The Big Health Question: Do I Need Vitamins?
Dr. Christiane Northrup posted the following on Facebook today (10/18/2012):
Big news! A recent placebo controlled clinical trial a male doctor published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that those who took multivitamins have a significantly lowered risk of cancer. JAMA, Published online October 17, 2012. The same folks, who, year after year, told people that taking vitamins only gave them expensive urine! Are you taking your vitamins?
REFERENCE: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1380451, available for free online viewing.
It’s not uncommon for clients to ask if it is truly necessary to supplement with vitamins and minerals – won’t they get enough of these nutrients if they eat a healthy diet? The study referred to above confirms what the holistic community has understood for years; that yes, supplements are most often necessary and they will help you stay healthy.
“But I eat a healthful diet, so why would I need supplements?”
Unfortunately, today we are exposed to an endless supply of toxins, both in our foods and in the air we breathe, that didn’t exist 100, or even 50, years ago. These toxins deplete nutrients in the food supply and in our bodies. Actually, the more exposure you have to toxins (preservatives, antibiotics, hormones in your food as well as air pollution and household chemicals and STRESS!) the more nutrients your body utilizes so that it can effectively neutralize and eliminate these harmful substances from your system.
Also, many years ago our food used to come fresh from our own backyard whereas it is now often shipped over hundreds of miles before it reaches the dinner table. Time and distance along with over-farming of the soil depletes the nutrients in our foods which means that, even if we are consuming a healthy diet, our fruits and vegetables simply don’t provide the levels of vitamins and minerals that they used to. Not to mention our desire for quick and easy meals which often leads to reliance on prepared, preserved and processed boxed foods that are really not “food” at all. Many of these items are fortified with vitamins and minerals to boost their nutritional value, however synthetic rather than food-based nutrients are typically added and these can be difficult for our bodies to absorb.
One wouldn’t necessarily think that prescription drugs would play a role in nutrient deficiency, however this is actually becoming a huge concern. Many medications are known for depleting the body of essential vitamins and minerals. For example, the synthesis of Coenzyme Q10, a substance necessary for healthy heart function among other things, is inhibited by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs so a COQ10 supplement is a must for individuals taking this medication. Similarly, those taking diuretics for blood pressure management are at risk for mineral deficiencies due to increased production and excretion of urine. Caffeinated coffee and alcohol are also big time mineral-robbers.
Lastly, there is one substance that we can obtain in sufficient amounts only through sun exposure: Vitamin D3. Because most of us likely spend the majority of each day indoors, our bodies are not getting enough sunlight to manufacture enough D3, which means supplementation is the next best option.
So the results of the above study are not surprising to me. Our bodies need vitamins and minerals to perform specific functions at the cellular level. If we become deficient in any one of these nutrients, the body will have to compensate in some way. You can imagine what implications this can have after years and years of deficiency. DISEASE. The body wears down and struggles to function, leading to an inability to defend itself. And if you have a difficult time popping vitamin pills, try juicing! Juicing fresh, local organic fruits and vegetables is wonderful way to obtain concentrated amounts of nutrients. It takes a bit more time and effort, but the energy and health-boost you’ll receive is well worth it!
If you would like to begin a regimen of nutrient supplementation but don’t know quite where to begin, let me know and I’ll be glad to help! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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