Americans have the world's most expensive urine. This was the beginning of a lecture I heard a few years ago, and as I thought about my own oft-fluorescent urine, I had to agree. The lecturer was supporting the conventional Western medical belief that vitamins and supplements are not necessary if one eats a healthy, well-balanced diet. I have been on the fence about this topic and have done my own research. I disagree.
By supplements, I mean vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, phospholipids, enzymes, and the list goes on and on. The argument against supplements states that humans have done just fine for millennia without extra pills or concoctions. But have they? Humans have always had various ailments and just because they existed with these ailments, it does not mean that they fulfilled their potential health and wellness.
My own health journey , and those of many of my patients, has formed my opinion on this topic. For example, I used to have a lot of migraines. These have largely subsided since I take a supplement that combines magnesium, high doses of vitamin B2 and co-enzyme Q10. Why does my body need this when others do not? I don't know, but a better question is: why do I get migraines when others do not? The simple answer is that our biology makes each of us a unique machine with unique deficiencies and surpluses.
And what about environment? It has become accepted as fact that our food is not as nutrient dense as it once was. From an article in Scientific American (not a woo-woo fringe publication by any means): it is true that fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. The main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion . . . Sadly, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant carrot is truly less good for you than the one before. (April 2011)
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