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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Is that Vitamin doing you any good?

I get asked about vitamins and supplements a lot, and especially lately after the media latched onto a study done by the pharmaceutical industry recently about supplements being a waste of money. You may have asked yourself this question too. Am I wasting my money? Does this really help my health? Can it really prevent disease? How can I find a good supplement? How do I know it is working in my body? What should I buy? Where should I start?!……

Before I get into my answers to those questions, my question to you is how is your health? How is your families health? Are you often sick? Colds come and go from one family member to the next? Chronic ear infections? Asthma? Eczema? Allergies? Arthritis? Lack of Energy? Headaches? Weight issues? Depression? Often irritable? Are you just plain old sick of being sick??…..well there IS evidence that many of these things are caused by nutritional deficiencies and CAN be prevented but sometimes food just isn't enough.

I went to an excellent Shaklee conference this past weekend in Chicago. I was really drawn to this conference because of the expert scientists who were to be speaking and I was so glad I went. Two of the main draws for me were Dr. Bruce Daggy and Dr. Stephen Chaney. Both gave excellent and informative talks about dietary supplements and the literature and "urban myths" that the media tends to highlight.

In their talks, I learned that it is so important to really look past the headline. Often they are used to draw you in and sometimes create uncertainty in the reader, but when you really read the content of the article and more importantly the content of the research they may be referring to, most of the time it doesn't really relate to the headline at all! The studies that show the benefits of supplements are not big news so you really don't hear about those. They aren't the latest thing being shared on Facebook. But there are several studies that do show how supplements can help you. So it is always important to….

Dr. Chaney shared how the United States spends more on health care then any other country; yet, we are one of the unhealthiest nations in the world!! 
I spoke with Dr. Chaney after his talk on Friday evening and shared that the topic of his talk can be heard as typical dinner conversation in my home. Some of you may know my husband, Dr. David Colby (no, I don't usually refer to him as Doctor. lol) who has a PharmD as well as a PhD in organic chemistry and is an expert in this area as well. 

David runs a research lab and also teaches at a research-intensive university. He studies natural products and makes them into pharmaceuticals. He also lectures on dietary supplements and knows a heck of a lot about this topic. I learn so much from him about this! When I asked David about this study that made headlines recently about supplements, he had a very casual kind of shoulder shrug response knowing that the media likes to hype up headlines and often what the headline reads has nothing to do with the content of the study or its findings. So to him, it was no big deal at all and he continues to take his vitamins daily just like everyone in my family and knows the benefits in doing that. :)

Dr. Chaney mentioned a number of well-done studies that did show that dietary supplements could help with some of the main health issues in America (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke) and that some forms of these diseases can be prevented.

Dr. Chaney talked about how the whole is better then the sum of its parts. He mentioned this when speaking on colon cancer. Studies show that colon cancer is decreased by a lifestyle that includes: high fiber diet, low fat diet, adequate amounts of calcium intake, B vitamins, exercise and weight control. However, none of these by themselves can decrease your chance of colon cancer. But when put together, studies have shown a tremendous benefit in preventing this disease.

He also talked about an Italian study showing how supplementing with Omega 3 Fatty acids can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 40%! Statin drug studies show to reduce this risk by only 5%.

Supplementation appears to benefit high risk groups of people such as people with nutritional deficiencies due to a poor diet and people with hereditary issues. It is very difficult to show prevention of disease when looking at healthy individuals for several reasons; yet, we could look at the Landmark Nutritional Study done at the Berkley College of Public Health in 2007 as an example of people who are long term users of Shaklee supplements being healthier with lower cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and overall well-being then people who took no supplements to people who took another brands multivitamin. Dr. Daggy talked about this study and how the Shaklee group had no deficiency in Vitamin D - it was neither too high nor too low. The nutrition was shown in the blood samples taken. The average age of this group was 63, which is interesting because a person doesn't typically think of people in their 60s and up having optimal health and being disease-free! Dr. Daggy said this study carries a lot of weight in the industry because they looked at all of the main health issues in one study.

Dr. Daggy also mentioned a number of studies looking at the health benefits of Vitamin C in the body and how it has been shown to reduce risk of certain diseases like scurvy. 

So what brand is good? How do I know? Dr. Chaney recommends a holistic vitamin brand. One that is tested for bioavailability and is a whole-food supplement rather then synthetic. It may surprise you that the FDA does not police supplement companies. So a supplement maker does not have to put money into research to prove anything it claims on its label! The take away from this is to do your homework. Which I assume you are doing by taking the time to read this. :)

Here is a quick video demonstrating vitamins breaking down in vinegar and a simple test you can do on your own vitamins. They should completely dissolve within 30 minutes or you know they are just passing through your body so in those cases are a waste of your money!

Can we Get our Vitamins from Food alone?

Dr. Daggy talked a lot about why we should supplement. For one, our food supply has a lot of problems and is not what it was 50-100 years ago. Produce is picked before it is ripe and loses nutrition in storage. Our food supply also goes through excessive processing. We live in a fast food, fast paced world. 

And nobody these days really truly eats the optimal diet. I know I don't and we generally eat pretty healthy. Here is a picture of the optimal diet.

It is so hard to do this. And of course there are temptations all around us. So supplementing can help to fill in many of these nutritional gaps in our diets. Many diseases are preventible with proper nutrition and good quality supplements can help with this.

I help people all of the time with their health goals. Prior to taking Shaklee supplements, I was tired, overweight, had a tendency toward depressed moods and attributed it to getting older and chasing after my little boys and normal stresses of life.

I grew up with Shaklee which is the #1 natural nutrition company in the US, and as a kid was rarely sick, but I got away from Shaklee when I went to college, and looking back got sick more often during that time in my life. My husband and I decided to add Shaklee back into our life when we started a family and after he looked into the science and research of Shaklee and was blown away!  I started on Shaklee supplements a few years ago and I am so thankful for the amount of energy I have, how my entire family is rarely sick (kids have never had ear infections!) and when we are we are sick we are able to fight it off quickly. It has impacted not only my energy and immune health but the health of my skin, hair, nails, weight and that of my family too! Life is so much more enjoyable because we are functioning at optimal health.

So if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired maybe I can help. 

If you are and are considering supplements or have questions about them or where to start, let's talk about some good options for you, or contact the person who shared this post with you. Supplementation can have good health benefits when you are choosing the right one for you.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear from you and your thoughts on this important topic! Do you find benefit of supplements in your diet?


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