Health & Fitness

By Liz Laffont

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Renowned Nutrional Expert, Dr. Jairo Rodriguez

This month, BN is honored to have Dr. Jairo Rodriguez as our Health and Wellness Guest Expert.

Dr. Rodriguez has been at the forefront of the dietary health movement since 1977. During his tenure, and practicing in New York City, he’s seen trends come and go. Dr. Rodriguez cautions us not to get caught up in the “faddism” of nutrition. Treating the fashion flock from designers Michael and Isaac (that’s Kors and Mizrahi) to Heidi Klum, Rodriguez has observed that, “there’s a tendency to want to take the same vitamins, be on the same diet or have the same disease or condition as the person you are talking with at a cocktail party.”

To combat this generalized approach to dieting, Rodriguez does both a complete physical exam as well as a blood analysis for each of his patients. By looking deep into the liver function and blood chemistry, he’s able to determine if a patient has any coronary or diabetic risk factors. Based on Dr. Rodriguez’s scientific analysis – not the latest diet fads- he designs a one of a kind, couture diet, for each patient with a thorough understanding of how their body works.

Even though we all need different things in our diets, Rodriguez stresses the importance of vitamins for everyone and has provided some tips below.

• Stick to a simple reputable multivitamin. – We may opt for jeans and handbags made by undiscovered designers, but when it comes to vitamins, stick to the well-known manufacturers. The FDA does not regulate vitamins! Instead there’s voluntary self-regulation. When shopping for a vitamin, look for the United States Pharmacopeia’s Dietary Supplement Verification Mark which insures the product is safe and follows specific guidelines.

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• Avoid multivitamins that contain too many products, ingredients and herbs. – Multivitamins should include just that – vitamins. Extra herbal ingredients can produce side effects such as nausea or even intestinal discomfort.

• Avoid products with fillers, sugars, sorbitol, xylatol, dulcitol, starch, gluten or artificial colors – Keep it simple when it comes to supplements.

• Vitamins or minerals should not be used as meal replacements – they aren’t called supplements for nothing! Vitamins work with food to kick your health status into high gear but food is the starting point of a healthier body. Keep in mind that while you may be able to survive without vitamins, you most certainly can’t survive without food.

For more information on the United States Pharmacopeia Verification System, log on to www.usp-dsvp.org

Originally published November 2007
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