Supplements and Your Health

Supplements and your health seem like a good mix – but are they? It depends on your goals.

Typical daily vitamin supplements are usually made from synthetic vitamins. In other words, they are replicated in a laboratory. Your body doesn’t recognize these nor can it utilize these the same as the nutrients found in fresh, whole foods.

This is why an RDA is set (Recommended Daily Allowance). It is an allowance made because it is understood the body will not use much of the supplement. This brings up another problem when you read about the studies done with many of the supplements.

There are many being studied, but the most known controversial studies were done with Vitamin E. Anyone following the history of the studies will see first, it was bad for you. Then it slowed heart disease, then it caused heart disease…. What?! How could this be? It happens that one of the studies followed only people with cancer and another only seniors who were very sick. They were so flawed that even the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau has a web page of links that question the findings.

These studies were mainly done with the synthetic or laboratory version of the vitamin. Note here that studies are not done for the good of human kind. Studies and research cost money – and lots of it. Studies and research are done by companies with the hope that - in the end - there will be a patentable product. Whole foods are not patentable, but a lab version is.

On the other hand, consuming fresh whole foods, whole food supplements and drinking fresh vegetable or fruit juice can give you the supplementation you need. If you need 10 times the amount of nutrition to heal your body, but you can’t eat 10 times the amount of food, you can drink it.

If you drink 20 ounces of fresh carrot juice, your body uses the beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A. If you have enough vitamin A already, your body will simply stop converting it and you will eliminate the rest. This is not the same as a vitamin A supplement, which can be very toxic if you take too much.

So lets apply common sense. Are supplements good for you? Check your label. If you see ingredients like “from acerola cherries,” which you know to be a food, it’s probably a good product. Better yet, don’t use a product with labels. Invest in a juicer and start experimenting. You’ll feel the difference.

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