Most doctors agree that some nutritional supplementation is important. Make sure you take only whole-food, natural supplements to insure that your body gets only the highest quality nutrients.
Whole Food Supplements
Many Americans believe in the value of taking a multivitamin. However, many do not take the right type of multivitamin to complete the nutritional gap within their diets. As a nation, we eat poor-quality foods that have been stripped of nutrients. We do not consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of us get our whole grains from instant rice, refined wheat breads, pastas and cereal. We eat a tremendous amount of prepacked, pre-made meals and one-quarter of Americans eat at fast food restaurants each day. Suffice it to say that the eating habits of many Americans leave much to be desired and as a result many are undernourished and over-fed. This shows up as increased sickness and diseases. Conditions like diabetes type II, obesity, high cholesterol, circulation problems, anxiety and depression, insomnia and many other conditions can have a nutritional component. We are learning more each day about the role of nutrition in health and prevention of disease. But how do you choose the right supplement?
Most vitamins found in the stores today are known as isolates. This means that they contain an isolated form of a vitamin or it may be a combination of isolated vitamins packaged together. These isolated vitamins may be synthetic (produced in a lab) or they may be so-called natural, meaning that they were derived from a natural source. It is not unusual to find extremely large doses of those isolated vitamins-much larger than you would ever find occurring naturally in food. These typical “complete” multivitamins contain only a fraction of the components found in food.
Whole food supplements on the other hand provide nutrients as nature intended-in a whole food form. In this way you receive more of the nutrients the whole food provides, rather than incomplete isolated components of foods. In our office, we offer Standard Process. One product, Catalyn, is made from 15 different food sources. Every food in Catalyn supplies a full list of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, even those that haven’t been discovered yet! The nutrients within foods work together to provide the body the tools it needs to maintain optimal health.
The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself but it must have good nutrition. This means eating a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables daily. It means eating healthy sources of grains and avoiding highly processed wheat and flour products. It means eating the right amount of protein from a good source. It means restricting the amounts of processed foods and fast-food eaten. It means limiting the sweets and sugars in the diet. And it means taking high-quality whole food supplements.
Natural versus Synthetic Vitamins and Supplements
Today, nearly 70% of Americans take some type of vitamins and more than 3,000 vitamin and mineral supplements are on shelves. Did you know that 90% of the vitamins on shelves are synthetic?
How can you tell? Look at the label. For example, a natural source of Vitamin A might be “fish oils” or “lemon grass”. If the table says “Acetate” or “Palmitate”, then it is a synthetic source.
For the “B” vitamins, look for natural sources of “Rice bran, molasses, yeast”. Synthetic sources will be “Thiamine Hydrochloride, Thiamine, Mononitrate, Thiamine Chloride, Riboflavin, Niacin, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Pryidoxine Hydorcholride”.
Natural Vitamin C will be “Rose hips, citrus fruit, green peppers, acerola” whereas “Ascorbic acid” indicates a synthetic source.
When taking synthetic vitamins, the body requires a much higher dosage because the body does not absorb as high of a percentage of synthetic vitamins as it does natural vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are basically the same as a drug and like drugs they can have side effects. The body does not need mega-does of vitamins. It needs quality vitamins it can absorb at the cellular level.
Most doctors agree that some sort of vitamin supplementation is important today but make sure the supplement you take are natural, whole-food supplements that will help your body be its healthiest. If you are unsure about the vitamins you are taking, bring them by the office. Dr. Tim or Jill are happy to take a look at them for you.
At Keystone Spinal Care, we offer nutritional counseling and advice. The road to sound nutritional health can be winding and bumpy but don’t go at it alone. Call our office at (724) 216-9000 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tim Strittmatter or Jill Strittmatter, ACN. You will be amazed at how good you can feel.