“At least we have our health!”
We’ve heard it a million times. Despite the way we treat our bodies, deep down, we all strive for health. Yes, we dutifully take our vitamins every day. We ingest the latest and greatest supplements out there that are supposed to make us thinner, younger, sexier, and smarter. We should be amazingly fit and free of disease! We HAVE our health, right?
That’s not the case. at. all. Our country has become more obese by the moment and “adult onset” diabetes is showing up in children. In fact, children are now being prescribed cholesterol medication as young as age 9!
“But we take our vitamins!”
Obviously, there is much more to play into the SAD state of our country. Our food supply, our lack of nutrition education, and our need for a quick fix, just to name a few. What I find so interesting and disturbing is that we will quickly swallow a pill because it’s “good for me” or because it will “fix what ails me” when not only are we wasting our hard-earned dollar, but also damaging our health, instead of saving it. Not all supplements are created equal, and just because your neighbors takes Vitamin E for heart health, doesn’t mean you should too!
You are in the store. You make your way to the “Health Center” and find yourself amongst hundreds of bottles, packages, and bulk bins full of this vitamin and that vitamin. A supplement for everything imaginable. Which one to choose? Fish oil from salmon or cold liver? Vitamins for women’s healthy or energy? Vitamin E because you heard it’s good for the heart? Hemp oil for it’s omega fatty acid profile? Too overwhelmed?! You turn and leave, not sure how you will ever be healthy.
Where do we get our nutrition information? The media, books, chiropractors, magazines, acupuncturists, naturopaths, doctors, or your nutrition consultant? I run across clients all the time that tell me, “But Dr. Oz says….” I love Dr. Oz, but not everything he says, or the latest health magazine touts, is meant for you!
Media, books, and magazines have information that is geared to a large population. Those writers give an overview, not a specific recommendation.
They don’t know YOUR unique body inside and out.
Your MD may be savvy and up on the latest nutritional knowledge, however, they are paid by pharmaceutical companies to push pharmaceuticals. Sure, they may tell you to take a multivitamin, but what quality do they speak of? They usually don’t. Most MDs never learn more than basic nutrition, so be your own advocate and seek outside knowledge.
Your alternative health care provider generally focuses on holistic health and is aware of the power of nutrition and the lack of education in the public. They also possibly know your body more intimately than even your MD.
A good naturopath and nutrition counselor will do specific tests (stool, urine, blood, and saliva) to put you on a path of repairing the root problem, nut just suggesting random vitamins and medications to ‘bandaid’ your symptoms. They will also help you gather most of your nutritional needs from REAL FOOD, because no matter what you may have heard:
Vitamins are ‘supplements’… not ‘replacements’ for real food.
What does the Research Say
Let’s take a look at a few long term studies done:
- Drugs for Preventing Lung Cancer: Found beta-Carotene with retinol to be harmful in people with a risk for lung cancer. ¹
- Antioxidant Supplements for Prevention of Mortality in Healthy Participants and Patients with Various Illnesses: Beta-carotene and vitamin E seem to increase mortality, and so may higher doses of vitamin A.²
- Vitamin E and the Risk of Prostate Cancer: Dietary supplementation with vitamin E significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer among healthy men.³
You can see that they are not very supportive of the proponent of more-is-better. I do admit, that some of these studies are looking at previous results, more of a gathering of information versus a specific study.
Here are some studies that show some benefit from supplementation.
- Positive benefit of supplementing with vitamin D in relationship to Diabetes*¹
- Magnesium supplementation can help Migraines*²
According to Mark Hyman (Integrative Medicine MD) and Mark Lioponis, MD, there are absolutely reasons to take individual supplements. Deficiency in vital nutrients are a result of our poor food supply and our poor food choices! We may not be absorbing what we need and could be taking medications that are preventing our bodies from assimilating the needed nutrients. In these cases, supplementation is VITAL to treating diseases.
So again, it’s where you look, and who you ask!
However, there is absolute science behind eating quality foods and consuming whole food and quality supplements.
Here are a few of those studies:
- Encapsulated Fruit and Vegetable Supplement shows suppression of DNA Damage**¹
- Whole Food Supplement reduces inflammation markers**²
- Quality Food Supplementation can improve vasodilation of arteries after a high fat meal**³
- Fruits and Vegetables have a protective effect on coronary heart disease**4
Most of these studies are double-blind studies (gold standard studies!), however the subject pool is quite small
What do I do Now?
So do you ditch your calcium supplement or trash your Vitamin C bottle? Not necessarily.
Here is what to take home from this article:
- Be aware of what you are ingesting. EAT REAL FOOD and take quality supplementation when necessary.
- Don’t believe everything you hear.
- Know what is in your supplement bottles. They are NOT created equal and some can be downright toxic.
- check out www.consumerlabs.com to check the quality of your vitamins.
- Keep reading this blog…I”ll shed some light on this topic!
Stay tuned to learn what is in that vitamin bottle – harmful or helpful