Myths & Misconceptions about Nutrition
Myth: If one has a healthy diet, one does not need any supplementation.
Fact: If a large group of people were to follow the exact same dietary lifestyle & exercise program, a certain number would still suffer from high or low blood pressure, high or low blood sugar, or high or low stomach acid, while the rest may develop arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness, or other medical conditions. Most nutrition-related conditions in the Western world are not caused by nutritional deficiencies such as scurvy, pellagra, beriberi, or rickets, but nutritional imbalances, which negatively impact cellular nutrition and are responsible for many common medical problems, while metabolic disorder scan cause nutritional deficiencies following the malabsorption of certain nutrients.
Age-relatedhormonal imbalances, and diminishing renal capacity also affect nutritional requirements. Without adequate androgenic (DHEA) support, minerals such as zinc or potassium will frequently become depleted even when maintaining the same and previously adequate dietary intake. Failure to compensate for these deficiencies contributes to the risk of developing blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, and/or a variety of hormone imbalance-related organic problems, including cancer. Neither a "healthy" diet, nor standard multi-vitamin / mineral formulations will be helpful in these cases since the nutrients from these sources are not customized to match specific cellular nutrition requirements of a patient, so abnormal mineral levels or ratios remain unchanged.
One's genetic background has an even greater impact to promote, or help resist the development of a wide range of medical conditions. As a result, only individualized supplementation, based on someone's cellular chemistry and genetic background has the best potential to resolve these medical disorders nutritionally, while specificdietary changes or nutritional programs alone may be helpful in less serious medical conditions.
Myth: After menopause, every female needs to supplement extra calcium.
Fact: There is no magic age when either females ormales suddenly need to adjust their calciumintake. In contrast to a number of other nutrients whose requirements tend to change with advancing age, requirements for calcium are dependent on multiple genetic, metabolic, and lifestyle factors, none of which are gender or age-related. Only with pregnant or lactating females it may be justified to increase their calcium intake by about 200 - 300 mg per day to cover additional needs for the baby.
However, even then it is far better to assess individual requirements, since officially recommended amounts would be totally inadequate when there is a history of the mother being chronically calcium deficient, which increases the risk of birth defects in the baby, while at the same time there are plenty of pregnant women whose calcium levels are perfectly adequate, or even on the high side, without extra supplementation.
This is no different than what applies to the general population, where some patients (regardless of age or gender) suffer from chronic calcium deficiency and require rather large amounts of extra calcium to meet requirements, while the opposite applies to many other patients who suffer from chronic calcium overload. While an individual assessment would be the logical solution in both instances, there are no routine lab tests at this time that accurately assess a patient's calcium requirements. Without utilizing cellular nutrition technology, the "one-size-fits-all" recommendations used by most doctors for postmenopausal women (and all other patients) not only perpetuate the dilemma for those with calcium assimilation problems, but they also add to the woes of those who retain too much calcium.
A younger body is generally much more forgiving when dealing with high calcium levels, however with every decade, excessive calcium intake, or excessive storage due to a lack of calcium co-factors, will take an increasingly irreversible toll by calcifying an individual's organs, joints, and/or cardiovascular system, in addition to causing a negative impact on stomach acid levels, mood, energy, and general mineral balance.
2013 Calcium Update: Following the conclusion of two 2012 studies by New Zealand researchers, which claimed that calcium supplements might increase the risk of heart disease, proposals were made to update physician guidelines to discourage patients from supplementing extra calcium. A subsequent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no link between supplemental or dietary calcium intake and coronary artery calcification, however in the latest (2013) turn of events, a Swedish study again linked a higher dietary and supplemental intake of calcium to a greater risk of dying from heart disease!
For the time being, until guidelines are officially revised, patients are advised to continue with present recommendations on their calcium intake, which will continue to benefit individuals who are chronically calcium deficient, but it will unfortunately also continue to worsen those who suffer from calcium overload.
Myth: One may liberally supplement mega-doses of water-soluble vitamins since they - unlike fat-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, so they cannot cause any harm.
Fact: Despite being water-soluble, Vitamin B6 can cause permanent, irreversible nerve damage when used improperly, while an excessive intake or overdose of Vitamin C has the potential of eventually causing zinc, copper, or calcium deficiencies in prone individuals. Many nutrients do not have to be storedin the body in high amounts to be able to cause, or contribute to disease. While being metabolized, even water-soluble nutrients interact with other nutritional elements either as synergists or antagonists, and as such are capable of worsening mineral ratios and overall cellular nutrition balance when overdosed on, which over time establishes a favorable environment to develop medical problems.
Claim : Following the official Food Pyramid or Food Guide is key to a healthy, long life.
Fact: While this 'Eat your Fruits and Vegetables' cliché has been made out to be the panacea to good health, that advice benefits those most who inherited superior genes, but has only a moderate impact, or can even be detrimental to many patients who have inherited, acquired, or are nursing specific health problems involving the digestive tract or immune system. Even if they wanted to, those with a less favorable genetic make-up, or different cellular nutrition requirements as a result of it, cannot follow many of these "get healthy" recommendations because they are allergic to, don't tolerate, or have other problems with the very foods that are supposed to make, and/or keep them healthy!
Claim: Some researchers suggest that nutritional supplements either do not help, or worsen certain conditions.
Fact: This is no less surprising than randomly choosing a drug, randomly treating a medical disorder, and then arriving at the same conclusions. One obviously needs to match the right nutrients and the right amounts to a patient's specific medical situation if one intends to go beyond deficiency-preventive measures in an attempt to rectify more difficult-to-treat medical disorders nutritionally!
In contrast to Drug Research, which tends to focus on single, concentrated ingredients, Nutritional Research and especially Cellular Nutrition Research yield much better results when using complexed nutrients. So instead of taking plain ascorbic acid, Vitamin C needs to be complexed with adequate amounts of bioflavonoids such as rutin and hesperidin, to duplicate more food-like benefits. The same applies to supplementing Mixed Carotenoids, which include alpha-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, and lutein instead of taking (synthetic) beta-carotene alone. Equally superior is taking a Vitamin E Complex in the form of alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols, and alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocotrienols, rather than taking large, single amounts of dl-alpha tocopheryl alone.
Instead of developing or presenting new concepts in Clinical Nutrition or Cellular Nutrition, some "researchers" are wasting everyone's time with negative, or misleading headlines, trying to impress the public with what is frequently rehashed old news. Real experts on nutrition are well aware that common vitamin pills, particularly the non-complexed or synthetic variety are no panacea for everything that ails society, and they would not make any claims to that effect. Resolving more complex medical conditions nutritionally requires an equally more advanced cellular technology, that analyses a patient's intracellular chemistry to establish precise, person-specific requirements not population averages.
Do all people require nutritional supplements to maintain good health?
When one analyzes people living to a ripe old age in reasonable health without the need of supplementation, one finds that they had a lot of odds in their favor. It usually starts with excellent genes, followed by a lack of factors that tend to upset the biochemical balance necessary to maintain good health. Anything upsetting that cellular nutrition balance will either shorten someone's life, worsen its quality, or require compensation through extra nutritional support or drug intervention. A centenarian who never touched a supplement in his life has likely maintained such a balance as a result of little "pro-oxidant" activity, which necessitated little "antioxidant" activity -- just to mention one example. On the other hand, let's assume a very healthy individual with similar longevity odds in his favor ends up with a serious trauma early in life. The imbalance introduced to his previously sound chemistry by drug treatments or organ damage will have him for the rest of his life search for compensatory factors to improve the quality of life. Unlike before his injury, he is now in the same situation as those born less fortunate health-wise, and may now have to become more reliant on better nutrition and/or additional supplementation. So the reason for supplementation, and the dosages required, can change with individual circumstances. The difference between individuals who take nutritional supplements (that match cellular nutrition requirements), and those who do not, can perhaps be compared to younger versus older people facing the same medical crisis. Younger people simply tend to handle various medical situations better, or recover faster than older ones, so the right nutritional supplementation may perhaps be compared to lowering someone's biological age.