Do You Know Nutrition: Multi-vitamins help fill in gaps

Oct. 25, 2011 at 5:25 a.m.

By Phylis Canion

Of late, I have read several articles about vitamins and if we really need them. I believe my supplements are good because of how much better I feel when taking them. Even though I feel better, I do not want to be taking something every day that is not good for me. Do you recommend vitamins, and is there something I need to look for on my vitamin label that indicates if my vitamin quality is good?

The ongoing debate over who should take vitamins, are vitamins really good for you, and do we really need them, is never ending.

Many, many years ago, our food supply was pure, whole, unadulterated and still full of nutrients, and we did not need vitamins. However, over the past 50 years or so, our food has become so over processed, genetically modified, injected with growth hormones, pasteurized, homogenized, treated with herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, solvents, fillers, and full of heavy metals and bacteria, that it has left our food almost totally devoid of nutrients.

Jeffrey Blumberg, a vitamin researcher and professor of nutrition at Tufts University, said only 3 percent of the population eats properly by following dietary guidelines and eating the required amount of fruits, vegetables and protein daily.

For the remaining 97 percent, I do recommend taking a daily multi-vitamin supplement; however, it is important to understand that a multi vitamin is not a meal replacement or substitute, it is just that, a supplement.

Along with a diet full of live food, not packaged, processed, fast foods and junk foods, a vitamin can be a great benefit, if the supplement is "natural" and not "synthetic" (made through a chemical process, in a laboratory setting from coal tar derivatives).

When selecting an exceptional "natural" multi-vitamin, the packaging should state something like this: This product contains no hidden coating, excipients, binders, fillers, shellacs, artificial colors or fragrances. It should also state that it contains no dairy, wheat, gluten, yeast, sugar, soy, preservatives and hydrogenated oils.

It is very important to note that if you suffer from chemical sensitivities, celiac disease, ADD/ADHD, cancer, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, or other disorders, a "natural" vitamin is safer for your system, although I always recommend discussing vitamin supplementation with your physician.

If you are taking a daily multi-vitamin and are not full of energy, do not sleep well at night, are cranky and irritable, you might consider changing your vitamin - now.

Note: The next free nutrition class is Nov. 14, at Organic Emporium, 2918 N. Laurent St., Victoria. To make reservations, call 361-576-2100. Seating is limited.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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