Do we need supplements?

Posted in Nutrition at 12:36 PM by Dr. Greathouse

My relatively educated opinion is yes.
Good web site for learning about supplements…


Consider a few of these issues:
The soil we grow crops in today is likely a real issue with respect to the vitality of the food we eat. By vitality I mean nutrient value. There is ample evidence that our farm soils are depleted of much of the nutrients (primarily minerals) that our food sources used to give us. Plants can generated much of the vitamins we need but they cannot make minerals. Even plants need minerals to make healthy vitamin rich fruits and veggies. (Scroll down to “soil depletion”)

I’ve read some studies of the loss of nutrient value in selected veggies and fruits and it would amaze you as to how much loss there is today as compared to yesteryear. Many if not most of the crops are harvested prematurely. Vine ripening is where much of the nutrient production takes place.
So even if, and that’s a big if, you are getting the recommended daily servings of veggie, fruits, beans and grains; it’s likely the essential nutrient value isn’t what it should be. Many health professionals feel that many signs and symptoms that we experiences are due to subtle marginal deficiencies in essential nutrients and these issues contribute to slow progressive degenerative illness.

Bear In Mind
Supplements work synergistically; meaning that most of the time a single essential nutrient will not help you if the synergists aren’t available. For Example: Iron needs folic acid, pyridoxine, ascorbate, tocopherol, cobalamin and zinc to work efficiently in the body. (p 228 OSN Colgan) So popping a single this or that vitamin likely will not benefit you.The whole business of supplements is quite complex and much too involved for a simple newsletter such as this to give individual advise. We all have different needs. However, reasonable supplementation will likely benefit your health, physically and mentally. If you take medication or have special needs you must consult your health care advisor to rule out contraindications to certain supplements.

My basic premise is that if you do not have the foundation materials available, it doesn’t matter what you are doing i.e. glucosamine sulphate for joints, St John’s Wort for depression, etc… Without the
essential nutrients you will never achieve your optimum health potential.

Standard Dosage Recommendation
The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) were originally set up by the National Academy of Sciences during World War II as general guidelines for feeding the country’s soldiers. These recommendations have grown to be guidelines for the general public and were last revised in 1997 and given a new name. RDAs are now known as Daily Values (DVs). Another term you may see is DRVs (Daily Reference Value), which are dietary guidelines for protein, carbohydrates, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, fiber, sodium, and potassium. Another new term is RDIs (Reference Daily Intake), which are guidelines for essential vitamins and minerals. Daily Values (DVs) are made up of both DRVs and RDIs.

Some nutritionists believe that the DV has not kept pace with the latest nutritional research and believe that some of the recommendations may be thirty years out of date. The DV’s have particularly come under fire regarding the recommended level of antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C, E, and beta carotene. Some nutritionists believe the DV’s for these health-promoting nutrients should be at least two to five times the current values. On the other hand, the DV’s may be too high for some individuals. They were initially figured for young, active, military males, which means they may be less appropriate for the very young, very old, or for women. A valid, but unavoidable criticism of the concept behind the DV is that it does not respect the biochemical individuality of each person.

The DV’s are based upon measures of physical health, not mental or psychological. Thus, the RDAs do not reflect the suspicion that some emotional and behavioral difficulties of school children could be the result of nutritional deficiencies.

UL: Tolerable Upper Intake Level UL is the highest level of daily nutrient from dietary and supplement
sources that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in a population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential for risk of adverse effects increases. Exceeding dosages over the UL for a long period of time is not recommended, but may be beneficial and tolerated by some individuals in some circumstances. Generally, there is no need to take supplements at the level of UL. Always be aware of a product’s UL and how much of that product you are taking.

While dietary supplements can indeed fill in a lot of gaps in your nutritional needs, they will never replace the role of a good, balanced, and varied diet. Time has attested the benefits of eating
lots of fruits, vegetables, fiber and lean protein sources. And this should always be your top priority before any efforts at vitamin supplementation.

What’s A Good Product?
When shopping for vitamin supplements, look for “USP” on the label. This means the stands of the U.S. Pharmacopeia have been meet under exacting laboratory conditions. Not all quality vitamins will carry this mark, but it can help you determine if a brand you are not familiar with is reputable, especially if the price is remarkably low.

NSF Dietary Supplement Certification NSF’s Dietary Supplement Certification Program is designed to help consumers and health care practitioners identify supplement products that have been tested by a third-party organization. Product formulations and labels are tested to ensure: Products contain the identity and quantity of ingredients listed on the label. Products are free of any undeclared contaminants. Testing for NSF Dietary Supplement Certification is voluntary and available to all manufacturers. Standards for certification were developed by NSF and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); known as NSF/ANSI 173.

NSF Contact Information
Address NSF International
P.O. Box 130140
789 N. Dixboro Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48113-0140, USA
Telephone Number 800-NSF-MARK
(734) 769-8010
Fax Number (734) 827-6108
Email i…@nsf.org
Website www.nsf.or

A good vitamin supplement should contain 100% of the Daily Value of Vitamins D, B1, B2, B3, B5, B12 and folic acid. There should be a minimum of 20 micrograms of vitamin K as well. There should be 5,000 IU or less of vitamin A and 40-50% of that vitamin A should be beta carotene.

Choose a mineral supplement that contains 100% of the Daily Value for copper, zinc, iodine, selenium and chromium. It can also contain some magnesium. Additionally, minerals should come in a “chelated” form for better absorption!

The American Medical Association
“Healthy adult men and healthy adult nonpregnant, nonlactating women consuming a usual, varied diet do not need vitamin supplements. Infants may need dietary supplements at given times, as may pregnant and lactating women. Occasionally, vitamin supplements may be useful for people with unusual lifestyles or modified diets, including certain weight reduction regimens and strict vegetarian diets. “Vitamins in therapeutic amounts may be indicated for the treatment of deficiency states, for pathological conditions in which absorption and utilization of vitamins are reduced or requirements increased, and for certain on-nutritional disease processes. “The decision to employ vitamin preparations in therapeutic mounts clearly rests with the physician. The importance of medical supervision when such amounts are administered is emphasized. Therapeutic vitamin mixtures should be so labeled and should not be used as dietary supplements.” The American Medical Association reviewed the statement which follows. They stated that this statement was consistent with their statement.
The author of this NebFact recommends that if a typical adult wants to take a supplement, that supplement should be a multivitamin- multimineral, one that contains vitamins and minerals at U.S. RDA
levels. Many multivitamin-multimineral supplements containing 100 percent U.S. RDA levels are on the market. The consumption of this level of supplement will not be harmful to health and may or may not be helpful. The best advice is to obtain vitamins and minerals by eating a wide variety of foods. If an individual chooses to take a multivitamin- multimineral supplement, a balanced diet also should be consumed. This is because knowledge is inadequate as to all of the essential nutrients needed by adults — all required nutrients may not be present in the supplement.

Soil Depletion
Perhaps the best summary is by Dr. William A. Albrecht, Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri, who said: “A declining soil fertility, due to a lack of organic material, major
elements, and trace minerals, is responsible for poor crops and in turn for pathological conditions in animals fed deficient foods from such soils, and that mankind is no exception.” Dr Albrecht goes further to unequivocally lay the blame: “NPK formulas, as legislated and enforced by State Departments of Agriculture, mean malnutrition, attack by insects, bacteria and fungi, weed takeover, crop loss in dry weather, and general loss of mental acuity in the population, leading to degenerative metabolic disease and early death.”

1992 Earth Summit Statistics 1992 Earth Summit Report* indicate that the mineral content of the
world’s farm and range land soil has decreased dramatically.

Percentage of Mineral Depletion From Soil During The Past 100 Years,
By Continent:
North America 85% **
South America 76%
Asia 76%
Africa 74%
Europe 72%
Australia 55%
* You may remember the 1992 Earth Summit by the fact that President Bush wouldn’t sign any of the treaties. ** Some US farms are 100% depleted and some are 60% depleted, the average is 85% depletion as compared to 100 years ago. This is worse than in any other country in the world because of the extended use of fertilizers and “maximum yield” mass farming methods.

More Quotations
“In the future, we will not be able to rely anymore on our premise that the consumption of a varied balanced diet will provide all the essential trace elements, because such a diet will be very difficult to obtain for millions of people.” 
Dr. Walter Mertz, U.S. Department of Agriculture, told to congress in 1977. Dr. Linus Pauling the two-time Nobel Prize winner states that: “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency. “Mineral insufficiency and trace elements insufficiency are more likely to occur than are vitamin insufficiency states. Because of differing geologic conditions, minerals and trace elements may be scarce in the soils of certain regions and rich in those of other regions. Thus, you can live in some areas, eat a perfectly ‘balanced’ diet and still develop mineral deficiencies or trace element deficiencies that can only be averted through dietary change or supplementation.” The Doctor’s Vitamin and Mineral Encyclopedia In Dr. Jensen’s book, Empty Harvest, he talks about how many of our illnesses are correlated with our improper stewardship of the land. Our immunity very much parallels the immunity of the land. Of special mention is that trace minerals are very depleted in our soils. Veterinarians have long since known this, which is why there are some 45 trace minerals added to dog and livestock food. They would much rather spend a few cents everyday than hundreds of dollars on vet bills! Dr. Charles Northen, MD researcher reports that, “In the absence of minerals, vitamins have no function. Lacking vitamins, the system can make use of the minerals, but lacking minerals vitamins areuseless.” Gaylord Hauser, from his book, “Diet Does It”, concurs by stating, “Minerals are certainly as important to us as vitamins, yet minerals are overlooked, neglected and their value underestimated.”

So, there you have it!
You decide…
All the body systems & organs & tissue; nervous, skeletal, muscle, hormonal, immune, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular etc…, require essential nutrients to function at optimum levels.

To Your Health
Dr. James E. Greathouse Jr.
Chiropractic Physician

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