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Why everyone needs supplements

Adapted from an article by Sara Tiner, coordinator of scientific communication, Standard Process

How many times have you heard (or said), “I usually eat pretty well…” while digging in for one more potato chip or replacing lunch with a chalk-filled protein bar? We all take shortcuts now and then because of our schedule, low energy, or other reasons. Over time, however, those shortcuts become shortfalls that turn into major statistics in American health, especially studies recently done by the USDA.

What are we missing?

Based on population studies, we aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, and we have “tenuous” intakes of vitamins A, C, D, E, and K as well as choline, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber.

Does it matter?

Nutritional deficiency can be a problem for the body if it persists over time. The major nutritional issues of the past like beriberi, rickets, pellagra, goiter, and scurvy have been mostly eradicated, but new challenges clearly persist today. For example, while rickets (osteomalacia in adults) is thankfully rare, the Institute of Medicine does suggest that older adults (age 51-70) make sure to get at least 400 IUs of vitamin D per day to maintain bone health, while those over 70 should consume 600 IUs per day. Observational studies have linked higher vitamin D levels to better immune response, better blood glucose levels, and better overall good health.

What contributes to these shortfalls?

Ultimately, we are all responsible for what we eat and feed our family. Our food environment creates major barriers that over the long term contribute to poor nutritional choices. Many people are merely not ready to make nutritional changes. Also, many foods designed to trigger our impulses to eat more.

So this isn’t just about willpower. It’s about transitioning farm acreage from wheat production to vegetable production to increase availability, supporting (and by this I mean pushing) efforts by corporations and schools to provide healthier choices, and changing our social food culture without losing the social part of that equation.

What can we do about it?

In this era of big data, there are a number of different program that help you track micronutrients. Plus there’s all the hard stuff like changing eating habits, not eating out as much, or cooking more. Making small daily changes like substituting a crunchy apple for some crunchy potato chips can ease these transitions.

Supplemental nutrition is another important option to consider. Digestive support products can help overall dietary fiber intake, and similarly, mineral and vitamin supplements can support overall intake of those nutrients. Life happens, and we want it to continue to happen in the healthiest way possible!

Ask our office to schedule a nutritional consult with Dr. Lee, and even better, bring your latest blood work/lab reports with you!