'Life...supplemented' hopes to make consumers wiser about health

WASHINGTON Nearly half of Americans want to be healthier and have good intentions, but just don't know where to start, according to a recent study by the "Life...supplemented" consumer wellness initiative.

In honor of National Wise Consumer Health Month, started by the American Institute for Preventive Medicine, two licensed naturopathic doctors, who specialize in an integrative and total body approach to health and nutrition -- Douglas MacKay, N.D., VP, scientific and regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition, and Mitchell Stargrove, N.D., L.Ac, practicing naturopathic doctor and author of "Herb, Nutrient and Drug Interactions: Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies" and editor of InteractionsGuide.com -- have teamed up to try and help Americans become more educated health consumers.

"As a former practicing licensed naturopathic doctor, I have always found that an educated individual is a healthier individual," stated MacKay. "I believe it is part of a physician's role to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for his or her health. After all, it's the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates and accomplishes change and healing in the patient's lifestyle. This partnership is all about empowering individuals to become more educated about their health. By educating yourself on how various factors, including lifestyle status, age, gender, family history, etc., impact your health, you can take preventative steps to be healthier throughout your life."

For example, individuals may need to think about are drug-induced nutrient depletions, which are nutrient depletions that are caused by prescription drugs. According to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2003 to 2006, 47% of all Americans reported using a prescription drug in the past month and some may not have realized that some of these drugs can cause essential nutrients to be depleted.

"It is widely known that statin medications, often prescribed for high-cholesterol levels, deplete Coenzyme Q10 from the body, which helps transform energy into activity," stated Stargrove. "Healthcare professionals should discuss these potential depletions with their patients and discuss how patients can avoid these depletions so that they can be as healthy as possible. Our book helps educate healthcare professionals so that they can take this information back to their patients."

The 2009 "Life...supplemented" My Wellness Scorecard National Study was conducted Oct. 2 through Oct. 9, 2009 by Ipsos Public Affairs. The survey was conducted on-line and included a national sample of 1,172 adults ages 18 years and older from Ipsos' U.S. online panel.

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