Supplements 101

January 7, 2009

The second pillar of any health regimen is the use of appropriate dietary supplements. While my take on the diet issue is really simple, my take on dietary supplements starts simple, but winds up complex – because it should really be no simpler.

Here’s the simple part. If your objective is to live a long, robust, active life – even if you eat a healthy diet – you will need to selectively supplement your diet in order to accomplish those ends. Now, my definition of ‘long’ is at least 150 years. My definition of robust is being able to go all-out full-court basketball with the high-schoolers. My definition of active includes lifelong learning in a knowledge profession that requires constant performance at a high level of cognitive acuity and jam all night if I want to.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Now, you hear one variation of this statement it al the time from the ‘experts.’ “If you eat a healthy diet, you don’t need supplements.” Perhaps something like “If you eat like a caveman, you should remain healthy and strong without supplementing your diet.” There are a couple of big problems there. Taking the second one first, wasn’t the life expectancy in the paleolithic era around 25 years (see previous definition of ‘long’)? Most of the conditions those of us living in an industrialized society want to protect against are ones that are only appear because we’re living long enough to enable them to do so.

Getting back to the ‘all nutrients are available in diet’ argument – where does one get consistent, high-quality Omega 3 fatty acids in concentrations large enough to keep us healthy. If you’re not eating wild, cold-water fish several times a week, don’t talk to me. Even then, you’ll need some kind of chelation therapy to get rid of the heavy metals you’ve just consumed. And … the kicker as far as I’m concerned … if you don’t live at a tropical latitude year-round, how to you ensure your Vitamin D levels remain adequate?

You gotta supplement. It’s as simple as that.

Over the life of this blog, I intend to present a cogent argument for the importance of keeping consistent levels of nutrients in your bloodstream. I will further assert that it is possible to maintain endocrine system balance that will enable you to live a long, robust, active life. Supplements required to accomplish these ends.

In the meantime, see if you can find The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book. While anything in a published book is going to be a little behind the curve, it’s a great point of reference.


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