The world of nutrition supplements can seem overwhelming when strolling down the vitamin isle in the grocery store. There are so many different brands, dosages and formulas available that often we find ourselves blindly selecting a nutrition supplement and hoping it is the right one that will benefit our health in some way. We tell our doctors, “yes, I am taking calcium” or “yes, I take vitamin C every day” but we also find ourselves wondering why our bones are still aching or why we continue to get sick. Aren’t these supplements supposed to prevent or even cure these issues? Well, unfortunately not all supplements are created the same, and the efficacy of the supplement depends on many different factors, from manufacture to sale.
In a 2015 investigation, the NY State Attorney’s Office found that 80% of herbal supplements sold from Target, Walgreens, Walmart and GNC locations across the state of New York contained either a minimal percentage or no traces of DNA from the active herbal components and contained a high proportion of DNA from unlisted contaminants, such as household plants and powdered rice. The presence of these unlisted contaminants is especially detrimental for people with allergies, who may have adverse reactions to these products.
In contrast, suppliers of pharmaceutical-grade supplements ensure pure ingredients and correct dosages by conducting scientific studies, selecting high quality ingredients, establishing a high quality manufacturing process, and utilizing ingredients in their most bio-available form.
Continue reading below to find out what makes all these supplements so different, and why pharmaceutical-grade supplements, such as the ones Dr. Barbara Pacholec prescribes at her Lutz and St Petersburg locations, can actually improve your health when compared to similar over-the-counter (OTC) products that more often than not, only result in expensive urine.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements Must Meet Strict Guidelines for Purity and Quality
Other than price, one of the biggest differences between pharmaceutical-grade supplements and OTC brands is the level of government regulation over their manufacture and sale. OTC supplements are marketed for Food Grade consumption, which means the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is only responsible for making sure these supplements are safe to eat. They do not test for purity, strength or quality and allow many different additives, colors and filers to be included in the manufacture of these supplements, which can decrease the purity and overall efficacy of the nutrient or herbal extract.
On the other hand, pharmaceutical-grade supplements undergo rigorous third-party testing by research laboratories for purity, quality and strength. The manufacturing process must meet stringent guidelines set forth by the US Pharmacopeia to ensure quality and purity. The research laboratories often conduct independent studies to test the efficacy of the products on either lab animals or with human trials. The key difference here is that a vitamin which is in its purest form will be absorbed better by the body when compared to a vitamin that has many different additives applied to it. Additives make the vitamin unable to bind to key receptors in the body, and ultimately the vitamin ends up being excreted without having much effect.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements Contain the most Bio-Available form of the Nutrient
Pharmaceutical-grade supplements contain active, raw nutrients which are absorbed quickly and effectively by the body when ingested. Examples of this include Pyridoxal-5’-phosphate, which is the active form of Vitamin B6, methylcobalamin, which is the active form of Vitamin B12, and L-methylfolate (5-MTHF), which is the active form of folate. When you see these ingredients listed on a nutrition label, it means that you are buying high quality supplements which are already available in their most active form, so can be quickly absorbed by the body. This is especially important for people with severe allergies, or those who are immune-compromised as they cannot convert inactive ingredients to active forms through biochemical conversions within their own bodies.
Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements are Administered in Correct Dosages
Since pharmaceutical-grade supplements are more active and contain pure ingredients, they are also generally more potent than OTC products. This means they need to be administered under the supervision of a medical practitioner to ensure they are being taken in an effective manner. Each tablet, capsule or suggested dose of powdered nutrient is rigorously tested to ensure dosages remain uniform. OTC products do not undergo this level of quality control, and many studies have found that the dosages between individual capsules or tablets is not standardized and therefore, may be negatively impacting the overall effectiveness of the supplement. This is one of the reasons why some health professionals refer to OTC products as resulting in “expensive urine.”
If you want to see real results from your supplements, do your research before you buy blindly at the grocery store. Dr. Pacholec offers an extensive range of supplements, which she has thoroughly researched herself to ensure they are the best ones for her patients’ health and well-being. Make an appointment at either her Lutz or St Petersburg location to discuss which supplements may be best for you. Begin your journey towards better health today!
Learn about the benefits of probiotics, how diet and lifestyle can influence your gut flora and how an imbalance of good and bad bacteria can lead to stubborn weight loss or even weight gain. Dr. Pacholec offers a Gut Health Consultation at both Central Pasco Weight Loss Center in Lutz, Fl and Pacholec Center for Weight Loss in St Petersburg, FL. During this consultation she may request a stool sample to analyze your gut flora using specialized Genova testing and will recommend certain supplements based upon those results. Call today to schedule your Gut Health Consultation with Dr. Pacholec at either her Lutz or St Petersburg location!
Dr. Pacholec offers B-12 shots for energy and MIC lipotropic Ultra Burn injections to quickly burn fat at both of her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations. These injections are both useful for medical weight loss, burning fat and creating energy, but there are slight differences between the two. Read below to learn more!
MIC lipotropic Ultra Burn Injection
Lipotropics are amino acids including Methionine, Inositol, and Choline which enhance the role of the liver and gallbladder by decreasing fat deposits, speeding up the metabolism, and removing fat. This helps to induce weight loss by preventing and relieving fatigue. Lipotropics combined with B vitamins raise the body’s metabolic rate and work synergistically to help patients burn fat and lose weight.
Talk to Dr. Pacholec about which injection is most suitable for you at your next appointment. You can schedule an appointment to discuss medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy or anti-aging medicine at either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL location.
Dr. Pacholec offers integrative health management regarding many different types of gastrointestinal complaints and disorders at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations. She performs specialized blood, breath and stool testing using Genova Diagnostics to diagnose and treat underlying gastrointestinal diseases such as Chron's Disease, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Celiac's Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis. The testing that she utilizes can also be used to detect food sensitivities and allergies (including gluten allergies), nutritional deficiencies and markers of leaky gut syndrome. Dr. Pacholec offers a range of supplements, probiotics, detox programs, vitamins, minerals and pharmaceuticals at both her St. Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations to treat these disorders once they have been properly diagnosed. These types of disorders can affect every part of the body, including the skin, adrenals, thyroid, liver, brain and may even contribute to weight gain and stubborn weight loss. Read below to learn more about one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints, leaky gut syndrome.
Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders play a significant role in health conditions such as:
Leaky Gut Syndrome – What is It?
Leaky gut syndrome is one of the leading causes of GI disorders, and if left untreated, can lead to multiple auto-immune diseases including:
Physical signs that you may have leaky gut include food intolerances, gas or bloating, constipation or diarrhea, chronic headaches, or skin rashes, such as eczema or acne. Dr. Pacholec can look for markers of leaky gut syndrome in a patient’s advanced blood panel at either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL location, including nutrient deficiencies in vitamin B-12, zinc and iron, inflammation and an imbalance of beneficial bacteria in stool samples. Stubborn weight loss, unwanted weight gain, or a general feeling of fatigue, exhaustion or sluggishness can also indicate leaky gut. Higher concentrations of toxins in the blood contribute to higher fat storage, lower metabolism, and decreased energy output. Call either the St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL location today to learn more about the types of programs Dr. Pacholec offers regarding gastrointestinal health, disease diagnosis, support and treatment.
Bio-identical Hormone Therapy can relieve traumatic symptoms associated with menopause, perimenopause, PMS, (premenstrual syndrome), and andropause (commonly referred to as male menopause). These symptoms can include night sweats or hot flashes, depression or anxiety, sleep problems, fatigue, poor weight control, weak libido or sexual dysfunction. Dr. Pacholec offers hormone replacement therapy using bio-identical hormones at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations for patients with estrogen, progesterone or testosterone imbalances. Hormone imbalances can affect both women and men, so if you are feeling any of the symptoms listed above, call Dr. Pacholec at either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL location today!
Enhance and Improve Your Quality of Life!
Once optimal hormone balance is achieved, Dr. Pacholec's patients report enjoying enhanced energy levels, heightened mental function, improved sexual arousal, and increased immunity. Additional benefits to bio-identical hormone therapy can include smoother skin tone and texture (less wrinkles), thicker hair and those few extra pounds tend to become much easier to lose!
As you age and your hormones decrease, the way that you gain weight, and where you tend to store fat, also changes. Hormones, after all, are the chemical signals that direct your body processes, including metabolism (the rate that your body burns calories). Re-balancing your hormone level to that of a more youthful state through bio-identical hormone therapy can jump-start your metabolism – turning your body into a leaner, fat burning, muscle building machine. But turning back the clock with bio-identical hormones can only get you so far; establishing healthier nutritional habits will be equally vital to your ongoing success. Request a consultation for hormone replacement therapy and weight loss with Dr. Pacholec at either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL location today to find out what you’ve been missing!
What are Bio-identical Hormones?
Bio-identical hormones (three types of Estrogen, as well as Progesterone and Testosterone) are extracted from plant sources. These extracted bio-identical hormone molecules are precisely identical to, and are entirely indistinguishable from the hormone molecules found in our own bodies. The body immediately recognizes bio-identical hormones as its own and puts them to use. Dr. Pacholec offers bio-identical hormone optimization therapy at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations, primarily through the use of trans-dermal creams.
What do Hormones do in the Body?
Hormones are chemical signals (proteins, peptides, amino acids and steroids) secreted by various glands and cells, which are carried throughout the circulatory system, stimulating cell receptors and physical responses to the chemical messages throughout the body.
Balanced hormone levels are associated with decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, increased bone density, increased energy levels, improved skin tone and texture, increased sexual function, and improved immune system function. Alternately, hormone imbalance can drastically and negatively affect your feelings of well-being, your libido, your regulation of blood sugar, weight, your rate of aging, strength and stamina, and can reduce your body’s ability to heal or fight infection.
Are Bio-identical Hormones Safe?
Bio-identical hormones are safe and effective alternatives to synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Multiple clinical studies dating over 70 years show that natural, bio-identical hormone therapy does not cause cancer. However, a large-scale study known as the Women's Health Initiative, did find that women treated with a popular synthetic estrogen replacement product had a measurably increased rate of breast cancer, and researchers decided to halt the study. Again, only synthetic, chemical progestins were used in that study, not the natural, bio-identical hormones such as those utilized by Dr. Pacholec at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations.
While recent studies of synthetic hormones (Premarin) have identified an increased risk in heart disease in women, other research has suggested a protective effect against heart disease with the use of bio-identical hormones in the proper balance. There may also be beneficial effects in the prevention and reversal of bone loss (osteoporosis), improvements in memory and concentration, as well as the growth, healing and repair of body tissues.
Are bio-identical hormones approved by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration)?
Yes! Bio-identical hormones are FDA approved. A number of bio-identical products are available commercially. Bio identical hormones are created by a specially-contracted compounding pharmacy, so that every patient receives a treatment customized precisely for their particular needs.
What is the difference between bio-identical hormones and synthetic hormones?
Synthetic hormones, under the brand names Premarin®, Provera®, and Prempro® are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and are not identical in structure to the hormones produced by the human body. For example, Premarin is created from the urine of a pregnant horse. Naturally-occurring bio-identical hormones come from plant sources, including soy and yams, and are biologically identical to the hormones produced by the human body.
Dr. Pacholec enjoys keeping her patients up to date on the most recent research regarding medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy and anti-aging medicine. You can find a summary of the study findings from a recent report regarding BHRT below, or request a copy in person at your next consultation with Dr. Pacholec in either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL office location.
The latest report (12 September 2017) from the Women’s Health Initiative Hormone Therapy trials revealed that post-menopausal women treated with hormone therapy had NO increased risk for all-cause, cardiovascular or cancer mortality over a follow-up of 18 years. This was reported by JoAnn E. Manson, MD of Harvard Medical School. The study included 27,347 participants in two randomized, double-blind placebo controlled trials.
The data from this research fully supports the newly released 2017 position statement on hormone therapy from the North American Menopause Society. This new information will hopefully alleviate concerns that many patients and physicians have about the initiation of hormone therapy and its potential to cause cancer.
Summary of the study findings can be found here
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement is prescribed by Dr. Pacholec at both her St Petersburg, FL and Lutz, FL locations. She is a Board-Certified Fellow by the American Academy of Anti- Aging & Regenerative Medicine.
Conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) consists of using standard doses of commercially available synthetic hormones without considering each person’s individual hormone profile. Many doctors and patients have abandoned this “one-size-fits-all” approach for HRT.
An individual approach to HRT, using Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), pin points a person’s exact hormone levels, and identifies which hormones are needed to balance their hormone deficiency. Studies show that BHRT in physiologic doses (equivalent to what your body used to make) produces more positive benefits and fewer negative effects than synthetic hormones. The difference between synthetic and bio-identical hormones is in their chemical structures and functionality. Synthetic hormones are often produced from animals, are not identical to those made by the human body and do not act in the body as human hormones do.
Bio-identical hormones (derived from plants such as soy or yam), are both chemically and functionally identical to those produced by human reproductive organs and adrenal glands. There are a multitude of symptoms that can improve with the proper prescription of BHRT including fatigue, insomnia, night sweats, hot flashes, bloating & swelling, weight gain, “belly fat”, depression, memory disturbance, concentration and many more.
Dr. Pacholec is a Board Certified Fellow with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Regenerative Medicine. She would love to discuss the diagnosis and treatment of hormonal imbalance with you at your next office visit at either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL locations. Dr. Pacholec believes many chronic illnesses can be prevented as a person ages with proper nutrition, exercise, use of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and bio-identical hormones as needed. Call either her St Petersburg, FL or Lutz, FL location to schedule your next visit today!
Barbara Pacholec, MD
Dr Pacholec is Board Certified in Bariatric Medicine and Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. She has run a successful practice specializing in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine for the past 20 years in Lutz, FL in Tampa Bay. In January 2018, she opened a satellite practice in St Petersburg, FL which also specializes in medical weight loss, hormone replacement therapy, and anti-aging/regenerative and functional medicine.