This is a question I hear commonly asked. Do we really need to take supplements? The answer is no, and yes! No, we certainly wouldn’t need them if all our foods came straight to us as nature intended in their purest form. No, we wouldn’t need supplements if we didn’t live in this modern day with so many things combating our health at every turn. Such as the modern SAD diet, chemicals coming at us at every turn, the quality of our water, the pollution in our environment and I could go on and on. It’s an unfortunate conundrum, but I do believe supplements are necessary for the sake of therapy and recovery. I also believe that they can be excellent support. Yes, even if and when you are eating a properly prepared nutrient dense real food diet. Why? Because none of us living on the planet today have started out with a good foundation. We are coming off of the industrial food revolution, where our food supply has been so altered, thus threatening our very health. I think it’s possible to get to a place of health where one relies namely on food to stay healthy and to heal. However, I personally find it a relief that I can obtain support when I need it from supplements. I personally think it is very realistic to expect to need some ongoing supplementation for optimal health. Think of it this way, supplementation certainly is highly preferrable to a need for medications, surgery or hospitalization in the future. Quality counts too, as cheap supplements may do more harm than good.
I do plan to get further into my thoughts on adding supplements to a healthy diet as there is a ton to navigate in regards to choosing what and where to buy. But for today I am bringing to you a post from my friend Suzanne, a nutritionist, sharing her thoughts on why supplements are an important addition to any healthy lifestyle.
Supplements are a really important part of the diet. Why do I say this? Since the soil that our food is planted in is devoid of nutrients, we need to replace the vitamins and minerals that we are missing. Add this to the fact that a lot of foods are now genetically modified which further kills the nutrients in the soil.
A doctor who says that supplements are unnecessary is the same doctor who says that nutrition doesn’t mean anything when someone gets sick and quickly writes you a prescription to fill. These doctors are prescribers and not really interested in your total well-being. However, this post isn’t about doctor bashing. This post is about good and not so good supplements.
The RDA lists amounts of nutrients that will keep you from totally falling apart but won’t get you well. For example, the RDA on vitamin C is 60-95 mg. This amount is what will keep you from getting scurvy and is about the same amount in one orange. Whereas 200,000 – 300,000 mg. of IV vitamin C has been shown to be very supportive of cancer and HIV/AIDS. The table at the following link shows the difference between what the US requires including what the AMA and the FDA suggests versus what various orthomolecular physicians suggest. It’s an interesting link. Vitamin C is only one supplement that is like this. There are many other supplements which really support the human body in higher doses than what the RDA requires.
A recent article by the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service shows evidence that 25,000 mg of IV vitamin C will be very supportive for people with radiation damage. Here’s a link to the article: Orthomolecular physicians support people using nutrition and mega-doses of supplements. Guess what, the FDA wants to begin disallowing doctors from supporting people with IV vitamin C. Wonder why? The answer is simple – because it often works much better than drugs and totally erases the need for expensive drug treatment.
In my thesis on Nutritional Support for HIV and AIDS, I discovered that these two diseases have no relation and that high doses of selenium are totally supportive as is a raw, whole food diet. I also discovered that in Africa the areas with more selenium in the soil have way less cases of both HIV and AIDS.
In fact if you are planting an organic garden, the first thing to do after researching how long the land hasn’t been sprayed (should be three years) would be to go to a place that grinds gravestones and ask for some of the remnants that come from the grinding and use that in your soil for mineralization. Then do your planting.
So what supplements are the best to buy? I believe that food based supplements are the best to buy. They are made from naturally occurring nutritional ingredients in the same amounts as found in nature. They are not man-made or synthetic. Unfortunately most of the vitamin stores sell synthetic vitamins. So you have to find food based or whole food supplements on the Internet. Dr. Joe Mercola, an osteopathic physician who knows nutrition, wrote a very informative post on the difference between food based and synthetic supplements which you can read here or as listed in the resources at the end of the article.
One of my favorite lines of whole food supplements are Grown by Nature. I learned about these because Dr. Carolyn Dean, a MD and ND highly recommends them. I also like the supplements made by Innate Response, Synergy, and Dr. Grossman’s Whole Food Vitamins,. These are all good and honest companies who make excellent products.
Unfortunately, not all supplements come food based. So you have to thoroughly research the products they make and/or sell. Find one you trust and stick with it. Read Natural News and listen to The Robert Scott Bell Show often and you will learn a lot about the best supplements to buy.
For further reading and sources of quality supplements:
This post contributed to Monday Mania.
Suzanne Stapler, MS
Holistic Nutrition Coach
Find Suzanne on Facebook @