These two fundamental questions that support the backbone of this new Vitamin Criteria have to be answered:
1. Why is it necessary to add supplemental "vitamins" to maintain health?
For the sake of discussion, the term vitamin as used here also includes the larger scope of any supplemented dietary nutrient, including vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, to probiotic bacteria...
Here is one of the basic fundamental reasons why people need to supplement their diet, A low nutrient to high calorie ratio in consumed foods. Nature almost always puts enough nutrients in a variety of whole foods to take care of the digestion and production of food calories into energy. This energy is then used to drive all the other body metabolic processes, i.e. building proteins and tissues, making hormones, muscle actions, nerve firings, etc. This works extremely well until food processors separate out the nutrient containing parts and leave behind just the empty calories. The body then has to prioritize which functions and processes get allocated these limited nutrients.
The primary foods this applies to include; 1. White flour and white rice, which lose almost all bran fibers, a majority of some minerals, most essential fatty acids of the germ, and a large percentage of 11 B vitamins (the enrichment program adds back 5 at various levels); 2. Sugar and alcohol are completely devoid of any nutrients that were in the original cane, beet, or grain (fruit juices are almost empty); and 3. Oils separated out of vegetables, beans, nuts, or seeds are also devoid of practically all nutrients of the original source. These missing nutrients are involved in the healthy aspects of digestion, processing, and elimination. Thus, the more empty calorie foods consumed, the greater the need for supplementing the missing nutrients. The body uses survivial wisdom to allocate where these limited nutrients will have the most vital body functions until organs eventually are overstressed and can no longer adequately function, which in the case of alcoholics is usually the liver.
SIDEBAR: Government health agencies have been considering adding B vitamins to beer and other alcoholic beverages to safeguard the body functions compromised by these empty calorie foods?
How is your deductive reasoning? What conclusions can you decipher from the preceding paragraph? You have just gained insight on why some diseases develop and why vitamins by themselves are often not enough. Health involves fibers, essential fats, and other phyto-nutrients that nature packages in whole natural foods to support vitamin functions. FOOD FIRST!
2. Are vitamins and other dietary supplements effective and safe?
The short answer is that while they are the safest of any consumed product category (food, drugs, or vitamins), there is still ample room for improvement in both safety and effectiveness. Yes, while science has not settled all issues, there is enough research available to show benefits and establish a working basic vitamin criteria within safe parameters for dosages and forms.
YOU MUST KNOW THIS FACT: While outright toxicities of vitamins are very rare, many involve iron overdoses in children, the following aspect almost never gets mentioned. Vitamins can generate adverse health effects at levels lower than those that exhibit toxicity. Since these adverse conditions may take many years to surface, it is often not even obvious that they are related to the dosage or form of vitamins. Folic acid at 1000 mcg doubled the prostate risk in one study.
Plus, nutrients can have detrimental effects in areas outside of their primary function zones. Some of the safety issues that have developed and need further clarification include:
High Vitamin A increasing bone fractures
Calcium's role in arterial calcification for cardiovascular health and dementia
Failure of long term calcium to limit fractures
High synthetic Folic acid on cancer and dementia
Mega Vitamin B6 on nerve damage
High Vitamin C on aorta artery walls and glycation
High Magnesium and Vitamin C on diarrhea
Iron on oxidative stress
Zinc on interference of copper
Higher levels of Selenium on diabetes
Excess vitamin E on hemorrhagic strokes
Higher Vitamin E on suppression of vitamin K functions
Mega niacin on increasing homocysteine levels
Low vitamin K on artery calcification and bone health
Protein on future kidney function
Do you find the above news shocking? Media headlines sensationalize these issues without revealing the "real" facts. This website offers the insight to help you understand what is happening in all of the above conditions, and how to avoid supplemental imbalances.
A supplemented nutrient can be beneficial, have no effect, or be detrimental depending upon the intake levels, the ratio of the nutrient to other nutrients, the form of the nutrients, and circumstances or conditions in the body. The same nutrient could be preventative before a disease develops yet an accelerant once the disease is present. Read this paragraph again. Prime importance.
Another concept that needs to be presented is that the body uses steps in processing to get to a desired result. Imagine going down a flight of stairs and one of the steps is missing. This would make it more difficult to negotiate and slow your progress, but not impossible. If you supplement high amounts of just one nutrient, it often creates unbalanced "step heights" and interferes with the flow of the body's cascading metabolic processes. The concept of receptor or absorption site interference and the ability to handle mega dosages of just one nutrient play a major role in determining safety issues.
The Current FDA standards do recommend for the first time the safe upper levels for many vitamins. But research still has more to discover, especially about the interactions of vitamins, medicines, and disease, especially over the longer term. This is one of the reasons this new vitamin criteria uses the "precautionary principle" in determining standards, some of which are actually well below the new Government recommended safe upper levels.
It is unfortunate that more information is not available about potential contra-indications and interactions between vitamins and disease conditions. You need this information to be able to make intelligent choices. Vitamins often have a beneficial range where too much is just as detrimental as not enough. Since vitamins are so small, mega quantities can be put in one capsule which increases potential conflicts. www.drugs.com see interactions section
Scientific research is often guilty of tunnel vision in study protocols. To simply concentrate on one or two functions and overlook possible interactions in other body tissues and organs is inexcusable. Examples: Calcium and vitamin D on bone health without checking influence on artery health, or folic acid with benefits for women of child bearing age while detrimental for seniors with low B12 or cancers. Concepts presented here will illuminate some of these newly discoverd side effects to help you make intelligent dietary supplement decisions.
BUT FIRST, some general information on website set up:
Feature Article: Hearts of Fire
Consumer Alerts To protect health, you need to be aware
What's happening here:
These are some of the more controversial facts covered:
HEART OF THE CRITERIA
Half of heart attacks occur in people with normal cholesterol levels
Higher calcium intakes are associated with increased prostate cancer risk
Breast cancer rates increase with greater trans-fat intake
Diabetic and obesity rates are increasing parallel to increasing fructose (and overall sugar) consumption
Food production and processing changes in the last fifty years have dramatically increased inflammatory markers in the body
Increased inflammatory markers are found in most if not all degenerative diseases: cancer, cardiovascular, arthritis, and Alzheimer's
Megadose water soluble B vitamins are not always flushed out of the body without harm ref
- Natural and synthetic vitamins are not the same ref
When a health professional says "there are no differences between natural and synthetic vitamins," what they really mean...
This issue is at the very core of vitamin supplementation. Can synthetic vitamins fully substitute for natural vitamins? If a high school health teacher gave students the assignment to find out the answer to this question, the students that found the answer to be "NO" would be those that actually researched and read the books rather than just accepted the hand me down answer of "YES, natural and synthetic vitamins are the same." It is amazing that in this day of scientific enlightenment, older views developed with limited science are still dominating this answer. If you would like to know..... more >>
Idealistic fanaticism or practical realism -- options in vitamin supplement protocols.
How do you make vitamin choices?
"The Complete Vitamin Criteria for Taking Supplements" has yet to be written. This website is a good start.
One book that comes very close is "The Best Supplements for Your Health" by Donald Goldberg, R.Ph., Arnold Gitomer R.Ph., and Robert Abel, MD. Since its publication in 2002, there have been many new studies which might change some of the information, but the majority is still valid. The one area of concern is over the natural verses synthetic issue. They did not correctly address this important topic. PLus many studies have now questioned certain mega-dosages.
There are numerous reference books available that more then adequately cover vitamin functions and even give disease protocols such as Dr Sheldon Hendler and David Rorvik's "PDR for Nutritional Supplements" and Dr Paul Barney's "Doctor's Guide to Natural Medicine" or "Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements" by Michael Murray DC and "The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements, and Herbs" by Nicola Reavley. Unfortunately, book information is often out of date as soon as it is published because research does update nutritional science, or at least it should.
This quick disease risk assessment gives more useful information about health factors and disease risk reduction in 2 minutes than you will learn from most other websites.
Our mission is to provide common sense science-based information for the intelligent use of vitamins and other dietary supplements to promote healthy body functions and structures.
The simple rationale behind this website is that everything that enters the body influences in one of four ways. Either it can have a positive effect; a neutral, a negative, or the possibility also exists that it could have both a positive effect in one area and a negative in another. Such as might be high calcium's role for males in supporting bone health while increasing prostate risk. Hollow Bone Saga
Q- Do you want to be healthy?
Sometimes the obvious is the last question asked. Every month, hundreds of scientific health studies publish their results. Only the most sensational are reported in the media. What happens to the rest? This website reveals their often important story. The links supplied on this website would take you many hours, maybe even weeks, to find and are perhaps some of the best the internet has to offer. Now the question that is before you, are you ready to sacrifice being sick?
HOW TO USE THIS SITE
As a living website, information will constantly change as new study results warrant. Check back often as new material will be added and old reworked. See Site Plan for index.
For time conscious viewers, a Quick Version Summary is presented first so you can evaluate if it will be profitable to read the complete work.
You will notice a launch date at the top of each page. Then when pages are updated, a revised date will be included. The information could and will change constantly, especially the CONSUMER ALERT section. This section has references that automatically update any new food recalls. There are far too many. Also included are possible interactions between vitamins and medicines, and any newly discovered adverse vitamin reactions (AVR).
References (ref) used for research and also to support concepts will be referenced in the articles and have their own page. Read a study or two to see why it takes a road map and a medical dictionary to decipher. It interesting to note how detailed research scientists have to be in setting up study protocols. While the studies can be quite complicated to understand, you can still get an idea of the study results by reading the abstract and the conclusion, or the discussion in the full version. Click on full text if only the abstract version comes up. At the end of the studies are listed the references you can check out by clicking on the underlined websites. Pubmed (Published Medical) studies have a related articles tab at the top right corner that can prove most interesting. Explore all options for advancing knowledge. CAUTION: See interpretative studies to learn about study techniques.
This informational site is self-funded and does not accept advertising and currently does not offer any products for sale. If you find something that interests you, please share it with your family and friends. NOTE: Like any health website, information presented here may have biases and should not be relied upon as gospel truths, only as one stepping stone toward truth discovery. Question everything, even research studies and especially the emotionalism of media reporting.
Health is a very personal thing. Seldom are universal theories or protocols sufficient to meet this individual uniqueness. Hereditary genes, environmental factors, body size, diet, and lifestyle patterns all contribute to your individuality. For governmental agencies to develop nutritional guidelines to cover all the many variables is definitely quite challenging. You should really think along the lines that the numbers are just a guide rather than a hard and fast rule. The trick is to discover what works for you.
Knowledge is essentially useless until you apply it in your daily living. Enjoy and be healthy. Your RightWay Team
"Words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think."
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Disclaimer: Information presented here is not meant to diagnose or as treatment or as a cure for any disease condition. This is a health information clearinghouse website. Opinions expressed here are the property of the author. If you are not well, please see a qualified medical professional. Linked websites should not be construed as a recommendation of products or services. This includes governmental sites as well. Any allegiances owed are to the discovery of TRUTH.
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