Basic Supplements

Supplements are needed today, mainly because our food is not as nutritious as it was 100 years ago.

Supplements are needed today, mainly because our food is not as nutritious as it was 100 years ago.

by Dr. Larry Wilson — 

To function your best, I recommend adding some basic food supplements to your diet. They are trimethylglycine, kelp, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and a powerful digestive enzyme. Other food supplements may be helpful; however, the ones listed above are most crucial.

Supplements are needed today mainly because our food is not as nutritious as it was 100 years ago. In my view, anyone who says that food will provide all the nutrients the body needs is just not well informed. All you have to do is compare the current USDA food tables with the same tables from 100 years ago. Our produce contains 1/10 to 1/1000 the nutrient content of food 100 years ago. The reason is modern agricultural methods, even if the food is organically grown.

Anyone who claims that a vegetarian diet provides all the nutrients the body needs also is not well informed. Here are the details about these basic supplements.

 

Trimethylglycine or TMG 

This basic food supplement is not well known; however, it is very beneficial. TMG acts as a methyl donor, and methyl groups are needed for hundreds of bodily functions, ranging from liver detoxification to protein synthesis to the enhancement of brain activity.

TMG is found in some foods but not in the quantity necessary for most people. It is sold at many health food stores or online; any of the standard brands will work effectively. It is not costly, and it is very safe at the doses I suggest. Most adults need at least 1000 to 2000 mg or 1 to 2 grams daily. You can experiment to see which dose works best for you, based on how you feel after taking it.

Unhealthy children and babies will benefit from a small amount of TMG, based on their weight and size.

 

Kelp

Kelp is an important supplement today, both as a source of nontoxic and readily absorbable iodine and as a general mineral supplement. Extra iodine is necessary because most people do not consume enough iodine-rich foods, such as seafood and fish. However, please do not add too much of these foods to your diet as, unfortunately, most are contaminated with mercury. Seafood and large fish are the worst offenders.

Also, the iodine in iodized salt is not as well absorbed as it was in the past, so this source is not adequate.

Chlorine, bromides and fluorides compete with iodine for absorption and utilization. We are saturated with these toxins in our food, water and even the air. Insane laws today force bread companies to use bromides instead of iodine in most baked products. In addition, most white flour is treated with chlorine-containing bleaches. Most water companies add chlorine and fluoride to the water supplies. Besides drinking this toxic concoction, the chemicals find their way into most foods made with water.

To improve iodine metabolism:

  1. Avoid drinking fluoridated and, if possible, chlorinated water and all foods made with these products.
  2. Avoid all baked goods as much as possible.
  3. Supplement with kelp.

Kelp is inexpensive and supplies a wide variety of trace minerals. It is much safer than the iodine-only products; however, it does contain some mercury, as do all products from the sea. Kelp contains alginates, which help bind the toxic metals found in it.

Most adults need about 4000 mg of kelp daily. This may seem like a lot, but that is my experience. Begin with less, as kelp will cause the body to eliminate fluorides, chlorine compounds and bromides, occasionally causing a healing reaction. Take a little less if this occurs and slowly build to the maximum dose. You should take kelp for life, in my opinion, as there are so many iodine antagonists in the food and water today. A Japanese form of kelp called kombu is found in health food stores, and it can be eaten in this form if cooked for a few hours.

I do not usually recommend other iodine products. They can accumulate in the liver, and none of them contains all the minerals found in kelp. Other sea vegetables, such as nori, hiziki, dulse or Irish moss are good sources of minerals. However, they do not contain enough alginates. As a result, the toxic metals in the sea vegetables will build up in the body if consumed regularly.

Children over the age of 4 also need kelp, but usually one-fourth to one-half the adult dosage.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids perform a number of critical functions:

  • They keep cell membranes flexible and properly transfer nutrients and waste products in and out of the cells.
  • They do the same thing for the skin and mucous membranes as they do for cell membranes. Many rashes and other skin problems are due to a fatty-acid deficiency. These include rashes in newborns and breastfed infants due to deficiencies in the mother’s diet during pregnancy and afterwards.
  • They help with nerve transmission and other vital nervous system activities. Many nervous system disorders, such as ADD, autism and delayed development in children, may respond to higher doses of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • They help prevent excessive inflammation in the body, which is an important indirect cause of many illnesses today.

Most Americans are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids because of several factors. One cause is consuming animals given grain-fed diets. These animals have much lower amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than those fed an all-natural diet consisting of grasses, leaves and small insects.

Insane laws in most states require dairy products to be pasteurized and homogenized, which destroys their small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Grass-fed and free-range dairy products are still excellent sources if they are not pasteurized and homogenized.

Vegetarian diets are often low in omega-3 fatty acids. But refined food diets make things worse because most are high in vegetable oils — French fries, fried foods, chips and most baked goods. The omega-6-rich oils in these foods compete with their omega-3 oils for absorption and utilization in the body.

Overcooking destroys omega-3 fatty acids. Fats such as butter, cream and flaxseed oil ideally should be eaten in the raw state. Eggs and meats should be lightly cooked to preserve their fatty acids. However, I do not recommend raw meats or raw eggs, which often contain harmful bacteria that are only eliminated by cooking.

Food sources of omega-3 fatty acids are few. They include lamb, wild game, sardines and perhaps raw dairy products. However, these will not supply enough unless you eat three to four cans of sardines weekly. Tuna and salmon also are high in omega-3 fatty acids. However, the mercury content is too high to be recommended for regular consumption.

If you do not eat three to four cans of sardines weekly, then all adults need a supplement of about 900 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per day. Fish oil is probably best; however, you may also use flaxseed, hempseed or krill oils. Make sure that flaxseed and hempseed oils are either in capsules that seal out the air or that they are very fresh and always kept in the refrigerator. Otherwise, they become rancid very quickly and can be harmful.

Infants and children — No time in life is more important than childhood for omega-3 intake — otherwise, children grow up mentally stunted. An omega-3 supplement for all pregnant women should be a prominent part of prenatal care. Please follow these rules for all children:

  1. Breastfeeding mothers should take 900 mg or more of omega-3 fatty acids each day.
  2. Fortify baby food and formula with fish, flaxseed or hempseed oils. Do not trust labels claiming these foods are sufficiently enriched — a little more will not hurt, as most baby foods are not enriched with enough omega-3 oils.
  3. Avoid vegetarian diets for children. These can be detrimental for your children, no matter what anyone claims.
  4. Avoid junk foods. These include most cold cereals, chips, French fries, ice cream, sauces, pizza, many salad dressings, white flour and all wheat products, baked goods and other sources of vegetable oils. Most contain harmful chemicals.
  5. Always use real butter and real eggs — not substitutes.

 

Vitamin D3

Adequate vitamin D helps protect against rickets, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, infections, cancer and other diseases. Recent research indicates that most people need far greater amounts of vitamin D than they obtain from food or from sun exposure.

The best supplemental form is vitamin D3, usually made from cod or other fish liver oil. However, just taking some cod liver oil does not provide enough vitamin D. Almost all adults need 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Pregnant women must take this much or more. Children over the age of 12 also need some extra vitamin D, in most cases.

 

Calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium

Almost everyone needs more of these vital minerals than they can obtain from food. Few good sources of these minerals exist in foods today. Calcium is found in raw dairy products, carrot juice, sardines and bone broth.

Magnesium is only found in whole grains, and only in small amounts in other foods. Zinc is found mainly in meats, but a substantial amount must be consumed to obtain enough. The correct form of selenium is found in blue corn, organic yellow corn, sardines, kelp and a few other foods, but most people will need a supplement.

I suggest that every adult take a daily supplement of approximately 750 mg of chelated calcium, 450 mg of chelated magnesium, 30 mg of chelated zinc and 200 mcg of selenomethionine or yeast-based selenium. Children over the age of 5 may need a supplement, based upon their weight.

 

The basic supplements above will not always supply all of the nutritional needs. However, they are a wonderful start toward obtaining the vital nutrients the body requires today.

The basic supplements above will not always supply all of the nutritional needs. However, they are a wonderful start toward obtaining the vital nutrients the body requires today.

Digestive enzymes

Today, poor digestion is common in most people, even in the young and supposedly healthy. For this reason, I suggest a daily diet of two to three cups of cooked vegetables with each meal, some animal protein, whole grains if tolerated and some raw dairy products if well tolerated. In addition to simple meals of only two or three foods, at most, every adult should take a digestive enzyme supplement to assist in absorption of nutrients from our depleted food.

The best digestive aids contain ox bile and pancreatin. Others that can be used contain vegetable-based enzymes or betaine hydrochloride and pepsin, although they are not quite as beneficial. Others, such as papain or bromelain, are less powerful and not recommended. Take at least one tablet per meal or more if you wish. Children have a lesser need for a digestive enzyme supplement, although it can benefit some children.

 

Anti-oxidants

I did not include a lot of anti-oxidants, bioflavinoids and other supplements that some doctors highly recommend for several reasons:

  1. Supplements such as zinc, selenium, TMG and kelp have anti-oxidant properties.
  2. If you consume enough good food, use natural herbs and spices, such as mustard, turmeric, ginger and others, and take the minerals suggested above, this will be sufficient for most people.
  3. Too many other anti-oxidants tend to be very yin, in Chinese medical terms, and they can unbalance the body.

 

Multivitamin/mineral supplement

Another step in healing and maintaining the body is to add a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement. It must be taken in addition to the supplements described above — not in place of them. It should contain a wide variety of nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K and essential trace minerals such as chromium, selenium, zinc, manganese and others.

The basic supplements above will not always supply all of the nutritional needs. However, they are a wonderful start toward obtaining the vital nutrients the body requires today. These nutrients are readily available from food, even if you consume only organically grown, locally produced food. Combining these basic supplements with an excellent diet and a very healthful lifestyle can enhance anyone’s health and joy in life.

 

Dr. Lawrence Wilson has a medical degree and has been in the health field for more than 25 years. His books include Nutritional Balancing and Hair Mineral Analysis, Legal Guidelines for Unlicensed Practitioners, Healing Ourselves and Manual of Sauna Therapy and The Real Self. He also co-authored Toxic Metals in Human Health and Disease and contributed to The Dangers of Socialized Medicine. www.drlwilson.com or 928-445-7690.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 5, October/November 2013.

 

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