Supplements are things like pills and powders that contain nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that are intended to supplement a person’s normal intake through diet. Because high amounts of processing and other industrial production methods leave foods lacking in many nutrients that would normally occur in those foods if left in their natural state, supplements are intended to replace those lost nutrients so that the deficiencies of our diet can be rectified. Our bodies require many nutrients for healthy functioning, and a deficiency can lead to long-term problems; so supplements are intended to overcome such deficiencies and help us avoid those negative health consequences.
One of the causes of nutrient deficiencies in foods comes directly from the way in which food is grown. Because of the industrial requirements of food manufacture, most crops are grown in soils that have been reused many times. This causes the soil to become depleted of certain minerals, which means those minerals will not make their way in the crop and must therefore be supplemented.
Another problem is food delivery: because foods are shipped all over the world so that people can have access to out-of-season fruits and vegetables, those foods need to be preserved for a very long time. Food may spend weeks or even months in transit before arriving at the store. Some of preservation methods, such as chilling or chemical sprays, or even genetic selection, can cause the important nutrients to break down or to be leeched out. Because of this, foods that are normally rich in nutrients in fact wind up being nutrient-poor, leaving consumers with deficiencies.
Our lifestyles can also impact nutrient deficiencies that need to be supplemented. As we age, our bodies slowly begin to produce fewer appropriate enzymes for appropriately taking in nutrients. In addition, many people do not eat regular meals, and snacking by itself does not give the body enough nutrients. For optimum health, 5-7 fruits and vegetables per day is recommened. Other factors like stress can impact the body. All of these things can lead to nutrient deficiencies which may require supplements to overcome, if a change in lifestyle can’t address the problem.
Many of our nutrient problems come from things that we as individuals can’t always control, so supplements are a good option to help maintain our health. At Internal Medicine, Lipids, and Wellness Practice, Dr. Kordonowy screens his patients for common nutritional deficiencies and will consult with patients for ways to overcome those deficiencies, which may include supplements.
If you have questions about supplements or about the kinds of nutrients you need that aren’t being properly supplied by your diet, be sure to contact IMLWP today to set up a consultation. Call (239) 362-3005, extension 200.