Supplement Q&A - Ask the right questions
Re-examining your nutritional and
health issues begins by asking the right questions. As an example, here are eight
questions sent to me by Kim Morrison of "Creative Wellbeing Ltd". Kim is an
author along with Fleur Whelligan of "Like Chocolate for Women" and "Like
An Apple A Day" and is dedicated to increasing awareness of health and vitality for
women. Recently, I spoke to Kim's 100% Embody group about optimum nutrition and answered
her questions using Nütressence as an example. These are great questions and can be used
to evaluate any supplement.
Question 1: What are essential vitamins
Essential nutrients are those that must be supplied in the diet to
maintain health and life.
VITAMINS - Vitamins are natural substances
essential for specific health promoting functions in the body. Cells cannot make them from
readily available building blocks. The body can make Vitamin A and niacin if specific
nutrients called pro-vitamins are provided in the diet. Friendly bacteria in the
intestinal tract produce Vitamin K, biotin, folacin and B12. Upon exposure to sunlight,
Vitamin D is made in the skin from a type of cholesterol, however, in winter dietary
sources are required to provide adequate amounts.The term vitamin was coined in the early
1900's and means "accessory food factors essential for life" these are further
classified as the fat soluble (A,D E and K) and the water soluble (B-complex and C ).
MINERALS - Minerals make up
about 4 to 5% of bodyweight and are classified as macrominerals - those required in
amounts over 100mg/day, and microminerals - (trace minerals) - those required in tiny
amounts. Half the requirement is calcium and a quarter is phosphorus. The five other
macrominerals are magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium and sulphur. The 14 microminerals
are selenium, copper, chromium, iron, zinc, iodide, manganese, fluoride, molybdenum,
cobalt, tin, nickel, vanadium and silicon. All their functions have not been defined but
they are essential for health. Minerals have many roles. They regulate enzyme activity,
maintain acid-base balance, nerve and muscle function. They are structural components of
many tissues, and are involved with growth and immune processes.
Question 2: What diseases do each of
them prevent if you take the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)?
When you understand the body is not just a machine, then regarding
vitamins and minerals in a "cause and effect" fashion is too simple. Scientists
discovered vitamins through chance finding of individuals with severe deficiency symptoms
that were alleviated by "vital amines". The classic tale of English sailors or
"limeys" who suffered from scurvy until it was found eating limes (Vitamin C)
prevented the disease illustrates this point. Writing a list of the symptoms of ill health
prevented by RDA intake of various vitamins and minerals can be found in the National
Research Councils 273 page book "Recommended Dietary Allowances" which you can
find at www.amazon.com for about $20.00 used price, plus shipping. Further, we are seeking
"optimum" levels to promote health and well-being rather than targeting dosages
designed to prevent deficiency disease.
Question 3: Why have you chosen these
vitamins and minerals for Nutressence?
When this project began, the idea was to formulate a supplement that
closely matched the deficiencies arising from 3 main areas:
1. The way food is grown in heavily fertilised and sterile soil, then
processed and stored in packages that allow air, moisture and light to enter. Any
processing of foods using heat, pressure or water destroys a percentage of the antioxidant
2. Modern eating habits:
- Highly processed fast foods have plenty of energy as calories but are lacking in vitamin
and mineral density.
- Convenience has become as important as nutritional value in many homes and the
percentage of heavily processed food grows steadily. Beware you don't sacrifice too
much nutritional value for the sake of convenience.
- Fruit and vegetables must be free of insect damage and blemishes or people will not
purchase them. Invisible herbicide and pesticide consumption is the result of being more
concerned with appearance than nutritional value.
- Stress of any kind increases the need for many vitamins and minerals, especially the
essential antioxidant nutrients which are stress fighters.
- There are other vitamins and minerals we would consider adding to Nutressence.
Unfortunately, some ingredients react negatively with one another and the entire
supplement may suffer loss of potency and efficacy. We pay very close attention to the
integrity of the mix so the full benefits are there when the consumer opens each sachet.
Question 4: What are the optimum levels
for each essential vitamin and mineral?
A great deal of research still needs to be done to discover the optimum
dosage for each essential vitamin and mineral. There is little incentive for companies to
research and utilise optimum levels because most consumers look for the specific
ingredients they want, not understanding the importance of the dose or combination.
Wherever possible, we use the scientific literature to tell us the threshold and optimum
levels of the ingredients in Nutressence. Threshold is reached when the body starts to
eliminate any essential vitamin or mineral. (Vitamin C for example reaches dose threshold
at 200 to 250mg and then is rapidly eliminated). In many cases, going beyond threshold is
entering the realm of pharmacology. If these dynamics are not clearly determined, we stay
well below any reported unsafe levels and research the scientific literature for a
consensus on the dosages working best in human and animal studies.
Question 5: Do you recommend taking
Evening Primrose oil and fish oils in combination with Nutressence so we get our Essential
Fatty Acids as well?
Optimum levels of essential fatty acids can be easily achieved by
altering your eating habits. If you still wish to supplement fish or Evening Primrose oils
they work well with Nutressence.
Question 6: Can you double the dose of
Nutressence each day if you feel a cold coming on or run down and needing a lift?
Yes, but the whole idea of supplementation is prevention, not cure.
Vitamin and mineral supplements work slowly, building up optimum reserves to help achieve
optimum health. Illness can come to all of us throughout life regardless of diet or
lifestyle. Vitamins and minerals can help fight or prevent illness but they only
"cure" deficiency diseases.
Question 7: Is it OK to take Nutressence
in water, yoghurt or orange juice?
It would be splitting hairs to pick one but I would choose yoghurt
because the fat content helps the antioxidants reach the bloodstream and it is such a
healthy food on its own. On the other hand, the slight acidity in juice aids in mineral
absorption. How about yoghurt with fruit in it! That would be just perfect and taste great
Question 8: What time of day should we
take Nutressence for optimum effect?
Research is divided on this one, but I prefer to take it when I have a
few moments to relax and meditate on doing something special for myself and for my future
health. A little stretching and yoga to greet the sun and then my Nutressence with yoghurt
and muesli is perfect.
Dr. Kathrine Davis