A spoonful of health? Don't be taken for a fool- In a world where 1 out of 4 is buying supplements to keep us healthy, we are forced to take a good look at what supplements actually do.
When 80% of their benefit is lost in pill form and the market is ridden with man-made supplements that our body does not recognize, they are more likely to be toxic than helpful. We have been preached at for years that antioxidants are good... but are they?! Studies are showing that patients given low does of just 400IU/day of "antioxidants" such as ascorbic acid and alpha-tocolpherol (man made vitamin E and C) actually have HIGHER stroke and cancer rates...
The researchers were hoping to prove the opposite, but alas, risk rates popped through the roof...could you imagine believing in a vitamin as the researcher and having your work show the opposite, that it's damaging to the body?! It must have been devastating, especially since we have been preaching them for so many years as a cure-all.
Why is This? Ascorbic Acid is NOT vitamin C. It's used as a preservative. With over 90% of ascorbic acid in this country is manufactured at a facility in Nutley, New Jersey. Owned by Hoffman-LaRoche, ascorbic acid is made from a process involving cornstarch and volatile acids. Most U.S. vitamin companies then buy the bulk ascorbic acid here. Occurring naturally, less than 20 mg of ascorbic acid in a potato can prevent scurvy. It can even cure it in its advanced state. Man made doesn't. Read more about it here.
So How did We Get On This Discussion of Antioxidants Being Healthy?!
The idea of starving our body of oxygen is the first mistake. We can't live without oxygen. Water is 85% oxygen, land is 40% oxygen, we need it to live and function... We breathe it in on a daily basis, our entire world revolves around it. So where did we get started thinking that it is bad and that instead, anti-oxidants are a good thing?
Studies show that stopping this intake will immediately save your body from the higher risks of cancers that is created by a high intake of antioxidants. They naturally come in foods, but not in high-dose man made pills. This is why our bodies rid themselves of it as soon as they can, vitamin B is eliminated in less than 20 minutes.
So why do we need free-radicals and oxidants again? Our bloodstream carries them to our heart, brain, and other cells of our body. Without them, and with taking anti-oxidants, we feel great for a few days as the oxygen in the blood is pushed into the cells, but wait a minute... Our blood then becomes oxygen deprived, and we start having higher heart attack and stroke rates.
So taking all those vitamins isn't a great idea after all.. At least not for anti-oxidant qualities. As low as 400 units of Vitamin E by pill can increase your stroke rates by 65%. That's pretty astounding...
Let's Stick to the Basics.
If we need oxygen, we need Iron (to help carry that oxygen). This is the highest most likely missing element in our bodies (and diets). Secondly, we need vitamin D, which isn't an antioxidant at all but a very important link to your immune system... Without living without these important vitamins, we couldn't have learned what we need in order to live with health. We need vitamin C, in small doses, or we get scurvey. We need Iron, or we get oxygen deficiency anemia and heart issues.
The fear of free-radicals can be dismissed. Studies show that it is as important to healing as is oxygen. Our macrophages, or killer cells, use it to kill invaders and to burn them out as if burned with fire. With antioxidants, this can't be done and we are susceptible to low oxygen levels and invaders. Ask anyone what vitamin they can't live without and it should be OXYGEN because without it you can't live.
So As an Athlete, What Should We Eat?!
Our bodies own natural food sources, fruits, vegetables, meat, proteins that are touched as little by man as possible. Pesticides, pills, foods with fillers in them, they are not food. We need healthy foods so our bodies can build itself with minerals, building blocks, and in the end, have the gift of health.
The most needed supplements aren't man made ascorbic acid or Alpha-Tocolpherols, natural foods are better. If you need supplements, don't take them for their anti-oxidant uses but good old Iron is a fantastic one to take if you can. Iron adheres to oxygen to hold it in our blood stream for transport. This is the most important vitamin we can use. Eat it naturally (red meat, seaweed) or take a whole food supplement and you benefit even more-
We have also learned that vitamin D is important, a fat soluble vitamin that isn't a antioxidant, it is needed to fight illness and to battle invaders. Labeling each cell with a location of where it should belong, like a license plate, it's needed to keep invaders at bay and to label where they are from so our bodies can maintain itself at optimal.
Save your money, add extra days to your life. Avoid buying man made supplements and especially those that are labeled as "anti-oxidants". We live at high altitude already.
Omenn GS, Goodman GE, Thornquist MD, et al. Effects of a combination of beta carotene and vitamin A on lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med. 1996;334:1150-1155.
Science Now's Article : Antioxidants could spur tumors by acting on cancer genes. Science 31 January 2014: Vol. 343 no. 6170 p. 477
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