A case for sup­ple­men­ta­tion

Moose Jaw Express.com - - Front Page - By Dr. Steven Hei­dinger, Moose Jaw Chi­ro­prac­tor

“If you eat a well-balanced diet, you shouldn’t need to take sup­ple­ments.” I used to think there was some merit to this state­ment, that if your diet were per­fect, and you were not deal­ing with an ex­ist­ing health prob­lem, then tak­ing vi­ta­mins and min­er­als as sup­ple­ments may not make a big dif­fer­ence in your health. Then I learned about the con­cept of the “Di­lu­tion Ef­fect”. In 2008 the jour­nal Hor­ti­cul­tural Sci­ence re­ported that over the last 50 to 100 years as ef­forts were made to in­crease crop yields, cer­tain min­eral con­tent of cer­tain crops de­creased as a re­sult. In re­gions where crop yields were in­creased due to fer­til­iza­tion and ir­ri­ga­tion, con­cen­tra­tions of eight dif­fer­ent min­er­als had de­creased. The in­crease in crop yields for most fruits and veg­eta­bles tested was due to an in­crease in what is known as the “dry mat­ter” of the plant. This is ba­si­cally the pro­tein, car­bo­hy­drate and fatty mat­ter. What does this mean? Peo­ple today have to eat more vol­ume of cer­tain fruits and veg­eta­bles to get the same amounts of min­er­als that were avail­able in the fruits and veg­eta­bles pro­duced decades ago. And if a cer­tain veg­etable were high in car­bo­hy­drates, then you would have to take in more carbs to get the same amount of min­er­als. The fruits and veg­eta­bles most com­monly cited in this re­port were toma­toes, pota­toes, onions, pep­pers and berries, and the min­er­als that ap­peared to be most af­fected were cal­cium and cop­per, in some cases show­ing up to an 80 per cent de­cline in con­cen­tra­tion. While this re­search was done in the United States and the United King­dom, we should take note as Cana­di­ans due to the large amount of pro­duce that we im­port from the U.S., es­pe­cially dur­ing our win­ter months. The di­lu­tion ef­fect may be fur­ther en­hanced through ge­netic mod­i­fi­ca­tions. It was also re­ported that while ge­net­i­cally al­ter­ing seeds so that crops may grow larger and faster, the min­eral con­tent may also suf­fer. The two crops that were stud­ied in this re­port were broc­coli and wheat, how­ever it is hy­poth­e­sized that most other fruits and veg­eta­bles that are grown un­der th­ese cir­cum­stances are af­fected as well. The di­lu­tion ef­fect may not be so true in the case of or­gan­i­cally grown fruits and veg­eta­bles. Opin­ions vary greatly on whether there is any value to eat­ing or­gan­i­cally grown foods. Those in favour of fol­low­ing or­gan­i­cally pro­duced guide­lines cite re­search that show their prod­ucts have a higher con­cen­tra­tion of phy­tonu­tri­ents com­pared to non-or­gan­i­cally grown fruits and veg­eta­bles. Ac­cord­ing to the Or­ganic Trade As­so­ci­a­tion, “There is mount­ing ev­i­dence that or­gan­i­cally grown fruits, veg­eta­bles and grains may of­fer more of some nu­tri­ents, in­clud­ing vi­ta­min C, iron, mag­ne­sium and phos­pho­rus, and less ex­po­sure to ni­trates and pes­ti­cide residues than their coun­ter­parts grown us­ing synthetic pes­ti­cides and fer­til­iz­ers.” If one is to be­lieve that the di­lu­tion ef­fect ex­ists, then there should be lit­tle to no ar­gu­ment that or­gan­i­cally grown prod­ucts should have bet­ter nu­tri­tional value. With the qual­ity of fruits and veg­eta­bles ap­par­ently slowly de­clin­ing as the decades go on, is this not enough proof that we should be tak­ing multi-vi­ta­mins daily? Well, it de­pends on which re­search you want to be­lieve. While there are stud­ies that show sup­ple­men­ta­tion can have pos­i­tive health ef­fects, oth­ers show lit­tle to no change in a per­son’s health and some may ac­tu­ally cause more harm than good. The busi­ness of sup­ple­ments is a multi-bil­lion dol­lar in­dus­try. There is a lot of money to be made on peo­ple’s ill­nesses or de­sire to live longer and health­ier. This means there are good prod­ucts on the mar­ket, and not so good prod­ucts. There are so many dif­fer­ent fac­tors that af­fect the body’s abil­ity to ab­sorb and make good use of th­ese vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. Fac­tors such as molec­u­lar form, con­cen­tra­tions and com­bi­na­tions can greatly af­fect a sup­ple­ment’s out­come. For some peo­ple drug in­ter­ac­tions and other con­tra-in­di­ca­tions due to ex­ist­ing health con­di­tions, can make sup­ple­men­ta­tion to be of lit­tle to no value, or even dan­ger­ous. If you are con­sid­er­ing sup­ple­ment­ing it is best to speak to those who have the proper ed­u­ca­tion to ad­vise you on which sup­ple­ments would be best for you and how to take them prop­erly. While there may be strict rules put forth by Health Canada to reg­u­late how th­ese prod­ucts are man­u­fac­tured, bot­tled and mar­keted, the dis­tri­bu­tion maybe not so well reg­u­lated. This leaves the con­sumer some­times very con­fused and of­ten at risk when choos­ing sup­ple­ments. It is al­ways best to get the ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional who is trained in the field of nat­u­ral medicine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.