Supplements: A Smart Choice for Health

The following excerpt appeared in the winter 2010 issue of Lifestyle Magazine. Click here to read the entire brochure!

When everything seems out of control these days, there is one thing you do have control over: your body. What you put into it can optimize your health and improve how you feel every day.

Yet too many people aren’t making smart choices about their bodies. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 14 percent of U.S. adults and 9.5 percent of U.S. teens meet the government’s goals for eating enough fruits and vegetables.

The Toll of an Unhealthy Lifestyle

The costs of our poor diets are mounting. In 2005, the CDC estimated that 365,000 U.S. deaths a year were due to poor diets high in calories, fat, and sugar and to lack of physical activity. Diseases including diabetes, heart disease and cancer can often be directly tied to our diet and lifestyle. The good news? These chronic diseases are among the most preventable by adopting a healthier way of life. For example, you can protect your heart by managing high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. By reducing your blood pressure by 12 to 13 points, you can reduce your heart disease risk by 21 percent, and your stroke risk by 37 percent. The bottom line? You do have control over your health.

Barren Soil Grows Nutritionally Weak Crops

Unfortunately, even if you’re eating right, you’re still probably not getting enough vitamins and nutrients from your diet for optimum health. Many of today’s foods don’t pack the nutritional punch they did years ago.

According to a report published in the Journal of HortScience, the average vegetable found in today’s supermarket is anywhere from 5% to 40% lower in minerals (including magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc) than those harvested just 50 years ago. The decline is attributed to modern crops being harvested faster, giving them less time to absorb nutrients, and the use of fertilizers that may interfere with a plant’s ability to take up nutrients.

Medical Community Recommends Supplements

That’s why nutritional supplements are so essential to maintaining health and vitality. In 2002, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) began advising all adults to take multivitamins to help prevent such common chronic illnesses as cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.

“Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. It appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements,” according to the statement in JAMA. Physicians are paying attention. Did you know that 72 percent of physicians personally use dietary supplements? Obviously, supplementing is an ideal prescription for health.

Q and A: Dr. Stephen Pfeifer

Stephen Pfeifer, MD, is a board-certified family practitioner and a member of the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, Indiana Medical Association and Marion County Medical Society.

Q: Why do people need to supplement?

A: People are so busy and often don’t have time to eat a perfectly balanced diet. Even if they did, other factors come into play that affect nutrition

In his book UltraMind Solution, Dr. Mark Hyman illustrates the need for nutritional supplementation. He writes that if people eat wild, fresh, organic, local, nongenetically modified food grown in virgin mineral and nutrient-rich soils that has not been transported across vast distances and stored for months before being eaten… and people work and live outside, breathe only fresh, unpolluted air, drink only pure clean water, sleep nine hours a night, move their bodies every day, and are free from chronic stressors and exposure to environmental toxins, then perhaps they might not need supplements. Since almost no one can live in that idealistic world, supplementation is critical.

Q: It seems the medical community is increasingly using supplementation for treatment and prevention. Why is that?

A: Doctors are beginning to understand that an investment in quality nutrition will have a far greater outcome on healthcare costs than using the money on disease treatment.

More and more researchers are discovering the tremendous healing properties of natural compounds. These scientific studies are helping doctors understand how many natural therapies work to promote health or treat disease. Most doctors who study nutrition are encouraging patients to supplement their diets with extra doses of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, carotenoids, biotin, choline, inositol, magnesium, phosphorus, trace minerals, and omega 3 fatty acids. All of these are contained in the ideal dosing range in the Reliv product line.

Nutritional supplements also are catching more doctors’ attention because many have clinical studies to support their effectiveness. For example, Reliv’s GlucAffect® is proven to help lower blood sugar and aid with weight loss. FibRestore® and Reliv Now® also have studies supporting their effectiveness. And Cardiosentials® is clinically proven to improve cholesterol levels. These are credible scientific studies that offer patients alternative approaches to good health.

For example, as a family practice doctor who asks people to work on “lifestyle changes” for six months before we consider a medication for high cholesterol, I know how difficult it is to get a big percentage drop in cholesterol.

A functional food fits in nicely with the American Heart Association’s suggestions to incorporate phytochemicals and soy as part of the lifestyle effort. The University of Scranton study showed convincing evidence of a profound 16 percent decrease in LDL cholesterol and 2 percent increase in good HDL cholesterol in patients using CardioSentials®. This translates to a 30 percent reduction in the risk of a cardiac event. To any doctor, that is a big shift and enough to encourage the patient to keep up the good work. This would imply a 32 percent reduction in diabetes risk as well.

Q: Why do Reliv products stand above other supplements available today?

A: Reliv nutritional products go beyond minimum Recommended Dietary Allowances to follow more recent scientific Dietary Reference Intake guidelines that result in products with an optimum amount and range of nutrients that enable the body to function at its highest possible level. These nutrients are carefully chosen to work synergistically to be the most effective. And Reliv goes to great lengths to ensure purity and quality of every ingredient and the final products that go into consumers’ kitchens.

Click here to read the entire brochure!

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