Is It Really "all in your Food"?
Thursday, August 1st 2002
Multitude of reasons to take a good 'Multi'
While a health promoting diet is essential for good health, so too is proper nutritional supplementation. While some nutrition 'experts' say that you can theoretically meet all your nutritional needs through diet alone, the reality is that most New Zealanders do not. The people you pass on the street may look 'healthy' but many of them are in nutrient trouble. A study from the University of Paraiba in Brazil reports that a large segment of the adult population consumes suboptimal amounts of many vitamins. For example, 28% of women consume too little Vitamin B6, up to 91% of adults consume suboptimal amounts of D and many consume insufficient amounts of Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin E. Poor intake is reflected in low blood levels of many nutrients including Vitamin B6, Vitamin A and Vitamin D. These low values place people at risk for vitamin deficiencies. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism 1996.
What are RDAs and RDI's?
In America, studies have revealed that marginal nutrient deficiencies exist in approximately 50 percent of the population. For some selected nutrients in certain age groups, more than 80 percent of the group consumed less than the Dietary References Intakes, (DRIs), formerly the RDA's (Recommended Daily Allowances). These studies indicate that the chance of consuming a diet meeting the DRIs for all nutrients is extremely unlikely. While getting the DRIs for certain nutrients will help prevent the corresponding deficiency disease (i.e. Vitamin C and scurvy), these levels do very little to prevent degenerative diseases (heart disease, arthritis, cancer etc) which are the major problem within our current healthcare crisis. In general RDAs or DRIs are ineffective dietary markers for some very sound reasons: Nutrient requirements vary dramatically from one individual to the next. The present DRI standard only applies to healthy people who simply want to prevent deficiency, not necessarily enhance their health. DRIs do not account for at-risk groups, including the elderly, women who are pregnant or lactating, women on the oral contraceptive, teenagers, smokers, dieters, people who drink alcohol and those on nutrient depleting prescription medications. And when you add the individuals who are ill, there is a large percentage of people who need much more than the DRIs. Although DRIs are more recent than RDAs, they do not take into account excessive food processing now occurring or increased sugar and fat consumption. This then makes a very strong case for supplementing with a good multi.
New Zealand deficiencies
In New Zealand, deficiencies of vitamins could be compounded by the lack of minerals. New Zealand farmers have known for decades that the soil is deficient in many minerals including cobalt, chromium, zinc and selenium and without supplementation their animals will sicken and die. If the minerals are not in the soil they can not come through in the plants. Nothing can take the place of a healthy diet. Supplements cannot make up for a deficient diet but there are still a lot of good things a good multivitamin can offer. When developing your specific health programme, begin with a strong foundation. A multivitamin/mineral supplement is the perfect building block.
What to expect from your 'Multi'
When taking a multiple vitamin and mineral formula, you may experience higher energy levels, improved brain function, fewer colds and infections and other health benefits or you may feel nothing. If you are among those who feel nothing, it doesn't mean that the higher levels of nutrients you are ingesting are not being used by your body. Instead of immediate results, many of the benefits are just more long term, such as lowered risk for heart disease and cancer. Look for a balance of important vitamins, minerals and other nutrients and compare the ingredients and strengths in different brands. Generally, the cheaper the multi the less nutrients it will contain. Take time with your decision and make sure you get the most effective product. Remember it costs money to make quality and not skimp on key ingredients so don't shop for price; buy for quality.
The following products are all useful for Promoting Good Health:
Fish Oil 1500mg Odourless
Good Green Stuff
Inner Health Plus
Age Defence Resveratrol
Super Multi Plus
Super Calcium Complete
Super Potency Hi-B-100
Zinc Fix Orange
Vitamin and Mineral Boost Powder
Ultimate Greens Vege Caps
Related health information can be found here:
Alfamax, a rich source of Vitamins and Minerals
Calcium to build bones
Looking for a natural energy booster with the added cleansing power of chlorophyll?
Multivite - why taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement is so essential?
Spirulina - nature's richest whole food source
Stressed and fatigued? Your adrenals may be the cause
The Good Health Diet
Tired and Lacking Energy?
Related articles can be found here:
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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