Vitamin Truth or Dare: A Recipe for Ill Health

Do you rely on vitamins to keep you healthy? Well, I bet you used to believe in Santa Claus too. Why such strong words for a lay person. Let’s just say a little personal experience plus a bit of reading clinical research becomes quite sobering. So, just like in the well-known movie “The Matrix”, here is your choice point: to read on and potentially have to change your lifestyle and views around vitamins or just keep throwing your money away with that “daily multi”. Ready set go!

TV and Dr.’s used to tell us that taking vitamins was good for you; but new research suggests that a daily multi is a waste of money for most people-and there’s growing evidence that some of the other old standbys may even hurt your health. Are you willing to put your health or your family’s health at risk on outdated information? Here’s a myth; a multivitamin can make up for a bad diet, it’s like an insurance policy in a pill. Read that again and let if sink in… Are you one of those wanting the easy way to better health? Don’t get me wrong, I do like the idea of ease, value for money and nutrition in a capsule, but not in a synthetic vitamin. I’ll explain more later. But for now, let’s keep our thumb down on those commonly known multi’s or singular ingredient vitamins. Last year, researchers published new findings from the Women’s Health Initiative– in a long term study of more than 160,000 midlife women where the data showed that multivitamin takers are no healthier than those who don’t pop the pills. Wow, imagine that! What a waste of money the study suggested when it came to the big diseases-cancer, heart disease, stroke. But check this out… “Even women with poor diets weren’t helped by taking a multivitamin,” says the study’s author Marian Neuhouser, PhD. What? Can this be true? Well, this is what I read in that cancer prevention program study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, of Seattle.

In the early 1900s vitamin supplements came into vogue; this, in a time when it was difficult for most people to get a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables year-round. This makes perfect sense, right? Need + a free market + a bit of marketing and ‘wa-la’ the multivitamin was born. This is no laughing matter, because back then vitamin-deficiency diseases like the bowed legs, deformed ribs and rickets (caused by a severe shortage of vitamin D) weren’t unheard of. What about the skin problems and mental confusion of pellagra (caused by a lack of the B vitamin and niacin)? The good news is fresh fruits and vegetables (even in capsule form) are available year around now; and even an average American diet will keep those above mentioned problems at bay. But let’s not stop with just meager health… unless you want too?

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The FDA recommends 10-12 serving of fruits and vegetables per day. Who has time or the budget for that? Why do we need so much? It is now commonly known, that while we have access to a wide variety of produce, the nutritional content is less, due to modern farming, soil depletion and distribution practices. Furthermore, have you even heard that packaged foods are vitamin-enriched? My question is; where are they getting these vitamins? I suggest to you that these processed foods utilize synthetic forms of vitamins; in other words, man made. Would any God fearing, old school naturalist, grandma or parent feed their loved ones on a diet of man made fillers? NO is the answer!

For sure, most of us could do with a couple more daily servings of produce, but a multivitamin or singular dose just does not do a good job at substituting for the real thing. Why? Well, because “Multivitamins have maybe two dozen ingredients-but plants have hundreds of other useful compounds,” Neuhouser says. “If you just take a multivitamin, you’re missing lots of the enzymes and compounds that may be providing synergistic benefits.” That said who is still interested in keep hold of their old views on vitamins?

Want to take this conversation on nutritional importance up a notch? Then there is one group that has the most riding on their nutritional choices, the women of reproductive age. Catch the nuance here… I am not saying for the already pregnant, (that’s important also) but for those whom are of reproductive age and opportunity! For proper supplements are insurance in case of pregnancy. Since the spinal cord starts to develop extremely early in the embryos, studies have shown that a woman who gets adequate amounts of vitamin B folate is much less likely to have a baby with a birth defect affecting the spinal cord. The scary thing is… this spinal cord is already developing early on, “with” our “without” those most essential vitamins… many times before a woman even know she’s pregnant. I have read that Dr.’s and nutritionist suggesting that the safest course is for these ladies are to get 400 micrograms worth of B9 daily. In it’s natural form B9 is water soluble and is well regulated by the body, thus the concept of overdose is rare with your natural food sources, additionally overdose’s only occur from synthetic supplements- says nutritionist Daisy Whitbread BSC. Folic acid is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 found in fortified foods and supplements and with most vitamins, the natural form of vitamin B9 (folate) is preferred and better for absorption. Vitamin B9 (folate) is required for numerous body functions including DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, and cell growth. Vitamin B9 has many rich natural sources, enjoy eating: Black-eyed peas, Lentils, Spinach and Avocado to name a few.

Are your eyes beginning to open up? Are you beginning to see the down side of man made multivitamins and synthetic vitamins? Or maybe we need to talk about another vitamin myth: Vitamin C can curb off your cold. Today, drugstores are full of vitamin C based remedies. Why is this? Simple… superb marketing in the early 1970’s popularized the idea that vitamin C could prevent colds. But today, newer studies say: Buyer beware. In fact, a few years back in 2007, researchers analyzed a cross section of decade old studies which involved more than 11,000 subjects to arrive at a disappointing conclusion: Vitamin C didn’t ward off colds, except among extreme marathoners, skiers, and soldiers on subarctic exercises. Are you living in the subarctic? Do you marathon on a monthly basis? Then stop believing the advertising of old ill conclusions. Here is another question for you to consider. Can vitamin C cut the length of colds? Research shows these nominal results. Adults typically have cold symptoms for 12 days a year; a daily pill could cut that to 11 days. — Whoopie. Kids might go from 28 days of runny noses to 24 per year. — Wow, take that one to the bank. Does your common sense agree with theses researchers, “that minor reductions like these don’t justify the expense and bother of year-round pill-popping (in other words… Taking synthetic C only after symptoms crop up doesn’t help).”

“OK, OK, I am beginning to see the light, but “Hey, it can’t hurt, right?” The fact is that in some cases it just might. There is an old adage and it went something like this: “vitamins might not help, but they can’t hurt either.” New thinking is if it’s not helping you then it’s actually hurting you.” We are what we eat, right? Then why do we so easily check our brains off when buying supplements. Is there a way to supplement that does actually help boost our immune system and general will being naturally? The answer is an emphatic YES. { British Journal of Nutrition / Volume 105 / Issue 01 / January 2011, pp 118-122} But wait, I’ll get back to that in just a few. How about that myth, “it can’t hurt.”? Maybe you have heard or read but some large-scale studies are responsible for turning this thinking on its head. Paraphrasing the work of Dr Demetrius Albanes, MD, a nutritional epidemiologist at the National Cancer Institute I would explain it this way… The shift started with a beta-carotene pill study. The study was meant to test whether the man made antioxidant could prevent lung cancer. What researchers detected instead was a surprising increases in lung cancer and deaths among male smokers who took the supplement; not the other way around. No one knew what to make of the result at first, but further studies have shown it wasn’t a fluke. I don’t know about you, but it big research, as recently at 2010 has proven that there’s a real possibility that in some circumstances, antioxidant pills could actually promote cancer (in women as well as in men)- I wouldn’t be playing that Russian roulette any more with my supplement choices. Furthermore, I read other studies have raised concerns that taking high doses of folic acid could raise the risk of colon cancer. I suggest vitamins are safe when you get them in your food or a capsule containing real food/whole foods, but not in synthetic pill. Today, experts say these man made pills with “supplement” labels can act more like a drug, with the potential for unexpected and sometimes dangerous effects.

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As studies have eroded the hopes placed in most vitamin supplements, one dietary supplement is looking better and better. In summary, we discovered prevention is best with women of reproductive age and those of all ages wishing to avoid illness. And that prevention is best accomplished by selecting real natural food sources for vitamins and their accompanying nutrients and enzymes. Additionally, these whole food choices are best when approached as an on going “lifestyle” rather than an ad-hoc pill popping mentality due to our swallowing the synthetic vitamins marketing messages of old.

Therefore, we may finally be encouraged to new discoveries and studies in optimum health with the option for daily supplementing with Juice Plus, whole food capsules. Go ahead and research them, I dare you!

Source by David Black Jr

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