It has become popular lately to speak poorly of the practice of taking supplements. In a nearly cyclical fashion, some study will pop up suggesting that a specific supplement or multi-vitamin has no real health benefit and may, in fact, be harmful.
Recently, the journal Annuals of Internal Medicine reported on clinical trials conducted by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force – That the taking of a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement did not prevent cognitive decline or chronic disease. This position was supported by the medical establishment and numerous doctors. Additional the findings seemed to be proudly reported by every major media outlet in the country.
At the same time there are countless positive studies that report that people or populations that eat a certain type of diet that provides specific key nutrients live longer and are far less susceptible to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer etc.
How can this be? Well let’s take a look. What these negative studies don’t tell us is what kind of vitamins and minerals were being taken in the trials and what was there quality. They also don’t give incite into the diet and lifestyle of the study group or any risk factors thereof. On the other hand, if we read between the lines we see that these positive studies are telling us that quite simply a healthy diet and lifestyle leads to longer life and less disease.
Vitamins and minerals are more easily absorbed and utilized by the body when taken in as part of healthy food. This food contains things like enzymes and probiotics and other key factors that aid in the digestion and assimilation of all nutrients including vitamins and minerals. But in todays modern world it can be challenging to get all of the key necessary nutrients through diet alone, and therefore supplementing ones diet can be helpful although there is much to consider.
Broadly speaking, there are two classifications for both vitamins and minerals. For vitamins there are natural food derived (made from real food) and synthetic (artificially made), with the former being higher quality. For minerals there are organic (living minerals that contain carbon) and inorganic (non living that do not contain carbon) again, with the former being better quality. Essentially what makes these two better quality is that they are more in a natural state that can be recognized and used by the body. Additionally, when quality multi supplements contain enzymes (critical components for digestion) for proper digestion and absorption, their effectiveness is greatly increased.
Many, if not most multi’s on the market, are inferior in so much as they are comprised of synthetic vitamins and inorganic minerals that are far more challenging for the body to recognize and absorb. Furthermore, they do not contain enzymes to aid in absorption and assimilation by the body. The reasons for making such a multi is that they are easier and cheaper to produce. If a study group or anyone for that matter is taking this type of multi they should expect poor results and possibly even negative side affects that adversely affect long term health. The reason for the possible negative side affects is because synthetic vitamins can be viewed by the body as foreign invaders and inorganic minerals are more difficult to assimilate and this can lead to an unhealthy build up of the substance.
To further complicate things, if a study group is largely comprised of individuals that indulge in a diet made up of depleted and processed foods and are taking medications and even antacids all of this will lead to a poorly functioning digestive system that will struggle to absorb any nutrients let alone vitamins and minerals. Antacids lower acid levels in the stomach that are necessary to break down nutrients such as those found in a multi. Medications challenge the liver and pancreas both of which are critically important for the production of enzymes that are needed for proper digestion and assimilation of vitamins and minerals.
When we consider the simple fact that vitamins and minerals are critical components to Human health, it seems a bit reckless that doctors and the medical community are so willing to discount the taking of a multi supplement without educating the public and telling the whole story. We live in a time when we have the option and convenience of purchasing a quality multi supplement rich in food derived vitamins, organic minerals and enzymes that can positively and significantly accent our diet for better overall health. Now we know the rest of the story.
Written by DMK of Seven Grains