Nutritional Supplements

As a person living with cancer I can't help feel that sometimes cancer patients are real victims. Not victims of cancer, as there are many people who live very well with cancer, and like me resent being referred to as a "victim", but victims of a system and industry whereby more people now live off cancer than actually die from it!

Too often I see people affected by cancer who are on the receiving end of very poor communication from their cancer specialist who scolds them for even asking about complementary therapies and what they (the cancer patient) can do to help themselves. Yet on the other side we see cancer patients visiting so called "cancer therapists" who sell them a 'truck-load' of pills and potions, at great cost, designed to 'cure' them of this frightening disease.

It is sad and frustrating because there are some wonderful naturopaths around who are being placed in the "loopy" basket by specialists who feel their clients are being ripped off. No wonder cancer patients often become confused and financially desperate!

So too, is the issue of supplements. Should we take them or not?

My view is yes, absolutely, as we do not get the quantity and quality of the essential nutrients from our food. How do I know? Well I have tested foods myself.

Here in Western Australia tests carried out on oranges showed we get about 70mg Vitamin C from a single orange. Now the R.D.I. for Vitamin C (for men) is 40mg per day. So why do we need supplements? Well, first we should ask what is the R.D.I. based on and to prevent what?

R.D.I.'s in Australia are in urgent need of significant upgrading as the R.D.I. of 40mg of vitamin C, for example, will probably ensure we don't get rickets or scurvy. Big deal! What we need to know is the R.D.I. that will assist in the achievement of optimum health. In this example the amount of vitamin C would need to be around 800-1000mg per day. That's 200% more than we thought we needed. That's why one leading nutritional scientist describes the present R.D.I. as the "Ridiculously Deficient Intake".

The range of supplements available to the public ranges from excellent to very poor. Also the body requires vitamins and minerals in extremely small but precise amounts and in synergy, so the chances of you getting it right by walking into a supermarket and grabbing a handful of pills, is almost nil!

So find a good naturopath or doctor who specializes in nutritional medicine and have them assess your particular needs.

In choosing a brand of supplements look for the following:

  • The manufacturer is a respected organization with a good reputation.
  • The products should be security sealed with a full description of the full ingredients listed on the packaging.
  • The ingredients should consist of plant foods, not animal foods.
  • Ask if the product has been tested on rats/mice or on human cell culture? After all the products are going into you, not a mouse!
  • That the products are manufactured to the "pharmaceutical" standard and not just to the "food" standard.

Finally remember that nutritional supplements are just that... supplements. They are not an instant fix for your problems and they should not replace a good healthy diet including fresh juices, exercise and meditation for stress management.

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