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Need for Nutritional Supplements

by Marjorie Parker

Americans could save up to $8.7 billion on treatment for heart disease, stroke, cancer and cataracts if they consumed optimal amounts of antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Beta Carotene. It is a simple fact that most people do not gain the vitamins and minerals needed for health from their diets. A study of 8,000 adults, only 1% met the minimum dietary requirement of the USDA's food guide pyramid. Natural supplements are fast becoming the choice for almost half of the U.S. population as the method for prevention and treatment for a variety of illnesses.

According to Dr. Allan Magaziner in the Idiot's Guide to Living Longer & Healthier, the people who are most likely to need nutritional supplements are: strenuous exercisers; heavy alcohol drinkers; people who take prescription and over-the-counter medications, are exposed to environmental pollution, toxins, heavy metals and pesticides; smokers and those exposed to secondhand smoke; people with infections depleting vitamin and mineral stores; people recovering from trauma, significant stress, burns or surgery; children and adolescents; pregnant women and chemotherapy patients.

Many natural substances can be used to help prevent a variety of illnesses including a variety of cancers, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cataracts, and birth defects. Proper vitamin and mineral intake strengthens the immune system for protection against common colds and flus. There are a variety of vitamin and mineral combinations for supplementation that can be beneficial to your health. When addressing a specific concern or illness, you need to research individual nutrients for their effectiveness in quantity and with other nutrients. For a multi-vitamin supplement, Dr. Magaziner suggests that you choose one containing all B-Complex vitamins, Vitamin C, and D-alpha Vitamin E.

He also suggests that when taking supplements it is better to take them with food and a large glass of water.

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