Focus ~ Food ~ Fitness


Supplements

Vitamin
Supplements

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Even if you are completely healthy right now, you are advised to begin taking supplements to optimise your chances of lifelong vibrant health. Everyone should go on a basic regimen of vitamins and minerals that provide a foundation for long-term wellness. Our recommendations differ slightly depending on whether you are a man or a woman.

For men, we recommend a combination of 4 daily supplements:
  • A high-potency, high-quality, highly bioavailable multivitamin and mineral
  • Vitamin D3
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Probiotics
The nutritional needs of women differ slightly, so we suggest this supplementation program for women:
  • A high-potency, high-quality, highly bioavailable multivitamin and mineral
  • Calcium and magnesium
  • Vitamin D3
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Probiotics
Choosing Supplements

According to recent research, the key to supplementation is finding high-quality, professional-grade products. When it comes to supplements all brands are not created equally. We recommend looking for products that are supported by credible third-party analysis and testing, abide by good manufacturing practices, have some basic sciences or clinical trials behind them, that have a long history of clinical effectiveness, and supplements that are free of the preservatives and other chemical agents typically included in low-quality products.

Here are four key steps that will help you avoid getting taken advantage of by unethical supplement companies who masquerade their products as health-promoting when, in fact, they are health demoting.

Step #1: Only Buy Supplements that Abide By Good Manufacturing Practices

Manufacturers of supplements do not have to have someone come and review their facilities or the quality of the products they produce. However, there are a few manufacturers who have taken it upon themselves to hold their products to a higher standard and voluntarily go through a qualification process governed by the FDA that provides them with a certification known as "good manufacturing practices" often referred to as GMP or similar practices.

Step #2: Make Sure Your Supplements Have Gone Through a Third Party Analysis for Verification of Active Ingredients and Contaminants

Note, some supplements don't even contain active ingredients or they contain too much of active ingredients. Lower-quality products are often contaminated with preservatives and other toxic chemicals that actually compromise your health. To address this problem a variety of companies have developed services that provide third-party analysis for supplement manufacturers to ensure their supplements are free of contaminants and contain active versions of the ingredients listed on the label. This means a company other than the manufacturer tests the product to make sure it actually contains what it says it contains.

Step #3: Choose Products Based on Basic Science

There are supplements on the market that have clinical trials and science to back them up and there are those that don't. To separate the good from the bad, we recommend choosing products that have some basis in science. The easiest way to determine this is to review the product information pages on a supplement manufacturer's website. If they cite clinical trials that support the supplements they are selling, that's a significant step in the right direction. You can then confirm these citations with web searches on the particular vitamins or minerals or ingredients in the product you are considering. It is easy on PubMed to search for the research on any particular nutrient such as magnesium or vitamin D.

Step #4: Use Clean Supplements

If you choose the wrong supplements you could be adding toxins, allergens or additives to your body instead of the healing nutrients you need to help support its optimal function. Another important thing you need to avoid when purchasing supplements are food allergens. Food allergies are an unrecognised epidemic today, and many people suffer from hidden sensitivities to common foods they eat. For some, these allergies are at the very root of their chronic health problems. Once the allergic substances are eliminated from their diet, their problems clear up almost overnight. We strongly encourage you to choose supplements that are hypoallergenic – the products should be free of gluten, dairy, yeast, and other allergens. To determine whether or not this is the case, read the product labels carefully. Only truly top-quality manufacturers ensure products that are hypoallergenic so this is an extremely critical point to keep in mind.

Taking poor quality supplements may at best provide no benefit, and at worst, potentially harm you. You can't just take any supplement and expect it to provide your body with the raw materials it needs, but instead you must find the right high-quality supplements to support your health. It is only when you do this that your body's natural intelligence to heal will take over and you will then be able to regain energy, clarity of thought, sleep more soundly, lose weight and improve your overall health and vitality.

THE TRUTH

Finding and taking the best supplements to support your health isn't easy. In fact, finding high-quality products that support health has always been the most difficult part of health plan. The lack of adequate enforcement of government regulations, the dizzying number of products on the market, and the large variations in quality all create a minefield of obstacles for anyone trying to find the right supplement, vitamin or herb.

It is a recognised fact that most doctors simply don't understand the role of vitamins and minerals in our bodies. This is tragic, because so many conditions respond to a few simple supplements. Many patients completely recover from chronic conditions like depression by employing a few lifestyle changes and taking a few supplements, where even the best medications don't promise complete recovery.

In the medical field today, he says there is a new concept emerging. This concept says that having enough of a nutrient to prevent one of these deficiency diseases, but not enough to optimise cellular function, may lead to "long-latency" deficiency diseases (diseases that take a long time to manifest themselves) like heart disease, cancer, depression, schizophrenia, or Alzheimer's.

For example: "If you are severely deficient in folic acid, you will have anemia after a few months, or have a baby with birth defects. This is a deficiency disease. But if you don't have enough folic acid for optimal function over 30-40 years, you will double your risk of Alzheimer's disease. This is a long-latency deficiency disease. There are dozens of examples like this of diseases caused by long-term nutrient deficiency."

The reality is that most of us are deficient in one or more of these critical vitamins and we are setting ourselves up for illnesses that we could easily avoid by investing a few pennies a day in our health. Many of the day to day complaints we think we have to live with as we age are the result of nutritional deficiencies. These problems include conditions like reflux, allergies, and asthma to chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Whether you are suffering from a bad mood, difficulty concentrating, or have a more serious condition such as depression or Alzheimer's disease, it is likely that nutritional deficiencies are one of the primary causes.

Today, even with our "enriched food supply," over 92 percent of Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins, according to a report from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services." That doesn't mean they are receiving less than the amount they need to get for optimal health. That means they receive less than the minimum amount necessary to prevent deficiency diseases. A USDA survey recently showed that 80 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient and treating people with adequate vitamin D (often 10 times higher than currently recommended) could save 400,000 lives a year and reduce healthcare costs by $30-$50 billion a year. And that's one vitamin.

Furthermore, we are seeing overweight kids who have scurvy and rickets, because they eat a calorie-rich, nutrient-poor diet that leaves them overfed and undernourished. These are conditions we haven't seen in the proportions they appear today for more than 100 years. The foods we eat no longer contain the nutrient levels required for optimal health for many reasons. Crops are raised in soil where nutrients have been depleted. Plants are treated with pesticides and other chemicals so they no longer have to fight to live, which further diminish their nutrient levels and their phytonutrient content (not to mention the toxic exposure received from such chemicals). Animals are cooped up in pens or giant feedlots eating food they weren't designed to eat instead of roaming free eating the nutrient rich wild grains and grasses they once consumed.

To complicate this further all of us are exposed to hazardous toxins and chemicals that poison our bodies, we live with too much stress, we don't sleep enough, we don't exercise enough, and we are inflamed making the nutritional demands on our bodies even heavier. That is why in today's world everyone needs a basic set of vitamin and mineral supplements to support health. The research is simply overwhelming on this point. Therefore, due to nutrient deficiencies, the generally poor quality of our diet, our exposure to environmental toxins, and a number of other factors, everyone should go on a basic regimen of vitamins and minerals that provide a foundation for long-term health. 
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