Benefits of supplementation
Supplements can help balance your body systems, and assist you in achieving your health goals. The nutrient quality of our foods is continually declining due to agricultural practices, soil erosion, preservatives, genetically modified foods and pollutants. As such, it is beneficial to supplement our diets in order to obtain essential vitamins and minerals that we may be lacking in our food.
For example, fruits and vegetables found in Canadian grocery stores contain less nutrients today than they used to:
Research by CTV, published in the Globe and Mail shows that broccoli contains 62% less calcium, potatoes have lost almost all their Vitamin A and apples nearly half their iron. In all, among the majority of fruits and vegetables tested, there was a 68% loss of Vitamin A, 76% loss of iron and an 80% loss of calcium.
CTV.ca July 6 2002
Similar findings have been published regarding U.S. grown fruits and vegetables:
Since 1975 in the US there has been a 50% reduction in the calcium found in broccoli, cauliflower is down 40% in Vitamin C, watercress is down 88% in iron, and Vitamin A in apples dropped from 90mg to 53mg.
Published in Life Extension 2001
Iceberg lettuce, processed tomato, onion and potato account for 50% of vegetable intake among adults
An average adult eats only 1.5 servings of vegetables per day and less than 1 serving of fruit per day. Only 1 out of 11 adults eats 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit daily (which is still very low). 1 out of 9 adults eat no fruit and vegetables on a given day.
Craig. J Am Diet Assoc 1996
Dr. Walter Willet, Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard calls "…a daily multivitamin a good, cheap insurance policy" and states that the Canada Food Guide should include a recommendation that supplements be included as part of a healthy diet and are important to ensure adequate levels of folic acid, Vitamins B6, B12, D and E.
Globe and Mail, July 5, 2002
Nutrient deficiencies can lead to a variety of health conditions. If we do not eat foods that will sufficiently meet our nutrient requirements, supplementation can help address this problem.