Can vitamins and supplements really help?

Have you ever wondered if part of the reason you’re not feeling 100% is because you’re missing some key nutrients? Maybe your vitamin D is low or perhaps you need more magnesium. Lacking certain vitamins and minerals can suppress your immune system and leave you vulnerable to illness, fatigue, poor sleep, and even allergies and asthma. Here at AAPRI and the Center for Functional Medicine we believe food is medicine, which is why we focus a lot on what you’re putting in your body.

Can vitamins and supplements really help?

Boosting the immune system

A strong immune system is the first line of defense against illness caused by viruses and bacteria, but it’s also key to helping reduce the impact of allergies and asthma. Allergies are inflammatory diseases characterized by an immune response in the body that’s controlled by the gut microbiome. As Dr. Z explains, “We have to understand the role of our internal environment at the cellular level of the gut—and they key to that is diet.”

A complete picture of your health

As part of our functional medicine program, we take the time to listen to your concerns and then we do comprehensive testing to get a complete and accurate picture of your health. This process may involve blood tests, elimination diets, or other diagnostic tests depending on your symptoms and health concerns. “Once we get the labs back, we look at things like hormones, iron, thyroid, and vitamin and mineral levels to come up with a comprehensive plan to defeat the symptoms and achieve wellness,” explains Amanda Matteson, Functional Medicine Program Director and Board-certified physician assistant. “Getting the right combination of nutritional supplements balanced with a healthy diet is the best way to boost the immune system—and it can make a huge difference in quality of life.” 

Whether you’re coming to see us because of allergies or another health issue, Amanda and our functional medicine team can help. “One of the things I love most about my job is taking the time to really listen to patients and figure out what’s at the root of their health problems,” says Amanda. “The human body is a vast interconnected machine. So, in some ways it’s like detective work—we have to follow the symptoms, which are literally clues, to get to the root of the problem.” 

Give your body what it needs

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself against illness, allergy, and other health issues is to give your body exactly what it needs. This strategy includes eating healthy food, drinking plenty of water, getting enough good-quality sleep, being physically active, and giving your body its required daily dose of essential nutrients. 

Not only is it important to know which supplements to take, but you need to know how much to take. “We take the guesswork out of knowing which vitamins and dietary supplements to take,” explains Amanda. “We prescribe the right supplements in the right doses to support each patient’s individual needs.” Working with our team of functional medicine professionals—including Yoko Kawashima, our health & wellness coach—means you’ll have professional support every step of the way through your program and are far more likely to see an improvement in your health.

Amanda Matteson Lead Functional Medicine Practitioner

“We take the guesswork out of knowing which vitamins and dietary supplements to take.”

— Amanda Matteson, PA-C

An often-overlooked factor to consider is how well your body is able to absorb the nutrients in a supplement. Chronic inflammation and underlying gut problems can inhibit cellular absorption of these much-needed nutrients. By doing the labwork and addressing underlying problems, we can help make sure you’re getting the full benefits from your supplements.

Not all supplements are created equal

With so many options available today, it can be confusing to know which brand to choose. And it’s a fact that there’s a wide range in quality, grade, and cost. That’s why we’ve chosen a couple of select suppliers to ensure the best quality for our patients. Once you’re in the program and we’ve created your plan, we’ll help you get set up to order your supplements online.

To learn more about our functional medicine program, contact us to schedule a consultation today. Amanda and our dedicated team are ready to help you get on the path to better health.