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Targeted Nutritional Supplementation

by Christina Captain, DAOM, MSAOM, MSHN, MA 


In 2012, the nutritional supplement industry produced over 32 billion dollars in revenue, and is expected to topple 60 billion by 2021 according to the Nutritional Business Journal. Given these statistics, it’s no wonder that at least four times a day, I am presented with either a question about a supplement or the supplement itself, whether from a late-night infomercial or an advertisement on Facebook. 

In my 28 years of practice in healthcare I find that people are most likely to investigate a supplement that is touted to “cure” all their ailments. This supplement is then purchased without any explanation as to how it works, how much to take and if it can interact with medications.  Nutritional supplements, herbals, botanicals, nutrients and homeopathics can have similar effects to medications and can most definitely make a medication work better, but they can also lessen the medicine’s effect or render it useless. That is why I recommend that supplement use be guided by a qualified practitioner.

Moreover, supplemental nutrition should be taken on an as-needed basis or to accomplish a specific goal. For example, in a diet where specific food groups are excluded such as fats or animal flesh, B-12, essential fatty acids and iron should be supplemented in certain cases. In diets where excess alcohol is consumed, a B-complex should be taken daily to replenish what is essentially removed by the alcohol.

One of my specialties in practice is the analysis of basic and specific laboratory blood work to enable a targeted supplementation of nutrients. These analyses are valuable to patients who are either sick already or want to prevent illness. History of dis-ease and dis-order makes this kind of analysis extremely valuable in order to prevent reoccurrence and to promote wellness throughout the rest of the patient’s life.

The most important aspect to remember is that a cashier at CVS is not going to ask about your medical history or review your medication list when you purchase a supplement that looks like it can fix everything. Nor is that supplement likely to be of the highest quality because no one is making sure what is on the label of the bottle is actually inside that bottle. And if you examine the label from a leading multivitamin manufacturer, it includes food coloring which is more detrimental than taking the vitamin is helpful.

It is best practice to obtain your supplements from companies that are using FDA approved labs for manufacture and can produce a third-party assessment to prove the label is correct. Remember, it’s always ideal to consume your nutrients through food but when you cannot achieve that goal, choose a quality supplement that is recommended by a practitioner who has a logical reason for asking you to take it.


Dr. Christina Captain is nationally board-certified by the National Commission for Certification in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She is the lead practitioner at the Family Healing Center which she founded in 2000. Dr. Captain is also an expert Feng Shui practitioner and teacher who studied under Nancilee Wydra of the Feng Shui Institute of America, before originating her own style, Essential Balance Feng Shui. Since this discipline is a branch of Oriental Medicine, she often blends Feng Shui principles into her treatment plans. Family Healing Center is located at 2650 Bahia Vista St., Suite 101, Sarasota. For more information, call 941-951-1119 or email


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