Some people hate pills and will do anything to avoid taking a supplement, while others are convinced they need every vitamin on the market. So how do you know which vitmain or mineral supplements are really necessary? And how do you get the most bang for your buck?
First, it helps to understand that everything that happens in our bodies, from the beating of our hearts to the growth of a fingernail, happens through a series of complicated metabolic reactions that require specific nutrients. Without sufficient amounts of these various vitamins and minerals, these processes can become slowed, abnormal, or impaired. Eventually, they may even stop altogether.
So, can you get all the nutrients you need simply by eating a healthy diet? Yes...in theory. Our ancestors did it. But our food supply isn't what it used to be. The nutrients in our soil have been depleted from years of pesticides and pollution. Additionally, the packaged and processed foods that are so common in our culture are not only nutrient void; they actually rob our bodies of vital nutrients. Consequently, even a person who tries to eat with nutrition as a primary concern may still be lacking in some of the most basic nutrients.
I believe supplementation is essential for maintaining good health and preventing disease. It is also a useful tool in the healing and recovery process.
The range for dosing vitamins and minerals can vary significantly from person to person. This is called "bio-individuality", meaning the biological needs of each individual are unique.
In the United States, the USDA created the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamins and minerals. The numbers are based on the lowest amount needed to prevent disease caused by deficiency. For example, the RDA for Vitamin C is 45 to 90 mg (depending on sex and age), which is just enough to prevent scurvy. In real terms vitamins may be dosed up to 100 times the RDA and minerals up to 2 to3 times.
Overall, I recommend that everyone take a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral complex designed for their sex (because males and females can vary greatly in their nutritional needs). Try to avoid generic brands or inexpensive brands that you can find in any corner market.
Poor quality means the supplements may not be as potent as they claim to be, or they may simply be harder for your body to absorb. Ideally, you want to purchase directly from a nutrition professional who sells "professional brands" only. If you do not have access to such a professional, you can find high quality supplements at many health stores and even online. Simply put, just say "yes" to supplements
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