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What Experts Say About Nutritional Supplements & Who Needs Supplements?

Posted Oct 22 2008 4:37pm
The Standard American Diet makes it tough to get everything we need from food. Human beings need 40 different nutrients a day to survive and function properly. That includes 13 different vitamins, eight to ten amino acids, 15 minerals and two fatty acids.

Our body can't produce these nutrients on its own, but they can all be found in a number of foods. Unfortunately, with so many people eating fast food, eating out and taking on restrictive diets, getting everything you need isn't just difficult, it seems near impossible. The only option that makes sense is to supplement. There are, however, differences among vitamins.

Experts Say...
Experts have historically agreed upon the need for every American to consume an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals to help fill the nutritional gaps in his or her diet. Even vegetarians, who some consider to be the archetype of the healthy lifestyle, need a multi to get the nutrients their diets don't provide in adequate amounts.

Everyone should take a multivitamin, recommends The American Medical Association (AMA). The average diet falls short of daily nutritional needs, compounded by stress and a fast-paced lifestyle. Even when eating well, a multi ensures that you get all the nutrients you need, some of which are difficult to obtain from food alone. A good multi can help build a strong foundation for a lifetime of optimal health.

We simply cannot obtain all the nutrients we need from the food we eat. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, even people who maintain a healthy diet should supplement with vitamins to improve their overall health.

Ok, so who needs a supplement?
1. People with digestive diseases, illness or surgeries that can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals
2. Vegetarians who avoid all animal foods and may have a deficit of vitamin D, vitamin B-12, calcium, zinc, and iron
3. Smokers
4. People with certain major illnesses or injuries that can increase the need for healing nutrients
5. Women with heavy menstrual bleeding (may need more iron)
6. Menopausal women
7. Women who are trying to conceive – pregnant or breast-feeding
8. People taking certain medications that can increase or decrease the effectiveness of vitamins and minerals
9. People following weight loss programs that severely restrict food intake or calorie levels which can result in poor nutrient intake
10. People with food allergies that require avoiding groups of foods and may result in nutritional deficiencies
11. People who abuse alcohol
12. Adolescents
13. Athletes
14. Drug users, prescription or recreational
15. Elderly
16. Health fanatics
17. Junk food regulars
18. Overweight and obese people
19. People who supplement with specific nutrients
20. Sick people
21. Stressed out people
22. Workaholics
sourceSparkPeople -Source: Cf Balch, P (2006), Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fourth Edition. New York: Avery/Penguin, p. xv.

Shopping for vitamins is no joke. Just like there is too much misinformation about food and dieting, people need to know more about vitamins.

Have you ever wandered alone in a sterile, uncaring environment trying to choose a supplement?
To help clear some of the confusion about vitamins get your free report –

Use the report to choose your supplement wisely, and remember to take them!

A poor diet plus supplements is still a poor diet.

Food remains your best source of vitamins and minerals. So spend a little more time and money on delicious, tasty meals and snacks to meet your nutritional needs. And remember, a supplement is just that…a little extra in addition to wise food choices. This little extra poses no danger and will be helpful– if chosen wisely.

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