If your diet always features plenty of fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables; top quality protein sources, and heart-healthy fats (like those found in cold-water, wild fish and extra-virgin olive oil), you may not benefit from supplements. But a large body of research indicates that most people do derive valuable health support from supplementing their diet with vitamins, minerals, other nutrients and herbs.
Some reasons include:
|•||THE IMPACT OF MODERN FARMING TECHNIQUES - The rise of industrial agriculture has lowered the nutritional value of many common foods. Replacing organic fertilizers with synthetics - often containing only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - yields large, fast-growing plants that may look beautiful in the produce aisle, but often lack key micronutrients.|
|•||AGING - As we grow older, many of us suffer from poor digestion due to insufficient stomach acid or low populations of beneficial microorganisms in our digestive tracts. Result: poor assimilation of nutrients.|
|•||FREQUENT DIETING - Restricting caloric intake to lose weight also means restricting nutrient intake.|
|•||MEDICATIONS - Many pharmaceuticals lower vitamin and/or mineral concentrations in the blood. Cholesterol-reducing drugs, for example, may lower blood levels of coenzyme Q10, a vital contributor to optimal heart and muscle function. Similarly, common drugs that treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may drop levels of calcium, chromium, folic acid, iron, vitamin C and other nutrients.|
|•||BUSY LIFESTYLES - Even the most conscientious among us finds eating healthfully at every meal can be challenging. Vitamins, minerals and other supplements can help to fill the gaps caused by less-than-optimal meals.|
"The benefit of careful supplementation for most people is very clear," said Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. "Taking daily vitamins, minerals and herbs in a strategic way, based on a person's unique profile, circumstances and lifestyle, is one of the best moves we can make toward optimal health."