Vitamins and minerals are vital nutrients for bodily functions. There is an old argument that a person can get everything they need, nutrient wise, from food.
This is certainly possible, but are you doing it? The reality is that a person would need to consume vast amounts of fresh, whole foods in order to provide the body with the required levels of nutrients for optimal health.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is a very minimal level to judge today’s nutritional requirements by. The RDA was established in over 60 years ago and intended as a minimal nutrient requirement in order to ward of diseases of that time period, namely scurvy and rickets.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation is absolutely necessary for the following reasons:
Poor Digestion- Eating too much, too quickly combined with the stress of live can create an imbalance of friendly bacteria in the digestive tract which reduces the absorption of vitamins and minerals. The older you get, the more this is a factor.
Over Cooking- Over cooking can easily destroy the remaining nutrients in foods.
Microwave Cooking- Do yourself a favor – trash the microwave! Studies are on-going, but tend to reflect the concept that microwave’s alters the nutrient structure and value of foods.
Food Storage- Length of storage and freezing depletes the remaining nutrient value of foods.
Food Selection- Most people eat from a limited range of foods resulting in nutrient deficiencies.
Food Omission- Allergies to foods, on again – off again diets all omit significant nutrients to a person’s diet.
Anti-biotics- Anti-biotics alter the gastrointestinal environment and interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients.
Poor Lifestyle Habits- Smoking, alcohol, excessive caffeine, and other bad habits inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals and increase the loss of essential nutrients.
Stress- Can be emotional, physical and/or mental which can wreck havoc on the body’s immune system and greatly increase the need for nutrients.
Imbalance- Vitamins and minerals need to be taken in supporting levels to create a synergistic effect. Singular each nutrient is not as powerful as in combination with other nutrients.
Nutrient variance- Carrots are not equal to other carrots, and tomatoes are not equal to other tomatoes. There is a great variance from one product to the next.
You cannot tell outside of a laboratory. We have read where it takes eight Florida oranges of today to compare to the nutritional value of one Florida orange from 10 years ago. Soils are being depleted which add to the reduced nutrient content. Harvesting, processing, shipment and storage are takes much of the nutrient content out of products.
The Bottom Line- Everybody should be taking high quality nutritional supplements to ensure they are providing their body with the simple nutrients their bodies need to fight off the free radicals created from oxidative stress.
However, not all supplements are manufactured to the same standards. There are two basic standards: food grade; and, pharmaceutical grade. The educated consumer should do two things: Read the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements; and, research to see if the supplements you are interested in are manufactured to a measurable standard.