Nutrition Matters – The Benefits of Supplementation

It’s a tough world out there. Our air and water are often full of toxic chemicals and many of our food choices are less than nutritious. Most of us have highly busy lives and devote too little time to being physically active. Despite the fact that nearly 7 out of 10 Americans are overweight to obese, we are ironically often under-nourished. In fact, up to 90 percent of Americans are lacking key nutrients in our diets.i

Ensuring we are getting the nourishment needed to support our bodies optimal function can be a challenge, but nutritional supplementation can help fill in those gaps that exist in just about everyone’s diet. Countless research studies and health experts agree that supplementing with key nutrients, including a multivitamin, adequate vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids provide a good nutritional foundation.

To understand the relationship between supplementation and long-term health, a first-of-its-kind Landmark Studyii was conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University Of California, Berkeley, School Of Public Health.

Researchers gathered a group of Shaklee long-term (20+ years) multi-supplement users and compared their health to non-supplement users. Results were adjusted to account for a number of potential confounders, including age, sex, education, income, and body mass index (BMI).

Questionnaires, on-site physical examinations, and blood work were used to compare nutritional status, serum biomarkers of health risk, and self-assessed health status between the three groups.

The dietary supplements consumed on a daily basis by more than 50 percent of the multi-supplement users included a multivitamin/multimineral, B vitamin complex, vitamins C and E, antioxidants, calcium with vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotic, soy protein, glucosamine and an herbal immune supplement.

Researchers discovered that the overall health of long-term multiple supplement users was dramatically different than that of non-supplement users.

The multiple supplement users had improved levels of important heart-healthy biomarkers including 33 percent lower triglycerides, 36 percent lower homocysteine, 59 percent lower C-reactive protein levels, along with 11 percent lower cholesterol to HDL ratio when compared to the non-supplement users. As expected, the multiple supplement users also had higher blood levels of vitamin A, C, E, D, folate, and iron than non-supplement users.

Risk of disease was also much lower in these multiple dietary supplement users than nonusers. As a group, the multiple supplement users had lower risk of high blood pressure (39 percent), lower risk of diabetes (73 percent), and multiple measures of cardiovascular risk were directionally better with supplementation. Multiple supplement users were also four times more likely to describe their health as “very good” or “excellent” compared to non-supplement users.

In most cases, the single supplement users’ health markers fell between these two groups, suggesting that multiple supplementation use was both safe and effective.

Quality supplements can help fill nutritional gaps left by less than optimal food choices, our overworked bodies, and our toxic environment.

ihttp://www.crnusa.org/benefits/files/CRN-BenefitsBrochure-2012.pdfiiBlock G, Jensen CD, Norkus EP, Dalvi TB, Wong LG, McManus JF, Hudes ML. Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study. Nutr J. 2007 Oct 24;6:30. PMID: 17958896.

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