Dietary Supplements – Do Dietary Supplements Work



when discussing health and nutrition many people question the need for supplements typical reactions include if I eat a healthy diet isn't that enough and don't I get all the nutrients I need from my food these are reasonable questions so let's examine them firstly it's becoming more and more difficult to eat a healthy diet in Western societies even if you want to our food is often highly processed containing large amounts of sugar and saturated fats and salt to enhance flavor profiles but not necessarily nutrient profiles in addition our food chain is now subject to the effects of mass farming depleted soil quality picking fruit and vegetables before they are ripe and then storing them for long periods all of which may compromise the nutrient quality but is there hard evidence for nutrient depletion well indeed there are a number of studies that demonstrate just that here we show the decline and mineral content of vegetables and fruit and meat in the UK over a 50-year period the fall and quality is quite disturbing this problem is not exclusive to the UK it's a global problem on the next slide we see similar data in the USA for vegetables using data published in the Journal of the American College in nutrition protein mineral and critical nutrient values have declined in u.s. vegetables this data challenges the notion that one can get all the appropriate nutrients from the diet no matter how good that is let alone consider if your diet is not optimal but supplements are not just intended to balance our dietary mismatches we now know that nature produces many bioactive compounds that can have dramatic effects on our health and wellness but there may not be considered normal parts of our diet medicinal plants are often not part of a diet but they are used as needed and when needed an example is resveratrol a compound that science has recently shown has dramatic benefits healthy aging and is found in red wine but to get effective doses one would need to consume 50 bottles of wine a day not really feasible so how do you incorporate the benefits of resveratrol in your health and wellness plan supplements are the answer supplements can also through extraction processes eliminate toxic compounds while concentrating the desirable resveratrol and wine is just one example another consideration is that extracts also allow us to avoid the burden of excessive amounts of other factors for example starches and vegetables so we can keep calories low remember eating more it's not the answer to filling nutritional gaps balancing needs with solutions by bridging gaps with supplements helps us optimize our health with critical nutrients that may vary because of seasonal geographical and cultural reasons so an answer to the question why do you need supplements it may be best to consider the alternative question can you truly afford to not use dietary supplements

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