EFAs, Vitamin D, Vitamin C

January 10, 2009

When we last discussed supplements, I gave you just two examples of important nutrients that are required for optimal health that most of us must supplement in order to receive an optimal amount in our diet. To recap:

  • Essential Fatty Acids (also referred to as Omega-3s)
    There are good sources in fish, some nuts. However, given the significant level of toxins in any larger fish (even wild) consuming large quantities of fish gives one pause. However, you can achieve the same ends if you supplement and take care to only get the purest available fish oil sources. EFAs will get a post of their very own shortly, but if you want to know more right now, visit International Fish Oil Standards. They have emerged as the authority on independent, 3rd party testing of fish oil products.
  • Vitamin D
    You no doubt have been hearing lots in the news about the growing understanding of the importance of circulating Vitamin D. It seems like a study a month comes out noting another chronic condition that correlates to low vitamin D. In most of these reports, however, the fact that the need to supplement your diet with vitamin D is glossed over. You should assume that your Vitamin D levels are not in an optimal range if you do not live year-long in a tropical latitude and spend a good portion of the day outdoors without sunscreen. If you do not live in the tropics – especially if your skin is pigmented like mine (my guess is I’m in the 98th percentile of melanin content) you are likely deficient in Vitamin D. I know I was very surprised to find out that I was back in 2006 and it has taken me about 2 years to get it in the optimal range. It’s hard to single out individual factors given that I’m always experimenting, but I have to believe this change has played a major role in the improvement in my health.
  • Vitamin C
    This vitamin’s benefits have been well-known for many years (not, though, that the ‘official’ allowances have not responded to our greater knowledge). It is also common knowledge that there are many fine dietary sources of vitamin C. What is not that well understood, though, is that by the time broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, etc. get to most of us, the ascorbic acid in those foods has been destroyed by exposure to air, light and heat. Further, as Vitamin C is secreted from the body at a comparatively rapid rate, so you’ll want to spread out your intake throughout the day.

Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not arguing that one must get all their nutrients from supplements. What I am arguing is that in order to ensure that you keep optimal levels of these nutrients circulating in your body, it is best to supplement to ensure that your body gets what it needs to stay in an optimal state.


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