Vitamins - Will you trust corporate agendas, or your own instinct?Leilalu
- I am very impressed with your knowledge of real nutrition
- which is woefully inadequate among most Americans. (But there are corporate/political reasons for this ... which would take a whole other thread to explain.) IMHO, one could not rely upon better information sources than Adelle Davis or the Weston A. Price Foundation (www.westonaprice.org
) for TRUTHFUL information on how to maintain glowing good health - - as the native peoples of the world have, for millenia.
You all may be noticing a LOT of "negative press" lately, charging that vitamins are a waste. Please do NOT believe it. Most of the studies "proving" that vitamin supplements are worthless, are inadequate studies - using doses that are far too small to effect any efficacy. Moreover, these "studies" are often funded by pharmaceutical companies, or corporate agribiz interests. The pharmas would like nothing better than to make it a legal requirement to obtain a prescription for ANY vitamin supplement that comes in a DOSE that can do you any good. And Mega-Food Mfrs. would prefer to have us content in the belief that their overprocessed, denatured, and additive-laden ersatz foods
are actually "nutritious!"
For those of you who have never heard of the "Codex Alimentarius" here is a primer. It is an "International Trade Agreement" which is about to go into effect 12/31/09, and may eventually make it practically impossible for citizens to access vitamin supplements without a prescription. For those of us who have been proponents/users of nutritional supplements, this "trade agreement" represents an assault against personal freedom, and can compromise the health of millions. If you would like to learn more about Codex, please see Dr. Rita Laibow's informative video on the subject, here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkehT...e=channel_page
Also, FYI, the AMA falls into lock-step with whatever are the current Corporate nutritional "guidelines du jour" - esp. those promulgated by the pharmaceutical industry. They have hefty PR budgets to be sure you will hear their "opinions"... and plenty of influence at Congress, and with the FDA. Thus, your docs are currently advising you to drop the pre-natals. (But please take this advice with a LARGE grain of salt, and the following caveats below!)Leilalu - Your mention of Adelle Davis' Book "Let's Have Healthy Children" made me jump for joy!
I own many of this gifted biochemist's books, and have long considered her to be my personal "Goddess of Nutrition." You are only partially correct, however, in asserting that Ms. Davis advocated only "whole food" sources for excellent nutrition in pregnancy. Davis prescribed generous amounts of liver, brewers yeast and wheat germ to pregnant women to assure them good sources of the all-important B vitamins. These are, admittedly, mainly "whole foods" - but how many of us have them in our pantrys right now?
Davis did, however, add supplements to her adopted daughter's infant formulas, as she considered the commercial varieties to be woefully inadequate. (Please review Chapter 19 of her book "Let's Have Healthy Children" entitled: "Making a Formula Adequate." Davis added Yogurt, calcium/magnesium powders, brewers yeast, and vitamin C, to her children's bottles.)
As with so many other nutrition issues in which Davis was "ahead of her time," she was also a huge proponent of breast-feeding. And she also recommended giving small children the healthful benefits of RAW whole milk, whenever possible.
As a long-time student of nutrition and genetics, I have used vitamin supplements for years - BUT, with the following caveats:1) I never take multi-vitamins. There is no such thing as a "one size fits all" multi-vitamin, any more than there is a "one size fits all" shoe.
Moreover, there are pitfalls to multis, such as the inclusion of Iron with vitamin E - iron oxidizes the E, making it literally worthless. Moreover, the broad inclusion of minerals can actually harm some people with specific medical needs. Iodine is widely available since table salt is generously "fortified" with iodine, and salt is added to literally everything we eat - but to an undiagnosed HYPERthyroid, for example, vitamin supplements with added iodine might potentially cause a life threatening "thryoid storm!" Therefore when I take vitamin supplements, I take them "separately" - B complex, C, E and etc., so I know exactly what I am ingesting, and can control the dose as my nutritional needs may change. (Ankle swelling, for example, indicates a need for more B vitamins - or a rare sore throat, for more C.)2) I never purchase vitamin supplements from a drug or grocery store.
Unless you are buying supplements from a reputable local "health food store" you are likely getting the most cheaply made varieties, which often include unnecessary "fillers" (or even food color), which can cause gastrointestinal irritation, or other unwanted side-effects. The only caveat to this rule is Whole Foods Market brands, or supplements ordered for you by prescription for specific needs. But the "over the counter" stuff is to be avoided, in general, IMO.
So, it is little wonder to see so many of you complain about pre-natals making you ill. Therefore, take them, or don't.
But be aware that if you are experiencing nausea; Adelle Davis would recommend you try Vitamin B6 (200 mg daily, to get it under control), as well as making certain that your blood sugar levels are kept steady. But please also consider that taking one of the Bs without the others for too long, can actually cause a deficiency
in one of the other 20 B vitamins. They are always found together in natural food sources, because they all work together, synergistically. Therefore, unless you are eating liver, whole grain breads and cereals (exclusively), or taking brewers yeast in smoothies; taking a B-Complex tablet might be the easiest way to get these important body-regulating nutrients. Let's not forget that the water-soluable B vitamins are known as the "anti-stress" supplements, and can boost one's energy.
I would also listen to the advice of 2X Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling on the use of vitamin C, (in order to avoid infections and supply the nutrient that is vital to creating all cell walls
); rather than to heed the advice of some populist PR writer, employed by a mega-pharma. I take 1,600 mg of vitamin C daily - minimum!
Moreover, natural (d-alpha) Vitamin E, used topically, can prevent stretch marks (and fade scars); but taken internally it "preserves" the body's oxygen, helping it to work more efficiently, and can promote soft skin and lustrous hair.
Vitamins A & D, found especially in egg yolks (which the "nutrition writers" would have you throw away!
) are essential "building blocks" too! And if you are pregnant, isn't your baby actually "under construction?"
To those who would rely upon the advice of the nutrition fashionistas, I have often asked this question: "Does it really make sense to eliminate from your diet the very foods that nature provides to the world's tinyest living creatures? (Which are; milk and eggs?)" In reality
, cholesterol "problems" are caused by high glycemic foods - sugar and white flour - NOT nature's "perfect" foods, which includes all dairy!
As to adding vitamin supplements, each person must gage his or her personal needs. I would never refute the need for extra folic acid for those TTC. Do you eat tons of leafy greens or lots of eggs? If not, you need to ensure that you add a supplement to your regime, preferably, pre-conception - but better late than never!
As for the Vitamin D controversy - I take Carlson Labs natural Cod Liver Oil in the winter, when I cannot sunbathe. According to Dr. Mercola (www.mercola.com
), a day on the beach can cause my body to make as much as 400,000 IU of D. Can this be an "Overdose?" Not likely! Not when we have been created (or evolved) as "daylight" animals, who have spent most of our history out-of-doors! (Without
the "protection" of chemically toxic sun blocks!) Little wonder scientists are "re-discovering" the many important functions of Vitamin D to health!
Another poster mentioned that the Inuit (eskimos) would not eat Polar Bear liver because it had an extremely high content of Vitamin A (again, considered to be "toxic" by "scientists"). This is not entirely correct. The Inuit do
use this Mega-Dose food source of Vitamin A, but for one
purpose: as a cure for snow blindness!
(Which cure it can effect, literally, within hours.)
In sum, if you are content to suffer the various annoying symptoms of pregnancy, like swollen ankles, cholasma (dark skin patches), hemorrhoids, yeast infections, or exhaustion - which are considered to be "normal annoyances" by the medical community - don't bother taking steps to improve your nutrition, or to add any supplements to your diet.
But if you want enjoy glowing good health, and enjoy your pregnancy (and an easier delivery), that will bring forth a beautiful baby with superior health, NOW is the best time
your nutrition! And wholesome vitamin supplements, as indicated above, can play an important part in that goal.
Okay, I will get off my soapbox now... and I hope you will forgive this diatribe of my life's passion.
But I would also hope, that some of you might see the benefits of taking out some "nutritional insurance," in the form of some personally selected nutritional supplements - whether as whole foods, or in capsules. In these, exciting, precious, and hallowed months of your lives, you have the opportunity to build a healthy legacy for your entire family - one that simply cannot be measured in mere dollars.