Short answer, because most of you are probably stressed,
deprived foods, have gut
bacteria that may not be optimized, are exposed to
lots of toxins, and have water that isn’t necessarily clean. What a downer
I am, huh?!
That being said, most people need a core
support program in order to prevent long-term deficiencies and thrive, not just
survive. Unless you are eating a perfect diet with organic standards grown in
rich, biodynamic soil, have no stress, drink pure water, and have no health
concerns or conditions, of course.
Usually, this becomes obvious around about 35,
when your body has finally used up all its reserves and it’s not as forgiving. At
that point, symptoms start to become more evident. Furthermore, taking control
of your health could save you money in the long run.
For example, recently the Council for Responsible
Nutrition Report on the Cost Saving of Dietary Supplements reported on the use
of supplements and four conditions:
1) coronary heart disease (CHD) and the potential health care cost
savings when using omega-3 fatty acids, three B vitamins (folic acid, B6, and
B12), phytosterols, and psyllium dietary fiber;
2) diabetes-attributed CHD and the potential health care cost savings
when using chromium picolinate;
3) age-related eye disease (ARED), specifically age-related macular
degeneration and cataracts, and the potential health care cost savings when
using lutein and zeaxanthin; and
4) osteoporosis and the potential health care cost savings when using the
combination of calcium and vitamin D or when using magnesium.
Here were some of their conclusions: $6.8 billion
annual savings from increased use of magnesium in women over 55 with
osteoporosis; $12-billion annually from Calcium and Vitamin D if routinely
given to the same population; and $4.3 billion annually from affirmative use of
reason to consider supplement support is that some people are at higher risk
for nutrient deficiencies. The emergence of nutrigenomics (how diet effects our
genes) and epigenetics (how the environment effects our genes) is demonstrating
that people with certain genetic propensities need more or certain nutrients
and that environmental influences can modulate disease risk. For example, women
with a MTHFR
enzyme single nucleotide polymorphism, may need more folic acid during
pregnancy for optimizing birth outcomes. Those with detoxification SNPs can
also benefit from more support to help their body rid itself of toxins. Finally,
several studies have also concluded that various nutrients are linked to bone
mineral density in women.
I just posted an article on the latest scare
tactics on supplements and how it’s not giving the whole story, especially when
considering good quality supplements. Bottom line is that the headlines shouldn’t
sway you away from nutrient support. However, there are some caveats that you
want to consider. The major factor in supplement use is making sure you are
getting what you pay for.
These include making sure you purchase from a
source that is obsessive about:
1. Quality control from raw material selection
to manufacturing- look for labels that confirm the company has NSF
certification and GMP certification
2. Efficacy and Potency
3. Correct dosage
4. Proper form of the nutrient, standardization
of herb, or whole-herb potency verification
5. Reputable label claims
Council for Responsible Nutrition. Smart
Prevention- Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary
The Lewin Group. An evidence-based study of the
role of dietary supplements in helping seniors maintain their independence.
2006. Prepared for: The Dietary Supplement Education Alliance.
Fairfield KM, Fletcher RH. Vitamins for chronic disease
prevention in adults: Scientific review. Journal of the American Medical
Association. 2002; 287:3116-3126.
Willett WC, Stampfer MJ. What vitamins should I
be taking doctor? New England Journal of Medicine. 2002; 345
JA, Bell SJ, Guan Y, Yu Y. Folic Acid Supplementation and Pregnancy: More Than
Just Neural Tube Defect Prevention. Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Brown S. http://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/community/osteoblast/post/new-research-shows-how-lack-of-nutrients-affects-bone.aspx?