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Should you be taking supplements?

Many people ask me the question, “can’t I get all of the nutrition I need from my food?”. After reading the following, you should be able to answer this for yourself.

WHY ARE SUPPLEMENTS BENEFICIAL?

Many people ask me the question, “can’t I get all of the nutrition I need from my food?”. After reading the following, you should be able to answer if supplements are right for you.

Food Isn’t Like It Used to Be

Over 100 years ago, all food was local, organic, and grown in untreated soils. Most people were able to get the nutrients they required simply by eating the diet their ancestors had eaten for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Since then foods have been genetically modified, highly processed, sprayed and mass farmed. In addition, the soil has been seriously depleted. It takes at least 17 minerals to grow a healthy plant but most fertilizers only contain 3 minerals, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Between 1940-1991 mineral content in fruits and vegetables decreased by up to 59%. – Nutrition and Health. April 2003 17: 85-115

Poor Digestion

Go into any drug store and you’ll notice that a whole isle is dedicated to digestive issues. People are unable to properly digest the food they are consuming. Mostly because they’ve been eating “food-like substances” that the body finds hard to digest. It’s not just a matter of what foods we eat, but it’s a matter of digesting, absorbing, and then assimilating that food. For example, if your eating the best diet on the planet yet can’t break down the food properly, the beneficial nutrients are never actually making it into your body.

Poor Food Preparation

The way you process your food greatly influences the nutrition in the food. The more a food is processed, the more nutrition is lost. For example, 24 hours after a cantaloupe is cut it has lost 35% of its vitamin C. Also, the higher the heat that is used during the cooking process, the more the nutrients are destroyed.

Environmental Toxins

100 years ago there were no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, larvacides, fertilizers, and hormones used in our food. Today, there are thousands of chemicals on our food and in our environment. In order to detoxify these chemicals and eliminate them from our bodies, we need nutrients. The nutrients we get from food are not enough to get rid of the chemicals.

“In a study by an environmental group on people not working in industry, such as teachers and journalists, the researchers found that the blood of the subjects contained nearly 100 chemicals that did not exist 40 years ago.” – Dr. Mark Schauss, MBA, DB

Stress

The more stress you are under, the more nutrition you need. For example, if you were to walk across a bridge and it was constructed of rope and wood, you probably wouldn’t worry too much about the bridge’s integrity. However, if you were to take an 18-wheeler across the same bridge you’d probably want some stronger materials used. Your body is the same way in that it requires more resources when a greater stress is placed upon the system.

Disease Prevention

The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) is a value established by the government that will protect most people from the disease associated with that nutrient’s deficiency. For example, the RDA for vitamin D is between 400-800 iu (depending on age and gender). This is enough to prevent the severe disease associated with vitamin D deficiency called, rickets. However, that amount will not protect you from various cancers, autoimmune, and degenerative diseases. Dosages of vitamin D needed for optimal health are between 1000-10,000 iu per day. This is up to twenty-five times more than is recommended by government agencies.

Oftentimes, dosages much higher than the government recommended amounts are needed to both restore one to optimal health and maintain optimal health. Your therapeutic supplementation protocol has been designed with the consideration of your specific biochemical needs. It is designed to bring your body back into optimal health, the way it was intended to be.

Side Effects

Many people associate “side effects” with “negative effects” because the term “side effects” is usually used in relation to the unwanted effects of drugs.

When it comes to nutritional supplements, they also have side effects, however, the side effects are good effects that are welcomed. You might notice that as you are progressing through your supplement program, symptoms resolve that were not your primary concern.

Although rare, there can be side effects with natural remedies. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Gas and or bloating
  • Loose stool or diarrhea
  • Bright coloured urine (from B-vitamins)
  • Flushing (from vitamin B3)
  • Fatigue (from calming herbs)
  • Heart palpitations (from thyroid supplements)
  • Anything else

 

Decreasing the dosage or discontinuing the supplement can usually resolve symptoms.

Specific Brands

Supplements are not all created equal. There are many factors to consider when choosing a supplement:

  • The forms of the nutrients (i.e. calcium carbonate versus calcium citrate)
  • Excipients and fillers
  • Dosages
  • Sources of ingredients
  • Processing
  • Container type (i.e. plastic or glass)

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References:
Jensen, Bernard. Empty harvest. Avery: 2002.
Krop, Jozef. Healing the Planet. KOS Publishing Inc.: 1997.
Murray, Michael T. Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements. Three Rivers Press: 1996. 

 

Rejuv Healthcare by: Dr. M Naran MD, CAFCI
Family Physician, Trigger Point Therapy, Laser Acupuncture, Weight  Loss,
#206A-145 West 15th St, North Vancouver, BC, V7M 1R9, Canada
www.rejuvhealthcare.com, www.doctornaran.com, Phone:  (604) 986-4214