Is It Necessary To Take
Vitamin-Mineral-Supplements are needed to accomplish all of the thousands of day-to-day functions of your body, the food you eat every day must be converted into energy and raw materials (building blocks for muscles, bones, ligaments enzymes, hormones, and so on). Your body is made up of systems. And if you want these systems running on all cylinders, they need the nutrients to do so. Whole Food based nutrition is essential to keep your body’s systems running like a well-oiled machines!
That goes for your metabolism as well. For your body to burn fat at an accelerated rate you want to nourish it. Without the essential phytonutrients, enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals it needs to work at peak performance, well, it’s going to take you longer to get those six-pack abs and to look better naked.
To do all this, vitamin mineral supplements are required. Since we humans lack the ability to manufacture these critical nutrients in our bodies, we have to get them in our diet. Generally, vitamins perform three major functions:1. They are required for the enzymes to do their jobs.
The B-complex vitamins B1 and B2, for example are required for every function in the body that requires production of energy (which means every function!)2. They act as antioxidants, which means they prevent highly reactive molecules called free radicals from damaging delicate cell membrane structure.
Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants, protecting cell membranes from free radicals.3. They act as "pre-hormones." For example, vitamin D functions as a hormone to facilitate calcium uptake and utilization.
How can I tell if a vitamin-mineral supplement is of high quality?
It is difficult to tell quality simply by looking at a tablet. Many factors (most of which are hidden to the naked eye) go into a high quality nutritional supplement, but one of the three main variables is quality of the science behind the product: the human body has often been compared to an extremely complex and wonderfully efficient machine.
To function normally, it is extremely dependent upon a large variety of raw materials such as protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and so forth. If any of these critical substances are lacking in sufficient quantities, the efficiency of the "machine" suffers.
The therapeutic use of nutrition supplements usually involves combining as many of these rate-limiting nutrients together as economically and physically possible, to provide everything required to focus on a particular health goal.
If the nutritional supplement is poorly designed, key nutrients may be left out, or less important "window dressing" may be added that doesn't provide benefit. The product may then be inadequate to meet the therapeutic goals, or may be more expensive than needed.
A reputable company will be able to provide scientific studies to support the formulation and its therapeutic value.Quality of the ingredients: the same nutrient may be available in different forms. For example, vitamin E can be a natural (derived from food) or it can be synthetic (manufactured). The natural, food-identical vitamin E is called d-alpha tocopherol, while the synthetic form is called dl-alpha tocopherol. That "l" in the dl-alpha tocopherol is the only way you can tell a natural from a synthetic vitamin E by looking at the label, but science has shown that there is a significant difference in the way the body uses it.
Natural vitamin E is significantly better in its biological activity that the synthetic. Another example is found in minerals such as calcium or iron. Minerals are not found alone in supplements but as chemical compounds. The nature of that compound is related to the ability of the body to absorb and use the mineral. For example, calcium may be found as "calcium carbonate" which is inexpensive but relatively more difficult to absorb. Other forms of calcium, such as calcium citrate may be more expensive as raw materials, but may also be much better utilized by the body.
Quality of the manufacturing process: even if the supplement is well-formulated and has high quality ingredients, care must still be exercised during the manufacturing process to ensure a quality finished product. If the supplement doesn't break down properly during the digestive process it doesn't matter how well it's designed or what is used as ingredients!
A manufacturer of high-quality nutritional supplements will perform a number of different tests before, during and after the tableting process to ensure quality in the finshed product, and should be able to provide you with documentation to support their processes upon request.
The simplest answer is because most people eat a poor diet. Studies show that the average diet in the US consists of too much fat, too much sugar, not enough fiber and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables.
We are eating plenty of calories, but they are often "empty" calories, meaning that they have very low levels of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. Since the majority of meals in the US are currently eaten in restaurants or "on the run" it makes good sense to take a vitamin supplement to fill in the gaps in our diet.
What do they do in the body?
While it is important to remember the value of a nutritional supplements in maintaining health, we should never think that taking vitamin-mineral-supplements replaces a good diet. In other words, the first and by far most important step is to improve the quality of our diet, and then take vitamin-mineral-supplements as a nutritional insurance policy to make sure we get all we need.
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