By Dr. Jeff - October 21, 2014
The short answer is YES.
But there’s a lot more to it than what most of us think of when we hear the words nutritional supplements. When it comes to supplements, most often we think of vitamins, multi-vitamins, One-A-Day and so forth. While vitamins are certainly a necessary part of us staying alive (whether from food or supplements), there’s much more to offer for good health and even correcting disease problems than most people are aware. Specific supplement regimens that include other nutrient components directed at specific organs or metabolic function provide what many people have experienced as miraculous results.
Before I go further, let me dispel a big myth. I’m sure you have heard or read reports claiming that vitamins and various supplements are ineffective. Some of that is of course pharmaceutical industry propaganda, but honestly some of it is true. But here is the reason and you’ll read more about this shortly. The best and most effective supplements are whole food supplements, not chemically isolated individual vitamins. Vitamins made in a chemistry lab are not identified by the body very well at all. Those are what make up most all common store bought brands and the type that most studies are performed on, and therefore get poor results. Whole food supplements, on the other hand, are extremely effective.
If you haven’t heard by now, well, you’re just not paying attention. As a society, we’re pretty unhealthy, in fact, we’re one of the most unhealthy nations in the world. On top of the list of reasons is – what we’re eating. And as I like to point out, and more of the focus of this article, it’s what we should be eating but we’re not. Even with the best intentions, most everyone is deficient in not just a few important nutrients, but we’re deficient, imbalanced and have poor pH levels that all go toward supporting the growing disease problems we’re experiencing. And don’t look at the ‘other guy’ with diabetes, heart disease or dementia, thinking you’re not ‘that guy’, because every single human who lives in this state of deficiency or imbalance is probably already there. It just hasn’t surfaced quite yet.
So should we be taking multi-vitamins every day? Sure. The most commonly recommended supplements, and for good reason, are vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Whether you eat optimal and balanced meals or not, chances are you’re still not getting all the nutrients that you need from our modern day farmed foods, and certainly not from the overwhelming amount of processed foods we consume. Even with the best intentions, it’s unlikely and difficult to avoid processed foods and eat purely organic foods from reputable farms or even from your own garden. It’s a well published fact that the commercial farms that supply the vast amount of our food are seriously depleted in essential nutrients. The World Health Organization published that the U.S. has the most mineral depleted soils in the world with an 85% depletion. I like the quote I read when studying how to build our garden, “food is only as good as the soil it grows in”. Very good point!
Both vitamins and minerals are critical to good health but they really need to be provided from food; real food, not processed industrial by-products fortified with synthetic vitamins. That’s the topic of another article, whole food vs synthetic vitamins, but in short your body identifies and puts to use nutrients from food much better than it does from chemical isolate forms of individual vitamins. While vitamins and minerals go together, they have different functions for our metabolism. Think of vitamins as catalysts that drive the metabolic reactions that take place in the body. And think of minerals as the key that turns on or regulates the vitamin.
As fundamental as it is, the medical community looks past the vital importance of an optimal balance of vitamins and minerals, from whole foods, in the diet. Yet it’s the deficiency of these necessary factors that are often found to be the culprit in most all disease processes as well as our worsening immune function. Aside from a shortage of needed minerals in our diets, there is an added challenge that comes from poor foods. See my other article, acid-alkaline balance, but in short, our blood needs to be kept at a very strict pH range, just slightly alkaline. However, the great majority of the foods we eat in the standard American diet (SAD) push that balance toward the acid side. One of the main things the body uses to try and restore that balance is minerals, and with a deficiency to start with, the body doesn’t have much left to sacrifice.
Another highly recommended supplement is omega-3 fatty acids, sometimes called fish oil, because that’s an ideal source. Omega-3, also considered the brain fat, is one of 3 essential fatty acids (omega-3, 6 and 9), and they’re called essential because without them, we don’t live. As we’ve gotten away from the proper foods that contain this particular fat, we’ve not only had worsening health problems, but brain function has been particularly affected. Cognitive abilities, dementia, Alzheimer’s, attention deficit, depression and more are exacerbated if not caused from low levels of this essential fat.
One of the biggest contributors to the depletion of this fat is that all our commercial meat, chicken (including eggs) and farmed fish (most of what you find in the store) are being fed corn and other feed devoid of omega-3, and not the natural fatty acid supplying plant based foods they are meant to eat.
Most important in this message is the ultimate power and success of a proper nutritional supplement program. Supplements do much more than just provide the recommended daily allowances (RDA’s) of our required nutrients. By the way, the RDA’s are not robust amounts of nutrients, which could be more health supportive if they were. They are the baseline amount necessary to keep us… not dead.
Understand that the success in reversing and curing disease comes from feeding and balancing the body’s metabolic needs, but never from drugs. But it takes an accurate nutritional approach which includes managing good dietary input and eliminating things that directly toxify and pull your system out of balance. There are many different nutrient formulas and herbal supplements that I use to address my patients’ needs. Specific supplement protocols are used to precisely target metabolic imbalances, support organ function and provide the nutrients that a person may need to turn up their thyroid strength, support digestion and gut healing, reverse diabetes, optimize hormone balance, enhance blood and cardiovascular recovery, even boost brain power and much more.
As a chiropractor, I’ve had a lot of success helping people with aches and pains, but I’ve also been frustrated for there are those who we just can’t help, or who need a different approach. But I truly enjoy nutritional and dietary management because it’s a positive outcome for everyone. My ‘mantra’ message that I try very hard to emphasize is that most all of us have little comprehension of how ill we truly are. That’s not meant to be pointing a finger, but it’s directly reflected and proven in the level of chronic and worsening disease that puts us at the bottom of the health rankings.
Those who have made positive changes and are applying a better nutritional program, are finding out first hand that they came away from a poor and imbalanced state of health. Now they want to stay that way and continue to improve because, well hey, it’s just great to feel good again. Better yet, it’s a revelation that we truly are able to take our health back! Talk to me about how nutritional therapies can help you and what products I highly recommend.