Blanco County News
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Health and Wellness
Wellness Consultant
Wednesday, April 4, 2012 • Posted April 5, 2012 9:14 AM

When discussing supplementation, it is always important to remember that the purpose of supplementation should be to correct a diagnosed deficiency condition that cannot be fixed by changing the diet and lifestyle. The proper use of supplementation is in conjunction with a good practitioner for short-term use for therapeutic purposes.

Vitamin supplements can be divided into two groups: synthetic and natural.

Synthetic vitamins are vitamins produced in laboratories from isolated chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature. Natural vitamins are derived from food sources. Although there are no major chemical differences between a vitamin found in food and one created in a laboratory, synthetic supplements contain the isolated vitamins only, while many natural supplements contain other nutrients not even discovered yet. This is because these vitamins are in their natural state and operate in synergy with other natural nutrients.

If you are deficient in a particular nutrient, the chemical source will work, but you will not get the benefits of the vitamin as found in whole foods. Supplements that are not labeled natural may also include coal tars, artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, and starch, as well as other additives. You should beware of such harmful elements.

About 40% of Americans take vitamin supplements daily, and 70% take them occasionally, according to Dr. Annette Dickinson, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition. But, although we may be taking vitamins as a form of "nutrition insurance" this argument may not always hold a lot of weight. The basis of the "insurance" argument is that you may not need it, but it does no harm. This position does not necessarily apply when a vitamin or mineral has the ability to accumulate in the body leading to a potential for toxicity.

Also, if you start your day with one vitamin supplement every day, and add the content of the numerous fortified foods in the US food supply for several vitamins you may reach a risk level in weeks or months says Dr. Benjamin Caballero, MD, PhD and director of the Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in primary care and prevention, completed a report recently that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Vol. 139, No. 1:51-55). They concluded that people should be reminded that taking vitamins does not replace the need to eat a healthy diet. Although the health benefits of vitamin supplementation remain uncertain, there is more consistent evidence that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and legumes has important benefits; other constituents besides vitamins may account for the benefits of such diets.

Are you going to depend on foods produced by nature or on man's supplements made in a laboratory? Consumer Labs looked at cholesterol lowering supplements and found that half failed to contain what was listed on the label or couldn't be broken down to release the ingredients. Some were made with wrong or cheap nutrients, some had improper ratios of nutrients, and some were missing vitamins or minerals that were necessary. Choose your supplements carefully. Ask health care professionals to identify the best companies. Ask for a bioavailability study on the supplements you choose.

Studies have shown that protein-bonded vitamins, as found in natural whole food supplements, are absorbed, utilized, and retained in the tissues better than supplements that are not protein-bonded. Chemical-derived vitamins are not protein-bonded. Vitamins and minerals in food are bonded to proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and bioflavonoids. Using a natural form of vitamins and mineral in nutrition supplements is the objective of the protein-bonding process. Taking supplements with meals helps to assure a supply of other nutrients needed for better assimilation as well.

What your body sees in vitamin pills: T k r ght t th H ds n Str t. G t th f rst tr ff c I ght nd st y n I fll n t m k I ft n M ntg m r y Blvd. P ss thr st p s gns nd f 11 w c rv d r d p th h III th f rth st p s gn. M k r ght n M ch g n Str t.

What your body sees in whole food: Take a right at the Hudson Street. Go to the first traffic light and stay in left lane to make a left on Montgomery Blvd. Pass three stop signs and follow curved road up the hill to the fourth stop sign. Make a right on Michigan Street.

Well, how would you like to look at your world? I think it's clear that if we want to get where we're going, we'd better be able to read the directions! Obviously whole foods and whole food based concentrates help us to stay on the right track.

In summary, it is just a matter of understanding what true nutrition is and the role vitamin and mineral supplements play. Our priorities are to eat healthy food, exercise and drink plenty of pure water. Everybody at every age needs fruits and vegetables. This especially includes the athlete, the elderly. and growing children.

Disclaimer: Facts in these articles are obtained from medical and clinical journals, scientific publications, and published trade books. These articles have been written and published strictly for information purposes. Consult your health care provider for your specific medical needs. For any questions, comments or suggestions contact Maryella at or

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