Wellness, heart health supplements and immunity are changing patient (and DC) behavior
Approximately 52% of chiropractors offer nutritional services or supplements according to last year’s Chiropractic Economics Salary & Expense Survey, and that is expected to climb due to patient immune health awareness from COVID-19, an aging U.S. population, and a wellness, heart health supplements and anti-aging surge, just to name a few health drivers.
Sleep supplements are on the rise as work demands and general anxiety are keeping many Americans awake, especially during the difficult pandemic in 2020 stretching into this year. Brain supplements are in demand for patients who want to stay their sharpest, and heart health supplements for seniors who want to stave off heart disease, the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.1
THEN THERE’S THE GUT BIOME, WHERE NEW RESEARCH SEEMINGLY EVERY MONTH CONNECTS IT TO ANOTHER CRUCIAL BODILY FUNCTION, and the ever-present diet supplements market and weight issue in the U.S., where more than two of every three people are either overweight or obese.2
Supplements chiropractors take
Even if as a chiropractor you do not counsel patients on nutrition or sell supplements, supplements likely play a role in your personal life.
Chiropractic Economics spoke to a number of chiropractors and nutrition/supplement industry veterans regarding what they take the first thing when they wake up, or throughout the day.
We’ll examine some current and projected supplement trends and look at what some DCs and nutrition/supplement industry veterans take personally, and why.
RYAN BURKHARDT, BS, DC, is committed to delivering innovative health care solutions to maximizing patient quality of life through chiropractic care. His family practice is Burkhart & Chapp Chiropractic PLC at burkhartchappchiropractic.com.
- Vitamin D, 5,000 IUs for immune and bone health
- Multivitamin without iron
- Magnesium, 100 mg to supplement micronutrients lacking in diet
- Fish oil, 1,000 mg for brain support
- B complex with choline, inositol, betaine HCL, and L-methionine for liver/gall bladder
Comments: “I have a family history of gall stone and gall bladder removal, so I am trying to be proactive to beat the odds to keep my gall bladder.”
CHARLIE DUBOIS is the third-generation owner of Standard Process who has been president for over 30 years. Standard Process was founded in 1929 and is based in Palmyra, Wisc.
- General multivitamin
- Vitamin D
- Trace minerals
- Fish oil
- Cardiovascular support
- Adrenal support
- Endocrine and cellular support
Comments: “I take whole-food based supplements daily to support my nutritional needs. I think it is very important to eat a balanced diet, while staying away from processed foods. It’s also important to detoxify and cleanse at least once per year. I try to make it a twice-a-year routine. The short time it takes to refocus our bodies and minds on how we should be eating daily is so critical. At this time, I find it crucial to make sure my immune system is supported in addition to my regular routine. It is important as well to be getting plenty of rest, exercise daily, reduce stress, drink lots of water and eat healthy organic food.”
The survey says: patients are afraid to ask
Persona, a Nestlé Health Science company that creates personalized vitamin programs, late last year released the results of a national online survey regarding multivitamin knowledge and use, finding that only 7% of respondents had asked a health professional for supplemental guidance.
Out of the 1,000 surveyed, 70% of the respondents 35 years or older took a vitamin or supplement, with 47% indicating during the COVID-19 pandemic that they felt a daily multivitamin was more important to their general health than just one year ago.
Some of the most common reasons provided for taking a multivitamin were:
- increased energy (44%)
- healthy weight maintenance (26%)
- better sleep (24%)
- healthier level of stress (24%)
- hormone level maintenance (12%)
Of those surveyed, 94% under the age of 54 had trouble identifying the myths and facts associated with multivitamins. Also, two out of three respondents didn’t realize that some wellness and heart health supplements can potentially interfere with prescription medications.
BILL HEMMER, DC, has been in private practice for more than 30 years. He has expanded his practice to include customized health recovery plans and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Whole food supplements (all taken morning and lunch): B-complex, zinc, trace minerals, copper, cod liver oil, N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
- Liquid herbal extracts (5 ml, morning and lunch): ashwagandha, hawthorn, echinacea, Korean ginseng, rhemannia
- Dry herbal extracts (all taken morning and lunch): Tribulus, gingko, gota kola, turmeric, boswellia
Comments: “I take whole-food supplements and herbal extracts, both dry and liquid from the right part of the plant, the right area in the world, the right species, and the right dosage of active compounds. I really concentrate on decreasing inflammation, increasing my immune response, handling stress effectively and having great energy throughout my day. This protocol has been developed over the last few years but has become even more important over this last year.”
FAB MANCINI, DC, is “America’s #1 Healthy-Living Media Expert,” a world-renowned chiropractor and best-selling author of “Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul.” To contact him or for more info, visit drfabmancini.com.
- Aloe vera
- Ionic minerals
- Nano colloidal silver
- Magnolia bark extract
- Phellodendron amurense bark extract
- Sphaerantus indicus
- Garcinia mangostana extracts
- Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)
Comments: “After extensive research for science-based ingredients that have studies that are clear about the health benefits that [are] produced, these are some of the more powerful ones; I use these to support my immune, digestive, cardiovascular, nervous and other system. I feel so good!”
USDA: American kids, adults need wellness and heart health supplements
Last September in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in a report expressed concerns about “under-consumption of vitamin D, calcium, dietary fiber, and potassium” among children. The report also emphasized that food insecurity affecting more than 37 million people, including 6 million children, is a problem that disproportionately affects “low-income, Black, non-Hispanic, and Hispanic households.”
In the “Future Directions” section of the report the USDA recommended researchers:
- Consider the role of the gut microbiome in future guidelines
- Examine the relationship between nutrition and immune function
- [Consider that] supplementation or fortification may be warranted for certain food components or for certain population subgroups considered to be at potential risk
MARK SANNA, DC, ACRB Level II, FICC, is the president and CEO of Breakthrough Coaching. For more information go to mybreakthrough.com.
- Fish oil
- Magnesium glycinate
Comments: “Magnesium glycinate was an eye-opener for me (I should say eye-closer). I take a couple of 120 mg capsules 20 minutes before bed and sleep like a baby!”
DAVIS SEAMAN, DC, MS, DABCN, is professor of clinical sciences at National University of Health Sciences in St. Petersburg, Fla. He can be contacted through nuhs.edu.
- Magnesium (1,000-1,600 mg)
- Fish oil (1-3 g, EPA/DHA)
- Vitamin D (5,000-10,000 IU)
- Glucosamine/chondroitin (1,500/1,200 mg)
- Ginger, turmeric (1-2 g)
- CoQ10 (100 mg)
- Iodine (500 mcg)
- Vitamin C (3,000-6,000 mg)
Comments: “I take these supplements but not necessarily all the time. I cycle in and out of some.”
COREY SCHULER, DC, MS, CNS, RN, LN, is the director of clinical affairs for Integrative Therapeutics. He practices in Wisconsin and can be contacted through integrativepro.com.
- High-potency multivitamin-multimineral
- Vitamin D3 (dose varies according to most recent labs)
- Combination of spearmint extract, citicoline and saffron
- Magnesium, 480 mg
- Plant-based melatonin, 0.3 mg
- Men’s health maca root
- Bioavailable curcumin, 180 mg
Comments: “This regimen is designed to keep me performing at my best. I tend to wake up early and go to bed early so I’m conscious and aware of circadian influences on my diet and supplement regimen. My regimen is based on trial and error and my unique physiology.”
RICK VACH is editor-in-chief of Chiropractic Economics.
- Multivitamin (with extra extra iron)
- Flaxseed oil capsules, plant-based with omega 3-6-9, 2,400 mg
- Curcumin capsules with ginger and black pepper extract, 2,250 mg
- Apple cider vinegar capsules, 720 mg
- Sleep/immunity gummies (melatonin, elderberry, echinacea,
zinc, vitamin C)
Comments: “I like this combination for brain and heart health and to supplement my vegetarian diet after much experimentation with various supplements. I’ve taken apple cider vinegar supplements for the last few years and have rarely been sick during that period, be it psychosomatic or not.”
Wellness and heart health supplements trends
Six experts late last year spoke with the Global Wellness Summit, highlighting Wellness Trends for 2021, two of which should be of interest to doctors of chiropractic who counsel patients on wellness and a strong immune system:
A new convergence between health care and wellness
“The panel discussed how COVID-19 has shined a pitiless spot- light on the importance of preventative lifestyle approaches, and how our future survival will depend on a new alignment between wellness and health care.”
Panelists noted that U.S. health care providers need to shift the health care system away from profiting from sickness and gear it toward preventing it, with a combination of functional and conventional medicine to reach across community and economic lines.
Panelists noted that health care “has been quite sterile” while “wellness has become the cool kid on the block,” but that the future would be a convergence of the two. They argued that, “new integrations will give health care the pleasurable, aspirational qualities of wellness while wellness will increasingly get the science-backed credibility of the medical industry — and the players and brands that execute on this (and it’s already happening) will ‘win big.’”
Strengthening the immune system
Strengthening the immune system has already become a wellness trend, “across the board, from food, to supplements, to educational classes. We will see more customized immunity hacks, using genetic testing and biohacking … to pinpoint what immune therapies best suit your system and situation.”
Personalized medicine will include a “much bigger focus on gut health and our microbiome as it pertains to immunity and brain function.”
Health care providers will target patients’ “immunity gaps” to shore up their immunity defenses, according to the Global Wellness Summit’s wellness trends report. Early in the pandemic last year, sales of immunity products grew more than 200%, with vitamin sales increasing 77%.4
With this insight, DCs are seeing an opportunity to provide patients with the wellness and heart health supplements they are already buying elsewhere, and to jump on the shifting trend within the nutritional supplement sector as patients look with a new urgency at getting and staying healthy.
RICK VACH is editor-in-chief of Chiropractic Economics.
- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2017-2018; Harvard School of Public Health, 2020.
- Linares IMP, Guimaraes FS, Eckeli A, et al. No acute effects of cannabidiol on the sleep-wake cycle of healthy subjects: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Frontiers in Pharmacology 2018;9:315.
- COVID-19 Impact. Consumer Spending Tracker for Measured Channels: U.S., UK, France, Italy, Germany, NZ. IRI Report. Updated April 2, 2020. Accessed 7/24/2020.