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Fixin' Healthcare

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Whole Food and Supplements

In general the necessary nutrients are best obtained from whole (unprocessed) food. With a few notable exceptions nutritional supplements are a secondary consideration to the diet.

A multiple vitamin once a day is reasonable insurance to a good whole food diet. After age 45 to 50 years there may be a decrease in stomach acid and intrinsic factor causing vitamin B12 to be better absorbed as a supplement than from food. This should be adequately compensated by the multiple vitamin.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in the United States. This may be associated with loss of calcium from bones. The intake of calcium and magnesium and physical activity also influence the status of bones. Recently, investigators at the University of California in San Diego have found an an increased incidence of colon, breast and ovarian cancer with low levels of vitamin D. Milk and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D and it is found in oily fish. Supplementation up to 1,000 IU is considered advisable and safe.

The typical diet has increased ratios of Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acids and there are many people who do not eat fish. Taking a fish oil supplement is advisable for those people who do not eat cold water (oily) fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod, sardines and cold water trout. Coromega is a form of fish oil that is not unpleasant.

Each day should consist of a whole food diet and 15 minutes of sunlight. During winter the 15 minutes of sunlight will not be enough in the northern half of the US.

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