“Men dig their graves with their own teeth and die more by those fated instruments than the weapons of their enemies.” —Thomas Moffet, 1600 AD
In 1995 park rangers at Grand Canyon National Park had to kill dozens of deer because they had become sick through addiction to junk food. It seems that visitors to the park took delight and thought they were being kind to the animals by feeding them a diet of candy, cupcakes, hotdogs, burgers, fries, Cheetos, and even pizza, despite signs requesting the contrary. This diet of unhealthy, unnatural food caused extremely poor health in the animals after they lost their ability to digest normal vegetation, and they were literally starving to death. Once the animals became addicted to the highly processed snacks the deer lacked the needed nutrients to sustain life and good health.
The Law of Design states: “Things work well when they function according to the way they were designed; they work poorly, or not at all, when that design is violated.” Consider the human body and normal human physiology. The nearly 100 trillion cells replace approximately one billion cells every hour, equaling 24 billion cells replaced daily. To carry on the processes that maintain life the body needs food so that every cell can eat, drink and reproduce. Each cell requires both known and unknown factors like vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals; and cofactors, coenzymes, and organic compounds not yet understood.
AREN’T ALL VITAMINS THE SAME?
Webster’s Dictionary tells us that a vitamin is: “any of various substances that are essential in minute quantities to the nutrition of most animals and some plants, act especially as coenzymes and precursors of coenzymes in the regulation of metabolic process (growth, repair and maintenance).” Since they are essential that means we need them or problems will occur.
Dr. Royal Lee, one of the greatest nutritionists of all time, explained that a vitamin is a complex, meaning, not a single chemical. He used the analogy of a watch to explain the synergistic quality of vitamins: “It is as if some naive individual became imbued with the notion that they can build a watch by weighing and dumping together a prescribed quantity of brass, iron, sapphires, gold and glass — or that they can concoct a vitamin complex that will function as well as a natural product as found in foods by the same ‘prescription’ method.” Like a watch and it’s many parts a vitamin can only function properly when the vitamin is in it’s natural state (whole-food) containing the phytochemicals, cofactors, coenzymes, etc, unlike the single chemical synthetic vitamin.
Many so-called “nutritional experts” would have you believe that there isn’t any difference or benefit to a whole food vitamin over a synthetic elemental vitamin. However, when synthetic vitamins are put to the test, they consistently fail to perform as well as its whole-food counterpart in experimental comparisons. Am I saying that synthetic vitamins don’t work? Whereas they do have a pharmacological (drug-like) effect, this is not the same as a physiological rebuilding process.
Recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) demonstrated the harmful effects of synthetic vitamins. In the April 14, 1994 NEJM, upon studying synthetic vitamin E and synthetic beta-carotene the researchers found an 18% higher incidence of lung cancer and an 8% higher mortality among those taking the supplements. A May 2, 1996 NEJM vitamin study was ended 21 months early than planned because synthetic vitamins produced detrimental side-effects. They found that the individuals taking beta-carotene or vitamin A had a 28% higher incidence of lung cancer, a 17% higher total mortality and a 26% higher incidence of cardiac mortality.
Is this to say that taking vitamin supplements is bad for one’s health? Only vitamins that are not from whole food sources have the potential to create negative consequences. If the vitamin label reads like a chemistry lesson then it is synthesized and thus potentially harmful. If you are looking for a superior nutritional source of vitamins, minerals and all of the cofactors make sure the label reads like a menu: wheat germ, carrot, bovine liver, etc. I strongly recommend whole food supplements to my patients.
Organically grown plants contain abundant nutritional factors beneficial to health. In fact, in the November 1, 1995 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association it was stated:”. . . at every step along the road to malignancy, plant chemicals tend to reduce the likelihood of transmission to the next stage.” There you have it, thus, the whole is better than the parts.
NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES ARE MAKING US SAD.
Science is proving that perhaps 50 – 90% of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc., may be due to our Standard American Diet (SAD). The average American consumes over a half a pound of white sugar per day. Not only does white sugar act as a drug to reduce the immune system, it is devoid of vitamins and minerals and forces the body to use its precious reserves causing further depletion of valuable foodstuffs. Foods would be our best source of nutrition, however, nutrition is sadly missing from our foods because of modern farming techniques and the over processing of our foods.
The National Academy of Sciences in December of 1996 stated “For some infections (e.g., pneumonia, bacterial and viral diarrhea, measles, tuberculosis), there is overwhelming evidence that the clinical course and final outcome are affected adversely by nutritional deficiency.” They went on to say “It is now established that nutritional deficiency is commonly associated with impaired responses . . . In fact, malnutrition is the commonest cause of immunodeficiency worldwide.” Vol. 93, pp 14304 – 14307, December 1996. With half of all Americans now suffering from some sort of chronic disease it becomes important to provide our bodies with the raw materials to strengthen our immune systems and our bodies.
Your personal nutritional needs are dependent upon your lifestyle habits, genetic makeup, activity level, exposure to toxins, and diet. A holistic physician utilizing whole-food supplements like myself is uniquely qualified to help you correct any nutritional deficiencies you might have to get you back onto the road of optimize and maintain your health.