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Laura Shane-McWhorter Part 5, References for Nutritional Products

Jul 10, 2018

In part 5, the conclusion of this Exclusive Interview, Laura Shane-McWhorter talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the AACE 2018 convention in Boston, MA about the possibilities of creating a supplement product and the references for nutritional products that can help health care providers to ferret out the best products to recommend.

Laura Shane-McWhorter, PharmD, BCPS, BC-ADM, CDE, FASCP, FAADE is a professor at the University of Utah.

Transcript of this video segment:

Freed: I’ve got to ask you a question. With your background in nutritional supplements and being a CDE, there probably is at least 50 nutritional products that in some way can help someone with their blood sugars. You are aware of all of these. Have you thought about putting together your own product?

Shane-McWhorter: (Laughs) No I have not thought of that. I am certainly a pharmacist by training but I don’t think that is something that I would be able to do.

Freed: Couldn’t talk you into it, huh?

Shane-McWhorter: No couldn’t talk me into it. If you could bottle up lifestyle, then I think that would be the key.

Freed: You know, if you go on the Internet and you put the word “diabetes” in, you’ll get 62 million hits in about a tenth of a second but can’t trust them. My last question is: If a physician is asked by his or her patient, “Is this good for this disease,” where is the best place that you can refer to for a medical professional if he or she wants to answer the patients’ question intelligently? Where can [medical professionals] go?

Shane-McWhorter: Well, my go-to is actually the Natural Medicines website. That particular website has evidence-based information. It’s a result of the merger between the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database and the Natural Standard. This database is updated daily, Monday through Friday and references are provided. I think it really spells out exactly what is known about a product. It’s theoretical, mechanism of action, when it may or may not be useful, and certainly, talks about the side effects, what to monitor, drug interactions, maybe even things like lab interactions or interactions with other supplements. I think it is something that is such a vast body of knowledge that the best way to keep up with this is this particular reference that is online. Once upon a time, it was available as a hard copy but I think the information is just coming in so quickly that the best way to maintain this database, is through the online. And, one of the things that is nice about it is that you can download consumer handouts for a patient that is written more in lay language but it also has all of the scientific information that a clinician would want to see.

There are other very good references. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (it used to be NCCAM but now is Integrative Health) is funding a lot of studies on supplements and I think that they are a great source of information. The Office of Dietary Supplements under NIH is another very good source of information.

Freed: Yes because no one is expected to know it all.

Shane-McWhorter: Yes.

Freed: You need a good resource but you have to have a resource that you can rely on that is reputable, otherwise, it all falls apart.

Shane-McWhorter: Well, I think that’s absolutely critical to have a good resource and there’s a customary way to approach information that is solicited drug information. You probably remember this, Steve, but whenever you were asked a question, you wanted to be able to verify the answer in at least three different references and then sometimes if there was conflicting information, you had to figure out a way to be able to resolve any of those conflicts.

Freed: Well, I want to thank you for your time. It was very interesting. I hope our listeners learned something from it. Enjoy the rest of your time here in Boston.

Shane-McWhorter: Ok, thank you very much.  

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