Nutrition, a key component to good health, is as important as adequate exercise and quality sleep. Because of that, I have collected sound advice from nutritionists, vitamin experts and books to better advise my patients.
Many nutrition experts agree a balanced diet is the foundation of good health and many books emphasize food as a way of healing the body instead of using drugs. However, one must consider the mineral and vitamin content of today’s topsoil. Did you know a serving of spinach in the 1920s equals 70 servings of today’s spinach? Vitamin content of foods are affected by time, sunlight and cooking process. Fresher is better, but do we always eat fresh fruits and vegetables in the recommended amounts of five or more servings per day? Pollution, stress and lifestyle also affect your vitamin and mineral needs.
As a general guideline, vitamins and minerals need to be taken in their proper ratios. Taking too much of one can cause a deficiency of another. Prevention Magazine’s book Healing with Vitamins lists key vitamins, amounts needed daily, good food sources and suggestions for specific conditions.
Here is one example: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome–Biotin 300 micrograms; Riboflavin 25 milligrams; Vitamin B6 50-200 milligrams. They also have a Medical Alert stating that vitamin B6 in amounts over 100 milligrams should only be taken under the supervision of your doctor.
How vitamins are made may make a difference in how the body absorbs them. A vitamin expert suggests using pharmaceutical grade vitamins. Usually these single vitamins come in gel capsules versus multivitamin tablets which are pressed together. Sometimes the pressed tablets are compacted so tightly they never dissolve in the digestive tract, and the substances used to bind the vitamins together can cause allergic reactions. (A UCLA study showed better results with a 50-milligram pharmaceutical grade product compared to a 75-milligram pressed tablet.) He also suggested using a complete pre-packaged set of vitamins rather than trying to determine your own combinations, unless you know how to combine vitamins in the proper ratios, or else you need to get a vitamin prescription from a qualified person.
The amount of information can be overwhelming, but with a little careful study and observing your body’s reaction to a particular diet, vitamin and/or supplementation program, you can develop a very workable program. The results of taking the time to do this may dramatically improve your health and quality of life.
Sheila Yonemoto, P.T., has been a physical therapist for over 30 years, specializing in Integrative Manual Therapy utilizing a holistic approach at Yonemoto Physical Therapy, 55 S. Raymond Ave, Suite 100, Alhambra, CA 91801. Call 626 576 0591 for a FREE consultation, or visit www.yonemoto.com for more information.