Beyond Macronutrients and the Importance of Vitamin Supplements
by: Protica Nutritional Research
Most healthy eaters are familiar with the three macronutrients that garner the most media attention within the diet world: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Indeed, some highly regarded eating programs, such as the Isometric Diet®, are designed to deliver an optimal balance of these three macronutrients.
Yet what is often overlooked in a nutrition vocabulary dominated by talk of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, is the plain fact that vitamin supplements play a critical role in an overall healthy eating program. It is a neglect that, ironically, derives from scientific misunderstanding.
Until recently, the scientific community firmly maintained that vitamin supplements were unnecessary and potentially even dangerous. This claim was based on a position that the body’s vitamin needs could be met through diet, and that vitamin supplements are largely created from synthetic, low quality ingredients.
However, evidence to the contrary has emerged; or to put things more accurately, the scientific community is finally accepting a new view. Clinical studies clearly show that high quality vitamin supplements can be produced from all natural sources, and that taking them can prevent serious health ailments such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and even cancer [i].
It has also been accepted that vitamin supplements help the body effectively regulate how energy is utilized. In this sense, they ensure that the energy delivered by macronutrients – in the form of calories – is directed properly to promote growth and development [ii].
However, despite the scientifically proven importance of vitamin supplements, some key concerns have been raised. Specifically, the nutrition community has raised questions with respect to the potential toxicity of supplements that contain “fat-soluble” vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are not easily and swiftly eliminated by the body. Instead, they are stored in organs and tissues. Over time, there can be a build-up of fat-soluble vitamins [iii], which can lead to adverse health effects such as nausea, diarrhea, unhealthy weight loss, bone density loss, and digestive tract disorders [iv].
Fortunately, to avoid this potential damage, there are vitamin and nutritional supplement products on the market that offer water-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins travel smoothly through the body and the excess is excreted through the kidneys. As such, there is little to no risk of toxic build up [v].
At the same time, these water-soluble vitamin and nutritional supplements can be derived from all-natural sources. This is important to note, because, synthetic vitamins can only replicate a fraction of the beneficial nutrients found in natural sources. As such, the holistic positive impact that can only come from several nutrients working together cannot be reproduced synthetically [vi].
These scientific acknowledgements of the value of vitamin supplements -- and the accessibility of water-soluble, all-natural products -- bode well for the average consumer, and especially well for dieters.
Some diets irresponsibly advise dieters to take diuretic pills that create weight loss through water loss. As a consequence to this short-term strategy, dieters often become dangerously deficient in water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Biotin, and Folic Acid.
However, some well-designed nutritional supplements provide anywhere from 50% to 100% of these essential vitamins. As such, dieters who are currently subscribing to an unhealthy water-loss diet can responsibly transition to these products, and replenish their depleted water-soluble vitamin stock.
Similarly, dieters who are fortunate enough to have avoided these potentially dangerous diet pill/diuretic diets can wisely integrate these nutritional supplements into their current eating regimen.
Indeed, the scientific community, for all of the contributions it has made to diet and nutrition, has been unusually slow in accepting the fact that vitamin supplements are an essential part of healthy eating. Yet the consensus of this fact is now fairly widespread, as is the understanding that water-soluble and all-natural products simply outclass fat-soluble and synthetic products in terms of safety and efficacy.
It may have taken a decade or so too long to reach this “vitamin awareness”, but now that it is here, it is reason for both dieters and non-dieters to celebrate a future of healthier and smarter eating.
[i] Source: “Dietary Insurance: A Daily Multivitamin”. Harvard School of Public Health.
[ii] Source: “Vitamins and Minerals”. McKinley Health Center.
[iii] Source: “Toxicity of Vitamins”. Medicinal Foods News.
[iv] Source: “Fat-Soluble Vitamins”. Colorado State University.
[v] Source: “Vitamins”. WebMD.
[vi] Source: “Natural Vitamins or Synthetic?”. Olga Timbol.
About The Author
Copyright 2004 - Protica Research - www.protica.com
Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at http://www.protica.com
You can also learn about Profect at http://www.profect.com