The Hemp Connection + women's health tips

Be mindful of extra ingredients in supplements

Reading the entry about the patient with an Flax allergy brought to mind a similar situation with a patient who had multiple allergies, including sesame and soy. I had recently suggested to her that she should take daily supplements of fish oil and vitamin D3. At our next appointment she reported that"there was no way that she could take any of these pills." Apparently she had tried several different brands and found that"most made her psoriasis worse. and several made her joints ache or gave her gastrointestinal distress." She said that additionally, she had tried a couple of fortified foods since the pills were bothersome and had reactions to several of the products. I asked her to email me the brands that she had tried so that I could do a bit of sleuthing. And what I found was quite interesting…
It was neither the fish oil (per se) or the VItamin D3 that was causing her distress but fillers in the pills, contents of the enteric coating of some of the pills and ingredients in some of the foods. Specifically several of the pills contained soybean oil and one contained sesame lignans. Sesame was also listed in the ingredients of some of the bars that she tried. At least 2 of the fortified products also included sulfites and sorbitol. Interestingly, most people know of the eight common allergens discussed here in the US (milk, fish, seafood, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy and wheat.) But most are not aware that Canada recognizes nine common allergens with sesame included in this list. The point that I made to her and what I hope to emphasize here is the need to carefully examine the listing of the ingredients in these supplements — get out that magnifying glass if need be. Try to choose products without unnecessary fillers or ingredients! Check for the ingredients in their approved products. If you suspect that you are reacting to an ingredient in the product you can also check the manufacturer's web site or call the company to find out what you are really taking.
Hope all is well, Shelly

Shelly Sherman practices nutrition in Westport, Connecticut. If you would like to contact her for your own appointment, she can be found at

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Be mindful of extra ingredients in supplements + women's health tips