I am incredibly honored to share the knowledge of a man who helped me beyond words while I was suffering from all my health issues. Meet the founder of Vitahealth Apothecary and Integrative Pharmacist, Mr. David Restrepo. I met David through my good friend Kirstin, who went through years of health problems with her children and she introduced me to David many years ago because she knew he’d be able to help me.
It would take a book to fill up how much I learned from David. He is a wealth of knowledge, incredibly kind and understanding. If you live in NYC, he delivers any supplement or product (including enema bags!!) for free and his delivery team is wonderful. If you live outside of NYC, David can mail you any product you need. I trust David with all of my supplements and I don’t take anything without first consulting with him. I truly hope you learn something from this interview and you soak in all the knowledge David shares with us.
So, without further ado, meet my dear friend and a true inspiration, David Restrepo…
Tell us about Vitahealth. What inspired you to create this business and how can people all over the world use your expertise as a trusted resource?
It was less of an inspiration and more a product of circumstance. My wife and I were helping a loved one and mentor try to survive and thrive a very aggressive cancer and realized as pharmacists that the medical system, as it is today, was lacking a true understanding of what I like to refer to now as “world medicine”. This has come to mean to that we take a common sense approach to study other modalities and approaches and incorporate them into a patients care in an integrative and collaborative manner. This doesn’t always mean that a supplement is the answer… the answer can take many forms and we love to take this journey with our family of customers.
What I love about your business is that you actually care about your customers. You’re not in the “selling supplements” business, you’re there to help people take the next step and heal while suggesting supplements and protocols.
In many ways, you knew MUCH more than most of my doctors, which was fascinating. I wouldn’t be where I am today without you, David. Tell my readers how you work with your clients and how in many ways you act as a liaison between the client and doctors.
Amie, you’re too kind. My team and I like to think that we know when we don’t know! We must as humans seek the answers where they might be. If I know the answer to a question , you know that I will answer, but if I’m not sure or feel that there are more complex underlying factors then I like to call on my network of caring providers in their different fields, for deeper forensic explorations of the issues we might be tackling. In essence , my goal has been to get to know masters in their fields and learn from them so I can better the lives of people around us.
What was your catalyst for change?
My whole family are pharmacists but my heart always resonated with a more holistic approach to wellness. I never believed that there was one right answer. On an intrinsic level, my wife proved that to me when I met her in pharmacy school and she had the same thoughts and feelings as I did!
Can you remember the first time you started to look at your lifestyle differently?
I think college was the first time. I had more freedom to explore the wellness options that were available at the time and tinker with them from a fitness standpoint.
Talk to us about toxicity and how you keep yourself healthy on a daily basis living in NYC.
It’s not easy to do this in a city where pollution is such a growing concern. I like to look at the body’s ability to detoxify gently on a daily basis. There are foods that do this like dandelion and cruciferous veggies and then there are supplements that also induce a healthy activation of our detox pathways ie; the amino acid NAC, Cruciferous sprout complexes or micro-algae based products like chlorella or spirulina.
What, in your opinion, do you feel is the biggest health epidemic you’re seeing in the last few years?
I think there are two:
- A) Whether its being overlooked or being misdiagnosed, I think there needs to be more awareness brought to Lyme disease and how serious it is if left untreated.
- B) Gene mutations like the MTHFR, that can lead to so many other issues when a simple test can give us answers and logical steps to take.
- What are your must-have supplements for thyroid, gut health and detox?
For thyroid health, I like our people to take a good thyroid balancing agents like ashwaganda, selenium (mustard seed based) and zinc in a catalyzed form.
For gut health, it depends on the persons activity and where they live. If we are worried about food pathogens because of travel to areas where this is an issues , then there are specific probiotics that can effectively shield the gut from harm. If the person is undergoing harsh medication treatments that leave them weakened, then there is an urgency to address the gut ecosystem with the strongest viable strains the body can safely handle. I can go on… but I’d say that lastly for now, there are basic high quality blends that help energize the body and mind for general wellness.
For detox, I think the most vital nutrients are milk thistle , NAC and a clean source of either spirulina or chlorella.
Has your view on work and ‘working’ changed over the years?
I will always be grateful to my parents for instilling pharmacy as a viable career path but I think that “working” for my father for half of my life was “work” and now what I do with my wife and the team at Vitahealth is more like life.. It’s a natural extension of who I am so it doesn’t even feel like work but rather like we are there to act as a resource for both patients and practitioners.
What are your three pillars to radiant health?
1) Love your family.
2) Contribute in a positive way to the people you come into contact with everyday.
3) Choose the cleanest forms of everything (food, supplements and water) to feed your body.
What gives you strength?
MY WIFE AND KIDS!!!
What are you most proud of that you’ve accomplished that you don’t talk about?
I’m proud to help our staff achieve what they have in their own homes whether that be financial stability or a healthier lifestyle.
Who are the people that have influenced you the most on your journey?
I’ve been lucky in my life…I’ve had 3 great mentors that each taught me different lessons. in no particular order- one was my biological father who is still alive and well, he taught me to be tough and never give up. The other was Dr Mitchell Gaynor, he was the premier Integrative Oncologist before his passing and all of our time together and all that he taught me will never be forgotten, rather just built upon and lastly , my father in law, he pushed me past my limits many times and that just became my new normal. He taught me so much about life while he was alive and really knew things about me that I’m just seeing now.
You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
Do pull ups, push ups, catch up on emails and call my kids. Three min for each minutes each. You know I am a maniac!
Fill in the blanks…
The biggest misconception about supplements…
They are all created equal.
Favorite cooking ingredients:
Coconut milk, organic eggs and manuka honey.
Green juice or a grass fed steak or both?
Green juice when I break my fast, grass-fed beef two times per week later in the day. This may change.
Does not equal the past.
Is contributing from a place of love and wanting to grow.
There’s a time and place for…
There is too much…
Worrying about the current state of politics, lets all find a way to work together.
There is not enough…
Compassion for peoples differences, everyone can be wrong and right.
In the end…
We will be remembered by how we treated others.
Two Manhattan Locations on the Upper East Side in NYC
1609 2nd Avenue NYC
1235 1st Avenue NYC
Phone: (212) 772-1110