What’s really in those supplements?

As a fertility specialist, many of my patients come to me already taking multiple herbal supplements or have questions about a specific “cocktail” that will enhance their fertility. My blanket statement to patients and friends, is to use extreme caution.

Nearly 2/3rds of American adults take dietary supplements. I am a big believer in optimizing your fertility naturally (hence a dedicated blogger!), but I think that ensuring your safety is even more important.

Before you take a supplement, make sure you understand why you are taking it and what you hope it will achieve. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about potential interactions between any supplements and your existing prescription medications. Next, speak up if you are start noticing any side effects.

If a supplements makes claims that sound too good to be true; they usually are. In a recently published analysis, nearly 80% of the supplements tested did not contain the primary ingredient listed on the label.  As a mother and physician, it’s so disappointing to read how much the supplement industry can take advantage of vulnerable populations. I recommend that you consider using supplements that are sponsored by USP. Supplements that have a USP logo on them are subjected to higher quality control.  Another great resource is ConsumerLab.com; the routinely test products that they purchase from store shelves and reveal who passed and who failed.

I plan to evaluate the evidence behind commonly recommended supplements often encouraged to boost fertility in future posts. In the meantime, stay healthy and be safe!

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