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Don’t Need No Stinking Vitamins!

by Dr.Gerard Cassista

vitaminsAlthough not exactly in those words, I hear that sentiment frequently at the office. By far one of the most frequently asked questions is “do I need to take vitamins?” The answer is that we should get most of our vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. The reality however, is that unless we eat organic fruits and vegetables, we should be taking vitamins. Typical fruits and vegetables are farmed on soil that is depleted in nutrients because of over farming. It has been said that you would have to eat 20 heads of lettuce today to get the same nutrient value as one head of lettuce back in 1948. Because modern farmers can only replace a few minerals in the soil many nutrients are left out of the final product. That being said, we should talk about which vitamins to take.

Most people are unaware that not all vitamins are created equally. Major brand vitamins are generally synthetic. This means that a scientist was given a recipe to create a specific vitamin in a laboratory. If you gave 12 chefs the recipe for a cake, you would get 12 different cakes. When a vitamin is created in the laboratory, it frequently does not look like the original for a number of reasons and because of that is poorly digested or not digested at all. Another important fact is that synthetic vitamins are most frequently isolated. When vitamin C for example is produced, even if it comes out exactly correct, it is only vitamin C. What is lacking are all the enzymes, micro enzymes and nutrients which usually accompany the vitamin in the food to optimize digestion and absorption.

Organic vitamins are a better choice than synthetic. These are the real vitamins taken from real food so they are always correct. Our body recognizes these vitamins better and there is a higher absorption rate. They are still usually only isolated vitamins however and do not contain other substances normally found in the food.

There are now companies who produce complete food organic vitamins. These are not only the vitamin intended, but also contain all of the nutrients which normally surround that vitamin. It is the complete Symphony and not just a violin. These are by far the most highly absorbed and most effective vitamins available. They are generally not found in ordinary stores but can be obtained from many healthcare providers.

Most people have no idea which vitamins they should be taking. If you were only going to take one thing, it should be a complete food multivitamin with minerals. If you are willing to take 2 things, fish oil would be the next on the list. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is responsible for maintaining many of our body tissues and body functions. Most American diets have far more omega 6 and omega nines and are very depleted in omega-3. When children come to our office with any learning disability or behavior issues, I put them on fish oil and parents see almost immediate changes. Everyone in America should be on fish oil. Be aware that when you buy your fish oil, it should state that it is mercury free. It might also say pharmaceutical grade or organic. If it does not say any of those it likely has mercury in it.

If you would like more information on specifically what you should be taking, contact a holistic alternative care oriented health provider. Getting you and your family on vitamins, minerals and fish oil helps fill nutritional holes in our typical American diet. You and your children will have more energy, perform better at work and school, and generally be more happy. Eat well, live long and prosper.

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