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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Are Supplements Necessary for Optimal Health?

By Kirstin Nussgruber CNC, EMB

You’ve probably wondered if those differently shaped and colored pills, powders, tinctures and liquids are really necessary to stay healthy. After all, it’s a monthly investment and you want high quality products. The best way to figure out if the supplements you take are working for you is to have your micronutrient levels tested and to consult with a knowledgeable pharmacist, like the ones at Valley Integrative Pharmacy in Bedminster.

Supplements can be classified into two main categories:  those that address micronutrient deficiencies and those that have a nutraceutical effect.

Micronutrients refer to vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and amino acids whose levels can be measured, either via blood serum testing or more functional intracellular testing. A great first step would be to schedule a Micronutrient Test, like the one offered twice a month at Valley Integrative Pharmacy through SpectraCell Laboratories. Once you know what your deficiencies are, it is very easy to devise a targeted supplement protocol that is individualized to your specific needs.

Nutraceutical supplements are taken to affect a more functional response. Their effectiveness can be seen via symptom reduction, their actual levels cannot be measured in the same way as micronutrients can. For example, individual compounds such as turmeric, herbs and other botanicals as well as blended supplements that contain a proprietary blend of synergistic compounds are used to modulate an inflammatory response in a particular body organ or influence a functional response such as optimize cardiovascular health. While these supplements can remediate certain side effects from prescription medications or other pharmacological treatments, they may also interact with their effectiveness. Therefore, it is very important to take a cautionary approach, especially if taken in conjunction with pharmaceuticals.

At Valley Integrative Pharmacy, they have dedicated an entire half of the store to house a high-grade and meticulously categorized supplement section. The pharmacists as well as nutritionists are well-versed with the type of products carried, as well as their functional properties and potential drug-nutrient interactions. Patients doing the Micronutrient Testing receive a lab report interpretation session once their results come in to enable them to use this empowering tool to address their nutritional status.

Discovering your deficiencies through testing and consultation at Valley Integrative Pharmacy is a wonderful way to take control of your health and vitality.

Location: Valley Integrative Pharmacy, 75 Washington Valley Road, Bedminster. To contact, call 908-658-4900 or visit Kirstin is a Certified Nutritionist and Cancer Mentor. For more information, visit

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