Why Take Food Supplements?
Why even take food supplements?
Are they even necessary? Do they work? Why not just eat the
right foods? What are the right foods? There are so many food
supplements out there, what are the criteria to use to decide which ones
to take and which ones work the best?
With so much processed food in the marketplace,
obesity in adults and children dramatically on the rise, and digestive
problems increasingly more common, it's clear that we're facing a serious
food crisis in this country. The answer, however, isn't just to go on a
diet. Reducing the intake of refined and processed foods and increasing
whole foods certainly can improve one's health. But we need more.
Ask most doctors these days what is their opinion
of food supplements. The most prevalent answer is:
"All you need is a good multi-vitamin and a good
The reason the American Dietetic Association and
most dietitians do not recommend taking supplements
is due to the fact that they believe that you can get all the nutrients
you need from the food you eat. Yes, you possibly could, but do you?
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
Do you eat five to seven servings of fresh fruits
and raw vegetables a day?
Were the fruits ripe before they were picked?
Did the soil that your vegetables were grown
in have all of the trace minerals in the ground?
Do you eat three balanced meals everyday?
Do you eat your vegetables raw?
Were the fruits and vegetables that you bought
from the supermarket that came from Mexico or Honduras ripened on
Was your produce sitting in a storage shed for
months before you bought it?
Can you wash the pesticides off your fruits and
Is your produce genetically engineered?
Do you have a family history of heart disease,
diabetes or cancer?
Are you eating organically grown food or commercially
Do you make a good attempt to eat three balanced
healthy meals a day? Do you find it difficult to accomplish this important
task consistently? For this reason it is a good idea to supplement
your diet with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Supplementation
is like an insurance program. We insure our homes and automobiles
twelve months of the year without questioning the reason why. Doesn’t it
make sense to insure that our body is getting the proper nutrients 365
days of the year so it can work more efficiently and prevent disease?
At a health class, an instructor
asked the question, “how many of you eat a balanced meal three times per
day or feel that you were eating properly?” Not one person raised
a hand. Then he asked them how many ate breakfast that morning?
Over two thirds of them didn’t eat the most important meal of the day!
The remaining one third admitted
to drinking coffee and eating toast, donuts or some other fast food.
Without question, we are what we eat, drink, digest, absorb and
eliminate. Is it any wonder why so many people are dying from diseases
like heart disease, diabetes or cancer!
If you want to learn about
nutrition, then ask a farmer, whose livelihood is dependent on having quality
livestock to take to market. Farmers understand the importance of
minerals for their animals. Why do we humans think that we are any
different? If what we eat is so important, then why don’t people eat better?
Good health is the basis of
everything we do. The best attitude to have is that taking vitamins
is simply part of each meal. Instead
of spending $1 or $2 a day on a latte, a coke, candy, cigarettes or chips,
spend it on your health. Supplements amount
to such a small portion of a grocery bill that they should be considered
as one of the basic essentials on any shopping
Why do we eat, anyway?
We eat to satisfy our taste buds, to fill our stomachs, and to stay healthy.
When it comes to food, we often buy what is convenient, quick or
easy rather than what is healthy. Usually fast foods are not that
good for us. Junk food is even less helpful. Should we supercede
health with convenience and instant gratification? Look at the average
food establishment along any strip mall. Do any of them serve any
vegetable besides lettuce that has been soaked in preservative? Is
not this fact alone reason enough to supplement our diets?
One of the most unfortunate reasons is due to
the fact that health and nutrition has NOT been an integral part of our
education system. Yes, I had a health class in the 9th grade
from one of the coaches who would rather have been coaching than teaching.
The public has left the responsibility of their health to doctors and the
food processors. When you get sick… go see the doctor. When
you are hungry… go open a can of food or go to a fast food joint.
The public has to start taking responsibility for its own health.
Doctors treat you after you get sick and the food processors just want
your money. Doesn’t it make more sense to take supplements to make up for
what your diet is lacking? It is important to take most supplements
with meals for the most effective results. Make every attempt that
you can to eat fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Eating
one serving of fruit and vegetables a day is better than eating none.
A misconception that many
people have for taking supplements is that their decision to take supplements
is to treat a specific problem, such as lack of energy, chronic
colds or respiratory infections, etc. The purpose for taking supplements
is to make sure that your body is getting the necessary nutrients so the
body can take care of itself. In other words, your immune system
needs to be functioning at the highest level possible, especially now that
bacteria are becoming more resistant to antibiotics. Every time I
hear the comment, “ I’ve been taking vitamins for the past month
and I can’t tell a difference in my energy level,” I think to myself, “how
unfortunate.” That person either missed the boat or hasn’t done the
homework. Vitamins and minerals don’t give you energy directly because
they are not carbohydrates, proteins or fats. Vitamins and minerals
are micronutrients that are critical for the biochemical reactions that
breakdown the carbohydrates into monosaccharides for fuel. Enzymes
break down proteins into amino acids for building blocks to make new cells,
hormones and tissues, and break down fats which provide more calories of
energy per gram than carbohydrates or proteins. Minerals are like catalysts;
they are required to make those reactions take place. In other words, they
are like the spark plug in an automobile. An eight-cylinder engine
can run on six cylinders, but the engine is not as efficient. Life
is not about how long you live: it’s about the quality of life you have
while you are alive!
two individuals will respond the same from taking any one type of vitamin
or mineral supplement. No two individual metabolisms are the same, no two
individuals eat the same foods, or exercise the same amount, or get the
same amount of sleep, or are under the same amount of stress or take their
supplements the same way. Absorption of vitamins
into the cell is not difficult. The body absorbs the vitamins that it needs
and will eliminate the excess in the urine, except for the oil soluble
vitamins like vitamin A, D and E. Excess amounts of these vitamins may
be stored. It’s the minerals where the problem of absorption occurs.
Minerals are metals and in the case of elemental minerals, they do not
easily cross the cell membrane. One of the biggest criticisms by the
“scientific community” is that most elemental forms
of minerals are eliminated in the urine. The phrase was coined, “Americans
have the most expensive urine in the world.” In most cases I agree,
until I looked at a patent chelating minerals with fructose.
After examining the nutrient levels
and pesticide levels in commercial vs. organic foods, it became obvious
that even the best foods are less nutritious than they used to be.
For example, to receive the nutrition of an apple eaten in 1950, today
a person must eat seven apples. A report printed on the nutrient
contents of spinach bemoaned the high depletion percentage of iron and
other minerals found in the plant due to soil depletion, monocropping,
artificial fertilization, and lack of varieties. This report was
printed in 1940. Since then the nutrient levels have declined significantly.
Think what happens to the nutrients
in the plant before we even eat it. First, the plants are harvested
and piled together as the truck drives under the hot sun to the processing
plant. Then the food is shipped to the warehouses and the grocery
stores where it sits on display until purchased. Someone buys it,
takes it home, sticks it in the refrigerator for a few more days, and then
takes it out, boils away most of the remaining nutrients, and then eats
it. Down in the intestines, other foods as well are vying to be absorbed
into the cells, which is the only way any food value can get into our bodies.
The cells can absorb only so much and will absorb only what is compatible.
On top of this, the true question
is, how many Americans even eat very many fresh vegetables? The most
popular meals are the easy ones, like pizza, hamburgers, macaroni
and cheese, spaghetti, tacos, pancakes, cereal, chips, snack, etc.
Are we really getting a balanced daily diet from all of the food groups?
How many people drink seven to nine glasses of water a day, or eat five
or ten fruits or vegetables a day? Even fancy meals at restaurants
include usually a colorful but very small portion of vegetables.
I never used to
take vitamins or food supplements. I believed that if I just ate
well I'd be fine. I liked Mark Twain's advice to eat what you want
and let the stomach fight it out inside. I figured as long as I exercised,
got barely enough sleep, and ate a bunch of food I'd be O.K. I also
used to think that if I took vitamins on a regular basis, my body would
become used to that level of nutrition and then I'd become dependent on
them. Now I know that these thoughts were not true. Our body
digests and distributes nutrients in a matter of hours. The sugars
burn up and need to be replaced. Carbohydrates digest within two
hours or less; protein takes two to six hours to digest -- usually
four hours--; and fat takes about eight hours (from six to twelve
hours). After that the food value is gone and it's time to replenish
the body with more. Remember, we are made of whatever we put into
What should we be putting
into ourselves? Food, of course, but is food alone enough nowadays?
Maybe it's time to consider supplementing the regular diet with a proper
balance of vitamins and minerals. A majority of today's diseases,
mental and physical aberrations, and neural disorders are caused by vitamin
deficiencies. It is fairly common knowledge among doctors and
nutritionists as to which combinations of vitamins and minerals work best
together. For example, taking calcium alone is like eating chalk.
In order for calcium to be properly synthesized in the body, it must be
combined with phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and a few other things.
The other issue is the method of achieving absorption of the vitamins and
minerals through the cell walls of the intestines.
When considering uniqueness, fructose-chelated
vitamins are in a class by itself. Fructose chelation is important
because fructose is a carbohydrate, and under normal conditions the body
does not eliminate carbohydrates in the urine. With this fructose
chelation, atoms of the essential minerals are pre-bonded to the 6th carbon
bonding site of the fructose ring. The cell recognizes the fructose
molecule and allows the molecule to cross the cell membrane much easier
than it allows the glucose molecule to cross. Glucose is the main
source of fuel for the brain and the muscles. Keep in mind, insulin
helps glucose cross the cell membrane. Fructose is allowed to cross the
cell membrane without being dependent upon insulin. The atoms of the minerals
that are pre-bonded or chelated to the fructose molecule are carried with
the fructose molecule into the cell where they are used.
Consider the fact that fructose
is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are used either for fuel for the
muscles and the brain, or converted to glycogen for future use, or stored
as fat. It doesn’t take a biochemist to realize that the absorption
of fructose chelated minerals is very high.
On occasion I have heard the
following comment, “so what! A patent doesn’t mean anything.” The
correct statement is that a patent doesn’t mean a product is any good,
it just means that the product is unique enough to patent. There are a
lot of patented products that are worthless. What if a product is
unique and good? With a patent no one else can reproduce it without being
sued. if it didn’t work people would have stopped taking them long ago.
There is credibility and proof in the support.
I have heard other comments
like, “vitamins are expensive.” I understand how some people
may feel about not being able to afford them. How many companies
have lowered their prices instead of raising them over the past ten years?
Isn’t it ironic, that those same people who can’t afford to take supplements
can afford to buy soda pop, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, candy or go to
dinner and spend more than that on a bad meal? Think about it: how
much immediate satisfaction can you get from PREVENTION? The only way people
can enjoy doing something for themselves that is preventative is to understand
why they are doing it, or if they have already survived a heart attack,
lived through cancer or have a family history of all of the above.
It is getting to the point where many people can’t afford to go to the
doctor unless they have insurance!
I predict that in the near future, research will
prove that mineral deficiencies play a critical element in a majority
of degenerative disease processes that are a result of improper nutrition.
Doesn’t it make more sense to start now and give the body what it needs
and prevent disease? Maintaining your health depends upon CONSISTENCY
LONGEVITY, not on taking supplements for three
months and seeing if you “feel increased energy.”
The Institute of Medicine stated on national
television in April 1998, “From their findings they do not believe
that the American public can get the nutrients that they need from their
diet.” In fact, they recommended on this same news announcement that “all
Americans should supplement their diets.” This recommendation is
nothing new. Dr. Lester Packer, PH.D from University of Cal. Berkeley
states in his recent book called The Antioxidant Miracle that “it is virtually
impossible to get the optimal amount of antioxidants through food
alone.” For example, he recommends taking 500 I.U.’s of vitamin E
daily. According to Dr. Packer, in order to get 500 I.U.’s of vitamin
E from your food alone, you would have to eat more than 100 pounds of broiled
liver or 125 tablespoons of peanut oil – or you could take a vitamin supplement
as he recommends.
About two years ago I read in “The American Journal
of Cardiology” that over 67% of the cardiologists surveyed were taking
vitamin E. Today I am willing to estimate that over 90% of the cardiologists
are taking vitamin E to neutralize the free radicals that cause the oxidation
of the LDL cholesterol that causes coronary artery disease.
To learn more about a product that has been proven
to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol 2-3 times more effectively
than vitamin E, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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