October 10, 2011— Navigating the supplement maze can get confusing especially when you have multiple supplements. It is important to organize yourself with your supplements to prevent unnecessary mishaps.
Dr. Lorraine J. Gudas and Dr. Mark S. Lachs offered these key tips on how to stay on track with your supplements and steer clear of unsafe interactions at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center’s 29th Annual Women’s Health Symposium:
1. Keep a list of your supplements with you at all times.
2. Make sure to include brand AND generic names as well as dosages and frequency.
3. Include all vitamins and supplements on the list.
4. Share the list with every health care provider you come in contact with, whether or not he or she suggests new medicines changes.
5. Never mix supplements in the same bottle even if traveling; taping an actual pill to your medication list can help you identify which supplement is which.
6. When you hear about a new health tip, ask yourself: Is this based on a clinical trial, an observational study, or only personal endorsements?
7. Don’t make health decisions on the basis of observational studies. They are interesting to think about, but they don’t prove anything.
8. If you are thinking of buying a supplement, ask a doctor’s opinion. Don’t take them on the basis of personal testimony.