An Evidence-Based Update on Natural Supplements

A conference led by medical experts to educate health care providers and consumers on natural supplements and how to use them

San Diego – Vitamin D has been linked to providing protection from osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and a host of other illnesses; yet recent studies show that about 60-70 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient. There are many contributing factors to this including increased sunscreen use, the amount of melanin in the skin, and more time spent indoors. Can vitamin D supplements fully address deficiency problems? How do people know what to take and how much? Are there other benefits of taking natural supplements besides disease prevention?

Consumers and health care providers can now have all of their questions about supplements answered at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s eighth annual conference, "Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Update, held January 13-16, 2011 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel. At this medical conference, attendees will learn how to safely and effectively use supplements.

“People of all ages are turning to natural supplements to complement their health care. Americans spend in excess of $20 billion annually on herbal and dietary supplements—and most of the time, they do so without the guidance of a health care practitioner,” said Robert Bonakdar, M.D., director of pain management for Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and one of the conference directors. “Clinicians need timely, evidence-based information for discussing the risks, benefits and regulatory issues related to the use of natural supplements in order to provide the all-inclusive care patients are actively seeking.”

Board-certified physicians, biochemists, government officials and renowned researchers in botanical medicine will present a balanced report on current research in nutritional supplements. In addition to workshops covering a wide range of issues related to the roles of foods, herbs and supplements in the management of common medical conditions, the conference will include information on bringing integrative medicine into a clinical practice and a Q & A with faculty representatives.

The conference faculty includes experts such as:

  • Mimi Guarneri, MD, Medical Director and Founder, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
  • Robert Bonakdar, MD, Director of Pain Management, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
  • David Leopold, MD, Director of Medical Education, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
  • David Perlmutter, MD, Medical Director, Perlmutter Health Center
  • Rebecca B. Costello, PhD, Director of Grants and Extramural Activities, Office of Dietary Supplements, NIH
  • Jeffrey Bland, PhD, President, Metaproteomics
  • Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director, American Botanical Council
  • David Kiefer, MD, Clinical Faculty, School of Naturopathic Medicine, Bastyr University
  • Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Director of the Fellowship, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
  • Victor Sierpina, MD, Professor of Integrative Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch

“A botanical garden tour and a research competition round out this conference,” said Dr. Bonakdar. The winners of the research competition will be published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

Continuing medical education credits are offered for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, pharmacists, dietitians, chiropractors, acupuncturists and psychologists. To register for the conference, call 858-652-5400, or go to


Part of Scripps Health, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine offers conventional and scientifically validated complementary medicine. Through clinical research, education, prevention and lifestyle changes, the Center seeks to empower its patients to take charge of their health. More information about the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and the conference can be found at


Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2.3 billion nonprofit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,500 affiliated physicians and 13,000 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of physician offices and 22 outpatient centers and clinics. Scripps has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as one of the Top 10 health systems in the nation for quality care. Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research, genomic medicine, wireless health and graduate medical education. With three highly respected graduate medical education programs, Scripps is a longstanding member of the Association of American Medical Colleges. More information can be found at

Media Contact: Rachel Lichterman
Phone: 858-678-7348