Almost 75% of your life expectancy is based upon lifestyle, environment and nutrition. The number of years that you spend alive is not nearly as important as the number of years you spend healthy. Researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association back in 2002 suggested that “most people do not consume and optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone…it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements”.
Our vitamin intake from diet has decreased drastically. Certain medications and chronic medication use block the absorption of many of the vitamins and nutrients found in foods. The soil in which most of our fruits and vegetables are planted and grow has become depleted of nutrients over the years due to pesticide use. Stress, aging and poor lifestyle choices also cause a lack of these micronutrients in the body. Finally, genetics can play an important role in whether or not micronutrients are absorbed and utilized efficiently by the body. Most chronic diseases of aging, including cancer, have a basis in oxidation, free radical formation and inflammation. There is a need for more antioxidants in the diet to combat these forces. Unfortunately we no longer get what we need from diet. Supplementation is becoming essential. And remember fruits and vegetables begin to lose whatever nutritional value they have after picking, and processing/cooking these fruits and vegetables decrease nutritional values even further.
These micronutrients include vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. The major antioxidant in the body is Glutathione. Other important ones include Vitamins A, C, and E, selenium, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, melatonin, garlic and Ginkgo Biloba. These antioxidants need to be balanced and taken in proper doses. Stress will deplete your body of these essential nutrients, and who does not live in a 24/7 stressful environment? Furthermore, as you age, your body produces less Vitamin D, Alpha Lipoic Acid and CoQ10 and this calls for supplementation if your metabolic machinery is to stay tuned.
As I have mentioned many times, lifestyle habits and diet can deplete the body of essential nutrients and play a major role in how genes express themselves. Dr.Leo Galland is quoted as follows: “It depends as much upon the milieu in which a gene functions as it does upon the DNA sequence of the genome”.
So think of it this way: Your body is like a car. If you put good fuel into it, it will run well, need little repair and last a long time. If you put low octane fuel in your body, it will not run well, will develop diseases and will not last long! Your nutritional needs are predicated by lifestyle, medications, stress, soil depletion,age and genetics. One size does not fit all. It behooves you to have your body checked and embark on a supplementation program designed expressly for you. Only in this way will you maximize your vitality and live a long and active life.
In the next post, I will discuss the prevention of cancer and other age associated diseases by optimizing your micronutrient intake. Research has been done by Bruce Ames in this field and the results are interesting and exciting!