An Important Nutritional Supplement Distinction
here is a great need today to
acomplement a healthy diet with
appropriate nutritional supple-
mentation. The rules on what constitutes
optimal health have changed due to signifi-
cant changes in the quality of our soil, air,
water and food. A balanced diet of fruits,
vegetables and whole grains may very well
help to prevent most deficiencies, but that
same diet may not today provide the opti-
mal level of nutrition our cells require to
provide abundant health, vitality and the
ultimate protection from a host of chronic
And yet, as with any thriving industry,
the almighty dollar has led to introduction
of literally thousands of products promot-
ing health. As consumers, it is quite chal-
lenging to differentiate one product from
another. Instead, we use the product's price
or clever marketing on the label as a deter-
We live in a "super-sized" America
where we often believe that more is bet-
ter. Nutritional supplement companies
understand this mentality and may take
advantage by isolating a single
component from an herb or
whole-food source and create
a product from that one ingre-
dient. That product is then
marketed to us for its health-
The list of potential prob-
lems with this philosophy
is vast. For one, any isolated
nutrient lacks the very impor-
tant co-factors that are natu-
rally present in the whole food
in nature. An example of this
is Vitamin C. The Vitamin C
complex is much more than ascorbic acid.
A slice of an orange contains Vitamin C
with all of the factors present that the body
requires. Savvy nutritional companies,
however, may label a product as Vitamin C
and the product may contain only a very
high dose of ascorbic acid. This "mega-
dosing" may not only be of little benefit,
but it has the potential to be dangerous.
Often, synthetic supplements are
also treated with high-powered
chemicals, solvents and heat,
destroying much of their nutri-
Isolated nutrients may cause
three additional concerns. First,
they may actually cause nutri-
tional deficiencies. The second
is that synthetic vitamins do not
simply pass through the body;
the body has to process them.
Lastly, synthetic nutrients often
act as a stimulant rather than as
a true nutrient. This may explain
why some products produce an initial rush
of energy but have fading benefits or ill
consequences over time.
On the contrary, "whole-food" supple-
ments are literally dried versions of
whole foods with only the water and fiber
removed. Typically, they are processed at
low temperatures to preserve enzymes and
their nutritional value.
Since these nutrients contain the whole-
food complex, all of the important co-fac-
tors are present in the supplement. This
makes the ingredients very bio-available
and recognizable by the body.
There is no level of toxicity with whole-
food nutrition, and unlike synthetic
vitamins, the shelf life is often indicated
on the product to assure freshness. Whole-
food supplements help to bridge the
nutritional gap and provide optimal levels
of nutrition for greater protection, energy
Look at labels carefully and consult
a health-care provider or nutritionist.
Remember, more is not always better! ❑
Dr. Jeff Rosenberg is a chiropractor and a certi-
fied digestive health specialist. His practice, the
Vitality Center, is in Birmingham. Contact him
at (248) 540-1340, firstname.lastname@example.org or at
The Facts About Degenerative Lumbar Stenosis
Degenerative Lumbar Stenosis is a narrowing in the lumbar spinal
canal, a very small space in the lower spine that carries nerves to the
legs. After many years, this space can become even smaller, if the
surrounding bone and tissue begin to grow.
Neural Claudication is relatively easy to diagnose. Physicians can usu-
ally determine if a patient has the condition by asking a battery of
questions. However, special tests and x-rays of the spine are often
Arthritis, falls, accidents and wear and tear on the bones and joints
in the spine also play a part in Stenosis. As the lumbar spinal canal
shrinks, the nerves within it become squeezed and can cause chronic
back and leg pain, as well as leg weakness.
STENOSIS VS. RUPTURED DISC: "Many patients confuse Stenosis
with a ruptured disc," says Dr. Radden. "However, they are not the
same thing." A ruptured (or herniated) disc usually pinches one or two
nerves at a time. The resufting pain, called Sciatica, is caused by a
pinched nerve in the lumbar spine and causes back pain that shoots
down one leg. This pain can happen any time, not just when standing
up or walking.
The pain and weakness associated with Stenosis is usually described
as a burning or prickly feeling which begins in the buttocks and
spreads down to the feet when standing up, walking or exercising.
Unfortunately, many adults suffer from this condition.
OTHER FACTORS: "Legs might also feel cramped, tired, or weak,"
says Dr. Louis Radden, D.O., a St. Joseph Mercy Oakland orthopedic
surgeon. "This usually points to a condition known as Neural Claudi-
cation of the legs. For patients with Stenosis, the Claudication starts
when standing up. Pain may worsen when walking, but will most likely
get better when walking stops."
Also, crouching down or lying in a fetal position has been shown to re-
lieve symptoms, since it's believed that these positions open the lum-
bar canal and take the pressure off the nerves that go to the legs.
6621 W. Maple Rd.
TREATMENT OPTIONS: Several treatment options are available for
Stenosis and Neural Claudication, depending on the extremity of
symptoms. If the pain is mild and hasn't been present for long, an
exercise or physical therapy program to strengthen back muscles and
improve posture is usually effective. A physician may also prescribe
medication for inflammation in the backbone.
Dr. Radden notes that with severe back pain and Neural Claudication,
however, spinal surgery may be required to take the pressure off the
nerves in the lower spine.
SPINE SPECIALISTS OF MICHIGAN P.C.
Dr. Louis N. Radden
RECONSTRUCTIVE SPINE SURGERY
30055 Northwestern Hwy. Suite 270
February 28 • 2008