Are You a Vitamin Nut? [You should be]
Have you ever been told that “you can get everything you need from your four food groups”?
Has your doctor told you to take vitamins?
Have your heard of the RDA [Recommended Daily Allowance] for nutrients?
BTW- RDA’s are woefully inadequate to prevent illness, read on.
Have you ever wondered why doctors do not recommend taking vitamins?
Do you think taking dietary supplements is unnecessary?
Are you happy with your present health?
Do you get sick a few times a year?
Do you have allergy problems?
Are colds and the flu just part of life?
Do you get frequent sinus infections and bronchitis?
What about asthma or COPD?
Do you think getting sick is just due to exposure to bacteria and viruses?
Are you using hand cleaner frequently but still get sick regularly?
How often do you NEED to take antibiotics?
Do you take 2-3 medications on a regular basis?
Is ADD medication part of your study habits?
Do you take medicine for high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes?
Do you have chronic pain and require daily medications?
Have you heard that malnutrition can cause many health problems?
Do you know how that veterinary doctors prevent and treat many illnesses in domesticated animals using nutrition?
Most Americans believe that modern science is driven by the pursuit of knowledge and understanding of the world in which we live. This is true in theory, but not usually in practice.
Logically, one of the primary goals in medical science should be to seek out the better ways to diagnose, treat and hopefully prevent illness and disease.
Great advances have been made in diagnosis and treatment of disease and illness in the past century.
We can transplant many organs [and limbs], replace joints, remove cataracts, repair hernias, bypass blocked arteries, surgically repair/correct aneurysms, reattach severed limbs, and even resuscitate the near dead.
Modern science has given us many miracle medications, lifesaving antibiotics and a long list of immunizations that have reduced human suffering exponentially.
But, in the realm of chronic degenerative illness we have focused on the symptoms and not the underlying causes of disease.
We have a wide array of medications that treat thousands of symptoms – and we even have drugs to correct the symptoms or adverse reactions caused by the medications themselves.
The concept of prevention, true prevention, is only given lip service by mainstream medicine.
If you prevent something, what happens? [easy one] That is correct, NOTHING.
“Nothing” is hard to keep up with, isn’t it?
Where is prevention easiest to see at work? Domesticated animals.
Let me divert our attention to a parallel to human medicine for a few minutes.
When it comes to true prevention Human medicine has not kept pace with Veterinary medicine.
Prevention requires a thorough understanding of the problem at hand – we need to know the underlying reasons WHY the condition occurs.
This understanding was developed out of necessity in the “animal business” – you see, a profitable animal is a healthy animal. [The opposite is true for humans].
Animal life cycles are much shorter than ours. Farmers will see many life cycles in a decade.
During the 1950’s we began using feeds or prepared pellets that contain “everything the animal needs” with our domesticated animals. Simple enough, but this led to a bit of trial and error, AKA PROBLEMS.
One by one, farmers discovered that certain nutrients, if absent, caused illness, birth defects and a list of ailments and disease.
B9 shortages caused neural tube defects [Anencephaly, Spina bifida, etc].
Zinc deficiency in the expectant mothers led to cleft lip, club foot and chromosomal abnormalities similar to those found in Down’s syndrome.
Tin and Manganese deficiency [trace minerals] resulted in hearing loss and hair loss in sheep.
Copper deficiency was to blame for aneurysms – copper is a co-factor for the enzymes necessary to maintain elastic fibers [Hemorrhoids, varicose veins, stretch marks and crow’s feet are also examples what happens when elastic fibers fail]
A shortage of vitamin E causes Encephalomalacia or softening of the brain in poultry.
Vitamin E, Selenium and the EFA’s when lacking lead to muscular dystrophy that includes Mulberry Heart disease – a fatal cardiomyopathy – seen in pigs.
Domesticated animals do not get diabetes.
With pigs and cows the goal is for them to gain one pound per day on their way to market. As you might imagine diabetes risk rises with such weight gain – and it does.
However, scientists figured out that Chromium prevents [and treats] insulin resistance – aka Diabetes.
Chromium is included in every animal feed that is made.
From 1958 to the current day, pigs and cows Do NOT get diabetes in domestication.
Remember we have used insulin from cows and still use pig heart valves. We share physiology and biologic parameters with these animals – including insulin metabolism.
And the list goes on and on……
There are around 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 3 fats that we need for optimal health.
The definition of an Essential nutrient goes like this – A natural chemical compound that is necessary for normal functioning and its absence results in deficiency symptoms.
The most important nutrients are minerals.
Plants can manufacture or make vitamins, amino acids/protein and fats.
Plants Can NOT make minerals, if minerals are not in the soil they will not be in the plant.
Our soil has been depleted of minerals for decades.
Our farming methods [using NPK fertilizer] and our flood control [levees prevent flooding, but also prevent “new” dirt’s delivery] have cause much of this mineral depletion of our farmlands.
This is why farmers and veterinary doctors supplement animal feeds with minerals.
Animals cannot get their nutrition without dietary supplementation and we cannot either.
Back to prevention –
Many studies suggest that proper nutrition can many prevent illnesses, from heart disease, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, stroke and even cancer.
Most of the studies utilizing vitamins use doses much higher than what is available in foods.
Vitamin E – a great example of this problem:
Vitamin E, many researchers believe, prevents heart disease – the optimal dose is 400-800 I.U. per day.
This amount of Vitamin E cannot be easily gotten from foods alone[as with most of our nutrients]
The RDA is 15 IU per day [seems a bit low, does it not?]
Foods that are rich in vitamin E include vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and whole grains.
Some vitamin E is also found in asparagus, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and berries.
But how much vitamin E do these foods contain?
[one mg of vitamin E = 0.67 I.U. or International Units of vitamin E]
Sunflower seeds [113 IU of vitamin E per pound] 36.5 mg vitamin E or 24.5 I.U. per 100 grams.
Almonds [80.5 IU of vitamin E per pound] 26.2 mg or or 17.5 I.U per 100 grams /3 ½ ounces.
Pine nuts [39 IU of vitamin E per pound] 12.6 mg or 8.4 I.U. per 3 ½ ounces.
Peanuts [21 IU vitamin E per pound] 6.9 mg or 4.6 I.U. of vitamin E per 100 grams/3 ½ ounces .
Spinach [11 IU of vitamin E per pound] 3.5mg or 2.3 i.U. of vitamin E per 100 grams.
Let me reiterate – scientists think that 400-800 IU of vitamn E per day is considered optimal
This example clearly shows that we cannot get the optimal amount of vitamin E with foods alone.
There are similar examples for the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A, beta –carotene , minerals and the EFA’s.
Dietary supplementation of vitamins, minerals and EFA’s is crucial to achieve optimal health and avoid illness.
We can, however, achieve proper and even excellent levels of protein and amino acids from our diets.
Specific amino acid supplementation can be beneficial in treating a variety of conditions including depression, ADD, obesity, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure and heart disease.
We must supplement our diets to get optimal nutrition.
To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.
Supplements to consider:
1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.
2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.
3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]
4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.
5) Vitamin E is difficult to get in sufficient amounts from foods. I advise people to supplement with at least 400 IU per day. Natural versions are best, look for “d-tocopherol” but avoid “d-l-tocopherol”- it’s the man-made version and is only 25% usable. Look for a vitamin E with mixed tocopherols that also contains selenium.
As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.