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Woman to Woman.

Q: I want to make sure the supplements I take are good quality. Which companies can I trust, and how do I know they're good? -- S.B., Chicago, IL

A: This is a confusing subject, which is why I wrote an article on it in the April 2000 issue. Simply put, first look for products from supplement companies with recognizable names. Larger companies often have greater quality control on their products and are less likely to make unsubstantiated claims. Recently; two companies were fined by the Federal Trade Commission for saying shark cartilage has been "clinically proven" to cure cancer. That simply wasn't true or ethical. Nor was the substitution another company made for using artificial ephedra with caffeine in their product instead of the natural herb ephedra.

I have personally checked out all supplement manufacturers (not just the distributors) mentioned in this newsletter, whether they make products sold through the newsletter or are those I am convinced are of excellent quality. If you're not sure about some of the brands you're taking, ask your health care professional for recommendations based on his or her knowledge and experience.

As a rule, the cheaper the supplement, the more likely it is to contain raw materials that are less well absorbed than higher-priced brands. Choose supplements with natural ingredients. Natural vitamin E (d-alpha) was recently found to be absorbed twice as well as the synthetic vitamin (dl-alpha). I'm not surprised. I've been saying this for years. In time, I expect other natural nutrients will be found to be superior to the synthetic, as well. You really can't fool Mother Nature.

Yates, Scott C. "Two supplement makers hit with big fines," Natural Foods Merchandiser.

Q: Have you heard anything about oral chelation formulas? I would like more information on them. -- N.V., San Juan, PR

A: Chelation means using substances that attach themselves to harmful metals or minerals to carry them out of the body. Some medical doctors use chelation therapy for people with heart disease and other serious health conditions. Chelation removes excessive copper and iron, reducing the production of harmful free radicals.

Some formulas have a base of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), a molecule resembling an amino acid. Naturopaths Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno report that EDTA has been used for lead poisoning, angina, and atherosclerosis. The use of EDTA appears to be safe. Murray and Pizzorno found no significant adverse effects in over 500,000 chelation patients. Whether or not any particular chelation supplement is effective is another story.

Heart disease is serious, however, and oral chelation formulas sold in natural food stores or through the mail may or may not work for you. We suggest rather than self-medicate, speak with a medical doctor familiar with chelation therapies and discuss your particular situation. In this way, you can also be monitored to see if the path you're taking is effective. Chelation therapy of any kind is not cheap. Use something that works and make sure it's working.

Murray, Michael ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Prima Publishing, 1998.

Q: I am 49 years old. When I was in my early 40s, I went through menopause. Last year, I found out that I have osteoporosis in my hips. I can't tolerate Fosamax or Calcitonin, and progesterone cream gives me night sweats or flushing. What can I do to regain bone in my hips? I do water aerobics with weights three times a week and bicycle. -- S.C., Bradenton, FL

A: Water aerobics is an excellent way to increase your heart rate without putting stress on your body, since the water absorbs some of the shock and strain of exercise. But unless you stress the bones in your legs and hips, you won't build bone there. Walking for half an hour five times a week would do more for your hips than your current exercise program.

Sometimes it's difficult to get in enough walking, especially during the cold and rainy seasons. If this is a problem for you, then specific isometric exercises that stress particular areas -- in your case, your hips -- will help build bone in that area. The OsteoBall and the exercises that accompany it are designed to help build bone at specific locations. To order the OsteoBall call 1-800-728-2288.

These exercises take 10 minutes a day and address all areas of the body. You say your problem is in your hips, but what will it be tomorrow? Give the whole body the stress-bearing exercises you need to protect all your bones from head to toe.

Dear Readers,

Many of you have important questions about your health, so we answer as many inquiries as possible each month in this section.

While we can't make a diagnosis or prescribe a treatment, we might be able to offer some helpful suggestions. When you send in a question, please include your name, address, and phone number, and send it to:
Woman to Woman
P.O. Box 467939
Atlanta, GA 31146


Dr. Fuchs does personalized nutritional consultations for highly motivated people. Her phone number is 707-824-1123.

P.S. Please share this newsletter with others. They can call 800-728-2288 to subscribe.
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Title Annotation:how to find good quality dietary supplements
Author:Fuchs, Nan Kathryn
Publication:Women's Health Letter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2001
Previous Article:More Specific Information.
Next Article:Allergies: Environmental or Food? Which Are You Suffering From?

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