One question I get again and again is “ Do I really need to take supplements? Can’t I get all the nutrients I need just from my diet?” The answer is no…. and this is not just my opinion.

The doctors on all sides agree that nutritional supplements have a place. In a study published in the June 19, 2002, issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, the authors noted that vitamin deficiencies have been associated with many chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. They also found “elderly people, vegans, alcohol dependent individuals and patients with malabsorption are at high risk of inadequate intake or absorption of several vitamins.” The authors concluded, “It appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.”

It would make sense that those who eat well would not need as much supplementation as those who eat poorly. Well…let’s find out.

Since 1979 the US government has sponsored a continuing research project called Healthy People. According to Healthy People 2010, which involved 350 national organization and 270 state agencies, only 3 percent of Americans eat 3 servings of veggies each day.. Wow! Only 28% eat 2 servings of vegetables per day!

We need to take nutritional supplements to make up for our eating habits, but on the other side just because you take supplements is not a license to eat poorly.

After we address the nutritional deficiencies in our diet we should then start to look at performance and health improving supplements. Supplements that improve workout recovery, counter the effects of environmental toxins, accelerating fat loss, and lowering the risk of heart disease. So today I want to share with you 10 reasons you should be taking supplements.

#1 You cant get all the nutrients you need from food.

Our food today is highly processed, genetically modified, and prepared in ways that often destroy the nutritional content. According to Dr. Rakowski Director of the Natural Medicine Center in Houston, our farm industry fertilizer often contains only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. “It takes 17 elements to make a healthy plant, and we only put 3 back in. So what happens is this malnutrition in the plants becomes malnutrition in the animals, and then malnutrition in us the humans.

#2 Our digestive systems don’t function optimally.

It is estimated that one half of the US population produces insufficient stomach acid, which diminishes the ability to absorb nutrients from food and can increase inflammation, stomach bacteria and numerous other health issues like bloating, stomach pain and even depression. Coincidentally one of the reasons for low stomach acid is a deficiency in Vitamin B.

#3 Food Preparation

When you microwave food you reduce its nutritional value, when you cook many vegetables you reduce its nutritional value. Also most of the foods we eat at home and in restaurants are highly processed like those “Healthy” Jimmy Johns and subway sandwiches.

#4 Environmental Toxins
The US Environmental Protection Agency published a report in 2002 that said more than 7.1 billion pounds of 650 different chemicals had been released into the air and water, and 266 of these chemicals are associated with birth defects.

For the past 28 years Dr. Mark Schauss, MBA, DB, has been studying medical research concerning the effect of toxins on our health. Dr. Schauss says, “ In study by an environmental group on people not working in industry, such as teachers and journalists, the research found that the blood of the subjects contained at least 100 chemicals that did not exist 40 years ago. Fortunately many of these pollutants can be detoxified by natural supplements, like Elite Edge 21 Day Detox.

#5 Obesity
In a study published in the July 2004 International Journal of Obesity, researchers found that when rats are exposed to toxins their body temperature drops. Schauss says this may be a protective response to try to reduce the effects of toxins. As for humans, there is a debate in the American Medical Association about lowering the average healthy body temperature from 98.6 degrees to 98 degrees. Not because it is healthier but because fewer patients coming in for doctors visits have a temperature of 98.6.

In his book Victory over a Toxic World, Schauss says “ the chemical load in a toxic person may impair their ability to burn calories by about 7%. Take someone who normally consumes 2500 calories a day, the lower metabolic rate would create 47,815 extra calories in one year. “Typically if you burn 3500 calories you lose one pound, take those 47,815 calories and divide them by 3500 and you get 13.66 pounds, you are now officially obese”

Some study’s show that up to 75% of Americans are obese.

#6 Insomnia and Stress
The National Center For Sleep Disorders Research reports that symptoms of insomnia affect about 35% of adults, and 10-15% of adults say they have chronic insomnia. Insomnia has many negative effects on our health; for example people who sleep less than 6 hours per night have a significantly higher mortality rate vs. those who sleep 7 hours per night.

There are many supplements that can help ensure a good nights sleep, my personal favorite is the Myo FX Lipo PM and Irwin Naturals “Power to Sleep”

#7 Your Hormones
Although both Testosterone and Estrogen are present in men and women, estrogen is considered the female hormone and testosterone is considered the male hormone. A decrease in testosterone makes it difficult for men to gain muscle. An excess of estrogen makes it difficult for men and women to lose body fat. But there are many other hormones that effect body fat storage.

Excess body fat storage in specific areas can indicate which hormones are out of balance. For example excess fat in the triceps indicates a problem with androgens. If you carry excess fat in your lower back it could be because of a problem with insulin. By identifying which hormones are causing the fat storage, a precise supplement regiment can be prescribed to bring the hormones back into balance.

#8 Dieting and Weight loss
When we cut calories to lose body fat, we often reduce the amount of nutrients we consume and sometimes become nutrient deficient. Also as we diet we need to increase our protein intake because our body is relying on it as an energy source. A good protein supplement with 30 grams per serving will enable you to avoid muscle loss. Further you can add the extra protein without adding additional calories.

#9 Live a better life.
There are so many nutrients that will improve your quality of life. A very common one is resveratrol it’s a compound found in plants that ensures healthy plant development. In humans resveratrol raises metabolism, increases energy, suppresses appetite, stabilizes blood sugar, accelerates the breakdown of fat stores, improves insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism, reduces inflammation, increases muscle mass, suppresses estrogen and protects the stomach lining.

Among the most common sources of Resveratrol are red grapes, red wine, peanuts, pistachios, blueberries, cranberries, huckleberries, raspberries and dark chocolate.

However it is difficult to get enough to see any major effects from eating these foods alone, you would have to drink 1000 bottles per day of red wine to equal the dosages given to mice in the studies. So a resveratrol supplement is our only real option.

#10 Athletic Performance
Supplements help athletes achieve physical improvements and give them and edge over competitors. Most important are BCAA, Leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Bcaa are used as a form of Energy for muscles cells and can be used during training to increase the quality of the training session. BCAA have many other benefits like, modifying hormone profiles to increase muscle mass and strength while reducing body fat and reducing muscle soreness post workout.

There you have 10 simple reasons we all need to take supplements. Now this is not a complete or comprehensive list of supplements I recommend but it’s a good start and you should do your research on all supplements and find out for yourself don’t just take my word or anyone else word for it, do your research.

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