WHY TAKE DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS?
Ideally, we should get our vitamins from nutritional whole foods. However, today it is very difficult to obtain foods that are rich in nutrient contents. Additionally, due to the increase in stress in our daily lives and the pollution of our environment combined with heavily processed foods, our bodies need a much higher level of vitamins and minerals, especially anti-oxidants such as vitamin C. However, the nutritional value of our foods has declined dramatically over the past several decades because our soils have become depleted of many minerals, and the food processing methods result in foods that have very low nutrient value.
Our environment today exposes us to many forms of pollutants in our homes, at work and on the street that create compounds called free radicals in our bodies, which are damaging to our health and contribute to premature aging. (Free radicals are also formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy). One of the main reasons for the aging of cells, and therefore aging of our bodies is the generation of free radicals that damage (oxidize) the endings of the DNA chains. Some examples of pollutants that generate free radicals in our bodies include synthetic fragrances in laundry detergents, fabric softeners, household cleaners, VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) found in home materials and furnishings, auto exhaust, industrial pollution, and synthetic fragrances in cosmetics. All of these pollutants are absorbed by the body either by our lungs or through our skin, and our bodies become toxic. In order for our bodies to detoxify and eliminate the free radicals, we use up nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Smoking depletes vitamin C and smokers should take a higher dosage of natural vitamin C. Also, if you eat foods made with white sugar, white flour, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, use alcohol, tobacco or drugs, you have higher requirements for many nutrients and you need natural supplements. Additionally, anyone under stress or who is exposed to pollutants needs higher levels of natural anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin C.