Frequently Asked Questions About Supplements


Each of the supplement programs recommended by the clinicians at Block Center is individualized and tailored specifically to each patient’s nutritional and medical needs. Not only is it important to have the right ingredients with the appropriate quality, but it is essential to match the proper formulations to the correct set of circumstances such as biochemistry, treatment plan, and daily lifestyle habits. The supplements are used for their nutrient content as well as for their possible medicinal benefits. It is key to define all terms regarding such programs in order to help you to adhere to your treatment plan with more conviction and precision. According to our clinical experience, greater adherence has the potential to produce better results.

As dedicated researchers in the changing supplement industry, Dr. Block and his research staff pride themselves in developing formulations that respond to advancements in science and technology. Dr. Block’s research-based supplements provided by North Shore Nutraceuticals are crafted from high quality potent ingredients, with careful attention to issues of safety and efficacy.

North Shore Nutraceuticals/Life Essentials is committed to providing premium-quality, medicinally meaningful vitamins, minerals and botanicals in the most effective combinations to complement your cancer therapy or to help you maintain optimal health.

What’s more, by staying abreast of new technology, Dr. Block rigorously upholds several safeguards for quality assurance. Because your body cannot benefit if a supplement does not dissolve, the North Shore Nutraceuticals formulations are tested thoroughly to ensure optimal dissolution and disintegration. These botanicals and herbs are standardized for guaranteed potency and checked for contamination. For these reasons, we are confident that all of these formulations contain only the superior ingredients that meet our high standards of quality and purity.

Below you will find some frequently asked questions with their corresponding answers in order to better describe some of the possible benefits of these often unfamiliar herbs and botanicals.

Q: What are the special functions of diet and supplements in terms of cellular biochemistry?

A: Diet is one of the important lifestyle factors influencing your health. All biological needs, which must be met at the cellular level, enter each cell as nutrients. An important source for these essential nutrients is found in the foods we recommend. But, unfortunately, the level of nutrient concentration needed to fight disease and achieve optimal health – to substantially alter an unhealthy body chemistry ¬– cannot be obtained through three meals a day. For this reason, and due to the medicinal importance of these botanicals, food concentrates and phyto-medicines are the foundation of many of our supplements. Phyto-medicines are plant compounds that have shown potent physiologic benefits, such as, the potential for cell repair or immune function support. These biological agents come in many forms such as tablets, capsules, liquids, and powders, and, are primarily formulated from high-powered concentrated foods with potential medicinal benefits.

Q: Why are these nutrient and phyto-medicines such an important component of my treatment program?

A: Many of the supplements we recommend have a biological profile very similar to concentrated whole foods. As noted, these are primarily derived from plants that are rich in important nutritional agents such as phytochemicals, biological agents that are known to enhance our immune systems and total physiology. Our usual nutrient intake needs a boost, specifically due in part to the difficulty of achieving the necessary concentrations, and also because many foods have become nutritionally compromised due to over-fertilization of many soils and the pollutants often found in the environment. For this reason, we often need more concentrated and potent formulations to enrich our diets and total biochemistry. This is particularly true during times of illness or inadequate food intake. Our bodies require these important nutrients to help repair damaged or weakened biological systems and to achieve the strength we need to fight disease or to reach optimal wellness.

Q: Do the nutritional supplements recommended by your staff supply this needed nutrient boost?

A: Yes, they do. Some supplements act as catalysts (substances that effect chemical change without themselves undergoing change) and thus have a profound impact on our biological systems. Recent research shows that these herbs, botanicals, and food concentrates can increase the effectiveness of conventional medicines while diminishing the negative side-effects of sometimes harsh conventional treatments.

In addition to catalytic benefits, the botanicals we are discussing – not just commercially available agents, but ones that have been carefully assessed with exacting criteria – have their own immune enhancing and biologically active properties. For example, antioxidants which can be found in small quantities in many foods, can help neutralize free radicals capable of causing cellular, tissue, and organ damage. Many essential supplements are not found in our daily diets, as we do not always consume the necessary herbs and botanicals to promote optimal wellness.

Other nutritional supplements act by fortifying and repairing the intestinal wall and strengthening total digestive function. Ultimately, it is the condition of the intestinal environment that either maximizes or impairs the absorption of life-sustaining and therapeutic nutrients present in our foods. For this reason, a healthy digestive tract enhanced by good food and precise supplementation produces benefits that accrue to all other organ systems.

Q: If step one is to protect, repair, and maintain our digestive tract, which includes adding certain antioxidants, what is the second step?

A: There is no single formulaic answer to this question as each set of recommendations made is highly individualized. As strengthening immune function is essential, especially in instances of malignant disease, there are many supplements aimed at improving the immune capacity while diminishing the side-effects of sometimes harsh treatments and enhancing treatment effectiveness.

One value of the supplements is the “boost” factor previously mentioned, but additional benefits include detoxification and enzymatic action. Because many patients have at some point been treated with potent medications, certain agents are helpful in assisting their body’s process of repairing and clearing from these harsh chemicals. These patients need some mechanism – provided by specific properties in the food supplements – for helping their bodies break down and flush out the accumulating toxins. Detoxification and enzymatic action thus work in tandem to restore a desirable level of cellular functioning.

Q: Could you list some of the specific targets of intervention for your dietary regimen and supplemental approach?

A: Some of the targets include:

Clinical Focus

Nutritional adequacy Physiologic activators
Antioxidant care Enzymatics
Gut wall integrity Drug side-effects antagonists
Immune potentiation Theraputic enhancer

Biological Targets

Anti-inflammatories Telomerase inhibitors
Apoptic inducers Angiogenic inhibitors
Platelet deaggregators

Q: Could I use the supplements available from a local health food store or through a mail-order house?

A: Yes, you can – however one should be extremely careful in terms of the quality of various supplements that are commercially available. Far too many companies in the fast-growing supplement industry seem more preoccupied with marketing – the bottle’s label for instance – than with the bottle’s contents and components. But individual ingredients and their proper combination are the chief concern in selecting supplements. At the Block Center, we have a dedicated research staff directed by Dr. Block in researching and developing a set of formulations for North Shore Nutraceuticals designed to target various clinical needs using the medical priorities and standards he has identified in his decades of practice. This same staff has intensively studied all of the science dealing with the action and effectiveness of ingredients. In addition, the formulations from North Shore Nutraceuticals undergo careful testing to assure quality, pureness, and efficacy. For these reasons, the focus on quality of the supplements offered at the Block Center has been unparalleled.

Q: Can you explain what distinguishes the supplements from North Shore Nutriceuticals from others?

A: A large component of the Block formulations is what Dr. Block elects not to use. The ingredients Dr. Block selects for his formulations at North Shore Nutraceuticals are chosen based on potential medicinal benefits, purity, concentrations, and freshness. All of these ingredients are fully tested under strict guidelines to ensure optimal pureness and quality. In addition, Dr. Block’s formulations contain no sugar, no problematic lactose, and no inexpensive synthetic fillers. The North Shore Nutraceuticals supplement formulations, along with other supplements that we recommend, are thoroughly checked for optimal disintegration and dissolution. Disregard for this important issue can lead to supplements with little or no biological value. Level and rate of absorption are critical issues particularly for people with disease- or treatment-impaired digestive systems or, the converse, for those who are ill as a consequence of poorly functioning digestion.

Q: Is there one specific supplement appropriate for each person and problem?

A: Sadly, no – it really is not possible to take a single, isolated supplement as if it were a magic bullet. Just as most medical problems are truly multi-causal and respond best to comprehensive treatment plans, so too nutritional needs are multifaceted, requiring the complex interaction and careful balancing of agents. And supplements are just what the name implies, supplemental to good eating. If you do eat the proper foods to establish a solid nutritional base, these agents – closely resembling concentrated foods – can make a big difference to your overall health. For example, one food concentrated in capsule form, the Reishi mushroom, has been shown to have telomerase-inhibiting and immune-enhancing effects. Research has also demonstrated the cholesterol lowering capacity of the mushroom concentrates. Such pronounced physiological properties – some with anticancer, antihypertensive, and antidiabetic substances – are inherent in certain categories of foods we eat. Unfortunately, the quantities needed to trigger a meaningful response are often beyond normal levels of ingestion. By concentrating these foods and thus concentrating their clinical benefits in a digestible capsule or tablet form, a small dosage can equal a huge health “boost”.

But even using the finest quality supplements will not counteract junk-food binges or fast-food restaurant habits. All of the agents that we recommend have immense clinical value, but as just one component of a much larger plan. Optimal health entails a comprehensive program, one that involves body, mind, and food fitness and includes an individually tailored, supplemental plan as one partner in a total health endeavor.

For more information or to purchase products please visit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *