certain problems that do arise with the use and misuse of nutritional
supplementation. The first concerns the fact that there is variable
toxicity levels with certain nutrients. One might read or hear
anecdotally that a particular vitamin increases heart health at a given
dosage. So, of course, if it is good at that dosage, then, of course,
it will be even better at a larger dosage. There can be a misconception
that vitamins and minerals are natural and then therefore totally
harmless. To some extent, this is a misnomer. Another difficulty with
supplementation arises when people displace a doctor's specific
diagnosis for what may be a serious malady. They rely on self-diagnosis
and supplementation, which is meant only for general conditions.
Lastly, a consumer may be uneducated about the interdependency of many
supplements. Large dosages of one single vitamin or mineral may
displace another. A specific vitamin or mineral might be meant to be
taken in conjunction with another vitamin or mineral to be utilized
efficiently. This information may not be totally available to a
consumer buying from a store that doesn't have an educated staff on
all of the above arguments, one might wonder why anyone would want to
supplement their diet with such dangerous products. Others might argue
that these observations are one sided and perhaps somewhat misguided.
For instance, we read about the toxic dangers of vitamins and minerals.
Yet, when we look at the number of people who report to their doctor
side effects of their supplements, it turns out statistically fairly
insignificant. This is important when we consider that nearly 10,000
people died last year from medications prescribed by their physician!!!
So it would seem that concentrating on the number of people with
complications from supplements in any given year is a bit comical.
Making a judgment that people are substituting a doctor's advice for
their own diagnosis is again somewhat misleading. Studies show that
most people shopping at a health food store give high priority to their
health. They are most interested in obtaining and ensuring this quality
of their lives. Studies also show that the majority of them are fairly
educated, which would again indicate a high degree of sophistication.
But even if all those arguments were valid, I believe there are still
important reasons why one would want to ensure they were paying close
attention to their dietary needs visa vi their supplementation needs.
In my state along, there have been studies showing that food no longer
contains what it did only a decade ago. The state of Wisconsin did a
study on the protein content of corn. When compared with the protein
content contained in corn 10 years before, it now had 50% less!!! Have
our bodies' need for protein diminished? No. The quality of the product
has changed. That was one study, done on one nutrient. But it isn't a
big leap to believe that perhaps it might be a harbinger of things to
come. All of that considered, there are certain situations in which
supplementation is advisable. If you are a vegetarian, supplementation
of B12 is advisable. Calcium for people with bone loss is another
situation. People with certain genetic related diseases need extra
supplementation. The list truly goes on and on.