10. Dealing with Deficiencies.
The decision to supplement diet with vitamins, minerals and additional nutrients has long been dogged by controversy. Clear-cut cases such as anaemia and insufficient vitamin C, the cause of scurvy, illustrate that in certain conditions, the right elements can make a radical difference. Impressive claims have been made, by Drs Linus Pauling, Andrew Weil and others, for the benefits of vitamin C especially, as an anti-oxidant, immune system booster, and cancer retarder. Vitamin E is strongly associated with better heart and hormonal health. On the other hand, while the body automatically eliminates most nutrients that it doesn’t need, particular care is required when taking a small proportion of supplements in excess, for example, too much vitamin A can harm the liver. Only tiny amounts of minerals are required and their update is usually self-regulated. Reports of changing availability of these particles from food content, however, justifies an ongoing awareness of getting the balance right there as well.
It is important to deliberately look for reliable information and quality brands when, even after adopting a varied diet and adhering to it, the need for a top-up of certain constituents remains, due to various causes including food intolerances/allergies, depletion through treatment or illness itself. This helpguide article is a cautious, reliable overview of aspects to bear in mind.
Different individuals has different needs and responses. Doctors, dieticians, herbalists and other practitioners can provide worthwhile guidance, and books by responsible physicians one step ahead, such as Dr Christiane Northrup, offer enlightened opinions on conditions and possibly useful remedies. Most pharmaceutical energy tonics contain many food supplements and herbs, indicating widespread agreement on their place in improving well-being. Tailoring selection and dosage to individual profile is where the work must be done at local level to get it right.