Nutritional Supplements


On this week’s episode of my television show ‘Living Well’, we discussed Nutritional Supplements.  I asked the questions, do you take your vitamins?  If so, what do you take, and if not…why not?
Ryan Meloche shared his expertise with me on this episode.  He is the National Accounts Manager for Douglas Laboratories and Pure Encapsulations.  He also has vast knowledge from a clinical perspective as a Homeopathic Doctor.
There was so much great information in this episode that I can’t include it all in one post, so today’s post is part I.  Stay tuned later in the week to get even more great information on nutritional supplementation and why it is important for pretty much everyone.
The Dietary Supplement world is a vast and a continuously evolving industry. 
The public is often very intrigued by supplements yet overwhelmed with the plethora of options on the market. As we have discussed with other aspects of health, this overwhelm often ends up with people doing nothing or making decisions that are not ideal. 
As a result, I decided to ask Ryan to answer some important questions about nutritional supplements and which ones we should be taking.
Ok, so the first and most obvious question is:
Why should you use nutritional supplements?
Dietary Supplements can be taken for several reasons from optimal health promotion to therapeutic treatment of various conditions. 
Whether considering someone with suboptimal health or an elite athlete, supplementation is necessary. 
One of the biggest factors creating a demand for nutritional supplementation is the dietary habits in the North American population. 
More that 25% of all calories consumed by Americans come from sweets and desserts, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks.  A full one quarter of the average person’s diet consists of empty calories that offer no nutritional value and contribute to obesity. 
Similarly, in a national survey, 48% of all Americans failed to consume even 1 serving of fruit per day while fewer than 15% of children eat the recommended 5 servings of fruit and vegetable/day. 
Now you may read this and think to yourself….”Well that’s no problem, I eat healthy.  I’ve got lots of fruits and vegetables in my diet and I don’t eat much sugar…I definitely don’t need to take nutritional supplements”  
I would say that this is the most common thing that I hear when I ask people if they take any nutritional supplements.
Ok, well that may be true, but think about this: 
With the processing of foods and soil depletion, even the healthy foods that we eat are a concern. Over-farming of our soils is wiping out the nutrients in our vegetables and fruits.  Fertilizers and pesticides have robbed the soil of mineral content.
Since the soil is so depleted, so are the foods grown in the soil…
…and so are we.
A study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) demonstrates the loss of vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables since 1975.
-Apples: Vitamin A is down 41%
-Sweet peppers: Vitamin C is down 31%
-Watercress: Iron is down 88%
-Broccoli: Calcium and vitamin A are down 50%
-Cauliflower: Vitamin C is down 45%; vitamin B1 is down 48%; and vitamin B2 is down 47%
-Collards greens: Magnesium is down 85%
Ok, so we have established that the vegetables we eat are not as nutrient rich as when past generations ate the same thing, but now consider also that even more nutritional value is lost as these fruits and vegetables are picked, processed and transferred to the grocery stores where you buy them.
Some good examples are that Broccoli and asparagus lose 35 -50% of their vitamin C in cold storage before they get to the grocers.  Blanching vegetables before canning or freezing destroys 60% of Vit C and 30-40% of given B vitamins, while oranges lose 30% of their vitamin C after being squeezed. 
So, even if you are eating what seems like a really healthy diet with lots of vegetables and fruits, you’re not getting the nutrition your body needs even for basic functions, let alone optimal health and wellness.
On top of the reasons we have already mentioned…which are should be more than enough to convince you that something is missing in your diet…exposure to greater chemical toxicity in our environment, in the cleaners and personal grooming products we all use as well as drugs and medications that many people are taking can cause many nutrient deficiencies.
One more reason that our bodies need supplementation is stress (physical and emotional).  This is something that all of us experience more than ever in our busy modern day world.  This demand also puts a higher nutrient demand on our physiology.
So if you’ve been wondering about whether or not you should take a nutritional vitamin supplement, you should now be convinced that everyone can benefit from this daily practice.
Ok.  So the next questions is….
…Which supplements should I be taking?
This is something that Ryan went into in detail in while we discussed this very important topic on this week’s episode of ‘Living Well‘.
Later this week, I will share more details on what supplements you should be taking and how to know if it is a good quality supplement.
Until then,
Live Well.

Dr. Peggy Malone is a Chiropractor and an Athlete who helps other athletes to overcome injury and get back to their sport. She also inspires patients from all walks of life to take control of their health to be as happy and as healthy as they can be.

A former varsity Basketball and Rugby player, she has since entered the world of endurance athletics where she has completed 2 Ironman Triathlons, 3 Marathons, several Half Marathons and many other Triathlons, Road Races and Off-Road Adventure races of varying distances.

Her own athletic endeavors and injuries have given her valuable insight into working with athletes in her practice for both the care of injuries as well as for the improvement of athletic performance.