current pharmacy student I come here to get information on all other types of medications and health issues that I don’t get to study in school. I love the programs that you broadcast and how they are so helpful in life. Thank you.

  9. dale

    I just want to have solid, well researched information about health topics. I don’t want to have to buy a book to get information.

    Would appreciate health topics that are backed up by research and are reliable sources. There’s too much “junk” information out there.

    Please keep your site a reliable source of accurate information.

  10. rick

    One should ask if the supplements you are taking are actually placebos with no nutritional valve Half the vitamin pills on the market are synthesized from the by-products of the petrol chemical industry and even though they maybe not that harmful the chemicals used as starting materials and intermediates in the total synthesis are. The pharmaceutical industry is basically self regulated, the food industry is a disaster and I can not see where the dietary supplements would be any better only possible worse

  11. george miller
    West Virginia

    my wife and i add many supplements to our diet on a semi-daily basis .theory being we are filling any dietary gaps. we used the list of items on Centrum Silver to buy individual vitamin and herbal supplements . we stay alert to possible medication contradiction . amazingly i at 68 am medically in no need of any medications. my wife has her cholesterol and blood pressure medications to be mindful of interaction with our dietary routine .we are both addicted to coffee . your show is the best over all supplement for good health. thank you.

  12. Mary

    I am 76 and my anemia blood test showed low iron. I have probably been low most of my life. Since that was rarely checked I am not sure.

    So saying stop iron after menopause might need to be checked for each of us rather than a blanket statement.

  13. Jean Sargeant
    Oviedo, Florida

    A recent documentary on PBS Frontline tells of the billions of dollars being made on supplements and danger some of the prove to be. Where are they being made and what is in them. the concerns raised in this program has led me to ask, do we really need any of them?I am 81 years of age. I was taking a CoQ10, Mega Red Krill oil, Probiotic and Magnesium and a Vitamin D 3 2000IU. I take no prescription medications. During a large part of 2015 I suffered for really bad joint and muscle pains. getting in and out a car was difficult. Getting up out of a chair was also a challenge. X-rays showed no signs of wear on my hips or knees. A Doppler on my legs found no problem there. I read of one of your readers that had similar problems and stopped taking the vitamin D they were taking and how their pain went away. So I decided to stop the Vitamin D. Low and behold just about all of my pain has gone away. Who would have thought that a simple vitamin D 3 could cause a problem? So, after watching the Frontline program and seeing some of the side effects that these so called healthy supplements can cause, I pitched the rest of the ones I was taking. I feel great.

  14. dan b.

    Lately I am having spells of light-headness, especially after I drink coffee! Any suggestions how to ameliorate the situation, any natural remedies?
    Thank you.

  15. Lin
    north carolina

    I would like to know if probiotic supplements are worth the money. I would think that the processing of these products would kill any live bacteria.
    Do they really work?
    What is the best source of probiotics?

    • Fran
      Chapel Hill NC

      The only guide I know of is consumer lab.com, a very reliable company that lab-tests
      supplements, explains how they work, what you should for, what they actually contain,
      and where you can find the biggest bargains in the ones that pass the testing. It costs a
      bit to subscribe, but not more than a lunch out with friends. The savings are huge if you
      routinely use supplements.

      Their review of probiotics point out that different strains do different things, depending on
      what you’re looking for. Look for enteric coatings on the capsules and high numbers of
      both strains and each individual strain. One brand that’s highly recommended by a lot of
      Functional Medicine doctors, Dr. Ohhira’s, was found to have only half the live strains it
      claimed to contain. Does that mean one should take twice as many? Many other doctors
      feel you do best to get your strains from food itself: real sauerkraut, Bulgarian yogurt,
      kefir, kimchee, etc. but that means about three servings a day of those.

      This is a hot new area of research and it’s evolving rapidly, but clearly important. Meantime,
      there’s just a lot we don’t know.

    • Ann

      I can only speak about the one I use, Align. It has helped me enormously. I had gastritis for a year, and diarrhea for most if that time. The gastroenterologist gave me a packet to try and from day one I felt better. All my issues disappeared, I’ve been on it ever since, which is April. I plan to stay on it.

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