Pillar Four: Supplementation
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
I am often asked why a person should have to use supplements if they eat a “healthy diet.” Good question, with many answers and reasons. There is no question that a good diet would be the best way to get all the nutrients your body needs. There are so many nutrients in food, and we have not even identified many of those nutrients. For example, when you look at the tiny leaf of a thyme plant, there are over 200 known nutrients in that little leaf! And that is what we know! Many of these micro-nutrients are necessary to make the macro-nutrients able to do their job. So, we need the whole food to get the supplements we need, and that is best done through diet. However, as you will see below, that is impossible to do in this day and age with just food alone! We just are not getting the proper nutrients from our food alone because of the tremendous damage to our soil, air, and water that has been done by toxins, over-farming, soil depletion, pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and on and on. We have reached contamination levels unprecedented in the history of our globe.
In many cases foods do not contain the nutrients that they used to contain. In 1950 you could buy spinach that contained 158 mg of iron. Today, the iron content of raw spinach is 27 mg. You have to eat 6 bowls of spinach to get the same amount of iron that one bowl would have given you in 1950! From 1963 to 1965 the amount of vitamin C in sweet peppers dropped from 128 to 89 mg. An orange that contained 50 mg. of natural vitamin C complex in 1950 now contains 5 mg!! The vitamin A in collards dropped from 6,500 IU to 3,800 IU in the same time frame. Even the National Academy of Sciences issued an alert that it takes twice as many vegetables to get the daily requirement of vitamin A as previously thought.
And this loss of value of farmland is nothing new. The US Senate Document #264 stated “The alarming fact is that foods…now being raised on millions of acres of land…no longer contain enough of certain vitamins and minerals. We cannot get all our daily essential nutrients from the food we grow and eat.” This was stated in the 2nd session of the 74th Congress in 1936. And it has only gotten worse since then!
Foods are picked early (before they mature) and shipped across the country for days or weeks before they get to the supermarket, losing precious vitamins and minerals from exposure to light and air. Without maturation, they do not have the chance to mature in their nutrient content. Food processing destroys essential nutrients. Our food supply is excessively sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides, and these contaminating toxins then get into our water supply.
We also look at our foods and we see pesticides being sprayed on our produce, hormones and antibiotics used on our meats and farm raised fish, and GMO crops which have low amounts of nutrients, but they sure can survive Roundup! The pesticides and antibiotics kill the bacteria in the gut, thus not only reducing nutrient uptake and digestion, but virtually killing our immune system. That’s why my number one most important supplement is a really good and potent probiotic.
I said at the end of the last Blog that we would look at the “jungle” of supplementation. The reason I used this term is that the “research” concerning supplementation is in many cases awful. And the way it is reported in the television media is even worse. We have multiple years and reams of research that show that Vitamin E is good for heart health, and we have the same showing that Omega 3 Fatty Acids (“Fish Oil”) are good for mental health and prevention of mental degradation with age. Then in both cases really shoddy research comes out saying that all that was done before is wrong and that the two vitamins do not do what they have been shown to do. The TV media picks up the story and reports it like it has some validity. Then they don’t report it when it is demonstrated that the latest research is terribly flawed!
Also, supplemental quality differs greatly between manufacturers. Some fish oils are contaminated with mercury or are actually rancid, and nothing is done. Some are so bad that they don’t contain what they say they contain.
Supplements are an investment in your health! They are cheaper than prescription drugs, deal with the cause of disease instead of just the symptoms and signs of disease, are incredibly safe, and do not kill people like prescription medications do (one of the top three causes of death in the USA: Vioxx alone killed 60,000 people, and that was just an anti-inflammatory which does not in any way treat the cause of the problem.)
So, we take vitamin supplements to supplement the foods we eat. There are, however, many problems with the vitamins we buy at the local store. For example, Beta-carotene is only one carotenoid out of more than 600 that have been identified. We need all of them just like we get from our foods.
Do Kathy and I like taking so many “pills” every day as we do? No! But we do care about living a long healthy vibrant life, and I frankly don’t know how else to do it. We eat a healthy diet of organic whole foods with an emphasis on clean foods and organic foods raised naturally. And we have begun taking vitamins made from whole food complexes. This is how we intend to live a long life filled with vibrancy and quality.
That’s it for the Four Pillars of Optimal Health. It has encompassed the last 6 blog posts, but hopefully has been worth it! I have so many topics to cover over the next months, and I’m excited about that! Stay healthy!!
“One of the biggest tragedies of human civilization is the precedents of chemical therapy over nutrition. It is a substitution of artificial therapy over natural, of poison over food, in which we are feeding people poisons trying to correct the reactions of starvation.”
Dr. Royal Lee, 1951
Please pass this blog along to your friends, family, and co-workers. We work with people by utilizing the modern technique known as “telemedicine,” and we would love to help you. You do not have to come to Delaware! We also can help you as a “Medical Advocate.” What this means is that, if you have questions about health matters, including the interpretation of laboratory testing, you can contact us and we will discuss what your test results mean and help you get good answers to your questions. It seems that today everyone, including doctors, is in a rush and you end up getting the short end of the stick. We can help with that problem. Just give us a call at 410-326-6690. Also, check out our Web Site at http://www.wholebodyhealth.us for more info.