Should everybody be taking nutritional supplements?

We now come to some vexing questions which are dividing the medical fraternity:

• Should we all be taking nutritional supplements?
• Is it necessary to take additional vitamins and minerals, on top of nutrition from our food? Is it helpful or just a waste of money, ‘creating expensive urine’?
• Is there any information out there which can help you come to a decision for yourself and also your family?
• Can you help your children’s future by improving their nutrition?

The body can only function properly when it has all the nutrients it needs. In today’s polluted world we need more protection, especially with antioxidants. We are also aware of the poor nutritional content of much of our food. (The UN 1992 Earth Summit reported on the way intensive farming has depleted our soil and the fruit and vegetables. For example, carrots contain 75% less magnesium and tomatoes 90% less copper than 30 years ago and there are many other frightening statistics. Total minerals in the soils have plummeted: the mineral content of the soil in the past 50 years has fallen 76% in Europe and 80% in the USA.

Processing our food to make it more attractive or palatable also removes many of the nutrients found in food’s natural state. For example, the removal of husks from rice and grains takes away almost all of the B vitamins.

Omega 3 fish oils present people with a dilemma. Omega 3 oils have huge health benefits – from improving the baby’s brain and IQ while in the womb, to helping joints, nerves, hormones, and skin health. Studies suggest that they may reduce the incidence of cancer and heart disease and reduce sudden unexpected death (cardiac arrest). But fish also take up mercury and other toxic heavy metals from their surroundings, and mercury is toxic to the brain, nerves and other tissues. This is so important the FDA has recommended that pregnant women should eat less than one fish meal per week because of potential mercury toxicity and consequent harm to the baby. Eating low mercury fish (wild salmon, herring, sardines, trout, Pollock, flounder and sole, crab, scallops, oyster, shrimps) may reduce the risk, but taking a regular dose of omega 3 fish oil, free from mercury, is a safer way to go. Because most of the mercury (and PCBs and dioxin) are found in the flesh, the amount found in most fish oils, especially those involving a distillation process, is quite low; however, it is best to seek out fish oils made to “pharmaceutical grade”. This is especially important when high doses are being used, as in heart disease, arthritis and mental illness, and during pregnancy.

Many of today’s diseases are caused or aggravated by nutritional deficiency. Improving our nutrition should not only improve but help prevent these conditions.

• Eat as well as possible
o Eat raw food whenever possible; if heating food, do not overcook
o Eat whole foods, avoiding processed foods as much as you can
o Eat coloured fruits and vegetables – eat in Technicolor
o Eat whole grains, the good fats, fish and nuts
o Drink plenty of pure water
• We also recommend good multivitamins and multi-minerals as well as a high quality fish or flax seed oil supplement to provide the necessary omega 3 and 6 oil. By doing this the body will obtain all its nutritional requirements from both food and supplements. With a good supplement, the body can eliminate what it does not require.
• We do not recommend any supplement which contains iron or vitamin A. These materials can build up in the body and can have serious health consequences.

The medical world is currently divided into two camps:

• Those who believe that nutritional supplements are essential and can make an enormous contribution to vibrant health, energy, well-being and recovery from disease.
• Those who believe supplements are a useless waste of money.
As with most arguments, there is truth on both sides.

There are some of the scientific studies suggesting the benefits of adding nutritional products to our diet. To be fair, there are also negative trials, but in almost every therapeutic endeavour there are negative studies. We can point to many negative trials with drugs which have been ignored because of the positive trials – drugs which doctors have no hesitation in recommending to patients. The fact that there are so many positive nutritional studies, involving large numbers of people, all presented in reputable peer-reviewed journals, behoves medical practitioners to look carefully at the data.

Modern food – our food should contain all the nutrients our bodies require. However, poor soil and exhaustion of the soil by modern farming techniques lower the value of food grown in it. Then, early picking of fruit before its full food value has been established, the use of toxic sprays and chemicals, storing, processing and cooking – all deplete many foods of the nutrients they would have contained if they had been grown and prepared in optimal conditions.

Our bodies require many minerals and vitamins which are building blocks for our billions of cells, to protect them from bacteria and other invaders, and to help our bodies recover from injury and illness. If these essential nutrients are not in our food, then our bodies will be starved and will work less efficiently.

USANA Vitamins Digestive Enzyme is unique in that it contains an enzyme found in the blend called lactase. Lactase assists in the digestion of food containing lactose. In addition, USANA’s Digestive Enzyme is different from others on the market because it contains spirulina, a nutrient-rich blue-green algae “super food” that contains chlorophyll.

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