Over half of U.S. adults take some vitamins and supplements on a regular basis, such as multi-vitamins, vitamin C, and fish oil. When asked, most people say they take them as an insurance, to compensate for whatever is lacking in their less than optimal diet.However, you may not be aware that the hundreds of dollars you spend on supplements every year may not be the real deal.Do you know that the vast majority of vitamin supplements, not just the ones sold by warehouse stores and pharmacy chains but also the expensive brands, use synthetic vitamin isolates instead of whole food nutrients?Did you ever look at the ingredient list of your supplements? Do they contain additives and fillers that may be harmful to your health?What about your fish oil supplements? How do you know that they are not already oxidized during the extraction process or contaminated with heavy metals and PCBs?In the following, we will examine in greater detail why whole food supplements are far superior to synthetic vitamin isolates, recommendations on how to choose a good whole food multi-vitamin, and lastly, what to look out for when buying fish oil supplements.Whole Food Supplements vs. Synthetic Vitamin IsolatesMost people know the different between whole foods and refined foods. They know that raw unprocessed honey is more nutritious than white refined sugar; brown rice is better than white rice. The same concept applies to supplements.Whole food supplements are what their name suggests – the supplements are made from concentrated whole foods and the vitamins found within these supplements are not isolated. They are in a highly complex food matrix that our bodies can readily recognize and utilize. They contain proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, bioflavonoids, enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace minerals, activators and many other food factors.Synthetic or isolated nutrients, on the other hand, are not natural as they never exist in isolated form in nature. For example,retinoic acid is not natural vitamin A,thiamine is not natural vitamin B-1,pyridoxine hydrocholine is not natural vitamin B-6,ascorbic acid is not natural vitamin C,vitamin D2 or irradiated ergosterol is not natural vitamin D, andalpha tocopherol is not natural vitamin E.Whenever you see that the ingredients are USP (United States Pharmacopeoeia) vitamins, it tells you that they are isolated pharmaceutical chemicals manufactured in the laboratories. This type of isolated vitamins is often used to “enrich” or “fortify” many processed foods.Case in point, to the right is a complete vitamin C complex as found in nature. All parts of the complex are required for the proper function of the vitamin; any missing parts have to be drawn from the body’s reserves before the body can use the vitamin.However, the vast majority of vitamin C supplements contain only ascorbic acid, which is a laboratory-synthesized copy of the naturally occurring ascorbic acid that wraps around the outer portion of a natural vitamin C complex. Whole vitamin C should include ascorbic acid, plus the P factors (rutin and bioflavonoids) which maintain vascular integrity, K factors which promote healthy clotting, J factors which help transport oxygen to the tissues, important enzymes such as tyrosinase, and a host of other compounds.Another example is Vitamin E. To the right is a complete vitamin E complex as found in nature. However, most vitamin E supplements are made of either the synthetic dl-alpha-tocopherol, or alpha-tocopherol or mixed tocopherols extracted from refined cottonseed, soybean, and other vegetable oils. A whole vitamin E complex should instead include alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols, vitamin E2, vitamin E3, unsaturated fatty acids F1 and F2, xanthine, lipositols, selenium, and coenzyme Q, all of which are surrounded by the protective tocopherol antioxidants.For an isolated nutrient to work properly in the body, it needs all the other parts that are naturally present in the food. If these parts are not there from the start, they will be taken from the body’s stored supply. This is why isolated nutrients often work for a little while, then they seem to stop working. Once your body’s store of the extra nutrients is used up, the isolated nutrient you take will not work anymore. Worse yet, if you regularly take a high dosage of the isolated vitamins, a deficiency in these extra nutrients can be created as a result.Another point worth mentioning is that it is extremely important to use natural forms of fat-soluble vitamins because the synthetic forms can cause toxicity when taken in much smaller amounts. This is the reason why there is so much media frenzy about the dangers of vitamins A, D, and E. Unfortunately, both the mainstream media and the medical establishment fail to distinguish between the synthetic and natural forms.How To Choose Whole Food SupplementsQuality whole-food vitamins are obtained by taking a vitamin-rich plant, removing the water and fiber in a chemical-free, cold, vacuum process and then packaging them for stability. The entire vitamin complex can be captured intact, retaining its function and nutritional integrity, and upon ingestion, the body is not required to draw on its own reserves in order to complete any missing elements from the vitamin complex.When you read the labels of whole food supplements, you will not see pharmaceutical-sounding words that you may not recognize. Instead, you will see the names of all the fruits and vegetables that the vitamins were extracted from.Supplements may contain binders and fillers. They are used to enhance the production process, extend shelf life, add color, and make the pills easier to swallow. Watch out for any potentially allergenic ingredients derived from corn, dairy, egg, gluten, shellfish, or yeast. Always avoid supplements that contain hydrogenated oils (usually from soybean, corn, safflower, or sunflower), artificial colors, and titanium dioxide. Be very skeptical if they contain chemical names that you are unfamiliar with.Do not be fooled by many multi-vitamins that emphasize the convenience of just one pill a day. It is highly unlikely that any single pill can pack enough vitamins and minerals to truly make any real impact on your health. With whole food supplements, it is best to take a dose with every meal to optimize nutrient absorption.Due to the superior quality of whole food supplements, they are more expensive than synthetic isolate vitamins. If you cannot afford to take a full dosage of whole food supplements every day, an alternative is to take a reduced dosage daily.RecommendationsOnly a handful of companies produce high quality, whole food multi-vitamin supplements; over 99% of the companies make the synthetic isolate version. The following are several brands of whole food supplements that you may find in health food stores; various quality brands that are only accessible by healthcare professionals are not listed here.Dr. MercolaGarden of LifeInnate ResponseMegaFoodNew ChapterStandard ProcessHow To Choose Fish Oil SupplementsIn choosing a good omega-3 (EPA and DHA fatty acids) fish oil supplement, there are several important factors to consider:What kind of fish does it use? What are the levels of heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic), dioxins, and PCBs in the fish oil?Bigger fish species tend to have more contaminants than smaller species such as sardines and anchovies. A good product should specify the source from which its fish oil is derived.Most manufacturers use a process called molecular distillation to remove toxins from the fish oil. When done correctly, it is capable of reducing the toxins to safe levels for consumption. However, almost every manufacturer will claim that its product is free of toxins but independent third-party analysis tells a different story. Therefore, check the manufacturer’s website for a Certificate of Analysis to confirm its purity level.How fresh is the fish oil?Omega-3 oils are very delicate and susceptible to oxidation from heat, light, and air, making them rancid. The problem with most fish oil supplements is that they were already damaged during the extraction process that often involves heat and harmful chemicals such as hexane.Ingesting oxidized fish oil will produce more oxidation and inflammation in the body, exactly the opposite of what you want the fish oil to do in the first place. For this reason, you want to be 100% sure that the fish oil you buy has the least possible oxidation, uses minimal heat and no chemicals in the manufacturing process. Check the manufacturer’s website for a third-party Certificate of Analysis to confirm its freshness level.Is the fish oil readily absorbable by your body?The vast majority of all fish oil supplements are in the ethyl ester form, a synthetic fat with only about 30 years in the human diet. Studies on fish oil absorption shows that the natural triglyceride form is absorbed far better than the ethyl ester form.Always take your fish oil with a high-fat meal. Studies show that absorption improves substantially when more fat is eaten at a meal.What about krill oil?Krill oil is not only rich in EPA and DHA, but also contains potent antioxidants including vitamins A, E, and astaxanthin. However, there is much concern about krill being a sustainable source of omega-3 supplements. Krill are shrimp-like crustaceans that are a crucial link in the marine food chain. Concerns about the ecological impact of increased krill fishing have resulted in a ban on this practice on the U.S. west coast, and strict limits in Norway and Antarctica.What about cod liver oil?Cod liver oil goes through similar manufacturing processes as fish oil, hence, the potential for oxidation. One concern about cod liver oil is that more contaminants may be present, depending on whether the cod is farmed or where it is sourced. Compared to fish oil, cod liver oil is much lower in EPA and DHA even though it is very rich in vitamin A and contains some vitamin D. As most cod liver oils have the A and D in the ratio of 10:1, one should watch out for vitamin A toxicity if too much cod liver oil is consumed.There is one company called Green Pastures that uses a cold process to make fermented cod liver oil. Its oil contains the natural form of vitamins A, D, E, and K with the A and D in the ratio of about 5:1. The cod is sourced from the Arctic, so it is less likely to be contaminated with heavy metals, PCBs and dioxins. However, for those with significant inflammation, this may not be the ideal product due to its lower EPA and DHA levels.What about flaxseed?Omega-3 fatty acids fall into two major categories: plant-derived (flaxseed) and marine-derived (fish). Flaxseed oil contains ALA which can be partially converted to EPA and DHA, but that conversion is somewhat slow and can be inhibited by lifestyle and health factors. Therefore, do not expect all the flaxseed you take to be fully converted to omega-3. If you take flaxseeds, it is best to grind it just before consumption. If you take them whole, they are likely to pass out whole too.RecommendationsThe majority of fish oil supplements from warehouse stores and pharmacy chains are of suspicious quality. It is true that they are economical but you run the risk of taking oxidized and contaminated fish oil. As mentioned above, always check the Certificate of Analysis before purchase.Based on third-party lab tests, the following manufacturers have top scores in their freshness and purity levels. These fish oil supplements are also in the easily absorbable triglyceride form.Green Pasture Fermented Cod Live OilNordic NaturalsPharmax Pure Fish OilVital Choice Wild Salmon OilOmega-3 fats have numerous health benefits, the most important is reducing chronic inflammation in the body, the key contributor to many degenerative diseases. However, since all fish oil supplements, even the best ones, have some degree of oxidation or contamination, it is advisable not to take a super high dosage unless there is a specific reason otherwise. A low to moderate daily dose of 0.5-1.5 gram of EPA and DHA is hence recommended. Also, keep your fish oil in the refrigerator after opening to minimize oxidation.In conclusion, although the supplements recommended here are of superior quality, every additional step taken in processing a natural food into supplements introduce the potential of damaging the nutrient. Therefore, supplements, no matter how good they are, should never be a substitution for a good healthy diet.
A Scientific Way towards a Healthier DietGoing for a healthier diet can be extremely effective for letting us get over a vast majority of illnesses that we come across in everyday life. That could make a difference in our everyday being, and augur very well for our families as well.But making sure you get a proper diet could be tough. A very scientific administration of a good every day diet is making sure that one consumes varied foods from each of the distinct food groups. And that would make sure that if we are missing out on a particular nutrient from any particular food, we could make up for it from a different food that we have selected from a different food group.So consuming a variety of foods is important because no single food can supply us with all the nutrients that are required to stay healthy. Just as an example, from oranges we get vitamin C, but they do not provide us with Vitamin B12. And contrary to this, while we get Vitamin B12 from cheese, it does not provide us with Vitamin C. Ideally one must try and make sure that one gets a certain number of servings from each of the five major food groups, which are fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy.Now Is It A Good Idea To Go For A Multivitamin Supplement?There are some very specific viewpoints which express why a multivitamin supplement can work very well for your health and well being.Let’s quickly run through two reasons why a multivitamin supplement works.Two Reasons Why a Multivitamin Supplement WorksReason 1The conventional belief has been that a proper and healthy diet suffices for nutrition in a person. And when one consumes a proper diet, there is no need to go for dietary supplements.But as per medical researches, most of the diets are lagging in one or the other supplements, and correspondingly may fail to provide comprehensive everyday nutrition for our bodies. This factor becomes more important still, when we take seniors or younger children into consideration.A multivitamin and mineral supplement can make up for the dietary deficiencies, and ensure an enhanced everyday health and well being for your family and yourself!Just as an example, one of the reasons why one must go for a multivitamin supplement is because many of our diets are lacking in Vitamin C or Vitamin D.In general, an average adult would require around 600 iu’s of vitamin D in his daily diet. Along with that, one must also consume 200-300 mg of Vitamin C a day. And if one is fighting cold and flu like symptoms, one must have up to 1-3 gms of Vitamin C.So going for a multivitamin supplement would make up for the deficiency of vitamin C and D in one’s diets, and ensure a much improved overall health and well being.Reason 2Some people tend to fall ill, and frequently so. And at times, the reason could be petty infections like cold, cough or flu. Our bodies are vulnerable towards falling sick, and the underlying reason for the illness could be the external environment, our diets, stress, or maybe even an external factor like pollution.But the best way to counter illness is not to heal the body once one falls sick, but to prevent the occurrence of disease. Or, having a stronger immunity would ensure that we fall sick less often.In such a scenario, going for a food supplement, maybe something like a multivitamin with minerals can go a long way towards ensuring an improved everyday health and well being for your family and yourself.A multivitamin supplement would boost one’s immunity, and that would ensure that one falls sick less often. And if at one does fall sick, with a multivitamin supplement, one can ensure a quicker recovery.Multivitamin Supplements Work towards Prevention of DiseasesA multivitamin and mineral supplement works in multiple ways to ensure prevention of disease, and a quicker recovery, if at all one falls sick.Let’s take the help of a simple mechanism to understand how multivitamin supplements work towards prevention of diseases.1. A multivitamin enhances one’s immunity, to ensure that one falls sick less often.2. If at all one does fall sick, a multivitamin would work towards ensuring that the progress of disease is slowed down. So the ailment causes minimum damage for someone who may be sick.3. Similarly, a multivitamin would work towards reversing the damage which may have occurred as one fell sick.4. And that works towards ensuring that if one is unwell, the recovery process too is quicker.5. With a disease free body, higher fitness levels also come naturally, making a multivitamin and mineral supplement a fine pick as a part of your everyday diet.Some Scenarios Wherein Going for a Multivitamin Supplement Would Be a Great ChoiceWhile going for a multivitamin supplement would work very effectively for just about every single one of us, there are some scenarios wherein consuming a multivitamin supplement would be effective in particular.1. As an example, if one’s daily diet has less than 1600 calories, with a multivitamin and mineral supplement, one can ensure a better health and well being. And that’s because in our bodies, a host of vitamins are required to make sure that the metabolic processes work efficiently.2. Similarly, going for a multivitamin supplement can work wonders if one is suffering from any allergies. A simple MV supplement prevents occurrence of allergies, and also speeds up healing of allergic reactions.3. And if one is recovering from an injury, going for a multivitamin supplement with minerals is a smart choice. And that’s because a multivitamin supplement accentuates the healing of injuries to a great extent.4. If your child has a bad diet or irregular eating habits, a multivitamin supplement can work very well for him. In particular, a multivitamin supplement can be very effective if your child has a diet which contains little or no dairy products.5. A multivitamin can be very useful for one’s health, if one is suffering from a condition of the liver, gall bladder, intestine or pancreas.Let’s consider some ways in which a multivitamin supplement can work effectively towards ensuring a much improved health and well being for us:-Multivitamin supplements work by- Boosting energy levels- Enhancing immunity- Fighting against normal infections- Heightening focus- Multivitamin supplements provide us with the recommended daily dosage of calcium to make sure that we maintain strong and healthy bones- They enable proper functioning of the cardiovascular systemHowever if one is trying to figure out the best multivitamin available, one must try and make sure that one goes for an alternative which provides balanced nutrition over an option that supplies one or two specific nutrients.
So you feel pretty good about having taken vitamins for years. Think about how healthy you are because of all those vitamin pills you swallowed. But wait. You hear a news report that says vitamin pills are a waste of money. Or someone says that most people already get enough vitamins in their diet. Worse yet, taking too much of certain kinds of vitamins might harm you!The jury is still out on this. It’s complicated. And to confuse us more, many reports and studies are either done improperly or intentionally manipulated to show desired results. Supplements are a huge business. Manufacturers and distributors take in billions of dollars a year.What we want is the best advice. If we need them, what dietary supplements do we really need? And which ones work?Do we need dietary supplements?
Looking deeper into this we find the most common answers somewhere in the middle. There are those who spout out quick answers like “You don’t need vitamin pills, you get enough vitamins from food”. Or “Vitamins are a waste of money”. All of those fast answers are meaningless to me. I want to see some research to back up those answers. I never hear someone say “you don’t need vitamin pills because according to a study done in… and continue to cite specifics about the study”.You’ll often hear medical doctors say that you don’t need vitamin supplements. My own doctor recommends vitamin supplements however. He says we probably don’t get everything we need from our diet. This seems to be a reasonable recommendation.So here are some specifics for you. I’ve done some research myself. And I’ve found some sources that I think are somewhat dependable.From the Mayo Clinic. Written by the Mayo Clinic Staff.
I’m not sure exactly who the Mayo Clinic Staff is, but here it is…
The article points out that supplements are not intended as a replacement for food. Rather they are intended, as the name directly describes, as a supplement. Something to be added to your existing diet. Foods are complex and they offer other benefits besides the vitamins or whatever other supplements you are taking. They don’t recommend supplements to healthy people under 50. They do recommend supplements or food with iron and folic acid for pregnant women. They recommend vitamin B12 in the form of supplements or food to adults over 50 years of age. They suggest supplements for people who don’t eat well, are vegetarian, have a medical condition that affects absorption of nutrients, or have had surgery that interferes with nutrient absorption. They do not recommend mega doses of supplements.From the National Institute of Health
This is a long technical article. The main conclusion of this article is that most of us don’t need multivitamin and mineral supplements. And that they are not beneficial in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as ischemic heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Healthy individuals do not need supplements they say.From WebMD – Do Older Adults Need Vitamins, Supplements?
This article says that about half of older adults take vitamins and other supplements. But most of those can improve their diet instead to get what they need. Some research suggests that older people may need more vitamins B6, B12, and Folate. The article also suggests that vitamin D is sometimes needed as a supplement for older adults. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says older adults should pay special attention to their intake of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, potassium, and fiber.Supplements for a Healthy Heart. Do Supplements Really Help Your Heart?
This is an article by a dietitian. It discusses many of the common supplements that people use for heart health including baby aspirin, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, fish oil supplements, Coenzyme Q-10, Niacin, Green Tea Extract, Plant Sterols and Stanols, Red Yeast Rice, and a few more. She is not strongly recommending any of these as supplements but seems to also be suggesting that many of them have been shown to be beneficial. Some good information but not strong recommendations in this article.And of course there are thousands more articles and studies on supplements. A lot of conflicting information and recommendations which leave us uncertain of what’s best.Should I take vitamin supplements?
I’m sure that some of what’s in my vitamin pills do no good. But there just might be some benefit. Maybe my diet lacks some of the vitamins I get in the pills I take. So I’ll keep taking a multivitamin pill every day. But I better make sure they are good quality, otherwise it’s a total waste of money.Should I take vitamins and other supplements to prevent heart disease?I’ve read studies and recommendations that go both ways. However, some studies such as the Lyon Diet Heart Study and the Seven Countries Study show that there are foods, or things in food, that seem to lower heart disease risk. Lifestyle and exercise are part of the whole picture as well. The Mediterranean diet became popular as a result of the Seven Countries Study. Elements of the Mediterranean diet are still commonly recommended in the prevention of heart disease. I think most would agree that you can make a difference by eating right and adding supplements to make it easier to get what’s needed. My answer to this question is yes. Yes I should take vitamin supplements.Dietary supplements often recommended for Heart Health- Fish Oil Supplements with DHA and EPA- Vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, B9, B12- Make sure your vitamin E is not dl-alpha-tocopherol-acetate. Use high-gamma vitamin E instead.- Selenium- Enzyme CoQ-10How to know if vitamin pills are good qualityVitamin pills in liquid or tablet form tend to lose their potency and are difficult for your body to absorb. Capsule form is the best way to preserve the minerals and receive maximum absorption. Avoid synthetic vitamins. Use natural forms instead.Dietary supplements and Vitamins. Brands that work.If you take supplements that don’t work because they are poor quality, that’s obviously a waste of money. I’ve found a website that claims to have tested many brands. They have rated them all and list them on their website. The brand of multivitamin I have been taking, Centrum, is very popular and advertised a lot on TV. But it’s rating is not all that great. The website also has a price comparison section. The website is called the Multivitaminguide. Just do an internet search and you’ll find it.What’s your next step?If you’re interested in taking supplements and want to make sure you do it right, then check some of the resources mentioned above. If you want to read more about preventing heart disease there’s more on my website. And of course there are thousands of articles and studies available on the Internet.
Dietary SupplementsA dietary supplement is a product that a person takes by mouth, which contains nutritional ingredients meant for addition to the normal diet. These extra nutritional ingredients may include minerals, vitamins, botanicals, herbs, amino acids, organ tissues, metabolites and glandular. Ingredients like extracts or combinations such as soft gels, liquids, oils, capsules, tablets and powders can also constitute a dietary supplement.Dietary supplements can also be found as bars and in other forms but they are classified as food and not as drugs.Classifications of Dietary SupplementsThe dietary supplements can be classified into the following four classes.Herbs and BotanicalsDietary supplements of herbs consist of natural products. These products are active ingredients or extracts from plant roots, stems, seeds, leaves, flowers or buds. An herbal product can be an extract of two or more active ingredients or they may be whole plant. Herbal extracts are being used to maintain low cholesterol, good health and help in disease control. People generally have a wrong view that because they are natural, these dietary supplements are good for health.An example of a dangerous dietary supplement is ephedra extract. This is generally used for weight loss and energy boosting. It causes muscle injury, blood pressure, nerve damage, and stroke or memory loss. It is banned, but any dietary supplement containing this herb extract should never be used.Many herbs prove to be very good dietary supplements. Some of these are listed below.Grape Seed AntioxidantGrape seed dietary supplement has concentrated extract of active ingredients from the seed of grapes. This product shows antioxidant properties and acts as a free radicals remover.Oxy-Gen 3 flavorsOxy-Gen is an Aloe Vera dietary supplement that provides improved oxygen for the human body.Other herbal dietary supplements include cranberry, garlic, green tea, ginkgo biloba, etc.VitaminsVitamin dietary supplements contain essential vitamins that are needed by many cell reactions and body functions. Certain vitamins exhibit antioxidant behavior too which remove the free radicals from the body. Some vitamins present in dietary supplements are not manufactured within human body such as vitamin K and vitamin D. A healthy body that has a supply of good balanced diet doesn’t need vitamin supplements, as over usage of such dietary supplements can cause liver damage.Vitamins are of two types: water soluble and fat soluble. The water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and the 7 vitamin Bs can dissolve in water and hence are not stored in any significant amount within the human body. The fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K are stored in the fats of the body. Fresh fruits or vitamin dietary supplement is used by people to ensure proper amount of water soluble vitamins.Vitamin A & D (25,000 IU/1,000 IU)This dietary supplement is rich in vitamin A and vitamin D, which are both needed by many cell functions and body reactions for release of energy.B-12 / Folic Acid ComboB12 and folic acid belong to the vitamin B family and support action of the C vitamin. It also helps to strengthen the acid present in the stomach for better digestion.Other vitamin dietary supplements include vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, vitamin K, Vitamin B12, B6, B3 and many more.MineralsMineral dietary supplements contain minerals required by body fluids and tissues like bones, brain, teeth, liver, brain, blood, muscle and nerve cells. There are approximately 60 minerals that are present in a human body but 22 out of them are necessary. To have the proper amounts of minerals, good healthy food and dietary supplements are advised.Dietary supplements contain two types of minerals required by the body. The major minerals, which are the ones that are required by the body in large amounts, are calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chlorides and sulfur. Body requirement for these minerals is almost 250 grams each day. The trace minerals are copper, iodine, fluoride, manganese, iron, zinc and chromium and are required in small quantities. The amount that should be taken of trace mineral is about 20 milligram each day.Liquid Life Ultra Calcium w/OstivoneThis mineral dietary supplement contains easily absorbing calcium along with several other trace minerals.75 Plant Derived Minerals75 plant derived mineral dietary supplement is natural and the purest source of minerals. It provides many minerals not produced within the body.Nutritional SupplementsThese dietary supplements include fish oils, compounds present in food such as flavonoids, CoQ10 and many more.Who needs dietary Supplements?Dietary supplements are needed by all those people who have deficiency of certain nutrients in their diet or body due to lack of proper vitamin and mineral rich foods or lack of enough food. Athletes, vegetarians, older people and pregnant women can use dietary supplements for better health.Dietary Supplement Selection and UseDietary supplements provide extra nutritional ingredients and are not a replacement of food. Natural foods provide many complex compounds that are needed by the human body in many function and cell metabolism. These products are only to be used to improve body function. Before you actually opt for a supplement bear the following points in mind.It may be wise to avoid all the dietary supplements that have large or mega servings. Over usage can cause nutrient toxicity. Many dietary supplements contain herbal and botanical extracts that are known to cause severe side effects. You must have complete and viable information about the ingredients. Natural vitamins are more expensive and if any company offers very low prices then they may not be genuine. Check the label of the supplement and note the amount of nutrients in each serving. The label of the medicine should have USP written on it which means that the dietary supplement meets the US Pharmacopeia standards.There are some known dietary supplements that a person should not take. Some of these include Aristolochic acid that is toxic for the kidney, comfrey that causes liver disease, kava that causes liver damage, Tiratricol that can cause heart attacks, chaparral that causes hepatitis, and usnic acid that is toxic to the liver. There are other dietary supplements in the market that have side effects, as well.
Alternative To Typical Synthetic Supplements Is Needed, Say ExpertsWhole food supplements is currently a topic of worldwide interest. A profusion of evidence has recently come to light suggesting that ordinary synthetic multivitamin supplements may be hazardous to your health. Goran Bjelakovic, a respected scientist from the University of Copenhagen, headed up a massive meta-study that looked at the results of 67 placebo-controlled trials previously undertaken to determine the effects of vitamin and anti-oxidant supplements on longevity. In the end, the study combined observations of 232 000 test subjects. By using such a large population sample, a study can become much more powerful with regards to spotting large-scale trends and overcoming human bias.The results of the analysis, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, were nothing less than shocking. Looking at patients with diabetes, heart disease and lung cancer, as well as healthy, normal individuals, there was no apparent benefit to taking popular fractionated supplements like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Selenium, or beta-Carotene. In fact, the results went in the opposite direction – there was an increased chance of death (16 percent) amongst Vitamin A users, a 7 percent higher death rate amongst beta-Carotene users, and a 4 percent mortality increase in Vitamin E users. Beta-Carotene and Retinol, promoted as anti-carcinogenic agents, may promote lung cancer. That’s right – pills marketed as helping you towards a longer, healthier life are in fact correlated with a speedier demise. This study used typical supplements on the market made from synthetic vitamins.To add insult to injury, a recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition under the unimaginative title of “Ascorbic Acid Supplementation Does Not Attenuate Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness Following Muscle-Damaging Exercise But May Delay The Recovery Process” indicated that supplementation with anti-oxidants from synthetic sources may reverse many of the beneficial effects of physical training.Now, this is not to say that anti-oxidants or vitamins are bad for you. Far from it – these supplements were created on the basis of solid science. Anti-oxidants are still believed to protect cells from the ravages of free radicals. The problem, rather, is the idea that you can get those benefits from synthetic isolated compounds. Disease and the aging process are usually far more complicated than test-tube studies can account for. Furthermore, the issue of bioavailability is an ever-present concern. Many typical synthetic supplements include huge amounts of the advertised vitamin, but lack the additional compounds needed to ensure that their key ingredients are actually absorbed by the body. Passing straight through the digestive tract, these ‘miracle health cures’ often wind up doing little beyond giving people expensive urine. To the rescue…Whole Food Supplements.What the layperson should take from all this is not a sense that we’ve made no progress in the last century regarding uncovering adequate means of personal health maintenance. There’s one thing that nobody is disputing, and that’s the importance of a healthy, well-rounded diet replete in fruit, orange, yellow and dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, high quality carbohydrates and lean proteins and supplementation from whole food supplements. . When you avoid taking in harmful chemicals such as those in food preservatives, flavorings, flavor enhancers and ‘synthetic vitamin additives’, you’ll not only reduce your intake of toxins. You’ll also be forced to tap into the most nutritionally reliable source available, namely natural nutrition. Human beings have evolved to consume unprocessed plant and animal food sources. Recent research suggests that the superiority of natural ratios and formulations has been massively undervalued.Whole food supplements are foods that haven’t been processed or refined, or have undergone as little processing as possible for preservation or human consumption. Much as is the case with organic food, whole food supplements call for the avoidance of chemically assisted agriculture. The concept is one of a minimization of human interference with the processes of nature. This is based on the guiding principle that nature’s products make for healthier products than the products of human industry.While this is a claim met by much resistance from the refined food and pharmaceutical industries, it’s being repeatedly borne out by the results of research. A study of women shifted from a diet high in processed foods to one replete with whole foods and whole food supplements resulted in a 61% decrease in saturated fat intake. They also experienced increases in dietary fiber of 60 percent, a 45 percent increase in vitamin E, a 60 percent improvement in vitamin C intake, and a five-fold increase in carotene intake. The net result of this new phytochemical-rich diet was an induced drop in total cholesterol of 13 percent – meaning less risk of heart disease and stroke, statistically still the biggest killers of people in first world countries. In the short term, they also saw vast improvements in bowel function and overall perceived health. Clearly whole food supplements are preferable to typical synthetic supplementation.So the message, actually, seems to be rather clear. Eat a diet comprised primarily of whole foods and whole food supplements, and you’ll be a shoe-in for long life and a vital, healthy old age. It sounds simple, but there is a problem with that approach, at least in our current era of constant industry and nine-to-five workdays. Progressively, people in developed countries are struggling to keep up with the clock. Even as work-induced stress makes the disciplinary challenge of sticking to a diet more daunting, so spending what little free time one has on grocery shopping can seem like its own special kind of waste. Unlike processed foods, whole foods are not very easily stored, meaning that to eat according to such a diet, you’ll need to visit a farmer’s market and buy your food fresh every few days. This is where well-meaning eaters so often falter in the journey towards health improvement and a trimmer waistline, entering the lifelong trend of yo-yo dieting.Furthermore, many foods may not even be available in certain countries. Tell someone that lives in South Africa to eat more kale and you might as well be informing them of the beneficial effects of zero gravity.Bent on finding their way around these obstacles to simple health maintenance, scientists have worked an angle that may sound, at first blush, a little counterintuitive. The goal of pharmaceutical supplementation has always been to preserve or improve upon the nutritional efficacy of whole foods in tablet and powder form. Through a rigorous process of trial and error, it was discovered that, by curing vegetables, herbs and other nutrient sources, grinding them up into powder, and forming that powder into tablets or capsules, it was possible to retain much of their nourishing value .This is only true of whole food supplements that have been processed using little or no heat. And so, it appears, one can finally enjoy the benefits of healthy eating via the simple act of popping a few pills. The benefit over ordinary eating is in the combinations of nutrient sources (and the quantities thereof) chosen, designed to complement each other and aid in the most complete, favorable absorption of the ingredients. Due to the incredible decrease in size that desiccation brings, it’s also possible to consume far more of said nutrients, avoiding the sometimes undesirable need to stuff one’s face with greens.The effect of whole food supplements has been very favorably contrasted with artificial supplements such as multivitamins. The reason whole food supplements come out on top is simple: your body recognizes the ratios of nutrients in whole foods and processes them far more easily than supplements consisting of isolated or fractionated nutrients.The body recognizes whole food supplements as nutrition and is able to metabolize and utilize them efficiently.The best idea, say experts, when it comes to determining your whole food supplements requirements is to decide on the readily available foods that you can and will eat consistently, then fill in the gaps from there. A general list of the most highly recommended vegetables with regards to anti-aging and health benefits would include kale, chard, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, red and green peppers, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green peas, asparagus and carrots. At Rutgers University, New Jersey, nutritional and food science Professor Paul A. Lachance headed up a study, published in the Journal of The American College of Nutrition, to evaluate 29 popular fruit, and ranked them in descending order of value according to the benefits they confer. His top ten list read as follows: kiwi, papaya, cantaloupe, strawberry, mango, lemon, orange, red currant, mandarin orange and avocado. To be effective these foods must be eaten raw.In terms of supplementing beyond this list, when it comes to picking the right whole food supplements for your purposes, you’ll probably want to look for much the same things you might have looked for in artificial supplements in the past – compounds to promote joint health, brain health, immunity and so on, by the use of anti-oxidants like resveratrol, beta-carotene along with other amino acids and vitamins. The difference may not lie in the listed ingredients, but rather in the manner those ingredients were derived – from common (and some not-so-common) plants, vegetables, fruits, herbs and so on. This is how natural whole food supplements companies source their nutrients.What Supplements Should You Take?Whether you use vital nutrients as your barometer of what and how much to eat, or the guide in determining what wholefood supplements you need, determining their presence or lack thereof is probably the best way to evaluate a diet. Below are listed some of the vital nutrients most people should consider supplementing in their diets – the ones people are typically deficient in, and those that provide the most benefits. Included are the foods in which those nutrients can be found.Anti-oxidantsAnti-oxidant supplementation is, obviously, sought after for its promised effects of protection against disease, cellular breakdown, cancer and ultimately aging. In 2004, a study by the USDA revealed the best dietary sources of anti-oxidants. Published in the peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the study showed that foods like beans and artichokes take pride of place in the anti-oxidant-rich-food hierarchy. The study also demonstrated powerfully beneficial effects from pecan nuts, cinnamon and russet potatoes.B-VitaminsThe B-Vitamins play a highly important role in cell metabolism. Once thought to be a single vitamin, these were later discovered to be a group of chemically distinct vitamins that frequently coexist in particular foods. Health supplements that contain the full roster of eight B-Vitamins are called Vitamin B Complex supplements. These vitamins help to maintain good muscle and skin tone, promoting cell growth, particularly of red blood cells, and thereby providing protection from anemia. They support and increase the rate of metabolism, meaning that they can also assist in maintaining a healthy weight. Notably, they decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer, but only when consumed as a whole food, not as a synthetic fractionated tablet. Most B-vitamins must be consumed daily, as any excess is speedily excreted in the urine. Good sources include potatoes, bananas, lentils, chile peppers, brewer’s yeast, whole food supplements, molasses, tuna, animal livers and meat. Since the vitamin B12 cannot be produced by vegetable sources, deficiency in this nutrient is of particular concern for vegetarians, who need to get it by consuming supplements or fortified breakfast cereals to avoid possible ill consequences on health. For the more omnivorous amongst us, good sources are fish, meat, poultry and eggs.Beta-CaroteneA famed member of the antioxidant family, Beta-Carotene is worth mentioning alone, especially for its assistance in the uptake of vitamin A. It’s the substance that colors carrots orange, and assists in the buildup of epidermal retinol, responsible for protecting the skin from sun damage. It’s abundant in crude palm oil and Vietnamese gac, which have the highest Beta-Carotene content of any vegetable or fruit. These are, unfortunately, often filtered for clarity before sale, a process which removes all carotenoids. Other sources include papayas, mangoes, carrots, yams, spinach, kale and sweet potato leaves and quality whole food supplements.CalciumIt’s the fifth most abundant element in the earth’s crust, but that doesn’t mean that conscientious calcium consumption shouldn’t be a concern of anyone looking to live to a sturdy, healthy old age. Calcium is essential for many essential cellular processes. “Calcium plays an important role in building stronger, denser bones early in life and keeping bones strong and healthy later in life,” says the National Osteoporosis Foundation, and it’s a recommendation that has been hammered into us through media to the point of filtering into commonsense and popular culture. Prolonged calcium deficiency leads to rickets, poor blood clotting and an increased risk of fractures.The best known sources of calcium are dairy products. Unfortunately, lactose intolerance is far from a rare disorder, and various other ailments and personal philosophies (such as veganism) keep certain individuals from consuming dairy products. Luckily, there are numerous good vegetable sources of calcium, including nuts, seeds, seaweed, oranges, figs, beans, broccoli and fortified products like soy milk. One poorly recognized sources of calcium is ground eggshell. For information on the calcium content of foods, visit the USDA National Nutrient Database online. The easiest way to consume calcium that the body will recognize as food is to take whole food supplements.MagnesiumIt plays a vital role in regulating neuromuscular activities, most notably those of the heart. It assists in maintaining good blood pressure, healthy muscle tone and good skin pallor. It helps us metabolize calcium and vitamin C, and as such deficiency in magnesium can result in calcium depletion, kidney stones, muscular irritability, nervousness and confusion. Yet the stunning fact is that the majority of people on earth (around 80%) are known to be deficient in Magnesium. Typical rates of intake are between 143 and 266 mg per day – significantly lower than the FDA’s recommended daily intake of 350 mg. Deficiency in Magnesium has also been implicated in the development of chronic diseases like asthma, osteoporosis and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Good food sources include nuts, seeds, spices, bran cereals, quinoa, soybeans, coffee, cocoa, tea and green, leafy vegetables. It has been speculated that the reduced intake of dietary magnesium in developed countries can be correlated with the rise of food refinement and the use of modern, magnesium-free fertilizers. Amongst dietary supplements, magnesium citrate has been regularly proven as the most bioavailable, beating the oxide and amino-acid chelate forms for its rate of absorption. Synthetic supplements can not be absorbed: use whole food supplements to maintain proper levels.L-ascorbic AcidBetter known as vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid is perhaps the most popular of supplements, and has been used to treat disease ever since the French explorer Jacques Cartier boiled the needles of the arbor vitae tree to treat scurvy in 1536. The resultant tea was later shown to contain 50mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. Like Magnesium, without regular uptake vitamin C is quickly eliminated through the urine, so it’s easy to become deficient without supplementation. While oranges are famous for their vitamin C content, the more obscure but vastly more potent sources, such as kakadu plums, camu camu, rose hips and Indian gooseberries are slowly gaining popular recognition, as are common sources like blackcurrants, red peppers, parsley and guava. Animal sources of this nutrient include oysters, pork, beef, calf and chicken livers, cod roe and, as unpalatable as it may sound, lamb brain. The easiest way to maintain proper levels is with whole food supplements.Coenzyme Q10An oil-soluble, vitamin-like substance found in most plants and animals, CoQ10 is responsible for supporting the process of ATP generation, responsible for ninety five percent of the human body’s energy. The organs with the highest energy requirements – such as the liver and heart – thus require the most Co-Q10. Known for this strengthening effect on the heart muscle, CoQ10 has been used to treat many forms of cardiac condition, although the extent of its role in energy production is still not fully understood. It has been shown to have beneficial effects on sufferers of migraine headaches, to lower blood pressure, reverse gum disease, and aid in weight loss. It is known for its ability to slow the shrinkage of the thymus gland, thus preventing the weakening of the immune system that typically accompanies old age. It is also being investigated for its potential to mitigate the effects of cancer.The best dietary sources of CoQ10 are sardines, mackerel, the livers of beef, pork and lamb, eggs, spinach, broccoli, peanuts, wheat germ and whole grains. The easiest way to maintain levels is with whole food supplements for rapid absorption.Dietary FiberWhile it might be a bit of stretch to call it a nutrient, dietary fiber or ‘roughage’ is vital to the health of the digestive system, and thus to the efficacy with which all other nutrients get absorbed. Roughage is comprised of the indigestible parts of plant foods that easy the progress of food through the digestive system, easing defecation.Good plant sources of fiber include psyllium seed husk, bran flakes, legumes, oats, rye, barley, prune juice, plums, lentils, beans, quinoa, berries, bananas, broccoli, carrots, artichokes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, whole grain foods, wheat, corn bran, flax seed, green beans and tomatoes.Soluble fiber or probiotic supplements can also be beneficial to easing the symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. The FDA reports that studies have found that “diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber are associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, diabetes, digestive disorders, and heart disease.”Omega 3 Fatty AcidsThe nutritionally important Omega 3 fatty acids – Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentanoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexanoic Acid (DHA) – have been credited with supporting cardiovascular health, circulation and healthy vision, as well as promoting better function of the brain and immune system. DHA and EPA are made by microalgae which, living in seawater, are consumed by fish and plankton, accumulating to high levels in their internal organs.Use of omega 3’s in the form of fish oil has been shown to reduce risk of heart attack, lower blood pressure, and offset the effects of arthritis. It also causes a decrease in LDL, the ‘bad’ form of cholesterol. Additionally, there is some evidence that it helps in ameliorating depression and anxiety. Amongst cancer patients, fish oil clearly reduced tumor growth, increased survival times, and help patients retain muscle mass during treatment. It has also demonstrably reduced the symptoms of sufferers of mental disorders, including chronic aggression and ADHD.The best dietary source of omega 3’s is probably fish. However, a much publicized risk of regular fish ingestion lies in the potential for heavy metal poisoning by the accumulation of toxic elements in the gut – notably mercury, lead, nickel and arsenic. However, a 2004 study by the FDA has indicated that, of the 44 popular commercial fish oils tested, all passed contaminant safety standards. Thus it is recommended that health conscious individuals get their omega 3’s this way – by mixing fish oil into their foods, or taking gel supplement capsules. Omega 3 supplementation has turned into a food marketing trend, with many companies selling everything from fortified yoghurts and juices to milk, eggs and pasta. Flax seeds, which produce linseed oil, also have a very high omega 3 content, and are probably the most widely available botanical source of omega 3. Other sources include chia, kiwifruit, perilla , lingonberry, butternut, black raspberry, broccoli and strawberries. The best and easiest way to obtain this is by taking exceptionally pure, cold processed oils in whole food supplements.FlavonoidsThese plant secondary metabolites are best known for their antioxidant activity. This impression may be a little inaccurate. The massive increase in the antioxidant capacity of the blood after the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods is most probably due to increased levels of uric acid. In essence, the body sees flavonoids as foreign, invading compounds, and does its best to eliminate them. This induces the activity of Phase II enzymes, which help to eliminate carcinogens. Cancer researchers at UCLA found that people who eat foods containing certain flavonoids appear to be virtually immune to lung cancer. The best among these appear to be strawberries, green and black teas, Brussels sprouts, apples, beans and onions, parsley, pulses, red wine, and gingko biloba. Evidently, only small quantities of such flavonoids is required to see the desired effects, an overindulgence can reverse them into negative territory. Other applications of flavonoids includes the treatment of easy bruising, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.InterferonDiscovered by Japanese virologists at Tokyo University in the 1950’s, interferons are cell-signaling proteins produced by the immune systems of vertebrates in responds to viruses, parasites and other threats. They assist the response of the immune system by dampening viral replication, thus increasing the resistance of host cells to infection. This is an effect that can be used protectively by the administration of interferon drugs. Interferon therapy is commonly used as a treatment for cancer, as well as in the treatment and control of autoimmune disorder and multiple sclerosis.Throughout Eastern Europe and Russia, interferon is taken intranasally as a means of preventing and treating respiratory diseases of viral origin, like flu and cold. Good food sources of this substance include quark cheese and flax oil, but the best method of ingestion is probably by supplementation. The only natural compound formula created by the discoverers of interferon is a Shaklee exclusive Nutriferon recommended dose is 2 tablets daily. For more information visit http://www.thenutritionnurse.comIronCrucial to the functioning of all known organisms, Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, the compound in blood responsible for delivering oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. It also plays an important role in enzyme reactions in various tissues. Iron deficiency is the most common known form of nutritional deficiency, and is most prevalent in children and pre-menopausal women – an estimated 90% of women fail to get the recommended daily amount. The outcome is iron deficiency anaemia, which results in fatigue, impaired concentration, impaired immune function and a sallow, yellow pallor, among other unpleasant maladies. Infants and pregnant women typically require iron supplementation for optimum health.Good whole food supplements sources of iron include red meat, fish, poultry, tofu, beans, lentils, leafy green vegetables, peas, and fortified products like bread and breakfast cereals. In supplementary terms, the most bioavailable form of iron is that which has been chelated into amino acids. This is often referred to as iron glycinate.Phosphatidyl Choline/LecithinThis is one of those dietary components that most people haven’t heard of. It’s got a difficult name, and there are no major illnesses associated with deficiency in it. However, the potential benefits to consuming it are tremendous. Think improved liver, brain, reproductive and cardiovascular health. In fact, it’s sometimes marketed as a nootropic drug for the improvements to neurotransmitter efficacy that it can bring. Research indicates that phosphatidyl choline is intimately involved in the mediation of mood, memory and cognitive function.The most widely available source of this nutrient is lecithin, which can be derived from soy or egg yolks – in fact, the phosphatidyl choline component of this substance is so great that the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Other foods rich in phosphatidyl choline are beef, veal, chicken and turkey livers, brewer’s yeast, fish, peanuts and cauliflower.Vitamin EAs with a lot of the vitamins, Vitamin E is the collective name for a set of related tocopherols and their corresponding tocotrienols, which have been tied to colon, heart, prostate and immune system health.Food sources highest in Vitamin E include avocado, asparagus, egg, seeds, nuts, palm oil, spinach, milk, vegetable oils, wholegrain foods, wheat germ, rice and olive oil.ResveratrolThis phytoalexin, which is produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens, has been correlated with a decreased risk of cancer, increased life expectancy, and lowered blood sugar levels in diabetics. It has also been seen to impact on the four major signs of aging. It is found in the skin of red grapes (and the seeds of muscadines), and as such can be had easily enough by drinking a glass of red wine, which accounts for the cardioprotective effects of the popular beverage. However, it turns out that rather high doses are required for strongly positive effects on humans – levels typically only reached by means of supplementation. The fruit of the mulberry has also been shown to contain notable levels of resveratrol. The most potent and bioavailable form is VIVIX. This is a Shaklee exculsive anti aging tonic and is 10 times more effective than taking resveratrol alone. Only available from an independent Shaklee distributor. See the above link to the Nutrition Nurse.ZincOver two hundred enzymes in the human body depend on zinc for their function. An essential mineral responsible for promoting normal growth, development and immune function, zinc is nonetheless not present in sufficient quantities in the diets of most people in the developing world, two billion of whom are estimated to be zinc deficient. Zinc deficiency is associated with many diseases, including, amongst children, delayed sexual maturation, growth retardation, diarrhea and susceptibility to infection. In fact, zinc deficiency has been linked to the death of over eight hundred thousand children every year.Zinc levels in food vary according to the levels of essential nutrients in soil, a level which must be maintained by soil conservation. Assuming that levels of zinc in soil are equal, the most zinc-rich plants are wheat germ and bran, seeds, beans, nuts, and blackcurrants. Many cereals are also fortified with zinc sulfate and oxide. Nonetheless, many people supplement this element in their diets as an insurance policy against poor eating habits.The Bottom LinePlanning and developing a diet so as not to be deficient in any of the vital nutrients can be a challenging, some might say virtually impossible task. Indeed, it’s probably only by the combination of right eating and a strong base of supplements that an ordinary person can ensure that they’re getting everything they need to live a long, healthy, happy existence. Remain aware of the limitations of both whole foods and synthetic pills, and you’ll have gone a long way towards making that future yours. Clearly the prudent course of action is to initiate a regimen including quality whole food supplements.* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/297/8/842)journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=923224&jid=&volumeId=&issueId=&aid=923220ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10682877bBy Anthony Antolics RN,BSN The Nutrition Nurse
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is lacking in many vital nutritional components. Being largely composed of prepackaged, convenience foods with few naturally grown food products; this diet has contributed to an epidemic of not only obesity but also extreme nutritional deficiency. While many commercially available vitamin and mineral supplements exist, they are manufactured in an artificial way that reduces bioavailability and promotes chemical contamination. As Americans are not likely to return to eating home grown food directly from their garden, the solution to the nutritional deficiency of America can be found in Whole Food Supplements which are vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient rich products made from actual food concentrates.The Problem with the Standard American DietIn the first part of the 1900’s most Americans ate a healthy, whole food diet because they had no choice. All food was grown either by the family or obtained from immediately local sources. America in the 1900’s was a largely agrarian society with most people living in rural areas and able to grow their own food. During the last century, a massive migration to urban areas has occurred. This has meant that even if one has the desire, most people no longer have the ability to produce self grown food. Either because there is no land or because many do not know how, very few people have a garden and even fewer produce protein in the form of dairy products and animal husbandry.In spite of this developing migration, during World War II, families were encouraged to have a “victory garden”. This was not to ensure that Americans had a great diet but actually to ensure that American families could feed themselves at all, while allowing most of commercial food production to be sent to the troops overseas. That was the last period in history that America got most of their nutrition from locally grown food.Beginning around the 1950’s, Americans did begin to recognize the value of vitamins and minerals within their diet. This was discovered because more and more pre-prepared, highly processed food products became available and nutritional deficiencies began to emerge.After the end of World War II, many families became two-income families. In addition, many more single parents are now raising children by themselves. This means that in most homes, all of the adults present in any one household are likely employed outside of the home full-time leaving little time for food preparation alone much less any time for food production. America has become a convenience food nation consuming much of the diet from unnatural food sources.Prepackaged and easy to prepare food products are just that, food “products”. Though they may contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats and some “essential” nutrients, they are not real food. The entire food supply chain is rife with contamination and chemical processing and many Americans are unaware of how little nutritional value the food that they consume every day contains. So much publicity and education has focused on the so called food pyramid. The governmental and educational agencies that have devised the perfect American diet have never truly addressed the lack of nutrients, other than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of basic vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Calcium.While these RDA levels of vitamin and mineral consumption may be an absolute bottom line essential to avoid obvious diseases of deficiency such as scurvy or rickets, they are hardly adequate and do not reflect but a small portion of the nutrients contained in whole food, necessary for promotion of health and prevention of disease.A Crisis in America: Obesity and Other Diseases in the Face of MalnutritionThe main focus of the American diet in recent years has become reducing fat and increasing carbohydrates in the diet. This stream of thought was intended to reduce the growing epidemic of obesity but over the past 20 years, obesity has risen into numbers that appear to be a crisis for Americans. In fact, over the past 20 years the number of adult Americans who are obese has risen by 60% to an unprecedented level of almost 35% of American adults being considered obese. A much worse situation is that a similar number of approximately 32% of American children qualify as overweight or obese. For the first time in American history, the life expectancy of these children may be lower than that of their parents or grandparents.This has led to an epidemic of heart disease, diabetes and other weight related problems occurring in record numbers not only in adults but seen in children as young as 18 months of age. Additional diseases that may be related to a lack of appropriate nutrients other than simple vitamins in American diets may include a wide variety of conditions ranging from immune disorders implicated in conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Cancer to psychiatric and neurological conditions such as ADHD, Autism and Depression.Most people believe that obesity occurs simply because people eat too much. While that is true in part, obesity also results from continuously consuming the wrong types of food. In the 1900s when Americans were consuming a largely natural, whole food diet directly from farm to table, obesity was an extremely rare occurrence.As our diet has changed from an agrarian society’s nutrient rich food supply to the urbanized highly processed, artificial foods, our total food consumption has risen. This is in part because, though the body gets more calories from more food, it is still starved of nutrition causing one to eat even more. In addition, in our sedentary lifestyle our bodies actually need less food than when we lived and worked each day on the farm, yet we still eat more because of lack of proper nutrients, abundance of easily obtained processed food and other psychological conditions such as stress eating. In the end, America has become a nation of people who are obese but still malnourished and disease ridden.An Attempt to Fix the ProblemThe ideal diet truly would be that of returning to whole food “farm to table” eating where families either grow their own food and prepare it within minutes of harvesting or at a minimum obtain locally grown food from the market and prepare it within a day or so of harvesting. In today’s society this is no longer possible. Even when fresh vegetables and fruits are consumed as a large portion of the diet, our nation’s food supply is contaminated by the use of pesticides, herbicides and hormones and much of the nutrient value is lost by transportation of the food crop from thousands of miles away. Food is harvested before it is truly ripe, irradiated, stored cold and transported across states, nations and even oceans before it arrives in our grocery stores as tasteless, substandard, nutrient poor produce.Many people are attempting to eat only organic, locally grown produce for this reason. While this may be an improvement over the nutritional value of the standard American diet, it is nearly always much more expensive and therefore unaffordable for many and unavailable for others as most markets do not focus on obtaining such products. So this effort, while valiant is still not enough.The good news about the American nutritional situation is that it is quite easy to fix. Given appropriate nutrition, the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. Many diseases and conditions caused by overconsumption and malnourishment can be easily corrected by supplementation with whole food nutritional products.As Americans cannot rely on the food supply to provide adequate nutrition and also cannot count on the source, quality and purity of most commercially available nutritional supplements, the only answer appears to lie in whole food supplementation.What is a Whole Food Supplement?Whole food supplements are defined as nutritional supplements derived entirely from food. This is a much more natural and beneficial method of obtaining nutrition from food and herbal supplements alike.Unfortunately, most commercially available nutritional supplements including vitamins, minerals and herbal products are made completely of single ingredient extracts or worse, artificially synthesized in a lab using chemical processes. While synthesized supplements may in fact provide basic vitamins and minerals known to be vital, artificially prepared products are missing many of the alkaloids, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are thought to play a major role in complete nutrition and disease prevention.The same is true for herbal supplements and treatments as most commercially available herbal products do provide an extract or synthesized form of the primarily active chemical within the herb, they are still missing many of the synergistic ingredients thought to provide additional benefits of herbal and nutraceutical treatment.Simply Taking Vitamins isn’t EnoughVitamins and Minerals are absolutely necessary for life but the RDA is generally both inadequate in its estimate and unattainable through the average American diet.While many commercially available nutritional supplements are available at every corner, through necessity, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does little to regulate the manufacturing of food supplements such as vitamins, minerals and herbal products. The FDA cannot apparently manage even its’ main tasks of regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and assurance of the safety of the American food supply.In the last several years, many counterfeit pharmaceutical products have been discovered such as flu medication being sold online, manufactured outside of the United States was found to be gelatin capsules filled with sheetrock particles. In addition Americans have seen case after case of E. Coli and Salmonella contamination of both American and foreign farm crops such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions and peppers enter our grocery stores. Some of these products were even the so called “organic” products, purported to be safer than traditional crops.Why a Whole Food SupplementAs there is inadequate supervision of the pharmaceutical and food production industries, there is even less of the nutritional supplement market. The average vitamin or nutritional supplement is manufactured using chemical synthesis and heat processing which destroys the nutritional value of the product within. In addition, many commercially available products are manufactured with fillers, additives, preservatives and other dubious chemicals. Whole food supplements are not.Within the last several years, significant shortcomings have come to light in terms of foreign made food and health products. Many products have proven to be contaminated with not only the known chemicals that are present in the American food supply but also with much more dangerous unknown chemicals that should never enter the manufacturing process. The only way to ensure that this does not happen is to purchase high quality products from a company with a well established reputation for maintaining high standards of manufacturing and purity. As whole food supplements are natural products, it would be optimal if the manufacturer employed practices of sustainability and green policy.The ideal food supplement manufacturer recognizes that vitamins do not exist in isolation. The nutritional value of whole food is due to the interweaving of the entire spectrum of nutrients with vitamins and minerals acting in a synergistic fashion with hundreds of other plant alkaloids, phytochemicals and enzymes. The cofactors and bioflavonoids such as terpenes and isoflavones present in whole foods and whole food supplements are integral in the process to restore biochemical balance to the body.This is quite easy to identify when examining the label of a nutritional supplement, vitamin or herbal product. Though the FDA doesn’t do an adequate job of monitoring the food supply or pharmaceutical industry, they have established standards of labeling which include appropriate identification of all ingredients contained in a supplement. Close examination of most regular supplements when compared to whole food supplements will show that most products contain synthetic vitamins, chemicals and filler products while whole food supplements contain natural vitamins and minerals obtained from concentrated food sources such as fruits and vegetables.Supplements manufactured from whole food sources will contain not only the natural form of vitamins and minerals but also all of the important phytochemicals and phytonutrients important to restoration of nutritional health and prevention of disease derived from whole food concentrates.Choosing a Quality SupplementWhole food supplements are nutritional products which have been manufactured directly from food. Food grown in natural conditions is concentrated using carefully designed and conducted cold processing techniques. These methods allow the concentration of the entire spectrum of nutritional value without removing the phytochemicals, alkaloids and other valuable natural substances that ensure adequate nutritional support and help to prevent disease.When choosing a whole food supplement one should ensure that the product is from a manufacturing company known to have a long standing reputation for quality and experience in whole food processing. The products should be constituted entirely of whole food products which have been refined using cold processing without the nutrient reducing effects of extreme heat, pasteurization and irradiation. They should also be free of artificial filler products and preservative chemicals. The manufacturer should have a process of testing for purity and guarantee of quality and ideally should offer a money back guarantee if one is not satisfied with the product. For the American consumer, optimally an American product will be purchased an in an effort to aid the environment, a company with “green” policies should be chosen to promote sustainability of the food supply.Specific Nutrient NeedsVitamin AVitamin A and the carotenoids are highly present in many vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables along with fish and animal livers and are essential for:o proper functioning of the eye and skin including the gastrointestinal tract
o acts as an antioxidant, protecting against cancer and diseases of aging
o important in support of the immune system for protection against viruses and infections of the organ linings of bladder, kidneys, lungs and mucous membranes
o essential for protein utilizationVitamin A deficiency causes dry hair, skin, eye disorders, fatigue, reproductive difficulties, frequent colds and infections, and skin disorders.Traditional vitamin supplements will typically contain synthetic Vitamin A Palmitate and/or beta carotene isolate. Whole Food Supplements will contain Vitamin A1, Vitamin A2, retinal, retinoic acid and a number of more the 500 carotenes all of which are precursors to Vitamin A along with essential fatty acid, natural sugars, minerals and other phytonutrients found only in whole food.Vitamin B ComplexVitamin B is actually a number of similarly related compounds found in yellow and green fruits and vegetables particularly leafy green and cruciferous vegetables along with nuts, grains, eggs, dairy products and meats and are known to be essential for:o maintenance of skin, eyes, hair, liver and mouth
o healthy gastrointestinal tract and brain functioning
o coenzymes involved in energy production
o proper functioning of nervous system particularly in the elderlySpecific Vitamin B Deficiencies:B-1 Thiamine deficiency – Beriberi, canker sores, mental disorders such as dementia, depression and dizziness, fatigue, indigestion, diarrhea, numbness and muscle atropyB-2 Riboflavin deficiency -mouth sores, cataracts, dermatitis, hair loss, neurological symptoms on skin, light sensitivity, seizuresB-3 Niacin deficiency – pellagra, bad breath, skin and mouth disorders, memory impairment, confusion, depression, muscle weaknessB-5 Pantothenic Acid deficiency – abdominal pains, skin disorders, hair loss, muscle spasms and poor coordination, immune impairment, low blood pressureB-6 Pyridoxine deficiency – eye, skin and mouth inflammation, mucous membrane disorders, lack of wound healingB-12 Cyanocobalamin deficiency – pernicious anemia, unsteady gate, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, hallucination headaches, memory loss, tinnitus, spinal cord degenerationFolic Acid deficiency – certain types of anemia, fatigue, mental disorders, insomnia, diarrhea, spina bifida in developing infantTraditional Vitamin B supplements will generally contain only the synthetic form of one or more of the B vitamin group, while whole food supplements will contain all of the Vitamin B family along with the added benefits of phytonutrients such as inositols, PABA, biotin and choline derived from concentration of whole foods.Vitamin CVitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is found in citrus fruits, berries and green vegetables and is essential for:o tissue growth and repair
o adrenal gland function
o healthy gums
o production of anti stress hormones and interferon
o absorption of iron in the gastrointestinal system
o metabolism of amino acids and vitamins
o activity as an antioxidant and support of the immune systemVitamin C deficiency causes Scurvy, poor wound healing, gum disease, edema, weakness, frequent infections, fatigue, and joint pains.Traditional Vitamin C supplements will have only Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbate, while Whole Food Supplement vitamin C will contain phytonutrients such as rutin, bioflavonoids, tyrosinase, ascorbinogen, vitamin C factors such as J, K and P along with mineral co-factors necessary for vitamin C activity all derived appropriately from whole food.Vitamin DVitamin D is present largely in dairy food products but also in fish and fish oils, green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils, egg yolks and sweet potatoes and is necessary for:o bone and teeth growth and development in children
o muscle performance including skeletal and cardiac muscle
o prevention of bone and tooth loss in elderly
o thyroid and immune system functioning
o normal blood clottingVitamin D deficiency includes rickets, osteomalacea, loss of appetite, burning of mouth and throat, diarrhea, insomnia, and visual difficulties.Most commercial Vitamin D products including prescription formulas will contain only Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) which is less absorbable and more difficult to use but has a longer shelf life than it’s cousin Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) while whole food supplements will contain significant amounts of Vitamin D3 along with many other beneficial phytonutrients in the form of whole food concentrates.Vitamin EVitamin E is found in cold pressed vegetable oils, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and grains and is essential for:o antioxidant activity important for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease
o circulation and tissue repair
o blood clotting and healing
o skin and hair healthVitamin E deficiency may result in damage to red blood cells, nerve destruction, infertility, menstrual problems, and neuromuscular disorders.Traditional vitamin E supplements will generally include only one of the 8 active components of the vitamin E family, alpha-tocopherol. Whole food supplements will contain not only alpha-tocopherol but also the 7 other alpha, beta, gamma and delta forms of both tocopherol and tocotrienol derived from concentrated food.CalciumCalcium is vital for the formation of bones and teeth and the maintenance of gums. It is essential for the functioning of all muscular tissue, particularly the heart and participates in cellular functioning in virtually every area of the body. Calcium is highly present in dairy products, meaty and oily fish and green leafy vegetables.Calcium deficiency can lead to brittle bones, teeth and nails, skin disorders, cardiac disorders such as high blood pressure and heart palpitations, cognitive impairment, hyperactivity and seizure disorders.Calcium contained in most traditional supplements will contain only calcium carbonate or calcium citrate with the possible addition of Vitamin D or may contain D1-calcium-phosphate which is completely insoluble and cannot be absorbed. Whole Food Supplement calcium products will contain additional nutrients such as amino acids and vitamin C which are necessary for calcium absorption and utilization.IronIron is essential for the production of hemoglobin which is vital to the supply of oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also important for production of many important enzymes within the body. It can be found in meats, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, nuts and grains in large amounts as well as a number of herbs such as alfalfa and milk thistle.Deficiency of Iron includes symptoms of anemia, weakness and fatigue, hair loss, mouth inflammation, fingernail malformation and mental impairment.Most commercially available iron supplements will contain iron sulfate or iron gluconate as a singular product or in combination with other vitamins and minerals. Iron is best absorbed in the presence of vitamin C and when consumed as a constituent of a food source. Whole food supplement iron will result in better absorption and less stomach upset as it is derived from whole food.MagnesiumMagnesium is vital as an enzyme catalyst especially with regard to energy production. It also aids in cellular calcium and potassium uptake which makes it essential for the transmission of muscle and nerve impulses. It can be readily found in many foods especially animal products such as dairy, meat and seafood but also in many fruits and vegetables such as apples, apricots, bananas, whole grains and soy products.Deficiency of magnesium will cause muscular irritability, mental disorders, chronic fatigue, chronic pain syndromes, depression and pulmonary disorders along with being a factor in hypertension and sudden cardiac death.Traditionally prepared magnesium supplements will contain only magnesium usually in the form of magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate while whole food supplements will contain other minerals such as calcium and potassium along with vitamin c and other nutrients from whole food concentrates necessary for the proper absorption and utilization of magnesium.ZincZinc is important in the growth and function of reproductive organs and may help regulate oil gland activity and prevent acne. It is essential for protein and collagen synthesis and vital to the functioning of a healthy immune system and has been shown to have potent antiviral activity. It plays a major role in wound healing and the sensation of taste and smell. It is also a constituent of many physiological chemicals such as insulin and various enzymes. Zinc is highly present in eggs, fish, beans, meats, mushrooms and many seed such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds.Deficiency of zinc may result in a loss of taste and smell and may cause the fingernails to become weak and thin. Other signs may include delayed sexual maturation, growth impairment, disorders of sexual organs of both males and females, fatigue, hair loss, slow wound healing and recurrent infections.Many commercially available supplements will contain either zinc gluconate as a singular product or in combination with other minerals without regard as to the appropriate ratios for optimal absorption and utilization within the body. As whole food supplements are derived from actual food, the appropriate ratios necessary for maximum benefit are already present established by nature.Unique Benefits of Whole Food SupplementsAccording to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), over 70% of Americans do not consume enough whole food products to provide even the RDA of vitamins. While vitamins are necessary for life, ordinary vitamin supplements will not entirely fill the gap. Unlike most commercial dietary supplements which are stand alone chemicals, whole food supplements contain any number of several thousand known and unknown phytonutrients such as:o Carotenoids
o Polyphenols (Flavonoids)
o Lignans (Phytoestrogens)
o Phytates (Inositols)
o Sulfides and Thiols
o TerpenesResearch has proven these nutrients to be protective against many diseases. Some types of phytonutrients are known to provide such benefits as enhanced immunity, cancer prevention, detoxification and DNA repair.CarotenoidsThe phytonutrient category of carotenoids has been shown to protect against certain types of cancer, optical failure from diseases such as macular degeneration and assist in the prevention of cardiac disease. Carotenoids are partially responsible for the vibrant colors of many fruits and vegetables.Carotenoids can help prevent vitamin A deficiency by acting as precursors to Vitamin A which assists the body in manufacturing Vitamin A. In addition several carotenoids are known to be anti-oxidants and may protect against diseases of aging and exposure to environmental toxins. Carotenoids may also be a factor in the prevention and treatment of other diseases such as:o Cancer – including cervical, throat, lung, prostate and skin cancers
o Heart disease – including angina pectoris and congestive heart failure
o Infections – including AIDS, Chlamydia, Candidiasis and pneumonia
o Immune system mediated disorders – including rheumatoid arthritis, and photosensitivity
o Other conditions – such as asthma and osteoarthritisA balanced formula of carotenoids such as found in whole foods and whole food supplements will be better absorbed than individual supplements as too much of any one carotenoids may inhibit the absorption of others. This is one of the many reasons why whole food supplements are more beneficial than simple vitamin supplementation.Carotenoids known to be present and beneficial can be found in the following fruits or vegetables:o alpha carotene – carrots
o beta carotene – green cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, yellow/orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots
o beta cryptoxanthin – orange fruits such as mangos, peaches and apricots
o lutein – leafy green vegetables such as turnip greens, collard greens and spinach
o lycopene – red fruits such as watermelon, guava, tomatoes and red grapefruit
o zeaxanthin – green vegetables such as green beans and broccoli, yellow food such as eggs mangos and citrus fruitsPolyphenolsPolyphenols (Flavonoids) are known to be active antioxidants and are thought to be important in preventing diseases caused by oxidative stress such as some cancers and some forms of cardiac disease and some inflammatory processes which cause diseases such as arthritis and other diseases of aging. Some examples of polyphenols found in food products include:o anthocyanins – red foods such as berries, red cabbage, red grapes
o flavones – celery and parsley
o ellagic acid – berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
o catechins – tea, wine and chocolate along with other tart foods such as berries and apples
o flavanones – found in citrus fruits
o coumarins – found in grains and grasses such as wheat grassPhenolsPhenols encompass a number of anti oxidant nutrients such as Resveratrol and are known to be powerful antioxidants. Phenols have proven to be effective in the prevention of age related disorders and many diseases caused in part by oxidative stress such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Phenols are present in purple fruits such as grapes and blueberries along with wine and tea.IndolesIndoles are known to aid in hormone production and maintenance of balance. Indoles are also thought to provide cellular protection against cancers such as colon cancer and endometrial cancer along with others. They are largely present in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages.LignansLignans (Phytoestrogens) have weak estrogen like activity which is important in the prevention and possible treatment of hormone mediated cancers such as breast, testicular and prostate cancer. They also may block inflammatory processes which may aid in the treatment of diseases such as arthritis and platelet aggregation leading to stroke. Lignans highly present in flax seed and soy products but are also found in other grains such as wheat, barley and oats along with beans and vegetables such as garlic and broccoli.InositolsPhytates (Inositols) may help lower blood cholesterol and aid in prevention of mental disorders such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. Inositols and Phytates are present in large amounts in grains, nuts and melon family members such as cantaloupe, squash and cucumbers.SaponinsSaponins are known to lower cholesterol and may act as an immune booster protecting the body against infections from viruses, bacteria and fungi. They may also provide some protection against heart disease and have proven to be effective in the treatment of cancer. Several anti cancer drugs are based on the saponin molecular structure. Saponins can be found in foods such as asparagus, red onions, alfalfa sprouts, and soybeans.ThiolsSulfides and Thiols are vital to the functioning of the cardiovascular system including the smooth muscles of the arteries and arterioles and the linings of both veins and arteries. Thiols have proven instrumental in the development of plaques contributing to atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction and stroke. Sulfides and thiols are highly present in members of the odiferous Lilly family such as garlic, onion, chives and leeksTerpenesTerpenes are thought to protect against cancer and free radical damage which may contribute to diseases of aging such as stroke and alzheimers disease. Terpenes are highly present in foods such as green foods, grain and soy products and also in many herbs such as Gingko biloba.These phytonutrients are just a few examples of natural molecules known to aid in promotion of health and make the case for the use of Whole Food Supplements. There are thousands more, yet to be identified that are present and beneficial and cannot be synthesized in a lab. Supplementation with isolated vitamins and minerals alone will not solve a nutritional deficiency.As Americans are unlikely to return to the farm, consumption of a whole food supplement appears to be the only way to actually bridge the nutritional canyon that the American diet has created due to a lifestyle of convenient packaged food that is easy to prepare but sorely deficient in nutritional quality.
If you are unfamiliar with supplements, trying to buy them can be confusing and overwhelming, because there are so many different brands and products, with new ones coming out all the time. There are currently so many products that it is practically impossible to keep track of everything. Even people who work in the supplement industry tend to specialize in certain areas, such as vitamins/minerals, sports supplements, herbs, etc.Supplements can also be confusing, because depending on who you talk to, you can get very different opinions. Many people have extreme or biased views of supplements, with people on one side saying everyone needs to take many different supplements and people on the other side saying all supplements are worthless. As with most issues, the truth is somewhere in between. There are certainly some great supplements available, but many products are essentially worthless, and others have some positive benefits, but are not worth the price you pay for them.Perhaps the greatest amount of supplement confusion stems from the marketing tactics companies use to promote their products, especially in magazines. Many health and fitness magazines are owned by the same company as the products that are advertised in the magazine and even some of the articles are designed to promote their own brand of products. When I worked in supplement stores I frequently spoke with people about supplements and it was interesting that many people had biased views towards or against certain brands based on which magazines they read.To make matters worse, supplement marketing often sites scientific research to add credibility to products, but this information is rarely presented in an honest and straightforward way. In many cases, the studies are poorly done, financed by the supplement company, have results that have been refuted by many other studies, or they have nothing to do with the product being sold. Unfortunately, the only way to find out if the studies and claims are legitimate is to find and read the original study, but this would be a daunting task even for people in the industry. Of course, supplement companies are well aware of that fact and they expect that people will not fact check their claims.By quoting information from scientific studies, companies often try to make their products sound better than they actually are. The interesting thing is both reputable and disreputable companies use this tactic to help market their products. The difference between the good and bad companies is reputable companies put quality ingredients in their products and the labels contain accurate information. Disreputable supplement companies may have lower amounts of ingredients than the label claims or their supplements may not even contain some of the listed ingredients at all.Companies frequently get away with making questionable claims or lying about how much of an ingredient is in a product, because the supplement industry is not government regulated. However, while the product itself is not regulated, there is some regulation about what information can appear on a label. For instance, companies are not allowed to make any claims about products preventing or curing diseases. Instead they have to make what are called “structure/function” claims.A structure/function claim would be something like a calcium supplement label stating that “calcium is necessary for strong bones.” The label is not supposed to state “this supplement helps prevent osteoporosis.” Any supplement that references diseases such as osteoporosis must also include a statement like, “This supplement is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” These statements are required, because government regulations say that only a drug can make claims about preventing or treating diseases.These statements/labels sometimes cause confusion, because your doctor may tell you to take calcium supplements to help with osteoporosis, but when you go to buy it, it likely says it is not meant to prevent any disease (including osteoporosis). Of course, it is ludicrous to think that a good calcium supplement doesn’t help prevent osteoporosis, but government regulations and particularly the drug industry, want people to think that only drugs are effective in preventing or treating medical problems.Another label requirement that often causes confusion is when a product states it is a “dietary supplement.” When people see the term dietary supplement, they sometimes think it is for dieting, but every supplement is classified as a dietary supplement and it has nothing to do with dieting or weight loss. The only thing it means is the item is not a natural whole food. The dietary supplement term is basically used to distinguish between foods, which are regulated by the FDA, and supplements, which are not regulated by the FDA.These types of regulations and other messages from the government or the drug industry have greatly contributed to people believing that supplements are useless and just a scam. Some definitely are a scam, such as those saying things like, “take this pill and have a great body without changing what you eat or exercising.” Fortunately, enough quality scientific research has now been done to show that some supplements can significantly benefit your health and fitness so fewer people are adamantly opposed to supplements and more people are willing to use supplements.On a personal note, I have used supplements for about as long as I can remember, although I take significantly less than I did 10 years ago. I believe most people can probably benefit from at least one or two supplements, but there are also many people who take too many supplements. As their name implies, supplements are meant to be an addition to your regular nutritional program, basically to fill in things that are lacking from the foods you eat, but they should not be thought of as a replacement for eating healthy.Supplements are also frequently used for their convenience, especially things like meal replacements and protein powders, but these products don’t necessarily have more benefits than eating healthy well-balanced meals. When deciding whether or not to use a supplement, it is important to have realistic expectations about what the supplement will do for you, then determine if the benefits are worth the cost. This may be something that will be difficult for you to do at this point, but in future writings I will cover more specific information about supplements to help you figure out what supplements, if any, will help you reach your health and fitness goals.
Benefits of Fish OilFatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel have fats that can produce fish oil. Fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are recommended by health-care professionals to be included in a individual’s diet. Omega-3 acids are mainly docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Omega- fatty acids are essential in cell building. It is important to get them from our diet since the body cannot produce this kind of acid. Research showed that Omega- 3 plays a significant role in brain and fetal development during pregnancy and infancy. Fish oil are believed and proven to provide numerous health benefits. Aside from this, there are also a lot of advantages by taking oil supplements.Fish oil can:• Improve brain development and memory. There are studies showing that DHA actually plays a major role in brain functions. Low levels of DHA can increase the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. Intake of fish oil during pregnancy is also recommended. According to a research conducted by the University of Western Australia showed that pregnant women who ingest fish oil supplement actually give birth to babies with better hand and eye coordination, better in speech and better cognitive development at the age of two and a half.Aside from Alzheimer’s disease, fish can also help in reducing the risk of other mental illnesses like depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among children, dyspraxia, bipolar disorder and dyslexia.• Reduce the risk of hear attack. Even if the DHA and EPA are fatty acids, they can reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. It helps in preventing blood clots in the heart. So aside from heart attacks,It is also important in reducing risks of coronary heart disease.• Reduce the risk of cancer. Researches have shown that fish oil can help in reducing risks of developing breast, prostate and colon cancer. They stop the growth of cancerous cells and inhibit its growth. For postmenopausal women, those who consume more Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and mackerel or fish oil supplements are less likely to develop breast cancer.• Reduce the effects or helping patients deal with lupus, arthritis, colitis and asthma. Its natural anti-inflammatory capabilities can reduce pain brought by inflammatory arthritis and gastritis.• Help a lot during pregnancy. Not only does Omega-3 fatty acids and helps in he fetal brain development, it can also reduce the risk of giving early or premature birth, post-partum depression for mothers, allergic reactions among babies an low- birth weight. Not only does it helps in pregnancy, there are preliminary researches showing fish oil to aid in getting pregnant or fertility.• Help improve the body overall. Fish oil can help in producing serotonin, the happy hormones. Happiness can help a lot of people deal with stress and other emotional issues which can totally improve a person’s emotional and mental disposition. They can also revitalize and rejuvenate skin, reduce wrinkles, weight loss and improve eyesight. It is even said that fish oil can reduce acne and make your hair a lot better.The oil is very important in building a better you. But doctors and experts suggest in taking pharmaceutical grade oil supplements. The problem with eating too much fish can actually lead to mercury contamination.So, ask yourself, are you getting enough oil in your body? If not, then it is time to start making sure that you do that.Fish oil can:• Improve brain development and memory. There are studies showing that DHA actually plays a major role in brain functions. Low levels of DHA can increase the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. Intake f fish oil during pregnancy is also recommended. According to a research conducted by the University of Western Australia showed that pregnant women who ingest fish oil supplement actually give birth to babies with better hand and eye coordination, better in speech and better cognitive development at the age of two and a half.Aside from Alzheimer’s disease, fish oil can also help in reducing the risk of other mental illnesses like depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among children, dyspraxia, bipolar disorder and dyslexia. There are studies showing that the lack polyunsaturated fatty acids can contribute to this disorder. This can also be the reason behind dyslexia. There were studies conducted among children, they were given fish oil supplements for the period of three months. These children showed significant improvements in behaviour, reading and spelling. They were also able to focus and concentrate more.There were studies that showed that Omega-3 fatty acids had the same effects as Prozac which is a known anti-depressant. Studies showed that countries with high fish consumption have lower rates of depression. Aside from that, pregnant women and those who have just given birth who include fish in their diet regularly have lower risk of experiencing postpartum depression.If you have decided to take the supplements to address these mental problems for yourself or for your kids or relatives, then it would be best to consult a doctor first. You would have to know how much you are going to take. Just like any vitamins or anything, when taken in excess it can have bad effects.Too much of the supplement can also cause some serious problems like oxidative stress. Some doctors would recommend taking Vitamin C along with the fish oil supplement. This would actually balance the nutrients that you are getting.Fish oil has amazing effects on our health and body, we just have to remember to keep it balanced with a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle. One of the reasons why people take these supplements is due to the various health benefits that they offer.It has long been known to contain essential fatty acids that are known to be very beneficial in maintaining one’s good health. Here are some of those benefits.Heart Disease One of the more common benefits that fish oil is known to offer people involves heart health. Various studies through the years have shown that the long chain omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish oil may help reduce the risk of heart diseases in humans. These essential fatty acids may also help lower LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream ad therefore help reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Not only that, omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are also known to increase the levels of HDL, or good, cholesterol.Prevent Inflammation One of the more beneficial properties of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil is their anti-inflammatory effects on the body.It can be also used to prevent or reduce the inflammation of the tissues. Regular consumption of fish oil has been known to help those people who are suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases.It has also been known to be effective in treating certain gastrointestinal disorders as well as ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.Arthritis Treatment Due to its good anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil is a good supplement that can help ease the pain brought about by arthritis and rheumatic.it’s supplements can help reduce the use of NSAID’s or Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs for treating such conditions. In osteoarthritis, fish oils prove helpful in trying to reduce the functions of certain enzymes that may destroy or damage cartilage tissues in the body.Weight Loss Fish oil also proves beneficial for those people who are trying to lose weight. It sees that taking oil supplements may help a lot during the weight loss process. It has been known to improve the efficiency of exercise in trying to lose weight. Studies have shown that people who were given fish oil as part of their diet seem to lose weight more when exercising than those people under the same program but were not given fish oil in their diet.Eye Disorders Another benefit that many experts have extolled on fish oil involves the treatment of certain eye disorders. Consuming it on a regular basis seems to help people avoid the effects of age related macular degeneration. More studies are being undertaken in order to prove further just how effective fish oil can be in trying to help people maintain good eye health.Skin Health Another known benefit associated with fish oil consumption is skin health.It is also known to contain nutrients that can help change dry and poorly maintained skin look shiny and glowing.It has also been known to be effective in treating other skin conditions such as eczema, skin lesions and rashes.It can be applied topically on the skin to help relieve the effects of psoriasis. Regular intake can also help retain moisture in the skin.Your Ultimate Defense Against Silent Inflammation:Silent inflammation has been linked to heart disease, cancer and dementia. It is a condition that occurs when the body’s natural immune response goes awry. Silent inflammation is an inflammation without pain and it can continue undetected for years, continually assaulting your heart, arteries and even the brain – without you noticing it.According to Dr. Barry Sears, author of bestselling books “The Zone,” high carbohydrate diet is the culprit to this kind of health situation. In his boos “The Anti-inflammation Zone,” he had proposed taking supplements of high dose, ultra-refined fish oil as the best armor against inflammation.The Japanese manage to maintain a state of wellness and away from silent inflammation by consuming copious amounts of fish. However, according to a research, the massive amounts of fish does not ensure them enough intake of omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil. Fish oil is ultimately the healthiest fat around because it has profiund anti-inflammatory properties. It has no long-term side effects and can even make you smarter.The reason why high-dose fish oil is so effective is because it reduces arachodonic acid (AA) which is the building block of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. By taking it within 30 days,it will increase your levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fish oil is the only dietary supplement that is supported by robust clinical studes by treating chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, immunological and inflammatory diseases, and neurological conditions like attention deficit disorder, depression, multiple sclerosis, and different types of dementia.However, taking oil fish as defenses to silent inflammation has a drawback, it might lead you to contamination. So in taking fish oil as dietary supplement, Dr. Barry Sears cautioned to ensure that its ultra-refined and use the SIP as guidance for exact dosage. On a scale of 1 to 10 for supplements, Dr. Sears give high-dose fish oil a 12. The EPA found in fish oil partially inhibits the activity of the delta-5 desaturase enzyme that makes AA.This represents the primary anti-inflammatory effect of fish oil, he adds. To achieve a significant impact on AA production, a person must provide a lot of EPA. A high-dose fish oil, especially rich in EPA will likely lead you to success in reducing silent inflammation as reflected in the reduction of the AA/EPA ratio. The ratio can be measured by SIP.The public and the mainstream medicine are starting to accept the importance of insulin control to well-being. Now is the perfect time to bring to public’s attention the role of eicosanoids and the way high-dose it can manipulate them. Dr. Barry Sears that the role of fish oil in medical practice because it tells us that medical care is based primarily on the food we eat, not the drugs we take.Recent genetic research is forcing scientists to evaluate the value of fish oil in the evolution of modern humANS. It was genetic scientists who initiated the theory that consumption of high-dose fish oil was the reason why humans have the power to conquer the earth. A proper combination of insulin and high-dose pharmaceutical-grade of the oil may be the true miracle cure for the 21st century.It is so effective that having this dietary supplement is like having a miracle drug that has the perfect balance between eicosanoids with totally zero side effects.• Reduce the risk of hear attack. Even if the DHA and EPA are fatty acids, they can reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. It helps in preventing blood clots in the heart. So aside from heart attacks, fish oil is also important in reducing risks of coronary heart disease.• Reduce the risk of cancer. Researches have shown that can it will help in reducing risks of developing breast, prostate and colon cancer. They stop the growth of cancerous cells and inhibit its growth. For postmenopausal women, those who consume more Omega-3 fatty acids from salmon and mackerel or fish oil supplements are less likely to develop breast cancer.• Reduce the effects or helping patients deal with lupus, arthritis, colitis and asthma. Its natural anti-inflammatory capabilities can reduce pain brought by inflammatory arthritis and gastritis.• Help a lot during pregnancy. Not only does Omega-3 fatty acids and It helps in the fetal brain development, it can also reduce the risk of giving early or premature birth, post-partum depression for mothers, allergic reactions among babies an low- birth weight. Not only does it helps in pregnancy, there are preliminary researches showing fish oil to aid in getting pregnant or fertility.• Help improve the body overall. The oil can help in producing serotonin, the happy hormones. Happiness can help a lot of people deal with stress and other emotional issues which can totally improve a person’s emotional and mental disposition. They can also revitalize and rejuvenate skin, reduce wrinkles, weight loss and improve eyesight. It is even said that fish oil can reduce acne and make your hair a lot better.Fish is very important in building a better you. But doctors and experts suggest in taking pharmaceutical grade of oil supplements. The problem with eating too much fish can actually lead to mercury contamination.So, ask yourself, are you getting enough fish oil in your body? If not, then it is time to start making sure that you do.Fish Oil Effects That You Can Avoid: There has been a lot of buzz about fish oil and its benefits. Researches and studies have proved the numerous health benefits that fish oil can give. But every coin has two sides. So, is it possible for something beneficial like fish oil, to have bad effects, as well? Yes, it is possible.If you have fish oil capsules or liquid at home, then you would have to make sure that it would not be exposed to heat, light and oxygen. When exposed for too long,it would get oxidized and would get bad. Once the oil gets bad, it would lose its nutritional value. Aside from that, bad fish oil and fatty acids are said to contribute to the development of cancer and other diseases.Minor side effects of fish oil would include a fishy aftertaste, diarrhea, and fishy burps. Some would report nose bleeding as a side effect of fish oil intake. Aside from this, you would have to be conscious with vitamin A, E and D. Accumulated or large doses of these vitamins can eventually lead to poisoning.There are also serious side effects of fish oil. If these side effects happen to you, it is best to consult a health care professional. You would have to stop taking fish oil supplements or it could mean other serious ailments.Fish is said to increase the risk of bleeding, especially gastrointestinal bleeding. So if you would notice red blood on your stool and vomiting blood, the consult a health care professional immediately. Serious effects could also include hemorrhagic stroke or bleeding in the brain. Common symptoms would include vision and speech changes, numbness or loss of strength in the limbs and frequent and painful headaches.If you have diabetes, then it would also be better to check with your doctor if taking fish oil supplements is safe. Taking fish oil supplements can sometimes result to hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Be watchful or conscious of allergic reactions. Symptoms that you are allergic with oil supplements which includes rashes, itching, swelling, wheezing and difficulty in breathing or swallowing.To avoid the minor side effects, you can take the oil supplement along with your meal. This would get rid of the aftertaste and make it easier to digest. It is less likely for you to experience abdominal or stomach pain. There are few who keep their supplements refrigerated. It is said that keeping them frozen or cold would help lessen gastrointestinal problems or side-effects.Too much is always not good. The problem is we do not how much is too much. There is maximum amount that an individual should take. But there is a recommended amount, for male it is 1600 mg while women are recommended to have 1100 mg.As mentioned, we should be cautious with Vitamin A,E, and D overdose. How do we deal with this?Read the labels. Know what kind of supplement you are taking. You have to know if the oil supplements you are taking exceed the recommended level. To avoid an overdose of Vitamin A and D, avoid using fish oil that includes the internal organs like liver.Fish oil is something that can very essential in improving our physical and mental health as long as it is taken in recommended doses and amounts. Let us remember that fish oil is not a magic pill that would immediately remove us of any ailments and pains. It’s effects can be gradually noticed over time.How Fish Oil Can Benefit Your Health:Oil are extracted fats from fish, a concentrated solution of omega-3 EFAs. It is the best source of omega-3 EFAs. You could add more omega-3 EFAs to your diet in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). The richest plant sources of ALA are the leaves and seeds of the perilla plants common in North America, Japan, Korea, China and Vietnam.Green plants and algae also contain ALA as well as linseed oil. However, fats or oil from fish is considered the most important dietary source of omega-3 EFAs because it has concentrated amounts of the ALA derivatives EPA and DHA. These two nutrients are found almost exclusively in seafood.Eating fish on a regular basis has its own risk as you are can never be sure if the fish you are eating has no toxins on it such as mercury and PCBs. During the manufacture of fish oils, toxins are eliminated. The supplements are meticulously purified to remove heavy metals such as mercury, lead, PCBs and other toxins as well as to reduce the incidence of rancidity and improve the taste and quality of the fish.These makes fish as safe and effective food supplement. A 1-gram fish oil capsule contains about 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA. An intake of three 1-gram capsules would provide 0.9 gram (900 mg) of EPA and DHA. This means it comply the daily dosage recommended by the American Heart Association. However, you should always bear in mind that fish oil supplements are basically dietary supplements, not drugs.Studies shows that many people are getting too much of the wrong kinds of fats found in animals (saturated fats) and vegetables (polyunsaturated fats), and need the fish oil to “balance” the family of fat nutrients. Intake of the wrong kinds of fats should be lowered to total 20 to 30 percent of daily calorie serving while fats found in the oils of certain fish should be appreciably increased.Fish oil prevents and/or alleviates heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis and migraine, headaches, may be protective against cancer, immune deficiency diseases, kidney disease and others.It also have two special nutrients that protect the heart and arteries, reduce pain, inflammation and swelling, and protect cell membranes. Omega-3 EFAs found in oily fishes are believed to be essential for the healthy development of brain, retina, and nervous tissue among fetus and infant.During pregnancy these fatty acids are transferred from the mother’s tissues to the fetus. However, the FDA has strict guidelines on eating fish during pregnancy because of the possibility of mercury or other toxic substances that may contain in fishes and the best solution is to take fish oil as food supplementOver the past 30 years more than 7,000 scientific studies have provided evidence supporting the effectiveness of fish oil and omega-3 EFAs in the prevention and treatment of our most common diseases. Hundreds of clinical trials support the efficacy of fish oil’s omega-3 essential fatty acids in preventing, mitigating, and remedying an incredible range of health conditions. Some scientific and medical communities however are resisting to these facts and still support pharmacological treatment.As a traditional dietary supplement that encourages good health,it is a preventive medicine but as a natural alternative to NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other pharmacological and medical treatments, it is complementary medicine.With all the undergoing studies to prove its affectivity, fish is on the threshold of crossing over into traditional Western medicine.How Fish Oil Can Cure Inflammation:Inflammation occurs as our body’s natural protective response to fend off any outside aggressors and to begin the process of healing. Its effect on our tissues usually involves pain, heat and redness. However, there are some cases that this outward effect is not visible.Inflammation is a double-edges sword; its effect can be helpful or harmful depending on the circumstances. When an inflammation is in chronic state, devastating consequences are likely to happen like arthritis, heart disease or stroke. It usually happens when the cause of inflammation is continually reintroduced or if the acute inflammatory response is not able to eliminate it. This situation is very likely to happen nowadays because of our exposure to implausible amounts of toxins.Some of these toxins can be avoided like poor food choices, smoking, and prolonged sun exposure. While some things arise from things from things we don’t have control like genetics, accidents and pollution. Inasmuch as there are factors you can’t help being exposed to unnecessary and harmful factors detrimental to your good health, you can also take food supplements effective in strengthening your body against the sometimes lethal effect of inflammation. The most effective food supplement according to recent studies happens to be fish oil.The prevalence of destructive or chronic inflammation among Western countries makes it imperative for many specialists to deal with preventive measures. The reason behind this is that the Western population is more exposed to stress, obesity and poor health in general. Many pharmacological anti-inflammatory drugs offer reduction of inflammation, however, long-term medication have potentially lethal side effects.So what is your safest option if you have inflammation? Research on alternative medicines revealed that certain dietary supplements can help reduce levels of pro-inflammatory factors, with significantly lower side effects. One of these dietary supplements is the essential fatty acids or EFAs.Essential fatty acids are necessary for various aspects of normal physiology like: mediating immune response, regulating bodily secretions and their viscosity, dilating and constricting blood vessels, regulating collateral circulation, directing endocrine hormones to their target cells, regulating smooth muscles and autonomic reflexes, being primary constituents of cell membranes, regulating the rate of cell division, maintaining the fluidity and rigidity of cellular membranes, regulating the flow of substances into and out from cells, transporting oxygen from red blood cells to the tissues, maintaining proper kidney function and fluid balance, keeping saturated fats mobile in the bloodstream, preventing blood clots, mediating the release of inflammatory eicosanoids that may trigger allergic conditions, and regulating nerve transmission and communication. (Source: Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-inflammatory by Joseph C. Maroon and Jeffrey Bost, 2006, page 39).For this reason, it is very important for over-all health to have a regular intake of foods rich in omega-6 or omega-3 EFAs. The omega-3 pathway, activated by trauma, injury, or chemical stimulus, is the process of converting the omega-3 EFAs found in the cell membranes to various eicosanoids. If the omega-3 EFA components of the cell membranes become dominant, an anti-inflammatory state can result, with preventive health benefits.Fish is the best source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids. But why fish oil, you might ask? The needed nutrients can also be found in green plants; algae (phytoplankton); leaves and seeds of the perilla plants; and linseed oil but fish oil is considered the most important dietary source of omega-3 EFAs because it contains concentrated amounts of the ALA derivatives with APA and DHA.The two mentioned nutrients can almost exclusively found in seafood. Fish contains high amount of EPA and DHA because they are at the top of food chain based on algae, a single-marine organism that manufactures huge amount of EPA and DHA.Surprising Benefits Of Using Fish Oil:The known benefits of fish oil are not just limited to the more common conditions. Of course, many people have already known how using fish oil may help improve skin health and reduce the risk of heart disease. But there are also surprising benefits that it seem to offer to those who regularly consume them. Here are just some of them.Depression And Anxiety People may not be aware of it, but fish seems to help put people in a good mood. In fact, many studies have shown that fish oil may be beneficial in trying to help treat depression and anxiety in people. Thanks to the omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish, it seems a good means to relieve anxiety, depression, stress and sadness in people.Fish seems to have good mood stabilizing properties that make them quite interesting as a treatment for depression and other related conditions. Evidence suggests that countries where oily fish such as salmon is regularly eaten also seem to have low incidence of depression. Similar studies involving prisoners have also shown that having them on a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids resulted in a significant drop in homicide rates. Although more studies may be needed in order for such findings to be conclusive, it already shows some good evidences of the other surprising benefits of fish oil.Cancer Fighter It may seem quite surprising enough that fish oil may also benefit patients with certain forms of cancer. Preliminary studies have shown that fish oil may be useful in trying to delay the weight loss in people suffering from pancreatic cancer. Still further research may be needed to solidify this claim as well as how oily fish may affect certain types of cancers.Type II Diabetes Some studies also have shown positive findings on the effect of fish oil in Type II diabetes. Since people suffering from this form of diabetes are also prone to developing diseases such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis and stroke, medical experts believe that taking fish oil supplements may also help in trying to reduce such risks in diabetics. Some studies have already shown that fish oil may also be effective in lowering triglyceride levels in people with diabetes.Pregnancy Fish oil might also be able to help women bear healthier children. Taking the oil supplements may help pregnant women ensure the healthy development of their child while still in the womb. The DHA found in fish oil is known to help babies undergo healthy eye and brain development. Pregnant women who are also taking the oil supplements run fewer risks of having premature births, miscarriage or delivering babies with low birth weights. As an added benefit, pregnant women who regularly take fish oil supplements run lesser risks of getting into depression following the baby’s delivery.Fertility Fish oil supplements may also help in improving fertility. In a study done on male boars, those who were fed with a diet rich in fish oils were able to show better sperm quality. After ejaculation, the sperm from the boars fed with fish oil seem to resist the effects of lipid peroxidative attacks in the female boar genital tract, giving the sperm higher chances of conception.The Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements: The benefits of fish oil supplements should not be outweighed the need to understand how these supplements should work or provide essential nutrients for the human body.Although it is a general notion for nutrition experts to insist on regular food as the common and most basic source of vitamins and minerals important for the human body, oil supplements, be it in liquid or solid form, are needed to ensure a holistic enrichment and nourishment for the body.Fish oil supplementation is ideally beneficial by providing for what the regular or daily diet may not provide, it can also be a preventive measure against diseases and illnesses.Essentially, fish supplements are meant to complement a diet, not as a substitute for it, as what many believe to be the case. Since plant foods still contain many nutrients, among them phytochemicals, that still cannot be substituted or generated through synthetic means.Why the need for fish oil supplements? Take for instance these circumstances;Infants that are being breast-fed need to have their regular source of iron, especially when they reach their four to six months, since breast milk only provides little iron. This is where iron supplementation comes in with baby milk formula or alternative sources like fortified cereal meals or baby food.Children also need fluoride supplementation to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.Pregnant women need multivitamin-mineral supplementation, to ensure that their nutrient levels are met for the development of the fetus inside the womb. Among those that need supplementation are increased levels of folate to prevent birth defects, as well as increased amounts of vitamins like B6.You Gotta Love Fish OilOne has gotta love fish oil. If you think that I’m kidding then go pick it up. Those who shun fishes like mackerel, tuna and salmon due to some personal and at times even weird preferences might have second thoughts, by going for fresh fish which has oil in them for vit. B6 supplement for your good health to come up.
Body building supplements are specially formulated to enhance body fitness and aid the process of body building. Workout sessions can be very demanding and gaining that extra energy needed to push to your limits is required to achieve target goals in workout results. The increased level of workout makes your body demand more vitamins and minerals and as a result your body can suffer from deficiency which can in turn hamper muscle growth.Work supplements should be chosen carefully as they shape and tone your body by influencing your workout results. So, if your objective is to just build muscle, you need to look into workout supplements, such as prohormones, testosterone boosters, whey protein and creatine. However, muscle building workouts don’t just look into building muscles, they also stress on losing fat. Supplements that can help you burn fat are appetite supplements, carb blockers, fat-burners and stimulant-free products.BestBodyBuildingSupplementsThe range of products available in the form of body building supplements is quite extensive. However, the main categories that body builder check out are protein supplements, glutamine supplements and creatine supplements.Protein SupplementsProtein supplements are used by body builder because of their ability to enhance muscle. Body builders take protein supplements primarily because they are so effective in improving sports performance. Workouts are bound to induce stress because of the need to achieve desired results. Intake of protein supplements helps to bring down the stress factors. Cortisol is a hormone that gets aggravated by stress, which is a negative factor because it destroys muscles, which workouts are actually aiming to enhance. Protein supplements reduce cortisol, thus aiding muscle building by bringing down muscle destruction.When choosing protein food sources, the most important aspect to check out is the Biological Value (BV). Proteins that have the highest BV enable the body to absorb more nitrogen and this in turn helps in better building of lean muscles. Whey protein is a much preferred protein source because it has the highest BV (104) and only Egg Protein (BV 100) can come close to it.Though there are many natural foods that are a good source of high protein, body builders prefer protein powders because they are a good source of gaining high quality protein without any fat intake. The powder is mixed with milk and drunk at the end of the workout session. Preparing a complete protein meal is time consuming so it offers a quicker solution.Natural protein food sources such as salmon or beef can be expensive, while protein supplements cost lesser. They do not require any refrigeration and are portable. Most of them are available in the form of isolates, concentrates, blends, meal replacements, and weight gainers. Important protein supplements available in the market are Gaspari MyoFusion, VPX Syngex Protein, MGN Pure Whey Protein Isolate, LG Sciences Lipotropic Protein, and VPX Zero Carb Protein. However, intake of protein supplements must be carefully regulated so that desired results in muscle enhancement are achieved quickly. It is necessary to take up a protein supplement or food source at every meal. The quality of protein supplement should be restricted to 0.8 to 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.Glutamine SupplementsGlutamine is one of the most essential supplements for body’s fitness because it protects the muscle from harmful effects of the cortisol hormone. It has been proven to help build muscles and also build the strength of the body’s immune system against various illnesses. It is, therefore, important to note that Glutamine is available from various food sources such as protein, milk and also meat, but when performing workouts, such food sources alone cannot compensate for the level of Glutamine ( found in blood and skeletal muscles) needed in the body after. Hence it is necessary to take up supplements to replenish glutamine levels that have got depleted during the process of workout. It will prevent muscle deterioration which can occur because when tissues that are in need of glutamine, take glutamine that is stored in muscle cells.Top five Glutamine supplements available in the market include BSN CellMass, Higher Power L-Glutamine, Xyience NOX-CG3, CytoSport Muscle Milk RTD and Prolab N-Large II. Glutamine supplements ensure faster recovery after workouts and aid in muscle building because of its increased ability to synthesize protein and absorb nitrogen. Athletes and body builders take Glutamine supplements because they help to prevent muscle breakdown and enable production of new muscle tissue by synthesizing protein. They boost the body’s growth hormones and strengthen the immunity system.Creatine SupplementsCreatine occurs naturally in animal foods such as beef, tuna and salmon, but these alone cannot suffice the demand, when you want to gain lean muscle mass. Creatine supplements help to enhance body performance in such a way that you can go in for a higher intensity workout, lift heavier weights and also train that much more hard to gain results.Creatine increases amino acid intake in protein and increased intake shows good results in muscle size. It is well know amongst professional athletes that creatine blends can considerably increase athletic performance and also physical strength. Taking creatine supplements can enable you to gain as much as four pounds in less than a week’s time. Creatine manages muscle acidity so that muscles do not get easily fatigued. It also regulates calcium levels in the muscle tissue so that proper contractions can be performed. Creatine supplements can strengthen muscle cell membranes and have a natural ability to repair them and to enable them to grow more efficiently. However, it is to be noted that intake of creatine supplements must be regulated as they can negatively affect kidney and liver. Popular Creatine Supplements available in the market include MuscleTech’s Cell-Tech Hardcore, JetFUSE NOX from German American Technologies, GlycerGrow from Controlled Labs, Universal Nutrition’s Micronized Creatine and Creakic Hardcore from MuscleTech.Probiotics – Probiotic supplements help in better digestion of proteins, which can be tough to break down and they are used by body builder because they help them to gain more energy from the protein supplements such as bars, powders or shakes that they intake. Probiotic supplements are available in the form of capsules, powders and shakes. Important Probiotic supplements include Ultimate Flora Critical Care 50 Billion, Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics 12 Plus, PB 8 High-Potency Probiotic, and Jarro-Dophilus EPS. It is advisable to take probiotic supplements that are available in capsule form as they have higher bacteria levels that their powder or shakes counterparts.Pre-Workout SupplementsMost often body builders take pre-workout supplements because they want energy that can keep them going through grilling workout routines. The supplements are especially formulated with ingredients that enhance energy and also build up muscle mass or strong, lean, hard muscles. Intense body workout sessions can make a person hit the plateau as they feel they are not getting the results they wanted through exercise. Taking pre-workout supplements helps to give body the sustenance or endurance that is required to go beyond their limits and help them to achieve their fitness results.Pre-Workout Supplements Review Pre-workout supplements that you can consider include the following:
LG Sciences Anadraulic State GT – This supplement is quite effective in aiding muscle growth and its key feature is the ability to generate the androgenic compound that is much required for muscle growth.Scivation Quake 10.0 – This supplement has scientifically-proven ingredients that support lean muscle mass gains. They offer intense energy and also help to improve mental focus and concentration.USPlabs Jacked – This supplement gives good energy for intense workouts and there are no problems such as headaches, crashes or blown workouts. Users will find that while they have more energy and stamina to handle drilling workout routine, these supplements also give them the perfect focus and throughout the workout pumps and vascularity is never out of control.BSN No-Xplode – This supplement is the most popular one in the market because of its ability to enhance both physical and mental energy. The key feature here is that it has a strong creatine matrix that can make more blood flow into your muscle, which means you can get results you want from your workouts.Muscletech NaNO Vapor – This supplement enable athletes to gain the best out of their workouts by using state-of-the-art complexes that enable the user to gain hard muscle in a short while.Are Body Building Supplements Really Beneficial?
Body building supplements are quite effective because they enhance performance and give the energy and stamina that is required to achieve required workout results. They are considered to be better than steroids because they do not alter the body’s natural hormone levels. However, it is important to keep in mind the fact that body building supplements are just that – supplements. They can be taken additionally but cannot become a substitute for real food sources and so before opting for them, it is vital to check if making any changes to normal diet can achieve the results that they provide. There are many natural or herbal supplements, but be aware of the fact that they may be unsafe or you might experience unpleasant side effect by taking them.
In recent years, the United States Food and Drug Administration (hereafter “FDA”), have mobilized their efforts to address what has become a serious public health problem. The dietary supplement industry is a multi billion dollar a year consumer driven industry growing with each passing year. In addition to consistent expansion of supplement brands, competition for higher profit margins, and minimal capacity to regulate all genres of dietary supplements, the FDA is confronted with a monumental task. The cancer of greed has slowly metastasized to terminal levels. Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements now actively lace their formulas with prescription drugs or analogs fully aware of the dangers posed to consumers. People who run these operations knowingly adulterating their supplements are true criminals motivated by greed and a lack of conscience for the risks to the consumer.These tainted products have led to tragic medical consequences including liver and kidney damage, stroke, pulmonary failure and death. Tainted products are problematic, but people and organizations that intentionally taint their supplements and products are far worse than the neighborhood drug dealer. The local drug dealer thriving in every town in America illegally sells and distributes his/her drugs to a consumer base privy to what they are purchasing and the potential dangers from ingesting those chemicals. Dietary supplement manufacturers and distributors aware of selling tainted supplements are far worse because their consumers are ignorant to the dangerous chemicals being added.The three categories of supplements consistently adulterated with potential toxic substances are weight loss, sexual enhancement, and body building products. The FDA, national trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry and various regulatory commissions are all struggling to halt these deceptive practices. At the FDA website, they clearly point out to site visitors their enforcement procedures and consumer advisories for tainted products merely cover a small fraction of the tainted over-the-counter products on the market. The magnitude of the problem is gigantic.Clearly, manufacturers who knowingly lace their formulas and distributors who are aware they are selling tainted supplements to consumers are engaged in criminal activities and deemed as participating in deviant behaviors. A forensic psychologist is trained to identify aspects of the human condition related to criminal behavior, deviance, and the motivation of criminal behavior. Following is a forensic psychologist’s rationale for people and organizations engaged in such corrupt actions.Research of the dietary supplement industry related to tainted products is a daunting task. The three categories of supplements the FDA has identified first needs to be investigated. Weight loss, sexual enhancement, and body building supplements have the highest rate of tainted substances. These three categories share a common theme. All three categories are involving populations of individuals seeking performance enhancement or image enhancement. Two of these three categories, are formulas designed to help people with perceived negative aspects they are trying to improve. Consumers purchasing weight loss supplements are hoping to shed pounds. The vast majority of consumers purchasing sexual enhancement products are men looking to enhancement their genital organ. Body building supplements are for bodybuilders, weightlifters, athletes, and people looking to improve their physiques. Although the three populations are different, they all share one common theme. This theme is based on the theory of “exhausting all options.”All three populations are investigating and purchasing supplements in hopes of achieving goals they perceive as necessary to attain their goals. The bodybuilder seeks greater definition of muscle mass, the over weight person hopes to shed pounds, and men purchase sexual enhancement products to help them obtain and sustain an erection. These segments of the population are willing to consume supplements if the results of consumption benefit their goals for improvement. There is a high probability that all three of these groups resort to supplements because other methods have either not been beneficial or does not meet their expectations. Hence, they practice the concept of “exhausting all options” and research these products. Unfortunately, the dietary supplement industry relies on the consumer’s dire need to find an effective product. An unknown percentage of these companies develop formulas which are illegal and potentially dangerous for the monetary gains.The FDA fully admits they do not have the capacity to investigate every supplement company due to the industries sheer size. Minimal regulations, low rates of enforcement, and a consumer base willing to spend billions of dollars each year have created an environment perfect for the criminal mind to engage in. At present, the consequences for intentionally tainting dietary supplements and offering to consumers for retail tainted supplements grows exponentially each year. The opportunity for succeeding with a criminal mind is “ripe for the picking.” The manufacturing and distribution of dietary supplements is both legal and accepted by society. Legal, accepted, and financially booming sets the stage for criminal intent. The cocktail for the criminal mind is clearly obvious. An industry generating billions of dollars a year, minimal consequences for deceptive practices and a high demand by consumers combine for the criminal mind to flourish. The environment for opportunity and greed becomes a viable option.Intentionally tainting supplements for consumer consumption without fear of consequences motivates the criminal mind to become creative in design. Even the drug dealer selling his/her illicit chemicals must practice marketing their products with a low profile. Although the neighborhood drug dealer survives with a criminal mind, the manufacturer and distributor intentionally marketing tainted products thrives with his/her criminal mind, markets products attempting to be as high profile as possible, and feeds their greed at the expense of the consumer.Within the dietary supplement industry, the difficulty for the FDA, OCI, DEA, law enforcement, and the legal system capacity to identify and prosecute those intentionally tainting products is multifaceted and complex. Given the size of the industry alone makes complete coverage impossible allowing those with criminal minds flourish unfettered by fear of prosecution. Despite the commitment of these federal and state agencies, the criminal mind intentionally tainting supplements continues to reap the rewards of their actions. The unfortunate reality is the spoiling of the entire supplement industry due to these charlatans.Although no statistics seem to exist to prove this writers hypothesis, it is suggested that the majority of supplement companies that seek to produce and market products adhering to The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 become entangled with the FDA for unknowingly having products which test positive for illegal substances. Although the FDA holds distributors of dietary supplements accountable when their products they market test positive for tainted substances, the reality is many of these organizations do so unintentionally without knowledge of the contaminants. Unfortunately, the FDA has no mechanisms to evaluate if these companies are intentionally tainting their products to maximize profit. The only methodology confirming intentional sale of tainted supplements occurs when evidence can be compiled the distributor is aware of the illicit substances in their products, but continues to market them anyway.For organizations that are confirmed selling tainted products via advanced chemical testing procedures, the consequences can range from seizure of products, cessation of sales, and on some occasions, prosecution. Once these companies have been selected as problematic by the FDA, the financial losses and attorney fees involved often force closure or bankruptcy. Given the priority to protect consumers is the mission of the FDA, honest organizations who inadvertently purchase tainted ingredients without intent or knowledge at times must close their business from financial losses. This harsh reality is not the fault of the FDA, but at fault are the national and international manufacturers tainting their formulas without the retailer’s knowledge and endeavoring to expand their market base of retailers worldwide by manufacturing tainted formulas.The question comes down to intent. Intent to manufacture and distribute tainted supplements void of concern for the risks to consumers are a group of criminals requiring serious prosecution. The concept of intent has many definitions and complicated to succinctly define to the lay person. The legal definition available online as it relates to intentionally selling tainted supplements is defined as criminal intent. Criminal intent is called mens rea, which refers to a criminal or wrongful purpose. Mens rea is Latin for “guilty mind.” In criminal law, it is viewed as one of the necessary elements of a crime. If a person innocently causes harm, then he/she lacks mens rea. Under this concept, an accused defendant should not be criminally prosecuted if intent can not be established.Criminal law has attempted to clarify the intent requirement by establishing two concepts, specific intent and general intent. Specific Intent refers to a particular state of mind that seeks to accomplish the precise act that the law prohibits. In some circumstances, the category of specific intent means an intent to do something beyond that which is done, such as assault with intent to commit rape. The prosecution must show that the defendant purposely or knowingly committed the crime at issue. In relation to a distributor or manufacturer being prosecuted using the legal definition of specific intent, evidence must establish the person and/or organization tainted their supplement formulas or purposely marketed and sold tainted supplements fully aware the risk to a targeted consumer or group of consumers. Even more complicated is the second legal concept of intent called General Intent.General intent refers to the intent to do that which the law prohibits. Under this concept, it is not necessary for a prosecuting attorney to prove the defendant intended the precise harm or the precise result that occurred. The law will infer that the defendant had a general intent. Under the concept of general intent, the manufacturer or distributor who knowingly and intentionally produces and/or offers for retail tainted products can be prosecuted. The unfortunate consumers who suffer physiological damage from consuming tainted supplements were not the target of these unscrupulous supplement manufacturers and distributors, but victims nonetheless. Although specific intent is more heinous because the intent is targeted, general intent is equally as dangerous.The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (hereafter “DSM”), is published by the American Psychiatric Association and outlines a language and standard set of criteria for the classification of mental disorders. It is used in the United States and in varying degrees around the world, by clinicians, researchers, and policy makers. The DSM is considered an important manual for most professionals working in the mental health and behavioral healthcare field. The DSM maintains a set of disorders called personality disorders. Personality disorders outlined in the DSM defines a personality disorder as an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that differs markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture, is pervasive and inflexible, has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood, is stable over time, and leads to distress or impairment. Personality disorders are a long-standing and maladaptive pattern of perceiving and responding to other people and to stressful circumstances. Within the category of personality disorders, ten disorders have been identified which are distinct in their manifestations.In relationship to these ten personality disorders, there is one called antisocial personality disorder and may define the group of manufacturers and distributors which intentionally taint their formulas with potentially dangerous substances or market these supplements knowing their supplements are tainted. Antisocial personality disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which a person’s ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are abnormal and destructive. People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong. They may often violate the law and the rights of others. They may lie, practice deception, attempt to manipulate, and often engage in illegal activities because they are unable to fulfill responsibilities to family, work or school in an adaptive manner.Hence, people who suffer from antisocial personality disorder may seek to victimize others for personal gain and lack empathy for those they harm in their pursuit for personal benefit. Some suggest the majority of felons serving prison sentences would fit the criteria for antisocial personality disorder if this population of criminals were evaluated by psychologists or psychiatrists. The population of people intentionally tainting their dietary supplements void of concern for the risks to consumers would likely meet criteria for this dangerous disorder.In conclusion, the FDA has mobilized their efforts to address a contemporary serious public health problem. Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements actively lace their supplement formulas with prescription drugs and/or analogs fully aware of the medical dangers posed to consumers. People who run these operations intentionally adulterating their supplements are true criminals motivated by greed and a lack of conscience for the risks to the consumer. Reports of injury and even death from the use of these illegal supplements have been reported to the FDA. These reason(s) for injury and death are caused by supplements deceptively labeled or containing undeclared ingredients. These supplements often include the same active ingredients as drugs already approved by the FDA. Analogs are defined as close copies of FDA approved drugs and novel synthetic steroids that do not qualify as dietary ingredients are two substances becoming prominent adulterants.The enforcement arm of the FDA, Office of Criminal Investigations, is fully committed to investigating and supporting the prosecution of those who may endanger the public’s health and safety by manufacturing and selling unsafe products. Given the size of the dietary supplement industry, the FDA and supporting agencies admit they can only target and test a fraction of the companies presently involved marketing and selling dietary supplements.Although presumed by this writer the majority of companies who have products which test positive for illegal chemicals are not intentionally doing so, the FDA has no way to ferret out if these companies are engaged in deceptive practices. It is the smaller population of companies and professionals which intentionally taint and/or market their products which need to be apprehended. It is these individuals who walk through life motivated by their criminal mind and at a high probability for experiencing antisocial personality disorder. At present, there is no valid methodology to pinpoint these criminals and their actions negatively taint the entire supplement industry, just as their tainted products are sold to consumers negatively impacting their medical health.Bodybuilding supplements, male enhancement pills, and weight loss diet supplements are the three categories of dietary supplements the FDA has alerted the nation about. Companies who sell these are encouraged to implement the following recommendations to reduce their chances of creating risk to consumers purchasing their products. The FDA mentions five trade associations they interface with and dietary supplements companies should investigate joining them. They are the Council for Responsible Nutrition, Natural Products Association, United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), Consumer Healthcare Products Association, and American Herbal Products Association. It is also recommended to bookmark and visit often the websites hosted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.Website developers working for dietary supplements companies are recommended to attach links encouraging site visitors to the FDA, dietary trade associations, and any other organizations designed to protect consumers. The FDA also has MedWatch, which can be added to websites so consumers can be alerted to recent products which have tested positive for adulterants. It is the responsibility of dietary supplement companies to institute whatever measures necessary to protect consumers from consuming tainted supplements. It is also highly recommended to allocate a portion of the organizations advertising budget to educating the consumer on the use of dietary supplements and topics involving health, fitness, nutrition, and overall healthy living.