Confused about Nutritional Supplements? You should be!
Who wouldn't be confused as to whether or not nutritional supplements are important for health in addition to a healthy diet? The media often reports conflicting information. Many medical doctor are against the use of nutritional supplements even though the American Medical Association more than a decade ago reversed their official position regarding the usefulness of vitamin supplements. At first the AMA told its members, namely medical physicians, to discourage their patients from taking vitamin supplements promoting the rhetoric that all one needs to do is eat a balanced diet. Most people seem to realize that the idea of a balanced diet is a fantasy and that we all have widely differing nutritional needs. Before you read my write up below about the benefits of vitamins and why they are needed, keep these points in mind:
YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU EAT BUT WHAT YOU ABSORB FROM WHAT YOU EAT
EATING A BALANCED DIET HOLDS NO GUARANTEES THAT YOUR SO-CALLED BALANCED DIET MEETS YOUR NEEDS
YOUR FOOD INTAKE SHOULD VARY OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR LIFE IN RELATIONSHIP TO ILLNESS, HEALTH GOALS, MEDICATIONS AND MANY OTHER LIFESTYLE FACTORS
FOODS HAVE UNRELIABLE LEVELS OF NUTRIENTS - SUPPLEMENTS, IF OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY (SEE BELOW), HELP TO GUARANTEE CERTAIN FORMS OF NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT CONSUMPTION.
READ MORE BELOW...
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1. Current commercial agriculture techniques leave soil deficient in important minerals, causing the food grown in this soil to share the same mineral deficiencies. If the soil is deficient so is the food that grows in and on it.
2. Many foods are shipped long distances and are stored for long periods of time, both of which cause the depletion of vitamins in these foods, including the important B-complex and C vitamins. This causes loss of the nutrients in the foods. Therefore, food lists of nutritional content have no meaning, as they are entirely inaccurate and cannot account for this and other forms of nutritional depletion of our food supply.
3. Food processing, cooking, and preserving leads to nutrient depletion in our food supply that makes it difficult to obtain adequate nutrition from foods alone. Also, depending upon your age, medications, genetics, aging, disease, pregnancy, smoking, drinking, air pollution, stress, fitness levels and other lifestyle factors your needs for certain nutritional compounds could not be achieved accurately by simply “eating well”.
4. Many fruits and vegetables are genetically bred to improve visual appeal and crop yields, not nutritional value, which frequently results in lesser nutritional values than our ancestors’ food supply. As you know, I am the author of a best seller on GMO food dangers (Frankenfoods available on Amazon); I can tell you that genetic modification of foods is not without significant potential risks. Read my book and my blog for much more on this.
5. Erratic eating habits, insufficient chewing of food, eating on the run, and stress contribute to poor digestion, making it difficult for our bodies to extract all the nutrients it needs from food.
6. Pharmaceutical drug use has escalated over time. Most medications deplete essential nutrients, making people more vulnerable to deficiencies. Sadly, doctors are ill-equipped and trained to know about the synergistic and antagonistic relationship between some nutrients and medications and thus many negative and nutrient depleting drug-nutritional interactions are not compensated for by adjusting either the diet and or nutritional supplements.
7. Specific times in life and health conditions may result in higher needs of certain nutrients. For example, folic acid needs tend to be higher during pregnancy, while menopausal women may be vulnerable to calcium deficiencies.
Likewise, various health problems and lifestyles also dramatically alter your nutritional needs. More examples include physical activity levels, pain and suffering, genetics, and others.
8. Increasing levels of environmental pollution in our air, water and food may cause our bodies to use more nutrients than normal to detoxify and eliminate harmful substances. This is especially true of the antioxidant vitamins, some of which include: the “ACE Vitamins:” Vitamins A, C, and E. It is essential that proper testing is done to determine how your body is affected by various toxins and pollutants nutritionally speaking.
9. We all have genetic weaknesses, including higher needs of some nutrients, higher rates of depletion for certain nutrients, and an increased likelihood of genetic expression of some illnesses if vitamin or mineral deficiencies are present. Many genetic issues can be positively affected. For example, if you have genetically high cholesterol this could mean that you genetically require more niacin, or omega 3 fatty acids or other nutrients to compensate. If you genetically have a lower thyroid and metabolic rate this can be modified too through lifestyle including your nutrition. Many examples exist of how one can modify genetic tendencies with expert adjustment of your lifestyle.
10. Many nutrients have been proven to prevent or aid in the treatment of health conditions like high cholesterol, arthritis, birth defects, and cancer. Check out my articles on the vitamins and minerals in many aspects of health and disease on my blog and website at: www.intmedny.com.
Of course, you should always consult a qualified health professional first to avoid any drug-nutrient interactions. And avoid supplements with sweeteners, colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, or fillers. Children should always take supplement formulas designed for their needs.
IMPORTANT: Search my blog for, What’s In Those Supplements. This piece (radio shows and write up) describes some potential dangers of store-purchased nutritional supplements
Why Take Nutritional Supplements? - MORE TO THINK ABOUT
MORE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SUPPLEMENTING ONE'S DIET WITH NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS.
• The average American consumes below the RDI/RDV (Recommended Daily Intakes and Values) values of several important nutrients.
• The RDI/RDV values represent the lowest levels of nutrients required to prevent deficiency in a certain segment of the population.
• Optimal health generally requires higher amounts of nutrients (optimal amounts).
• Thousands of scientific studies have demonstrated that many common degenerative diseases can be prevented with optimal levels of nutrition.
• One would have to consume large quantities of foods to make up for some nutritional inadequacies that supplements could correct.
• Nutritional supplements provide concentrated amounts of nutrients that even very large amounts of foods could not meet.
• Nutritional supplements provide reliable amounts of nutrients.
• For long-standing (chronic) and acute problems supplements provide the potential for faster results than foods.
• Certain dosages of supplements are meant for meeting one’s daily nutritional needs along with diet.
• Higher dosages of supplements may allow one to “catch-up” with and reverse years of deficiency and resulting health problems.
• Supplementation can allow the practitioner to determine which nutrients are most important for your health problem(s); one can isolate single nutrients with supplements, but not from the diet.
• Optimal nutrition, and use of nutritional supplements, can help other medical approaches (certain medications, surgery, physical therapy, etc.) work better.
• If you feel that you cannot adjust your dietary intake and lifestyle appropriately, nutritional supplementation may help promote health in spite of these difficulties.
• Nutritional supplements have proven benefits for a large number of health problems. If you are reading this, then your health problems may also benefit.
• Supplements provide a convenient way to improve and increase the nutritional content of your diet.
• Not all nutritional supplements are alike, and you have been prescribed specific dosages and forms of nutritional supplements.