Raby Institute patients know that as an integrative and functional medicine group, we prioritize the power of supplements to promote our patients’ health and wellness. From reducing inflammation to ensuring a healthy pregnancy and for myriad other reasons, we utilize supplements as a tool to enhance the body’s natural processes.

 

However, not all supplements are created equal. The supplement industry is a trillion-dollar industry, unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration. As a result, many companies consciously choose to ignore mistakes and take shortcuts along the chain of production. They put profits before people.

 

Other companies, meanwhile, take it upon themselves to thoroughly test their products throughout the manufacturing process. They implement rigorous quality controls and examine raw ingredients before they even start producing their supplements. These are the companies that I put time and effort into finding. I travel to their labs and work with their formularies; I tour their manufacturing companies and vet their certifications.

 

Most recently, one of those companies, Xymogen, hosted Naturopath Kathy Chavez and myself on an eye-opening trip to stunning Kerala, India—land of spices and Ayurvedic medicine. Xymogen creates many of the medical-grade nutraceuticals that we sell in Alma, and they chose 10 practitioners from across the United States to take to India. The goal: to give us a look behind-the-scenes at the process they’ve trademarked and patented to produce BCM-95: a 100% pure turmeric extract standardized to curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, disdemethoxycurcumin, and essential oils from the turmeric rhizome for their product CurcuPlex-95.

 

Curcumin in turmeric is especially potent and beneficial for chronic health issues associated with joint pain, inflammation, the cardiovascular system, brain function, glucose metabolism, and cell regulation. The challenge lies in getting curcumin into cells. Researchers have tried for years to find ways to encourage better curcumin absorption in the body. And that’s exactly what Xymogen researchers did. 

 

The researchers discovered that there’s an innate essential oil in the turmeric root. By using an organic solvent to extract it, processing the turmeric, and returning the essential oil, the body better absorbs the turmeric’s curcumin. 

 

Over four days this past February, Dr. Chavez and I witnessed every step of this process. We spent time with the local family farmers in the fields, harvesting the turmeric from land they own themselves; we toured the high-tech, stainless steel plant where CurcuPlex-95 is manufactured; and we saw the laboratories where the research and development scientists work. 

 

The experience was completely eye-opening, especially because we live in a culture in which many of us have no clue where the products we use daily come from; we can order virtually anything immediately, with a single click. It was fascinating to witness firsthand the time, effort, and people-power that go into bringing these nutraceuticals from Kerala, India to our shelves on Michigan Avenue.

 

On our flight home, I thought about all of the patients I see who benefit from the supplements we sell. When I treat someone for chronic pain, cancer, anti-aging, or any other health condition, they’re spending their valuable time and money. It’s my responsibility to make sure my recommendations are backed by research and quality.

 

The decision to choose supplements from companies that thoroughly vet their products is easy. Even though these products tend to cost more, the savings comes through in our health. After all, the most expensive supplement is the one that doesn't work.

 

To your health,

Theri Griego-Raby, MD, ABHM

"Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food."
- Hippocrates