Are Supplements Necessary or Is it a Big Sham?

When it comes to whether it is beneficial to take supplements, there is so much conflicting information out there! We are constantly bombarded with information in magazines and the media about vitamins creating almost a fearful, panicked state. If we don’t take a certain vitamin, we are being led to believe that somehow we won’t be healthy, happy and vibrant! Even foods like cereals, orange juice and even water are being fortified with vitamins!

We are spending 22 million dollars in the United States on supplements alone but the important question is “are we getting any healthier?”

Do we really need those 20 bottles of various vitamins that you have been sold at the health food shop? Do we need to take a multi-vitamin and give one to our children? As a diet and lifestyle counselor and a working mother of two children, this is a question that hits close to home in my own heart! Before we discuss what to take, we have to go into the basics of what vitamins are and what they can do!

Can vitamins replace the nutrients in foods?
No! The sad truth is that many people eat terrible, nutrient-deficient lives and think they can put a band-aid on the problem by taking a good multi-vitamin. Vitamins do not replace food! Popping a vitamin C pill is not as good as obtaining that same vitamin C from a glass of orange juice, taking an iron pill is not as good as getting the iron in spinach , and drinking a vitamin D fortified glass of orange juice and or bowl of cereal does not replace getting out and be exposed to the sun!

Synthetic vs. natural vitamins: Vitamins are not all created equal!
Most vitamins sold today are synthetic vitamins manufactured by pharmaceutical companies to mimic the vitamin existing in nature. At least 95% of all vitamins manufactured today contain some synthetics. (95% of vitamin C manufactured in the world today, for example, is synthetic and most comes from China.) Even if you are doing your best to buy natural vitamins, under the current law, a vitamin marketted as “natural” only has to contain 10% of natural, plant-based ingredients!

People buy these synthetic vitamins in an effort to be healthier but our bodies cannot break down and absorb these nutrients! Our body is a sophisticated organism and can tell the difference between a vitamin originating from a natural source and one coming from a fake one. Cambridge Professor Isabel Jennings in her book Vitamins in Endocrine Metabolism states that “synthetic vitamins, prepared from chemicals instead of nature, are frequently less active biologically than their natural counterparts, thereby reducing any beneficial effect they have.”
Not only can our bodies not break down and assimilate the nutrients in the synthetic vitamins but, as Dr. Brian Clement, head of Hippocrates Institute states ” when isolated into artificial chemicalized forms, these purified, isolated, crystalline synthetics act as toxic drugs to the body.”

So, what do I recommend to my own clients and take myself?
My general recommendation for most people is to take a high-quality, natural multi-vitamin. I personally use Vita Synergy For Women but also like brands such as New Chapter Organics. For women over 30 years of age or those who are pregnant, prone to depression, have PMS, or eat a primarily vegetarian diet, I suggest that they also take an Omega 3 vitamin. In cold dark areas where you might not get light exposure, it may also be necessary to take a Vitamin D suppement.

Lastly, I take a blue-green algae called Crystal Manna by Ancient Sun and/or a shot of E3Live daily. As a friend pointed out the other day, make sure that you buy a source of algae from the Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon, which is free of toxins. Blue-green algae helps delay or reverse premature aging, repair cell damage, and eliminate toxins, improve mental focus and concentration, increase energy and sense of well-being, boost your immune system, promote growth of strong nails, smooth skin, and healthy hair, help regulate blood-sugar levels, help stabilize mood swings, clarify and sharpen eyesight, promote healthy cholesterol, purify, nourish, and heal your blood and increase your endurance and strength. I probably take this before my multi if given a choice!

1 Comment

  • nathan
    July 31st, 2014 at 9:15 am



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