Our bodies are bombarded every day by biochemical stresses such as pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, genetically modified foods and, let’s not forget, fast foods. With our busy life-styles, one way to make sure our bodies are getting the nutrients they need is to supplement our diet with high quality vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins are organic compounds vital to our bodies’ basic functions. They play an important role as co-factors in numerous enzyme reactions in our body Vitamins:
o Help regulate metabolism
o Help fight infection
o Repair and grow body tissue
o Give us energy and make us fertile; and
o Make us look good by making our hair shiny and thick, our nails strong, our teeth healthy and our skin youthful.
Why Should I take a Vitamin Supplement?
Not only do most people not really know what type of vitamins our bodies need, we also don’t know if we are getting enough of the right vitamins and minerals. In an ideal world, it would be best to get all the nutrients we need from high quality, wholesome food, but how realistic is that? We often don’t take the time or have the time, to plan and prepare well-balanced nutritional meals. Studies show that nearly 80% of North Americans are not eating their recommended daily serving of fruit and vegetables. The only way to be sure our bodies are getting the nutrients they need is to supplement our diet with high quality vitamins and minerals.
There is another reason we don’t get the needed nutrients from our everyday foods. The earth’s soils don’t have the same nutritional values they once did. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizers have played a big role in depleting our soils of essential nutrient, and when the nutrients aren’t in our soil, they won’t be found in our food.
Dangers of Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
When the body is deficient in the vitamins it needs, there are several dangers that happen as a result. Some of the dangers of ongoing deficiencies are:
o Cancer susceptibility
o Development of allergies
o Impaired growth (especially in children and teens)
o Decreased immune system function
o Development of nervous system disorders
o Muscle degeneration
How Do I Know If I Am Vitamin Deficient?
Many people suffer from micro-deficiencies, which may not display drastic symptoms. However, such deficiencies may eventually manifest themselves as:
o Difficulty concentrating
o Lack of energy
o Loss of appetite
o Loss of hair
o Dry skin
o Sinus trouble
o Memory loss
o Unpleasant body odour
o Digestive problems
It is important not to ignore these symptoms. Even with a vitamin supplement, don’t expect to see instant results. It could take time to get your body functioning optimally again.
Which Vitamins Should I take?
Not all vitamins are created equal! Quality is the key. Most vitamins found in drug stores – even recognized brands – have a very low absorption rate. In contrast, high quality, often available through a natural health provider, can provide you with an absorption rate of close to 100%. Taking a poor quality vitamin can be worse than taking no supplement at all. Not only do you get a sense of false security about getting adequate nutrition but, depending on the supplement’s fillers, you can also be ingesting toxic substances. Many consumers have been brainwashed into thinking natural” means “healthy”. We have to be very aware and careful about what we put into our bodies, even if it’s called “natural” and whether or not it’s sold off the shelf or bought online! Do your homework as not all vitamins are created equal, quality is the key!
In the book, The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, by Dr. Lyle MacWilliam, over 1,500 supplements available in Canada and the United States were evaluated. Each supplement was given a Health Support Profile based on 18 criteria – completeness, potency, mineral forms, bioactivity of vitamin E, gammatocopherol, antioxidant support, bone health, heart health, liver health, metabolic health, ocular health, methylation support, lipotrophic factors, inflammation control, glycation control, bioflavonoid profile, phenolic compound profile and potential toxicities. Each product was then given a score based on a star system (zero stars to five stars) with five stars being the best. It is important to note that the guide is a non-sponsored publication. According to The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, most vitamins found in drug stores – even recognized brands – have a very low absorption rate.
To sum up, vitamins and minerals play an important role in maintaining your bodies’ normal functions, repairing cellular and tissue damage and maintaining your optimal wellness.
Are you getting enough from your diet? Why not make sure by supplementing with a high quality multivitamin? It IS that important!