BY STEVE BORN
Do you think that your diet provides the optimum amount of all nutrients, and thus you don't bother to take any supplements? If you answered "Yes," then this is an important article for you to read, one that will help you fully understand the importance of a supplement program with a high-quality multivitamin/ mineral supplement as its foundation.
The balanced diet myth
It is virtually impossible to obtain all of the nutrients your body requires from your daily diet, for several reasons:
- Studies show that food alone may not supply all of the micronutrients we need to prevent deficiency, let alone to achieve optimal health.
- Much of our diet comes from foods grown far away, picked when unripe, and then shipped. Nutritional content is questionable and usually depleted.
- Even if we could obtain all of the nutrients we need from our diet, it's unlikely that any of us eats an ideal diet with much consistency.
Understand that we're not suggesting that you can neglect your diet, take a handful of pills, and have all of your nutrient needs covered. No supplement program can or should take priority over the consumption of a nutritious, balanced diet. Supplementation means just what the word implies: supplementary. Your primary nutritional goal is to consistently consume a healthy diet.
What comprises a healthy diet?
Eating healthy means consuming a variety of foods - including whole grains and locally grown organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible - and avoiding packaged, processed foods and junk foods. It also means low sodium (2,400 mg or less daily), and avoiding foods containing artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, and preservatives. Our message, "The quality of the calories you consume always matters," is one you need to take to heart!
Supplementation fills in where diets fall short, and fall short they will, especially given the high nutrient demands of endurance athletes. So where exactly does regular food consumption fall short?
- Usually not in calories, except during and immediately after endurance exercise
- Rarely in salt
- Often in protein for hard-training athletes
- Seldom in fat, though Omega-3 fatty acids can be an issue for some
- Almost always in micronutrients
Even the best of diets is not enough!
Eating whole foods is unquestionably the best way to supply your body with the myriad plant-derived, health-benefiting phytochemicals; however, today's food supply can't provide enough of the basic, necessary vitamins and minerals. In fact, an ever-increasing body of research suggests that many people's diets are insufficient in supplying enough nutrients to prevent a deficiency disease.
Did you get that? Forget about providing enough nutrients to promote optimal health - many people do not eat enough quality food to meet the minimal Reference Daily Intake (RDI) micronutrient requirements for preventing deficiency-related disorders. Dr. Bill Misner's hallmark paper, "Food May Not Provide Sufficient Micronutrients to Avoid Deficiency"  is but one effort in pointing out this startling problem.
The research of distinguished nutritional scientist Bruce Ames, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, also presents a hypothesis that implies micronutrient deficiency may eventually deteriorate the quality of whole human cell health. A portion of Professor Ames' abstract reads as follows :
Inadequate dietary intakes of vitamins and minerals are widespread, most likely due to excessive consumption of energy-rich, micronutrient-poor, refined food. Inadequate intakes may result in chronic metabolic disruption, including mitochondrial decay. Deficiencies in many micronutrients cause DNA damage, such as chromosome breaks, in cultured human cells or in vivo. Some of these deficiencies also cause mitochondrial decay with oxidant leakage and cellular aging and are associated with late onset diseases such as cancer.
The Recommended Daily Intake: Recommended for what?
The RDI standard (formerly known as the Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA) doesn't take into account the higher needs of endurance athletes. Dr. Misner states, "Researchers have established that athletes tend to deplete vitamins, minerals, enzymes, coenzymes, and other substrates more than sedentary people do."
Moreover, conventional standards are tuned to deficiency avoidance rather than optimal health. In the highly recommended book, The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book: Using supplements for optimum health, 4th ed. (New York: Avery Publishing Group, 2007), Shari Lieberman, Ph.D., and Nancy Bruning discuss the flaws with the RDIs:
Just like the RDAs, the RDIs have three basic problems: (1) you cannot get all of the nutrients you need from today's food; (2) the RDIs reflect amounts that are adequate to prevent nutrient-deficiency diseases, and are not tailored for individual needs; and (3) the RDIs do not address or consider optimum health or the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease. In order to attain a state of optimum health and disease prevention, we must take into our bodies optimum - not minimum - amounts of vitamins and minerals.
As the new season begins, and especially with this being the time of year when your immune system is arguably the most taxed, consuming a high-quality diet, augmented first and foremost with a potent multivitamin/mineral supplement, is not just a wise strategy, it's a necessity!
It's up to you to take care of the diet part by consistently eating adequate amounts of the highest quality foods possible. For a superior-quality vitamin/mineral supplement, you need to look no further than Premium Insurance Caps. Unlike many vitamin/mineral supplements that contain inadequate RDI amounts of nutrients, Premium Insurance Caps is formulated with Optimum Daily Intake (ODI) amounts of the highest quality vitamins and minerals (plus beneficial auxiliary nutrients), supplying your body with higher amounts of nutrients in the quantities it needs for optimal health. HN
REFERENCES:  Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 261:49- 52, April 2005 (available at www.hammernutrition.com/downloads/diet_deficiencies.pdf)  Ames BN, Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2006; 103 (47): 17589- 94. (Address: Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA 94609, USA). www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu bmed/17101959?dopt=AbstractPlus
Premium Insurance Caps is a perfectly acceptable and highly beneficial supplement for teens and preteens! We know that you do your best to make sure your children consume the highest quality diet possible. Still, it's oftentimes difficult to ensure that they're truly receiving adequate nutrient support. As is the case with adults, Premium Insurance Caps helps "bridge the gap" between what your child's diet contains nutrient-wise and what it really should provide.
Our suggested dose for teens and preteens is one capsule of Premium Insurance Caps per 25 pounds of body weight. (Note: This is only recommended for children able to comfortably swallow a capsule.)