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Supplements can refer to anything taken to enhance one's normal diet, including vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants. The three main kinds of supplements are:
Due to the depletion of minerals in our soil and poor eating habits, most people need supplements to maintain even normal health. Supplements are also used to correct imbalances in the body and heal illnesses. These imbalances can be caused by many factors including environmental pollution, chemicals in our personal care products and foods, prescription/OTC drugs and stress.
There are many cheap, poor quality supplements on the market that contain contaminants, are made from poor quality materials, and/or do not even contain the actual amounts of the nutrients on the label. Quality control is poor or non-existent in the bargain brands. Check out the nutrition companies you use. Do they use independent testing from outside labs? Can they provide you with an assay that proves there is actually acidophilus in your probiotics? This information is readily available from reputable companies. If it isn't, don't buy it, and certainly don't put it in your body.
When choosing herbs, only use certified organic or you may be ingesting herbicides, pesticides and other toxins. Be careful with wild crafted herbs unless you know who is doing the wild crafting. Were the herbs gathered from a pristine area or by the side of a highway where they collected exhaust toxins? Most professionals do considerable screening of their supplements and herbs to make sure they are of the highest quality.
Naturopaths and chiropractors study nutrition and therapeutic diet as a part of their training and many prescribe supplements. Medical doctors usually do not have nutrition as part of their medical school training, but holistic M.D.'s will have post graduate education in this area. All doctors are required to take continuing post graduate education for license renewal. Most nutritionally oriented doctors will choose to use this time to keep up to date on nutritional therapeutics. They also have a wealth of clinical experience in using supplements. Nutritionists work with both diet and supplements to assist clients. The Nutrition Therapy Institute of Colorado provides a two-year training program with a holistic approach, including use of supplements.
Antibiotics and drug medicine saved my life when I was a small child, but I was left with immune system problems, severe dysbiosis, toxicity, and eventually multiple chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I owe my recovery to a very large extent to the use of very precisely prescribed good quality supplements. When used within the context of a total health care program, supplements can have a significant benefit in restoration of health from everything from minor imbalances to very serious conditions. I use supplements extensively in my own practice with excellent results both to restore health and for prevention and maintenance. - Faye M. Steuck, D.C., Golden CO - September 2002
My health has been damaged by extensive antibiotic use in the past and I have been able to avoid taking antibiotics for 12 years by using various herbs and supplements prescribed by my chiropractor to treat infections. - Margaret Auld-Louie, Golden CO - August 2002
Whole Food Supplements
Whole Food Supplements are complete foods that provide all the ingredients, in one portion, needed to receive the full nutritional and healing benefits. Examples include:
Whole-food supplements are generally safer than isolated supplements or herbs. Also, isolated supplements may be missing other substances found in food that are needed to make it work optimally. For instance, Vitamin C works better when combined with Vitamin E and bioflavonoids. According to Dr Charles Elson, researcher at the University of Wisconsin, studies on individual supplements has been inconclusive at best. He states, "whenever we try to pick out a single one, we fall on our faces…there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of substances in vegetables and fruits that provide protection against cancer and other diseases."
One of the important benefits of taking fruit and vegetable or spirulina supplements is the live enzymes they provide - if the supplement has been properly processed. Unless you eat a completely raw diet, your body is probably deficient in enzymes, which eventually leads to illness. Whole foods can provide a concentrated dose of enzymes, in addition to many other nutrients.
When searching for a whole-food supplement, quality (balance and synergy) is extremely important. The less expensive supplements may be processed in a way that kills the live enzymes, to cut costs. Also, supplements that absorb heavy metals, such as spirulina and chlorella, must be grown in unpolluted conditions. Otherwise, one will be taking a supplement full of heavy metals instead of cleansing the metals already in the body. It's best to work with a qualified practitioner who can guide you to high-quality products.
Naturopaths and chiropractors study nutrition and therapeutic diet as a part of their training and many prescribe supplements. Medical doctors usually do not have nutrition as part of their medical school training, but holistic MD's will have post graduate education in this area. All doctors are required to take continuing post graduate education for license renewal. Most nutritionally oriented doctors will choose to use this time to keep up to date on nutritional therapeutics. They also have a wealth of clinical experience in using supplements. Nutritionists work with both diet and supplements to assist clients. The Nutrition Therapy Institute of Colorado provides a two-year training program with a holistic approach, including use of supplements.
I healed a stomach ulcer by taking a fruit/vegetable supplement high in enzymes, after conventional drugs and other holistic methods failed. Also, I saw significant improvement in my elderly, sick cat's health after just one week on a micro-algae supplement. - Margaret Auld-Louie, Golden CO - August 2002
After losing five members of my immediate family to cancer of the pancreas, a hereditary problem in my family, and having obtained successes with super food in clinical and practical applications, I intensified my research with Bio Superfoods. Today, none of the remaining members of my family that have been using BSF show any trace of cancer. - Professor, Dr Michael Kiriac, Laval, Canada - January 2002
Source: Margaret Auld-Louie, BA, CRM (Certified Reiki Master), Golden, CO; Faye Steuck, DC, Golden, CO; Roland Thomas, Highlands Ranch, CO.
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