Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to Basics

Beginning Health 101-

You NEED a multivitamin.

Yes. That's right. You NEED one. Now before you go saying that you are perfectly fine and dandy and you eat lots of meat and potatoes, and you get your fruits and veggies, just stop for a second. You may be getting by in your daily life with no daily multivitamin, but no matter how perfect your diet may be, you are in no way getting all of the nutrients your body needs to function at an optimal level. I mean, come on- who wants to just barely scrape by when you can be living your life to the potential it was meant to?!

For starters, even if you do eat a nearly perfect diet, which I doubt many of you do, the food consumed by people in today's world is so processed and contaminated with pesticides, or genetically modified in some way, that you are missing out on key nutrients your body needs to survive! And that's not even including any of the junk "food" that people keep shoveling into their faces!

The point is- a good quality NATURAL multivitamin will ensure that your body is getting all it needs to operate at it's healthiest. So I'm sure you're thinking smugly to yourself, "Well I'm already a step ahead! I take my Centrum/One-A-Day/or whatever every day! I must be as healthy as they come!" Well, before you pat yourself on the back and reach for that next jelly-filled doughnut, let me fill you with some eye-opening facts....

1.) Do some research. You should know what kind of multivitamin you are putting into your body. Chances are if you are or have taken vitamins in the past and just didn't seem to notice any difference, YOU WEREN'T TAKING A QUALITY ONE!!!! Keep in mind that most cheaper, mass produced vitamins you can buy from Walmart, Shopko, or wherever, are SYNTHETIC! i.e.- Centrum, One-A-Day, Equate, etc...

But they're cheaper you say? Exactly! You get what you pay for. Being synthetic (man-made), your body cannot reap the full benefits that it would from taking a natural vitamin supplement.

Strange yet sad fact- There was an interview done with sanitation workers a while back, discussing how while in the sewers, they find TONS of these little multivitamins with the names still imprinted on them. (!!!) So....assuming that we know how these vitamins get into these sewers, that leads me to believe that your body can't be absorbing much, if any, of them, if the tiny little brand name imprint is still on them after all that. Gross. And sad.

So, they're cheaper, but they're just wasting your money.

There are synthetic vitamins and there are natural vitamins.

Synthetic vitamins usually give you very limited amounts of necessary nutrients. Usually only enough to get avoid getting diseases and what not. But, ironically, if you're not even absorbing any of it, what's the point?! Synthetic vitamins also have binders and filler which are components used to hold hold them together, mask unpleasant odors, make the exterior more appealing, etc. They are not always listed on the the label, but you should still know what to look for.

Binders: Give cohesive qualities to the powdered materials of the vitamin. A big one to watch out for is acacia (gum arabic) that has been declared by the FDA as GRAS ( Generally Recognized As Safe). It can cause mild to sever asthma attacks and rashes in asthmatics, pregnant women, and anyone prone to allergies. Other common binders are cellulose and ethyl cellulose, and on occasion lecithin and sorbitol.

Fillers: Are added to give the product bulk to make them a practical size for compression. sorbitol and cellulose are used occasionally. Some better brands may use Dicalcium Phosphate.

Other evil things you should watch for-

Lubricants: Used to keep the pills from sticking to the machine that punches them out.

Disintegrators: Added to facilitate the pill's breakup or disintegration after ingestion. examples- gum arabic, algin, alginate.

Colors: Make the pills more pleasing to look at.

Flavors and sweeteners: Only in chewable vitamins. examples- fructose, malt dextrins, sorbitol, maltose. Better brands may use sucrose.

Coating material: Protects the tablet from moisture. Hides unpleasant flavors or odors and makes them easier to swallow. Zein is a natural one derived from croen protein. Another is Brazil wax which comes from palm trees.

Drying Agents: Prevents water absorbing materials from picking up moisture during processing. Silica gel is very common.

Some cheaper varieties which shall remain unnamed, actually have some toxic elements such as aluminum, believed to be a major contributor to Alzheimers, as part of their "additional ingredients". And heck, some of them even throw in some extra totally unnecessary things like Nickel and Tin in their formulas. What on Earth do you need Nickel or Tin for?!?! Do your research.

Synthetic vitamins are made for longer shelf lifes and penny pinchers. Not for real people.

All I ask is for people to get off their high horse and pop a good natural multivitamin everyday. The benefits you will reap and also sow will be enormous. Give it a chance. The difference in multivitamins really comes down to the price you pay. Go with a cheaper one and you may save now, but you may end up paying for it down the road. And isn't your health worth it?

Let's Begin!

First off, I would like to throw out the disclaimer that any advice and or opinions here on in are not intended to diagnose and or treat any illness, disease, or condition. The information given on this site should be taken at the reader's own discretion.

Getting that out of the way, I would like to say that this is my first blog (hurray!), and with this blog, I intend to inform, educate and answer questions that ordinary people (like you) may have about any health related issues. No subject is too taboo or outlandish, because what people need are ANSWERS!!! No more wondering how to drop those last few pounds, or maybe you have 100 to lose- Maybe you want to know the best natural treatments for a specific ailment. Want to know about how you're getting scammed by the pharmaceutical companies? Do you want to know how to live your best life? You are in the right place!