Are Supplements Necessary?

For many years I worked as a retail associate at various health food stores. This job put me in contact with the public where I would help them  choose dietary supplements, herbs and other remedies. Occasionally I was asked whether or not we really need dietary supplements. People want to believe the food we eat gives us the nutrients we need and supplementation is not necessary.

If you’ve ever read the book “Empty Harvest” you know most food is nutrient deficient.  But, if you choose organic food you will receive up to ten times the nutrients than conventionally farmed food. While it is possible to get proper nutrition from eating organic food I do think using dietary supplements are important, I will detail 3 reasons why. I am not here to tell you what nutrients you need but I want to illustrate how certain nutrients can benefit your health. 

The mineral molybdenum is required to detoxify
aldehydes. You are exposed to aldehydes every time you smell perfume or
cologne, and smell the wonderful fragrances when you walk down the
detergent aisle in the grocery store. Even if we choose to avoid these substances we are exposed to them at various times throughout the day or week. If your molybdenum stores are
optimal, and you are able to detox the aldehydes, you may not suffer any negative effects from exposure. The fact is most soils are lacking in minerals, so would supplementing with molybdenum be helpful?

Every time we smell diesel fumes from a truck
that drives by, our anti-oxidant stores and depleted.  They are also
depleted from many other environmental toxins we may not even be aware
of. And, you may not have enough stores in the first place. Or they may
be used up through the body’s natural and normal production of them to
run biochemical cycles. Also, exercise increases free radical
production. So would supplementing with antioxidants or antioxidant rich foods be good for you?

Alcohol that might be enjoyed at celebrations
requires a zinc-dependent enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, to
metabolize alcohol properly. Don’t forget you may need that zinc to detox heavy
metals; and definitely for the enzyme DNA polymerase (necessary for
EVERY CELL in the body to grow properly). So would supplementing with zinc are eating zinc rich food be good for you?

These are just three examples and there are plenty more. In truth diet is primary, supplements are
secondary. However, supplements are often necessary based on the different lifestyle factors. If you don’t have a particular health
concern, you may consider using supplements for prevention purposes. This topic might not even be a raised, if we lived in a perfect world where the soil is cared for ensuring it is bursting with minerals. But, we don’t and we live in world loaded with environmental toxins which inhibit our ability to achieve optimal health. As always the choice is yours in your journey to optimal health.