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You are what you eat”, goes a famous saying. If that’s truly the case, then a

lot of Americans would appear to be unhealthy, chemically treated,

commercially raised slabs of animal flesh. While that is not a particularly

pleasant thought, it is nonetheless a description of the typical American

omnivore who survives on the consumption of big macs and greasy french

fries. It’s true, and what have the average Americans done about this

problem? Asked for seconds and tell themselves that they won’t eat much for

tomorrow’s meal. You already know what you should be doing, exercise for

at least 20 minutes every second day, eat the correct foods and avoid

dangerous substances: smoke and other poisons, toxins and cancer causing

chemicals. You need a high level of anti-oxidants to live a long healthy life in

our modern world. If you’re healthy and eat a well-balanced diet based on the

Food Guide Pyramid, most nutritionist agree that supplements are

unnecessary. A well balanced diet supplies not only the recommended daily

allowances(RDAs) of all the necessary nutrients, but also important

nonnutrients that vitamin pills lack. Fiber is one of theses nutrients. Nutritionist

also believe that taking supplements perpetuates bad eating habits by making

you think everything will be okay as long as you get your “vities”. I totally

agree that if you eat a nutritional meal then why take any dietary supplements

or vitamins. But lets be honest with ourselves. Who honestly consumes their

daily allotted nutrients each day out of their meals? I bet your saying to

yourself, well sure I do, because I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and have a

glass of milk and gram crackers for a late night snack. Hey I even get out of

my chair at nights to try to find the remote, I’m healthy enough. I would be

willing to put money on it, that you not reaching your daily benefits, because

only 9% of adults eat a balanced diet. Many people can’t or don’t even eat

some meals during the day due to busy schedules. But it’s been said that you

do your body more harm eating one or two big meals a day then eating four

or five little ones. Even people who eat right don’t get large enough amounts

of antioxidant vitamins which have proven effective in preventing diseases. The

typical American diet is well below what it should be. A study by the National

Food Consumption Survey report only 3% of the population ate the

recommended number of servings from the four food groups. Only 12%

consumed 100% of the RDA for all of the top nutrients like protein, calcium

and vitamin A, B, and C. Over 70% of men and over 80% of women failed to

get even 2/3’s of the RDA for one or more nutrients. Diets in high school

students were found to be inadequate as they only consumed 56% of their

calories from the Basic Four Food Groups. Foods most frequently eaten are

cakes, candy, soda pop, butter, and jellies and jams. So what are the people

to do about this bottomed out problem. Are we suppose to turn into nutrition

freaks or do we forget it and live our drained out lives depressed, out of

money, stress out, and tired. While it seems that everyone from grandmothers

to government has good advice about how to eat well, The American Dietetic

Association is urging people to take charge of their own nutrition destiny.

ADA shows that when it comes to nutrition, there is no such thing as a

“one-size-fits-all” approach. Nutrition experts say achieving good nutrition is

like putting together a puzzle, only you know where the pieces fit. So what is

good nutrition. We know that you can get a good nutrition from a balanced

meal, but know that most Americans don’t get that kind of nutrition that is

needed. So should we be heading towards something new like dietary

supplements. Some nutritionist say that we shouldn’t while I say that if were

not getting enough nutrition out of our meals, then lets do something about it

and put our bodies in better shape. We could save money in the long run. I

know for sure we can better ourselves with nutritional values that we can’t get

out of our meals. Two ways come to my mind with thinking about nutrition

values, dietary supplements and multivitamins. When it comes to supplements,

it’s a brand new world out there. In fact, supplement technology has come so

far in the past five years that for the first time in the history of nutrition it can

honestly be said that a good diet and supplement programs can provide better

gains than a typical body building diet and low dose steroid program of years

past. The big question of course is, are dietary supplements and multivitamins

necessary? There are many debates over the advantages and benefits of

taking vitamin and mineral supplements. The fact is that we do not, or often

can not, get all the nutrients we need from what were eating. The nutrient

content of any given food can vary greatly depending on soil conditions while

growing, transportation and storage environments, decrease due to aging and

loss attributed to cooking. Furthermore, many people just do not eat enough,

if any, of the things like fruits and vegetates required for a nutritionally

balanced diet. For many years the medical establishment has maintained that

healthy adults have no need for vitamins in amounts higher than the RDA. The

RDA figures are the amounts required to avoid disease associated with

dietary deficiencies. The RDA a is slowly changing. There is simply much

more scientific evidence that supplementation can be beneficial for your health

and fitness then there is to the contrary. While you should try to eat a variety

of foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, it is not always possible.

Regular supplementation maybe the best way to insure your body gets the

nutrition it needs. Studies provide strong evidence that heart disease and colon

cancer are associated with folic acid deficit. Eating plenty of broccoli and

oranges would help supply higher levels, but average intake gives you only

about half the optimum level. People who aren’t getting enough in their food

should take a supplement. That’s true for other vitamins as well, especially

vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Studies show that a 40% lower risk of heat disease

for those taking vitamin E supplements. That’s a greater benefit than you get

from fat-reducing drugs, which cost about $1500 a year versus $10 to $20

for vitamin E. It makes sense for most people to take a multivitamin that

contains vitamins E, B-complex, A and C. A large body of evidence supports

taking a vitamin E supplement beyond the multivitamin amount. Women

should choose a multivitamin/multimineral supplement that adds iron, if they

are of child-bearing age. They are a good nutritional safety net. Supplements

can be useful to individuals, consumers and to the U.S. population as part of

an overall strategy to optimize nutrition intake. All people whose diets fail to

provide target amounts of nutrients might reasonably choose to improve

dietary habits and use supplements in an effort to meet nutritional goals. Goals

could improve their overall self-esteem, and would place a better factor on

their lives. Multivitamins and dietary supplements provide a wide range of

micronutrients in modest dosages. They’re typically taken to augment less than

perfect eating habits a form of nutritional insurance against deficiencies. Many

nutritional experts agree that unless you’re consistently eating a good diet, it’s

probably a good way to supplement. David Benton, Ph.D., a psychology

professor at the University of Walees, Swansea, says the first signs of

nutritional deficiencies show up not as physical signs but as declining mental

performances. To prove his hypothesis, Benton gave a group of healthy

college students a daily high-potency multivitamin supplement containing three

times the Daily Value of most vitamins. After a year, the students’ thinking

processes were measurably sharper and their moods better than a

comparable group of students given a placebo. Dietary supplements have

been around for a long time. While there has not been a demand for them until

the 90’s there has been one supplement that has been around since 1832. The

supplement is called Creatine. A product by many nutritionist to be a phrase

from God. Creatine is found in the body of humans, lean red meat and fish.

You right now have creatine in your body, around 100 to 115 grams of

creatine stored. Creatine synthesized by the liver, the kidney, and the

pancreas form three amino acids – argenine, glycine and methionine. From the

liver and kidneys, 95% of it goes to the muscles and forms Creatine

Phosphate, which boosts the body’s manufacture of the energy in the skeletal

system. While the other 5% is scattered through out the body. The human

body gets most of the creatine it needs for maintaining its bodily functions from

food or dietary supplements. Red meat is the best food source of creatine,

however there is only about 5 grams per 2 pounds of meat. Scientist say that

a person uses up to two gram of Creatine per day. Therefore, to notice any

positive effects from creatine, you need to supplement. Creatine(scientifically

known as creatine monohydrate) increases the availability of instant energy. It

increases muscle strength. It improves endurance and delays fatigue, as well

as taking off and replacing it with muscle. Creatine will force a more fluids into

the muscles, giving a good pump and making them a little bit bigger. This is

known as cell volumization, leading more water inside the cells, making

muscles bigger and firmer. Creatine is research proven to help increase peak

power, delay fatigue, and increase energy during high intensity exercise.

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance that exists in every muscle of your

body. Whenever you use your muscles, a chemical(adenosine triphospate-

ATP) is broken down into two simple chemicals (adenosine

di-phospahate-ADP and inorganic phospate). This process of ATP turning

into ADP releases the energy which gives your muscles power. The problem

is that your muscles only contain enough ADP to last about 10-15 seconds at

maximum exertion. That is where Creatine comes in. It restores everything

giving more ATP in your body means more fuel for your muscles. That gives

you more energy. But once the creatine is used up in your body so are you.

You then have to rest your muscles and wait a while before you can go do

anything again. Creatine is the most popular dietary supplement on the market.

It builds lean mass and speeds muscle recovery. It would be impractical to try

to supplement your diet with just whole foods, this is why creatine

supplementation is so popular. It’s made talk around the world from home run

king; Mark McGuire, the Russian great Olyimipic team, world record holder;

Michael Johnson, and to great body builders like Dorien Yates. The U.S

health care system should place a much greater emphasis on disease

prevention as a means of prolonging healthy life, reducing the burden of

disease, and saving health care cost. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for

Health and Human Services has recently predicted that the expansion of

preventive measures such as health screening, immunization, and individual

behavior change “could eliminate an estimated 45% of cardiovascular disease

death, 23% of cancer deaths and more than 50% of the disabling

complications of diabetes. Better control of fewer than 10 risk factors for

example, poor diet, infrequent exercise, the use of tobacco and drugs, and the

abuse of alcohol could prevent between 40 and 70 % of all premature deaths,

a third of all cases of acute disability, and two thirds of all cases of chronic

disability.” Nutrition is a key component of any disease prevention strategy.

Better dietary habits and increased intakes of several vitamins and minerals

can substantially reduce the risk of major chronic diseases. It is in the interest

of the public health for nutritional improvements to be adopted and

encouraged now in order to obtain the full potential benefits of health

promotion and disease prevention. If the people would use dietary

supplements it could potentially have effects like reducing infectious disease in

elderly, and potentially cut the number of sick days by half. Hip fracture by

perhaps 20% meaning 40,000 to 50,000 fewer hip fractures every year.

reducing heart disease, preventing 800,000 Americans from dying. Reducing

cancer which would save 500,000 Americans each year. The use of

nutritional supplements of vitamins and minerals could have diverse benefits. A

modest multivitamin with minerals could virtually eliminate the risk of

micronutrient deficiency in the poor of this nation. It could provide substantial

assurance against anemia in children and in women of child-bearing age, and

provide the folic acid necessary a few weeks before and after conception to

help protect against neural tube defects. It also would prevent nutrient

deficiency and improve immune function in the elderly. The potential role of

nutritional supplements in protecting health and preventing disease should be

affirmatively recognized by public and private organizations which play a role

in promoting the public health and in advising consumers about food and

supplement choices in the context of healthy lifestyles. In today’s society, a lot

of emphasis is placed on how you look. Almost everybody wants that

“perfect body”. But with all the things people have to do, not many are willing

to put in the time to get it. But now you can be one step closer to that perfect

body and living a healthy life. As Dr. Earl Mindell would put it “your health is

the most important thing you have”. References Antonia, J. Hearty Results for

Creatine. Flex. October 1998. pg. 174 Batcheldor, B. Supper Supplements.

Flex. September 1998. pg. 221-222. Sparkman, D. Lowering Cholesterol.

All Natural Muscle Development. February 1999. pg. 38 Woodgate, D. Gain

10 pounds In Only 7 Days. Flex. December 1998. pg. 141-142. What does

your body need, Natural Health, www.naturalhealtH2.com Extreme Fuel

Extreme Ignition, Symmetry Products with Creatine. www.go-symmetry.com

Anything You Could Want To Know, www.angelfire.com Health &

Wellbeing, www.ozol.com

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