Sunday, October 25, 2009

Do you take a multivitamin to suppliment your nutrition? I do...

I have been away for a few days, well more like two weeks, but I have been very busy.  I wish I could say that I was doing something to enrich my mind, like reading a novel or taking a course, but no that wasn't it.  Instead I have been involved in the tedious daily chores followed up with moving the summer things in for winter.  Just today I found some time to catch up on a few of the magazines that have arrived lately slowing building up in a nice stack.  One in particular is Ode Magazine, which I find to be a great source of information, and billed as for intelligent optimist.  Just a glimpse into the blurb about their mission is "independent international journal, believing in progress, ongoing opportunity and creativity of humankind."  

The article in Ode that caught my attention this was titled "Making sense of Supplements," I read this with interest.  I take a multivitamin but as a clean eater who tries to avoid chemical additives I wonder if I really should be doing this.  They mention in the article that we drink vitamin D fortified milk, eat flour with folic acid added and salt with iodine additives, so our foods are already supplemented.   Not to say that justifies it but overall I can see that the food industry knows food lack in nutrients and they are attempting to replace them.   I like the article for helping me feel a bit more comfortable indulging in my need to add micro nutrient "insurance" to my daily nutritional intake.  With the state of the public food supply who can guarantee that the produce is within three days old, as anything after that has significantly reduced micro nutrient levels.  Andrew Weil wrote in an email interview to Ode that "Even people who consistently eat well can benefit from supplementation" Weil also stated in the same email interview that, "Optimal intakes of key nutrients, in amounts sufficient to enhance health beyond the prevention of deficiency states, can be difficult to attain through diet alone."

The article discusses briefly how a lack of micro nutrients has been linked to chronic disease due to the body having to make adjustments in reaction to the missing nutrients.  Overall we need 40 micro nutrients in our body for good health but who is to say if we get these micro nutrients daily or in the correct order.  We have known for some time that a deficiency of any nutrient can have a direct like to disease like scurvy and vitamin C deficiency, blindness and Vitamin A deficiency to name two.  We as a nation could do better getting our micro nutrient needs met if we followed the USDA and AHA recommendations to eat more fruits and vegetable and to reduce consumption of refined carbs and "junk" foods.  Unfortunately the CDC reports that only 11% of the population of the USA is meeting the requirements and guidelines, getting proper nutrition through diet is the best approach but when a population fails to do that then perhaps supplementation is the answer. 

Ode Magazine's "Making Sense of Supplements"

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