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Health Supplements

 

For years, most medical and professional nutrition associations have advised that health supplements aren’t necessary if you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet with a wide variety of foods.  Lately though, even the FDA and the AMA admit that diets may need to be supplemented with vitamin, mineral or other health supplements.  

 

According to the FDA’s web site at http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/nutguide.htmlSupplements of vitamins, minerals, or fiber also may help to meet special nutritional needs.  These special nutritional needs include

people who are older, women of childbearing age, young children, people with various illnesses and medical conditions – in fact, most everyone but young adult males in excellent health who eat a varied and adequate diet that includes all the food groups in the right proportions.  The FDA goes on to add:  However, supplements do not supply all of the nutrients and other substances present in foods that are important to health.  We agree with the FDA that health supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet.  Eating a broad variety of foods in all of the food groups is essential to your overall health.  For many reasons, though, it’s nearly impossible for most of us to derive all the nutrients that we need for optimal health from diet alone.  The fact is that dozens of research studies conducted by various schools of medicine and medical organizations have established both the importance of various nutrients to your overall health – and the inability of the average modern-day American diet to meet those nutritional needs.

There are many reasons for nutritional poverty of the modern diet. These include:

Modern farming methods that:

  • Strip the soil of nutrients by overfarming it.

  • Use chemical pesticides that add harmful chemicals to the diet.

  • Genetically engineer foods to be aesthetically appealing while neglecting the nutrient values that they should have.

Pollution of the earth, water and sky that has:

  • Virtually eliminated healthy fish from our diet because of mercury contamination.

  • Contaminated the groundwater on from which our plants draw sustenance with heavy metals and poisonous chemicals.

  • Filled the air with pollutants that seep into the water, the earth and the plants that breath it.

The manufacturing process of most foods.

Our own tendency to seek convenience above health.

Because of these reasons, health supplements provide essential nutrients that our modern diets are lacking.  Take the example of fish oil. Since the mid-1990s, numerous studies have pointed out and affirmed the importance of the essential fatty acid omega 3 to our health.  Because omega 3 EFA is the major building block of all of our body’s cells, even a small deficiency of omega 3 in our diets has been implicated in illnesses and medical conditions that range from diabetes to schizophrenia.

The only major sources of omega 3 in our modern diets are fatty fish.  In order to get enough omega 3, a person would have to eat fish at least three times a week.   Unfortunately, our environment makes eating that much fish dangerous.  Because of the levels of mercury in most commercially available fish, eating salmon, tuna and other fatty fish exposes us to unsafe levels of mercury.

The solution is to supplement your diet with high grade fish oil, which contains omega 3 in high amounts.  Using fish oil – particularly emulsified fish oil, which is more available and digested more easily by your body – as a health supplement to your regular diet provides all the omega 3 that your body needs to manufacture new cells and repair old ones.  For more details about fish oil supplements, see Omega 3/DHA Fish Oil.

Another well-known health supplement that affects a wide range of age-related illnesses is alpha lipoic acid, often abbreviated as ALA.  ALA is essential to cell functioning in our bodies, including metabolism and producing energy.  Researchers state that most Americans get enough ALA in their diets to power their bodily functions – but there’s more to alpha lipoic acid that just the essential needs.  Research conducted at medical institutions and schools around the world has shown that when there is an excess of ALA in the body – more than the amount that’s absolutely needed to power basic functions – ALA functions as an antioxidant, helping to prevent and even reverse many of the diseases and conditions that we associate with aging.

 

 

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