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Today’s standard food supply is so lacking that it can be difficult to get adequate amounts of all the necessary nutrients to sustain energy and long term health and disease resistance. Much of the soils that crops are grown in and livestock graze on are depleted. Many agricultural crops are genetically modified to enhance ease of growing, color and shelf life but do not enhance nutrition levels. Additionally foods are regularly processed, bleached, pasteurized and laden with chemicals to the point of having very little to offer.

Consequently, many have turned to supplementing their diet with specific vitamins, minerals, enzymes, probiotics, and many times a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. These micro nutrients are so critical to Human health that without them we simply wouldn’t be here.

Depending on how they are absorbed by the body, vitamins can be divided into two groups: Fat soluble A, D, E and K which require the presence of fat to be absorbed and assimilated by the body and are stored in bodily tissue for long term use – and it is for this reason that too much of these vitamins can lead to excessive storage and toxic overload. Water soluble vitamins such as all the B vitamins including Biotin and Folic acid and vitamins C which are not stored by the body and need to be replenished more often.

Vitamin supplements are produced in two basic ways; natural or synthetic. Natural vitamins are derived from real food sources either plant or animal and no doubt the methods and quality will vary with every manufacturer. Synthetic vitamins are considered artificial and are produced to be chemically similar to their natural counterparts but are still dissimilar in some way. Any person that has chemical sensitivities can expect to have a potential reaction to synthetic vitamins.

Minerals can be taken into the body in two general ways either as organic or inorganic. As with vitamins, organic minerals come from food either plant or animal. For example, plants extract inorganic minerals from the soil and water around them and, through their natural processes, bond them with carbon, making them organic. Although the body can take in and use inorganic minerals, such as those in mineral water, which have been broken down by nature to much smaller parts, the best source is organic minerals.

There are bulk and trace minerals. Bulk minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus are used by the body in larger quantities. Trace minerals such as boron, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, silicon, sulfur, vanadium and zinc are needed in much smaller quantities. Excess intake of these trace minerals can have negative toxic effects.

Whether it be vitamins or minerals, both need each other and other micronutrients such as enzymes to be adequately absorbed and have a positive effect in the body. In addition to needing each other, they need each other in the proper proportions. Examples: Calcium is dependent upon vitamin D, C and phosphorus for absorption. Additionally Calcium and and Magnesium work better in the presence of one another. Vitamin C and selenium improve vitamin E absorption and too much iron can hinder absorption. Vitamin C effectiveness is enhanced with the presence of bioflavonoids.

Although nothing is impossible, it is extremely rare for someone to take in large quantities of a particular vitamin or mineral through a healthy diet rich in organic whole natural foods and have an adverse reaction. It would be slightly more likely that someone could take a natural food derived vitamin or organic mineral and have a reaction possible due to too much of a particular element. And it would essentially be expected that someone taking an inferior synthetic vitamin or inorganic mineral supplement perhaps made with artificial binders would have some type of negative side effects.

Lastly, food supplements such as vitamins and minerals are not regulated by the FDA and thank goodness for that. Our federal government does not necessarily have the best track record when it comes to managing and regulating. It would likely conveniently declare them dangerous and regulate these life giving nutrients into extinction based on flawed studies using questionable control groups and inadequate supplements. What is needed here is not more regulation, but rather more education and awareness.

Written by DMK of Seven Grains