18 Oct Do You Need Supplements for Better Health?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that only about 1 in 10 Americans are getting their recommended amount of fruits and veggies each day. The recommendations are made based on the nutrients a person’s body needs for health and longevity. Because of the severe lack of nutrients in 90% of the American population, vitamin and mineral supplements are often needed.
What Are Vitamins and Minerals?
Vitamins and minerals are different, but quite similar substances that your body needs to build cells and perform functions. Vitamins and minerals are not created in your body, even though your body needs them to survive. Vitamins are nutrients that don’t maintain their chemical structure in the body. They are broken down by the body (or by heat, air or acids) and used for countless body processes and tissue building. Minerals are similar nutrients, except they maintain their chemical structures.
Vitamins are considered organic because they’re broken down when the body uses them. Minerals are not broken down, making them inorganic. B vitamins and Vitamin C are water-soluble vitamins that the body can break down fairly quickly.
The majority of people are deficient in at least one nutrient. This is mainly due to a lack of eating fruits, veggies and health foods in general. It’s also due to the high amount of processed, fast foods that people eat compared to past decades. Those foods are commonly poor in nutrients and high in sugar, fat and cholesterol. However, the body needs specific nutrients every single day in order to function properly and repair cellular damage.
When you don’t get nutrients, your body simply cannot repair tissues or perform specific functions, resulting in illness and health problems such as fatigue, headaches, dizziness, poor immune system function, poor oral health, osteoporosis, chronic conditions and more. Over time, studies have found that chronic illnesses in the past were caused by nutrient deficiencies. Many of those illnesses actually led to death because people weren’t getting what their body needed through their food.
For example, scurvy was an illness that sailors often got when they were at sea for months at a time. When they weren’t getting fruits and vegetables, their bodies were deficient in vitamin C. This led to rashes, bleeding gums, dental problems, chronic weakness, fatigue and even death. Rickets was another common condition in the past, which was characterized by soft, weak bones. This led to deformities like bowed legs because the bones couldn’t form and remineralize correctly. Even being deficient in a macronutrient—or a nutrient you only need a trace amount of—can lead to chronic illness.
What Are the Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies?
The most common nutrient deficiencies that plague people in the U.S. include:
- Iron: Women and children are the groups most likely to be deficient in iron. Iron helps create red blood cells, which carry nutrients and oxygen all throughout the body. A lack of iron leads to anemia, or reduced red blood cells and oxygen. This leads to fatigue, weakness, brain fog, memory problems, a weak immune system and more.
- B Vitamins: These include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12, which work to metabolize your amino acids, or the structures that make up proteins. They produce energy, build cells, help brain and nerve function, and boost blood formation. B12 is only obtained through animal foods.
- Calcium: Calcium builds up bones and remineralizes teeth when food and plaque strip minerals from the teeth. This nutrient is needed to have your heart, muscles, nerves and bones work correctly. Too little calcium leads to fragile bones, or osteoporosis. Only 10-15% of women in the U.S. get enough calcium.
- Vitamin D: This vitamin plays a role in immune function and for turning genes on or off. It is found only in certain foods, but is abundant in sunlight. The skin absorbs vitamin D that comes through the sun’s rays. A deficiency causes bone loss, a high risk of fractures, muscle weakness, growth delays, brittle bones and more.
- Vitamin A: This nutrient creates and maintains membranes in your body for your skin, bones, teeth and cells. It produces your eye pigments to make vision possible. A lack of vitamin D could lead to eye damage or blindness, a poor immune system and a higher risk of mortality.
- Iodine: This nutrient is vital for fetal brain and cognitive development. The CDC reports that 2 billion people worldwide don’t get enough iodine. Folate is also necessary for fetal development of the brain, spinal cord and skull.
- Magnesium: Makes your enzyme reactions possible and is key for maintaining your bone and teeth structure.
Do You Need Supplements for Better Health?
There are 16 vital minerals the body needs, even in tiny trace amounts. Those include phosphorus, sodium, zinc, copper, potassium, sulfur, chromium, chloride, fluoride, manganese, selenium and molybdenum. Calcium, iodine, zinc and iron are the other minerals. Zinc helps your immune system and potassium keeps your muscles and nerves healthy and functioning. The other minerals are needed in tiny amounts for cell production and to run your body systems.
With a proper diet full of veggies, fruits, protein, whole grains, dairy products, water and fiber, you can get most (if not all) of these vitamins and minerals. However, most people don’t have a healthy diet that provides them with all of these nutrients. If you believe this is you, we offer blood testing to see if you have nutrient deficiencies. Or, if you tend to have low-grade health problems (headaches, fatigue, anemia symptoms, dizziness, neuropathy, etc.), they can be improved or fixed with vitamin supplements. To see if you need supplements for better health, call Mile High Spine & Pain Center today at (720) 507-0080 for your consultation!