Are Vitamin Supplements Better Than Whole Foods?
At the end of World War II, chemical companies started selling nitrate/ phosphate/ potassium (NPK) fertilizers that made using traditional farming methods unprofitable. By the 1960’s, 97% of American farms were recorded to have become fully dependent on NPK fertilizers to grow cash crops. Plants need the constituents of an NPK fertilizer to grow; however, humans need much more than Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium to grow.
Due to the fact that the NPK fertilizers are replacing only Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium other soil nutrients (like selenium, magnesium, boron, chromium) necessary for a balanced nutrition will become deficient and plants grown on that soil are deficient of them. If these nutrients are not present in the soil, we cannot get them when eating crops grown on those soils. Even if we eat a lot of fruits, these fruits are also deficient of these nutrients.
This nutrient deficiency in crops is worsened by the preservation methods that are used in preserving the crops. The RDA handbook reviewed a huge selection of studies that proved that foods lose most of their meager nutritional content on the way to your table. It was just recently and with much resistance that the very conservative medical community acknowledged that nutrition supplements are essential for maintaining good health for a long time. Similarly, it was until 1992 that the Journal of the American Medical Association recommended vitamin supplementation in an effort to prevent cardiovascular disease. Most nutrition specialists who are aware of current research now recommend that daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplementation is essential for proper nourishment.
On April 8, 1998, the Recommended Eating Allowance Committee publicly recommended that most American’s take multi-vitamin/mineral supplements.
That being understood, we now move to the discussion of a few important concepts in nutrient supplementation. Synergy is an essential concept in nutrition. Vitamins and minerals do not work alone; they have to work interdependently to be effective and efficient. Regularly, media reports will emerge implying that we should all begin eating large amounts of wonder vitamin X because it prevents Wala Wala. Single-nutrient supplementation is an extremely naïve approach to eating healthy diets. Take, for example, calcium supplements used for preventing osteoporosis. If you take calcium excessively for months, you may observe a small increase in bone density. However, because of the excessive intake of calcium, you will also observe an increase in calcification of soft tissues, as well as calcium plaque in the arteries and a significant increase in urinary calcium.
All the nutrients involved in a specific process need to be present in varying amounts that balance one another. Formation of the bone requires calcium, vitamin D, copper, fluorine, zinc, manganese, and silicon. Any deficiency in the listed nutrients will result in a loss of bone mass. Balanced nutrition is the only effective way to ensure that fundamental nutrient combinations take place; this is exactly why a high-quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is essential.
Bioavailability refers to the measure of the quantity of a particular substance that can be utilized by your body. Not all types of vitamins and minerals are alike, and some are easily absorbed than others. A good number of the vitamin supplements with a once-a-day dosage that can be purchased at drug stores contain cheap ingredients that are minimally bioavailable. Regardless, these drugs are lawful because by law the pills only have to be chemically true to the contents on the label, however; many legal forms that pass the liquid chromatography are rarely ever bioavailable.
Manufacturers know that consumers go for the Supplement with the largest number of ingredients and expect that you will not know. For example, you will gain more magnesium from 100 mg of magnesium aspartate than from 400 mg of cheap magnesium oxide. In case you don’t know, most of the ingredients that are highly bioavailable take up more physical space in a supplement. Therefore, supplements that have high-quality ingredients will come as relatively bigger pills because they contain the right amount of nutrients, unlike supplements that contain low-quality ingredients and come as small sized pills. A pea-sized centrum does not have the capacity to contain highly bioavailable nutrients.