Supplementation, Metabolic Testing and Compound Pharmacies:
These three subjects are naturally connected connected. Following the view that we are each unique, we need to determine what supports we need to help our bodies work optimally. Testing helps determine aspects of our metabolism which need support. Our family used metabolic testing which led us to supplementing with particular vitamins and minerals which were needed to improve the rate of reactions occurring in the body. Today testing is expanding to genetics and the microbiome which expands the information available to us.
Before using supplements some choose to have metabolic testing done, it is certainly not mandatory. Compounding pharmacies are a source of good quality and specific supplements. Facilities which offer metabolic testing or pharmacies which do their own compounding are great places to ask questions concerning supplementation.
On this page I start out with general information about supplementation and then list a range of places where you can find out more about the topic. Following that is a section on metabolic testing but at the end I mention the new field of genetic testing. Finally there is a short listing of compounding pharmacies that are recommended.
Most of our health care systems and insurance plans have not evolved to a place where they recognize the value of these services so often the family must pay for them themselves.
Supplementation has become a much more sophisticated topic than when I first discovered it as a treatment possibility. My sense is that amongst progressive practitioners the view is that it is most optimal to get nutrients from food. If you have a nutrient deficiency, find out which foods would be most useful to eat and include them in your diet.
However, for individuals who are ill, show serious deficiencies or have a compromised gut lining (most behaviorally challenged children) supplementation is very helpful. Testing is really worthwhile to help understand the problems you are dealing with and the nutrients or supplements that will be helpful.
To introduce you to one of the pioneers of supplementation and an individual I am very grateful to, this interview with Dr Jeffrey Bland is a lovely introduction to Dr. Abram Hoffer who was a pioneer in using supplements in the treatment of mental health.
Julia Rucklidge is a researcher at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. In this excellent you-tube talk entitled " What if...nutrition could treat mental illness" she talks of her successful research and results doing just that. Her work is done with the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group which also has a website with more information. The medical community will often say there is no proof and it is wonderful to find proof which is accessible.
There are many places to find information on supplementation, here are a few places to consider:
The Walsh Research Institute is an excellent resource.
Food and Behavior Research (FAB) is an excellent resource with some information about supplementation, with a focus on fatty acids.
Patrick Holford was an early adapter of the work of Dr Abram Hoffer and Dr. Carl Pfeiffer. I found his book "Optimum Nutrition for the Mind" early on in my journey. It has always been an invaluable resource.
Also on the serious side Dr. Bruce Ames who is Senior Scientist at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California is one of the most published scientists with respect to supplementation. His website can connect you to his body of research and his current work. In this youtube talk Dr. Ames discusses nutrition and aging.
Safe Harbor is a non profit corporation devoted to supporting those who are searching for alternatives to established mental health treatments. Their International Guide to the World of Alternative Mental Health is an excellent resource with all kinds of information about supplementation.
An excellent article entitled Can Omega-3 Boost Your Child's Brain Power appeared in an email from Food Matters. This article clearly outlines the role of omega 3 fatty acids in brain health and discusses supplementation. The only thought I could add is that should you decide to supplement with omega 3 fatty acids make sure you investigate the quality of the product as heavy metals can be found in poorer quality products.
The Vitamin D Council has a website devoted to information related to that single vitamin. Vitamin D has been found to play an significant role in human health. They also send out regular emails as new information becomes available.
A history of early work using supplementaion is found on a video by Connie Littlefield entitled Feed Your Head. It is available through the International Schizophrenia Foundation
"Cracking the Metabolic Code" a book written by James B. LaValle,a pharmacist and naturopathic doctor, contains extensive information describing roles of supplementation.
In April 2017 the Mindd Foundation sent out an article entitled " American Researchers Find Blood Test to Detect Autism". It is based on this scientific article. The testing uses blood tests to monitor methylation and transsulferation both of which are commonly tested in metabolic testing. This article supports the importance of metabolic testing in helping to understand a child's underlying problems.
These are just a few facilities I can recommend, there are certainly more.
Nutrichem Compounding Pharmacy and Clinic is located in Ottawa, Canada. They can be reached by phone at their toll free number 1 800 363 6327.
The Pfeiffer Medical Center in Illinois does a lot of outreach across the United States and Canada.
In Britain there is York Test Laboratories. They also have information about metabolic testing.
This is new and therefore everyone involved is learning. In 2018 I was tested by a company called Toolbox Genomics. As some one who has worked with elimination diets until I have reached a situation where I feel best, I found their testing very much matched my own experience. It told me of a few SNP's(single nucleotide polymorph's) that I have which particular foods or supplements would be helpful to support my metabolism. Interesting to me was the foods suggested are ones I regularly include in my diet to feel better. This testing I feel is excellent for anyone attempting to optimize their health. You can chose from a range of services but all are moderately priced.
For anyone dealing with a serious autoimmune disease or a child with a behavioral/developmental disorder there are more comprehensive programs which I suspect would give you more complete support. I have heard a presentation by Dr. Mansoor who is based in Mississauga, Canada who offers very complete genetic testing with consultation and support. His company is Youtrients.
Health Research Institute (HRI) Pharmacy is asociated with the Pfeiffer Medical Center.
Nutrichem Compounding Pharmacy and Clinic has a retail store with quality supplements and compounds. There is information about why you might want to have a preparation compounded.
Ford's Family Pharmacy and Wellness Centre is a major supplier of compounded and quality supplements in Canada.