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Why Dr.Barney Believes In Supplementation

Simply stated, the medical establishment has not been particularly enthusiastic about using supplements. I can see that attitudes are in the process of changing somewhat; however, the change is much too slow. Scientific evidence supporting supplementation is overwhelming and can no longer be considered quackery as it once was. Numerous scientific studies support the fact that basic supplementation of what we would call a one-a-day vitamin can improve our overall health. Study after study tells us that many of us are deficient in calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese. Zinc is involved in at least 80 to 90 metalo-enzymatic reactions; many of which determine immune function. Obviously a zinc deficiency means that the immune system will be compromised. Taking all the herbs in the world cannot make up for this deficiency because, without zinc, our response to even the most potent herb would be faulty. Keeping our bodies supplied with minerals is absolutely essential, and if we grew our own food, perhaps we could forego supplements. We dont grow our own food, and commercial farming practices have severely depleted our soils of vital minerals, especially trace minerals. If we want to take certain minerals into our bodies, we had better turn to good supplements. If we only needed nitrogen and potassium to survive, our current supply of artificially fertilized, farm-grown produce would do nicely. Trace mineral supplements can keep us supplied with these important minerals. My view on the importance of supplementation is based on years of my own clinical experience. I consider my patient's dietary habits initially and have continually discovered that most of them are not eating properly. Eating on the run, choosing sweet, fatty foods as meal replacements, and using caffeine for energy are more the rule than the exception. Unquestionably, the majority of Americans are not getting the nutrient levels set by RDA standards. Moreover, RDA standards are often too low. Using a good multivitamin supplement only makes good sense. In addition, learning to add other single micronutrients according to specific need and gender makes for a much better health scenario. Our eating habits can improve; however, if were going to take a realistic approach, they will probably never be good enough. Women are especially prone to nutrient deficiencies in that they continually restrict calories, lose iron through their periods and frequently take birth control pills which can lower certain nutrient levels. At this writing, statistics which are randomly emerging show significant deficiencies in the B-vitamins, chromium, iron, selenium, calcium, etc. In the area of cancer alone, deficiencies in vitamins A, C, and E have all been linked to increased risk. Copper and zinc depletions profoundly impact immunity and low chromium levels are thought to be responsible for cholesterol escalation and many blood sugar disorders. A lack of selenium can predispose us to heart disease, low magnesium significantly contributes to PMS, and so on. Data strongly suggests that using nutritional supplements early on could avoid millions of dollars in health care services later. For example, making sure that we get adequate and absorbable amounts of calcium/magnesium in our younger years could help prevent the high incidence of hip fractures we see in our older populations. Simply stated, taking supplements is wise. The notion of using supplements to treat disease conditions rather than just maintaining health is another ball game entirely. Professor Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize twice for his work, coined the term orthomolecular psychiatry, which refers to the treatment of mental disease by providing the most optimal molecular environment for the mind through certain concentrations of substances normally present in the body. Administering extra large doses of vitamin C was Pauling's specialty and he has some engaging theories concerning vitamin megadose therapy. The use of these naturally occurring compounds is usually considered much safer than drug therapy. Th

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