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Do I really need to take vitamins?

Posted Sep 21 2009 1:28pm

 Nutritional supplements should never be used as a substitute for a good diet. Eating at least three ( many experts recommend five) well-balanced meals and two well-balanced snacks per day is the best way to be sure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay fit and healthy. Adding nutritional supplements to good eating habits simply goes the extra mile to see that you’re getting all the nutrients that your body needs. I take vitamin supplements and recommend them to all of my patients because most people eat a diet thatconsists of too much fat, too much sugar, not enough fiber, and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Taking vitamin supplements helps to fill in the gaps.Taking vitamin supplements also helps make up for essential elements that are not being produced by our bodies, which becomes even more important as we grow older. After the age of 35, our bodies begin to slow down the production of estrogen in women and testosterone in men as well as other important nutrients. 

Dr. Devine’s Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Take Vitamin Supplements 

1.  Many of us practically live on meals out of paper bags. Taking vitamins and nutritional supplements is a good way to be certain you get the vitamins and minerals you need.

2.  Even an optimal selection of foods does not give us enough antioxidants to defend ourselves against toxic out-gassing from office equipment, cigarette smoke, smog, and alcohol.

3.  The average person is exposed to more than five hundred chemicals in the home environment and seven hundred chemicals in drinking water that are known to deplete nutrients.

4. Soils are depleted of minerals due to chemical farming methods, acid rain, over-farming, and topsoil erosion. Ninety percent of us are deficient in chromium, an essential trace mineral poorly supplied by the American diet.

5.Eighty percent of the carbohydrates consumed by Americans are in the form of refined flours and sugars, which are very poor sources of B6, folic acid, pantothenic acid, zinc, and manganese essential for health.

6. The 133 pounds of sugar Americans eat each year depletes B vitamins and minerals.

7. Only 9% of the population eats the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables.

8. Americans eat 230 more calories per day than they did fifteen years ago, mostly refined foods. Increasing our consumption of nutrient-depleted foods means we have an even higher requirement for the vitamins and minerals needed to metabolize them.

9. Those who exercise regularly have a much higher need for antioxidants and minerals.

10.  Vitamin B2 is needed by those with hypothyroid in amounts greater than can be found in food.And a few more good reasons…

11. Men and women need to be optimally nourished long before they have children.

12.  More than 10% of calories consumed in America come from alcoholic beverages. Alcohol depletes B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium.

13.  Our epidemic of degenerative diseases is caused by multiple nutrient deficiencies.

14.   Prescription and over-the-counter medications can deplete nutrients and create deficiencies.

15.Birth control pills create B6 deficiencies and increase the need for B6 beyond what the diet can supply.

16. Illness increases our need for Vitamin C and zinc well beyond what food can supply.

17. Millions of Americans are dieting and need supplements just to meet minimal nutrient requirements. Dieting increases free radical production. Optimal levels of antioxidants are needed to reduce damage to the liver and other organs that can occur during weight loss.

With thousands of supplements to choose from - some good, many not, choosing the right vitamin supplement can be a frustrating ordeal.   High price is not necessarily a good indicator of quality and low-priced supplements are often low quality, made with cheap ingredients and are often full of fillers rendering them ineffective, thus they are not bargains at all. The most expensive supplement is the one that doesn’t work.   Each person’s nutritional needs are different, so I carry a variety of products from Metagenics, Doctors for Nutrition, Mt. Capra, and Designing Health; all companies whose products I use myself.   Each of these companies was chosen for their stellar reputation and product quality in regards to purity and safety, who go above and beyond Good Manufacturing Practices and produce products that really DO what they say they will do.

Are You in Deficit Mode ?               

A severe deficiency in vitamin C causes scurvy, but did you know that a lesser deficiency can have consequences as well? Vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants in the diet, is necessary for the body to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels.†  Vitamin C also aids in the absorption and metabolism of iron and copper.†          Most adults don’t get adequate amounts of vitamin C in their diets. In fact, a mere 10 to 20 percent of adults consume the recommended 8 - 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, which can serve as dietary sources of vitamin C. Being even a little shy of adequate amounts of vitamin C can adversely affect one’s health, according to a recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine.          The truth is that adequate amounts of vitamin C support already normal levels of inflammation as well as cardiovascular health, cellular health, prenatal health, eye and skin health, immune system health and bone health† —especially for older men.          So how much vitamin C is enough? 300 to 500 milligrams of vitamin C may be the number to shoot for—a number much higher than the current RDA of 60 milligrams daily recommended for adults. Unless people eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, they may need to take a dietary supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits.These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Devine is a chiropractor who practices in Downtown Seattle. For more information, visit his website atwww.downtownseattlechiropractic.com
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