Supplements Are Not All Created Equal
A lot of evidence links chronic diseases to a lack of nutrients. Sadly, as explained by Johns Hopkins University scientists: "Nutritional research has adopted a reductionist approach that emphasizes the role of individual nutrients in physiologic function or disease process. In view of the complex pathological processes of chronic disease, the idea of using a single nutrient or a few nutrients to modify disease risk carries considerable optimism." One or a few isolated nutrients cannot reverse any disease, illness, or condition. Unfortunately, the 40 or so isolated nutrients that scientists study-and most supplement companies pack into pills or powders-are only a tiny fraction of the array of organic compounds found in food. A nutrient is not a single compound, but a family of compounds.
Our bodies need all these complementary, interdependent components together to properly use them. When you get vitamin C in a piece of fruit, for instance, the ascorbic acid (called 'vitamin C') comes with a lot of other ingredients- flavonoids, rutin, trace minerals, and more. The ascorbic acid antioxidant protects other functional parts of the vitamin C complex from premature oxidation or breakdown. We need the whole complex for real nutritional benefits. Richard Lee, MD, says that when synthetic substances or over-processed substances from natural sources are made into supplements, he treats them as drugs. These substances are in different concentrations than they would naturally be in food, so he reasons that different effects will result. Most 'natural' supplements are made by drastically modifying natural substances, isolating certain ingredients, and using processes that change the biological activity. The end result is far from a nutrient-rich food. It's even worse when the 'nutrient' part is synthesized-artificially imitated. Studies show that synthetic forms of beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and other nutrient imitations have different effects than natural forms and can have adverse effects. A 2012 study showed that high doses of alpha-tocopherol don't help prevent cancer whereas consuming foods high in vitamin E complex are protective. Imitated flavonoids can interfere with detoxification phases, adversely affect the thyroid, and have other effects that don't occur when flavonoids naturally occur in food. Oncologist Mitchell L Gaynor, MD, believes "that eating the whole food is much better than taking synthetic vitamins."
Symptoms Don't Appear At Once
That a person does not experience immediate symptoms from an isolated or synthetic 'nutrient' doesn't mean the substance is not having an important negative effect. It can alter the metabolism of or interfere with the effectiveness of other nutrients, create deficiencies, and eventually produce symptoms. Inappropriate information can be sent to enzymes that catalyze essential actions in the body. Each of us is unique in our biochemical state and molecular characteristics, so we have individual requirements. Nutritional needs also vary according to our age, gender, stress level, genetic profile, lifestyle, health status and presence of any illness. Each of us has a higher or lower requirement for specific nutrients than do other people. It's been suggested that supplements should be tailored to a patient's individual needs, but needs change. Real foods and food-concentrate supplements offer selective absorption. This means a person's body absorbs more of nutrients then needed in larger amounts and absorbs less of nutrients needed in smaller amounts. It's extremely rare that anyone would be deficient in one nutrient; essentially all tissues in the body need virtually all nutrients. But when one or more are present in suboptimal concentration, tissue function will be impaired to some extent. Dr Robert P Heaney writes that a disease from a nutrient deficiency "reflects simply the functional breakdown of the most severely affected body system ... Effects in other body systems are often not explicitly perceptible (though any damage due to the deficiency continues to accumulate silently)."
Examples of Food Concentrate Benefits
Here are a few examples of benefits from real food-concentrate supplements. Various encapsulated vegetable and fruit juice powders: 1) improved immune function, reduced cellular stress and days lost at work for men in stressful jobs; 2) improved outcomes of periodontal disease; 3) decreased total cholesterol and oxidative indicators plus improved other detrimental indicators in heavy smokers; 4) reduced common cold symptoms and duration of symptoms; 5) reduced serum homocysteine and markers of protein, lipid and DNA oxidation; improved markers of immunity, inflammation and endothelial function; 6) improved the level of agitation, anxiety, and delusion in Alzheimer's patients; 7) reduced blood pressure and increased flow-mediated vaso-dilation in men with metabolic syndrome; 8) decreased lipid peroxidation and reduced elevated blood pressure; 9) supported proper blood building, immune system function, detoxification, repair processes; aided factors that may help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, problems with blood sugar regulation. 10) Cranberry concentrate lowered frequency of urinary tract 'infections.' 11) A high-fiber, fruit-based supplement bar raised glutathione, increased HDL (so-called "good") cholesterol, lowered homocysteine. 12) Rose hips, rich in vitamin C complex, lowered elevated cholesterol, potentially improved diabetic conditions and osteoarthritis. 13) Camu-camu, also rich in vitamin C complex, supported immune function, aided inflammation and repair processes, had antidepressant effects, helped lower blood pressure, supported blood vessels. 14) Sea vegetables, like kelp, rich in vitamins and numerous minerals including iodine, had inflammation-resolving, immune-system, and blood pressure-lowering benefits. 15) Beet root and greens contain healthful nitrate that is converted by the body into nitric oxide (NO) which sends various signals to every bodily cell. NO relaxes smooth muscles in blood vessel walls, causing them to relax or dilate, thus increasing blood flow. This can help prevent angina and heart attacks, lower blood pressure, improve erectile dysfunction in men, increase blood flow to the brain (reducing risk or progression of dementia), and increase exercise capacity (by improving blood flow and reducing the amount of oxygen muscles need during activity). Other components, like betacyanin, have cancer-protective effects. Research links beets with protection against heart disease, reduced oxidation of LDL cholesterol, inhibition of blood clots, reduction in triglycerides, lowered homocysteine levels and other bio-markers of inflammation. Beets aid detoxification through the liver and help relieve the kidneys of stress.
To support proper dilation, strength and flexibility of blood vessels and to encourage healthy circulation, the following can be considered:
Just Before Two Meals :
2 Betafood (chew), NO production
2 Cataplex C (chew), vitamin C complex
1 Cyruta-Plus (chew), flavonoids, rutin
Midway Through Two Meals :
2 Chlorophyll Complex, E complex, fatty acids
Midway Through One Meal :
1 Cayenne Pepper, circulation aid