ABCD ETC. Vitamins are more than just an alphabet
Phil Cameron | Friday May. 1st, 2015
Ever picked up a bottle of vitamins and were reminded of alphabet soup? It seems like there is a vitamin for each letter and some of the letters even have multiple numbers associated with them; B1, B2, B3. The use of daily vitamins has been a topic of hot debate, some “experts” for it, some “experts” against it, with compelling arguments on each side. People against the use of vitamins argue that absorption is very low, and most of the vitamins end up in the toilet. People who promote the use of vitamins say they are essential because our soil is depleted of the vitamins and minerals we need, and therefore we have a hard time meeting our daily recommended allowance of the vitamins by diet alone. This is especially true if you are not eating organic food, have a diet high in refined foods, or eat meals on the go.
Recently there was a big hoopla with Wal-Mart and Target and a few other big retail stores in New York, claiming that some of the supplements being sold on their shelves did not even contain the product that was labeled to be in the bottle. It later turned out that the lab that was doing the investigating was using a DNA test, which is not the proper testing method. Instead they should have been using mass spectrometry to determine if the compounds of the vitamins and herbs were in fact present in the supplement, but the damage was already done, the vitamin industry took that one on the chin.
In a world that is so connected through the internet with vast amounts of information at our fingertips, a simple Google search will direct you to the latest and greatest cure-all vitamin that amazingly emerged from the fountain of youth to bring you longevity, increased libido, and grow the hair back on your head. Unfortunately we need to be careful of these as most of their claims turn out to be unsubstantiated.
Vitamins and minerals are nature’s physiological keys. They work by causing physiological reactions to take place in the body, which are necessary for us to stay healthy. The vitamins and minerals that are essential for our bodies must be obtained from our food or supplements because they cannot be made by our body. For example vitamin C is an essential vitamin that we must eat. Vitamin C is important in collagen and connective tissue formation in our bodies. That is why when sailors did not have foods containing vitamin C during their long voyages they would develop scurvy, a connective tissue disease that caused their teeth to become loose and fall out. That is just one example, but in fact there are many diseases related to vitamin and mineral insufficiency of our body.
To take the concept of vitamin and mineral deficiency one step further, we can look at most illness and afflictions of the human body and see that there is an underlying nutritional deficiency associated with it. The human body has amazing powers to heal and maintain balance or homeostasis as long as it has all of its nutritional requirements met. When there is a deficiency within the body, it has to rob Peter to pay Paul and physiological sacrifices are made. Then you develop symptoms or diseases depending on which body bank account has been depleted.
In order to maintain health it is essential that we eat a balanced diet full of vegetables and proteins, with little to no sugar or refined and processed foods. The founder of Standard Process, the oldest supplement company, was Dr. Royal Lee DDS. He was a dentist that saw the relationship of health and disease of the body related to what was going on in the mouth and teeth. He understood that most diseases where a result of nutritional deficiencies and he began developing supplements to feed the body. Taking whole foods and vacuum drying them at 70 degrees, and then removing the fiber so all that remained was a highly dense nutritional substance that could be tabulated and given to a patient in the same way nature had intended it to be eaten. As he gave these supplements to patients they would heal and he noticed that many afflictions they had been suffering from would resolve and health would be restored.
Standard Process supplements are still available today but are only sold through qualified healthcare professionals. There are many supplement and health care companies now, but what you must understand as a consumer is they are not all giving you products that feed the body in the way nature intended. When choosing supplement and vitamin products you want to choose products that are made with whole foods and are still in that food form, not refined down into specific parts. The more refining that goes on with a food the more it looses its quality and ability for your body to absorb and utilize it. If you see on the label a long alphabetical list of each of the vitamins, understand that these are synthetic vitamins all squished together and held together with binding agents. And no, yellow 5 is not an essential nutrient.
I personally believe everyone should be taking a whole food multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, essential fatty acids like fish oil, and most likely vitamin D3 as everyone north of the Mason-Dixon line does not get enough sunshine to keep our vitamin D levels up. With that foundation other vitamins or supplement can be used based on your individual health needs. My advice is to seek professional recommendations, often you can spend a lot of money on many things you don’t need when you could be spending good money on things that will really make a difference for your health.