BY Diana Ahuche
Diet alone may just not be sufficient to meet up the nutrients necessary for overall good health. While most health experts believe that nutritional supplements are essential for preventing and even treating some illnesses, age-related health problems, fertility disorders, injuries and more. High nutrient foods help to neutralize and remove toxins from the body. These toxins come from exposure to chemical work environments, from poor air, bad foods and drinks, smoking, drugs e.t.c. which all contribute to depreciate your quality of life and vitality. Adequate vitamin and mineral supplements can also help to improve psychological and physical health, treat chronic disease and promote longevity.
A New Understanding of Nutrition That Matter
According to Paul McTaggart, a nutrition researcher from Ventura, California, "Nutrient density is the hallmark of good food". Foods that are low in nutrient density are often known as "empty-calorie" or "junk" food. For example, Jeffery Bland, Ph. D., a biochemist and nutrition expert from Gig Harbor, Washington says the leading nutritional problem in the United States today is "overconsumptive undernutrition", or eating a lot of empty-calorie foods- foods with high nutrients density is usually lower in calories while foods with more calories tend to be short on nutrients. American's diet is made up of unhealthy fats and refined sugars which are low has low nutrient density. The result of nutrient deficiencies can rob the body of its natural ability to resist disease and aging quickly, internally and externally. As typical American diet is resulting in alarming deficiencies people are reaching for more nutritional supplements to maintain good health.
Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiency
Historically, nutritional deficiencies are usually recognized by doctors and nutritional scientists when they actually manifest as diseases such as pellagra or beriberi. People are generally considered to be healthy if they do not have any abvious sypmtoms, but nutritional doctors and their scientists friends are learning that nutrient deficiencies can in fact have subtle, varied, and overlapping symptoms. So, increasing your nutritional intake may be the best thing to start doing now before the doctors are called in.
For example, the first signs of vitamin B deficiency may include subtle behavioral changes like insomnia, problem with concentration, and mood swings. According to Myron Brin, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Clinical Nutrition, the early warning signs, reflect that social function may be badly affected by chronic vitamin deficiency. Other serious symptoms of nutritional deficiencies include chronic fatigue, confusion, mental exhaustion, nervousness, anemia, and muscle weakness. It has been shown that certain limit of Vitamin A, vitaminC, vitamin E, and vitamin B6 may reduce immuno-competence which impairs the body's ability to fight off diseases and repair tissues. (Source: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/135/3/363.full). Nutrient deficiency risks might have root in other seperate health problems, it will be wise to check with a qualified health care professional with training in nutrition and/or supplements for proper assessment and recommendation.
One of the first scientists to question whether the standardized U.S. RDA guidelines are sufficient for individual nutritional needs was Roger Williams, Ph.D., a pioneering biochemist who discovered vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) back in 1930s. Dr. Willliams expresses in his book, Nutrition Against Disease, belief that every person is genetically unique and needs slight variation of nutrient intake to function their best. He called this principle biochemical individuality. Dr. Williams also believes all living creatures everywhere are greatly affected by the quanlity of food they eat, their balance, and their overall quality of life.
This concept of biochemical individuality has presented many new ways to help nutritional practitioners determine individual biochemistry, their nutritional status, and nutritional requirements. Such emerging preventive diagnostic procedures, such as nutrition assessment and risk factor analysis. These methods use physiological data, dietry intake analysis, personal and family health history, and scientifically advanced biochemical screenings.
What are essential nutrients? "Essential nutrients are those nutrients derived from food that the body is unable to manufacture on its own." according Dr. Jeffrey Bland. These essential nutrients are absolutely important for human life. Eight amino acids, thirteen vitamins, and minimum fifteen minerals, plus certain fatty acids, water, and carbohydrates.
Amino acids are simply known as the building block of protein. The essential amino acids are are L-isoleucine, L-valine, L-methionine, L-threonin, L-phenylalanine, and L-trytophan. And the body needs them to do its job for you.
There are two parts of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat soluble include vitamin A, D, E, and K. While the water-soluble vitamins include essential vitamins like vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folic acid and biotin.
Essential Minerals are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, iodine, chromium, potassium, sodium, and some trace elements. These nutrients make up for the necessary elements of body tissues, fluids, and play major role in the body's regulatory functions. Deficiency of these essential nutrients have been linked to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, and menopause problems.
The essential fatty acids required for proper metabolism are linoleic and linolenic acid that are usually found in seafood and unprocessed vegetable oils. Oleic and arachidonic acids found in some organic fats and oils based foods and peanuts are also essential for optimal health.
Nonessential nutrients, also called accessory nutrients or co-factors that work in harmony with essential nutrients to encourage the breakdown and conversion of food into cellular energy while supporting the physical and mental health functions. Dr. Bland also said some of the accessory nutrients that help support proper metabolism are the vitamin B-complex co-factors choline and inositol plus coenzyme Q10 (a close relative of the B-vitamins), and lipoic acid. Another nonessential nutrient called B-complex co-factor PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), and substance P or bioflavanoids which work with vitamin C. So, remember to up your intake of these accessory nutrients to help the essential nutrient work better.
Now that we understand essential nutrients and their importance to our general well-being. Let's take a look at how we can maximize their effects by complementing them with each other.
How Nutrients Work Well Together And Work Against Each Other
Vitamins and minerals help regulate the conversion of the food we eat into energy in our body, says the known biochemist, Dr. Jeffery Bland. According to Dr. Bland, vitamins and minerals can be divided into two categories: one being the energy nutrients and the other being protector nutrients, protector nutrients help the body defend against damaging toxins caused by alcohol, radiation, drugs, environmental pollution, and body's own enzyme processes.
In the process of the body converting food in to energy, oxygen radicals are released which causes damage to the body by causing degenerative diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, some cancers, and aging prematurely. The protector nutrients like vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, minerals like zinc, copper, selenium, and manganese play very critical role preventing or delaying these degenerative events.
Dr. Lindsey Berkson, M.A., D.C., of Santa Fe, New Mexico, notes that vitamins and minerals make the chemical and electric circuitry of the body work and the body is therefore affected by nutrients either working well with each other or working against each other. Nutrients can either help to work or inhibit each from working. For example, iron works best if taken without any pancreatic enzymes and shouldn't be taken at the same time with vitamin E says Dr. Berkson. Some nutrients can help "potentiate" other nutrients like how vitamin C helps potentiate and provide maximum absorption of iron when taken together. Since some foods come with many of these nutrients, it's safe to say it's ok in moderate doses, but if you have to take concentrated supplements then check with the nutrition or supplement doctor first.
Benefits of Nutritional Supplementation To Keep In Mind
Many studies now support the use of nutritional supplements to achieve adequate levels of nutrients we need. A research study done by Raymond Shamberger, Ph.D., and Derrick Lonsdale, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio found that consuming empty-calorie foods can lead to issues like fatigue, insomnia, lassitude, and other host of health problems, but when patients were given supplementary nutrients over six to twelve weeks period many of their symptoms improved.
Study conducted by Ruth Harrell, Ph.D., David Benton, Ph.D., and Guilyn Roberts, Ph.D., at University of Wales, found that the administration of multivitamin supplements to children suffering from marginal nutrient insufficiency brought about significant improvement in their academic performances. And the same observation was made in the studying of the mental capacity of elderly people. (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2360555).
Current studies have lent support to the importance of vitamin C in slowing down the development diseases from cataracts, cancer to heart disease. Recently, a study done by James E. Enstrom, M.D., and epidemiologist at the University of California at Los Angeles suggests that men that take vitamin C every day, at 500 to 666 levels of the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) live longer, almost six years longer than men who do not. (Source: http://www.healthy.net/scr/interview.aspx?Id=170).
Other clinical studies have also reported a significant relationship between low intake of beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A), vitamin E, and vitamin C and higher cases of cancer. A research was done at John Hopkins University and they found that there were about 50 percent fewer heart disease cases in individuals with the highest levels of beta-carotene, compared to the group with the lowest levels. A similar studies that was done at Havard University found that in a group of two with known evidence of heart disease, the group that took beta-carotene supplement had 40 percent fewer heart attacks than the group that were given a placebo. (Study is still ongoing, stay tuned!)
Research also found that vitamin B3 (niacin) can help the body defend itself from heart disease, while vitamin B6 can help it prevent things like atherosclerosis ( atherosclerosis is usually the cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease which are all "cardiovascular disease"). Large doses of vitamin E has proven to strenghten immune functioning and reduce the severity of age-related health problems such as Parkinson's disease (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16288072).
Eric Braverman, M.D., of New Jersey says amino acid supplement has shown to treat herpes, alcoholism, and other psychiatric disorder. Zinc supplementation on the other hand has been found to progressively improve hearing loss and othe ear related problems. (Source: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/17582355?q&sort=holdings+desc&_=1469055818222&versionId=20621311).
Accessory nutrients can be taken as supplements for therapeutic purposes. Example, bioflavonoids, which are present in foods like oranges, lemons, grapefruits and other citrus rind and buckwheat can help to increase vitamin C's antiviral activity in treating some viral infections. Coenzyme Q10 helps to promote healthy heart function (Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6680522).
In addition to controlling diseases and enjoying better quality of life, nutritional supplements can also help people to cope with particular lifestyle, environmental, emotional or psychological factors. For example, smokers have to take more vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene than people who don't smoke and people that drink significant amount of alcohol will need to take more vitamin B1 and magnesium than people who drink minimal alcohol (Source: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/9/1450.full).
Individuals who engage in heavy exercise activities would need to increase their intake of adequate nutrients to meet their increased caloric demand. Those working on weight loss have to take nutritional supplements or increase thier high nutrient density foods to make up for their reduced calory intake says Dr. Berkson.
Women who are taking oral contraceptives may need to add more zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B6 to their diet while expectant mothers may need more folic acid for better development of fetal. Nursing mothers also need to take more magnesium and protein for the babies bones and growth. Postmenopausal women require more calcium and vitamin D to maintain healthy strong bones and density.
Important Notice! As exciting as it is to know this valuable information that will help us live a healthier fuller live, it is important to do it the right way. Prolonged consumption of excessive doses of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B6 may produce toxic affects on the body. Other vitamins, minerals, and accessory nutrients can also cause side effects when they interact with medications, person's health condition, or their biochemical individuality. Alternative practitioners sometimes recommend to use elevated dosages for for a short period of time for therapeutic reasons and under medical supervison. Another important thing to consider is to research to find trained nutritionists or discuss with your physician how you can find someone with deeper understanding of nutrients, nutritional supplements, what you should or shouldn't take, how much, and how long, as you continue to learn more for yourself and for those you care about.
Nutritional supplements shouldn't be used in place of proper diet or proper medical care when necessary. Someone with health concerns or taking some medications should discuss with their trained physician about taking nutritional supplements, otherwise any normal person can take them in moderation without adverse effect.
Do take your nutrition seriously, it improves your physical, psychological, emotional, mental, and overall well-being so you can live healthier, happier, and even longer. High-quality nutritional supplements are usually recommended by health professionals or alternative medicine providers. It is also a good idea to read books and magazines published by reputable health food and nutritional supplement publishers or stay updated through your favorite health food and nutritional supplement providers online. Or you can stay with us and get access to quality-approved, most potent, whole (non-processed) vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, teas, juices for your best health and a wealth of information about them. Better still, grab a bag of our high quality Moringa Oleifera Leave Powder which is loaded with over 92 of nutrients in very large volume. Moringa is one of the world's most nutrient densed plants plus it has been picked up by science who now say it can help treat up to 300 known diseases and promote better quality of life. It's a one-size-fits-all because everyone can benefit greatly from it.
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant it will be best to discuss with your doctor if you can take the magic moringa and how much. If you are on prescribed medication, it will be a iidea to consult with your doctor before jumping into moringa groove.