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[IP] Anyone's Doc Prescribing Supplements

Maridee Wrote:
 There two she claims lower blood sugar: Stabilized R-Pipoic Acid and a
multi-vitamin called Metabolic Supreme that she has specially formalized for
her. Actually, her practice specializes in Endocrinology and Metabolism and she
sells a TON of different supplements.

Ricardo Responds:
 I am guessing that you meant to say R-Lipoic Acid, which is a racemic mixture
of lipoic acid. Lipoic acid is thought to help with BG control but I dont see a
need for you since you say your A1C is 5.7. I tried the 50 mg R-Lipoic acid and
found it much less effective than the non-racemic lipoic acid that you can pick
up in a reputable store for much less cost. I would also be wary of any special
formulations that you can only obtain from her practice. If it were that
effective, she would mass market it and submit it for Nobel prize consideration.

 As a supplement user, I do not object to their selective use for treating
specific symptoms. I am not sure what your doctor is treating. How would she
evaluate success of her supplement program, other than weighing your wallet/
purse before and after treatment?

 I do believe supplements have their place in health care and many
pharmaceuticals are simply compounds isolated from naturally occurring products.
Few would argue if you had a headache or mild fever and took a pill of the OTC
pharmaceutical, usually accredited to Bayer, aspirin. You would be the subject
of controversy if you purchased the supplement willow tree bark and chewed on it
to alleviate your headache. As far back as 400 BC, Hippocrates made use of
willow tree bark. Hippocrates did not know the active ingredient was salicylic
acid, whereas Bayer isolated it. The trade off is the bark is not standardized
like aspirin and takes a little longer to work but it also does not carry the
risk of stomach bleeding (if there were other compounds in the tree bark that
moderated the adverse effects of salicylic acid, Bayer missed it). For most of
us, it is much easier to take aspirin or any other pain reliever in pill form.
For someone susceptible to stomach bleeding, the bark is an alternative that a
doctor may consider for prescription. However, with the price of malpractice
insurance, few doctors are willing to go off the beaten path.

 The other point I would like to make is financial incentives for using a
product are not just limited to supplements. Just as I question the ethics
behind your doctors prescription of her house brand supplements, the practice
occurs also with pharmaceuticals. I have a friend whose father is a doctor and
reports if he were to prescribe a certain amount of a pharmaceutical, he is
invited to an all expense paid informational seminar by the pharmaceutical
company. The seminar just happens to be held on a luxury cruise ship heading to
the islands. It is also no different than my current Endo (who I am leaving) who
only hands out literature for one brand of insulin pump. This pump manufacturer
also placed a CDE in her office to educate patients on their brand of pump and
perform other office duties. I rebelled and decided to go with the Animas pump
and had to make my own arrangement to receive training directly from Animas.
Pharmaceutical company agreements with insurance companies to give price breaks
for only putting their drugs on the formulary can also create conflicts of
interest in addition to the discounts.
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