Who Exactly Takes Nutritional Supplements and Why?

I shot this video in the parking lot of a local store that sells  nutritional supplements.  As you can see, the parking lot is busy,
and customers entering and leaving the store exhibit a wide range of age  and characteristics.

People who take nutritional supplements are sometimes labeled as
“Health Nuts” as if they were part of some weird minority. It might surprise you to learn that most U.S. adults, 68%, use dietary supplements according to an October, 2015 survey by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

This Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs, found that when it comes to safety, quality and effectiveness of specific dietary supplement categories, Americans have the most confidence in the “Vitamins & Minerals” category (85%).  Results show that the vitamins and minerals category has the highest  usage compared to specialty supplements, herbals & botanicals, and sports nutrition and weight management.  79% of male supplement users and 77% of  female supplement users take vitamins and minerals, followed by vitamin D (32%),  vitamin C (27%) and calcium (24%) which are three nutrients that government reports have  identified as shortfall nutrients. Continue reading Who Exactly Takes Nutritional Supplements and Why?

Get Fat! Omega-3 Fatty Acids That Is.

Omega-3 SupplementsWhen the words oils and fats are mentioned, health-conscious individuals tend to run for cover. What they fail to realize is that there are good fats and bad fats.  Complete avoidance of intake of oils and fats would actually be detrimental – rather than beneficial – to their health.

The Truth about Fish Oil

Essential fatty acids must always be part of our daily diet – without them, we take one step closer to our deaths.  Essential fatty acids are divided into two families: omega-6 EFAs and omega-3 EFAS.

Although there are only very slight differences to distinguish the two groups of essential fatty acids from each other, studies have revealed that too much intake of omega-6 EFAs can lead to inflammation, blood clotting and tumor growth.  The good news, however, is that the opposite is true for omega-3 EFAs.  Omega-6 EFAs can be found in vegetable oils while omega-3 EFAs can be found in fish oils among other foods. 

Omega-6 vs. Omega-3

Physicians and scientists believe that the imbalanced intake of omega-3 and omega-6 EFAs is the cause behind increasing cases of various health problems.

As mentioned earlier on, omega-6 EFAs can be found in vegetable oils.  This includes but is not limited to corn oil and soy oil, both of which contain high amounts of linoleic acid.  Omega-3 EFAs on the other hand can be found also in marine plankton and walnut and flaxseed oils.  It should be significant to take note that fatty fish and fish oils contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), fatty acids that have been observed to provide many benefits to the human body.  In the early 1970’s, a study on Greenland Eskimos have revealed that one of the major reasons why they rarely suffer from heart problems is because of their high-fat diet (mainly composed of fish).  Continue reading Get Fat! Omega-3 Fatty Acids That Is.

Immune Systems and Broken Levees

NOLA Levee BreakThe Levee lay there un-noticed by most of the citizens until it was overwhelmed and the City of New Orleans flooded during Hurricane Katrina.  To all outward appearances the barrier looked fine and continued day after day to do the job of holding the water out.  But all that changed when so much stress was put on it that it failed.

 Similarly, our immune systems are designed to provide our bodies with protection just like the levees were designed to protect New Orleans.  Our immune system is an amazing protection mechanism designed to defend us against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites.  It faces stresses everyday: Cuts can allow all sorts of bacteria and viruses to enter our body; Germs floating in the air are inhaled; Each day we eat hundreds of germs; Various kinds of human ailments can cause allergies.  Continue reading Immune Systems and Broken Levees

Confused About Vitamin Mineral Supplements?

Confused about vitamin mineral supplementsThere’s been a great increase in the number of people seeking information about nutritional supplements.  That’s no surprise because recent research has shown that the right dietary supplements can support optimal health and quality of life as well as contribute to looking younger and feeling more energetic.

Getting good nutrition from our modern diet is difficult.  Modern agricultural practices such as new crop breeding practices, green harvesting and genetic modifications have significantly decreased the amount of important nutrients in fruits and vegetables.  So even people who think they are eating healthy are actually not getting the daily nutrition they need.  To make matters worse, did you know that less than 18% of the population is even eating the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables?

Nutritional supplements have been highlighted as a solution to these problems.  In a June 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association an article stated “Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone… it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.”

But which vitamin mineral supplement should you take?  Some choose their  dietary supplements by price alone.  Others make their choices based on how often they see the product advertised on television. or in magazines.  Generally, these are not reliable ways to determine the true value of a dietary supplement. Continue reading Confused About Vitamin Mineral Supplements?