Vitamins, Minerals, & Supplements
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What are they and should I take them?
Vitamins: They are natural substances found in living things such as plants. The body can not produce vitamins and must obtain them from food or supplements.
Minerals: Minerals are also found in plants. Plants obtain their minerals from the soil who receives minerals from the water washing over rocks. Vitamins need Minerals to do their job and minerals must also be obtained from food or supplements because they are not produced by our bodies.
Antioxidants: Specific Vitamins or Minerals that protect body cells from the damaging effects of Free Radicals. Free Radicals can come from or are caused by smoking, sunlight (ultraviolet rays), stress, exercise, etc and are considered to be the primary cause of aging and disease.
We get Vitamins and Minerals from eating fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, spices or when we take a vitamin/mineral supplement. Some vitamins are also obtained by eating meat since most animals eat plant food.
Supplements: Vitamins and Minerals that have been extracted from a plant or created in a laboratory and put into a form (liquid, capsule, tablet) that we can take for our body to ingest.
There are ineffective and effective supplements. Being uneducated about supplements puts you - the consumer at risk from two sides.
1. Consumers know they should probably supplement but don't feel confident in selecting an effective supplement and feel like they could be wasting their time, money, and health.
2. Consumers are given bad advice or are uninformed on the need to supplement and sacrifice their health and wellness.
Vitamins and Minerals go from your stomach to your intestines where they then go through a complex allocation system where the body distributes certain vitamins and minerals to parts of your body based on its own priority system. If your body feels a certain organ needs a nutrient more then another organ, your body will take that vitamin or mineral from the one organ and give it to the other. Sort of a "rob Peter to pay Paul" action. You can't view vitamins and minerals in your body as independent substances, but rather as a network of nutrients working together. If your body is missing one nutrient it can throw off your entire network!
Vitamins and minerals are "used" by the body. As they perform their function, they often use themselves up in the process, which is the case with most of the crucial disease fighting antioxidant's. Thinking even requires vitamins and minerals. Exercise and stress use a lot of vitamins and minerals
"A deficiency of a vitamin or mineral will cause a body part to malfunction
and eventually break down - and, like dominos, other body parts will follow."
James F. Balch, M.D.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
Why should you take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?
Vitamins and minerals are vital nutrients required for bodily functions and the prevention of disease. There is the argument "I can get everything I need from food." The question to that argument is "Are you?". In a large 26,000 person study, it was concluded that not one person received the nutritional requirements set forth by the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance).
"Insufficient vitamin intake is apparently a cause of chronic diseases.
Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone.
Pending strong evident of effectiveness from randomized trials,
it appears prudent for all adult to take vitamins supplements."
American Medial Association
Information Reference: Health Awareness Foundation