Certain supplements are considered essential for all people who consume a traditional North American diet. This is because our model of the "ideal" diet is off the mark. We, as a whole, consume too much red meat, too much saturated fat, too many processed or "fast" foods, too much sugar, and not enough fiber, vegetables, fruits, or essential fats. In fact, most of the diseases which are prevalent in our society, yet not in others, are related to our "unbalanced" diet.
• A good multivitamin and multi-mineral is essential. Total body health requires adequate antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which stimulate proper tissue growth and aid in the repair and maintenance of damaged cells in the body. Look for standardized products with high quality ingredients, proven effectiveness, and superior research behind them. One example are the products manufactured by Metagenics.
• Essential fatty acids (specifically Omega-3's) are sadly lacking in our diet. Absence of EFA's is largely responsible for increased risk of cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, immune suppression and poor mental processing. Try fish oil (cold water, especially), borage oil, or flaxseed oil.
• Fiber is another dietary element found in low concentration in the diet of most Americans. Fiber helps food move through the digestive tract and assists the body in eliminating waste. Low fiber can result in constipation, reduced enzyme production, and build up of toxic bi-products of digestion. Increased fiber can reduce the risk of certain cancers, atherosclerosis, and digestive disturbances.
Much is spoken about supplements and nutriceuticals. It is my opinion that these are excellent resources for persons suffering from particular health conditions. For example, degenerative joint disease (AKA: osteoarthritis) benefits from the use of glucosamine sulfate and MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane), two essential products normally produced by the body, of whose production tends to wane as we age.
For the healthy patient not dealing with specific health conditions, the utilization of "functional foods" is preferred. Functional foods are typically whole, unprocessed, natural foods which have high nutrient value. An example is broccoli which is reasonably high in Vitamins A, C, the B series, and minerals (Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and Zinc). In addition, being "cruciferous vegetables", broccoli has been shown to be a faily potent anti-cancer agent.
Dr Halliday, Chicago chiropractor