Healthy, Natural Living

Posts tagged ‘vitamins’

Why Do We Take Supplements?

When I look at the health crisis in America, I am often saddened. Our children are sick! While we praise the successes of modern medicine, the fact is, many childhood illnesses are on the rise. I do not understand why we are so blinded to this. All the different literature I’ve read about eczema, asthma, allergies, ADHD, and cancer just to name a few, all say the same thing, ‘We are not sure why there is an increase.’ They are quick to say what they ‘believe’ is NOT the cause. I am not just referring to the cause of the actual disease necessarily, as much of my concern is the RISE in the diseases.
Well, until that is figured out I am going to do something different.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” -Unknown

‘They’ make cancer for example sound so casual and no need to be concerned, “Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year. About 10,450 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2014. Childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children (after accidents). About 1,350 children younger than 15 years old are expected to die from cancer in 2014.
But, when referring to an infection like measles they say, “Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children. In the United States in 2011, 38% of children younger than 5 years old who had measles had to be treated in the hospital….In rare cases, it can be deadly” That sure sounds scary. But, don’t we first need to know how many children under age 5 got measles in 2011 to know exactly what 38% is? I can not find the exact number. In 2011, 27 (14%) were aged <12 months, 51 (26%) were aged 1–4 years, 42 (21%) were aged 5–19 years. Among the 70 (32%) measles patients who were hospitalized, 17 (24%) had diarrhea, 15 (21%) were dehydrated, and 12 (17%) had pneumonia. No cases of encephalitis and no deaths were reported. I don’t know about you, but Whoa! I feel a lot better now. Diarrhea and dehydration are two very treatable symptoms.

My 2 aunts and my father in 1958 with my grandfather.

My 2 aunts and my father in 1958 with my grandfather.

The back informs us, the children all had measles. Ages 5, 3, and 1.

The back informs us, the children all had measles. Ages 5, 3, and 1.












As we are applauding the decrease of certain infections, diseases are racing out of control. For example, Asthma is a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing. It can limit a person’s quality of life. While we don’t know why asthma rates are rising. The number of children who currently have asthma: 6.8 million the numbers are increasing every year. Asthma was linked to 3,447 deaths (about 9 per day) in 2007.

Most of us are too focused on the wrong sickness. I have never see anyone posting on Facebook about asthma or pointing fingers as to why they think it is increasing. As I have for Whooping Cough. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breathes which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age. 20 pertussis-related deaths during 2012 have been reported to CDC. The majority of deaths occurred among infants younger than 3 months of age.
Again, we are left wondering the exact number. We are not given any health history of these infants. Many questions arise for me. Was the baby being breast-fed? Was this a healthy pregnancy? Did Mom & Dad practice preconception health? There are many unanswered questions. There are weaknesses that gives an infection like whooping cough the ability to kill.

My friend's daughters, they've had whooping cough for 2 weeks.

My friend’s daughters, they had whooping cough for 2 weeks, when this picture was taken.

Don’t mis-understand me, I don’t want any child to die. Trust me, it is the worse thing to happen to a parent. Unfortunately, babies, children, and young adults die. There is always the chatter about “risk and benefit.” Well, I will take the risk of measles to get the benefit of lifelong immunity for my children. If they were female their babies would also benefit with an immunity their first year of life, when these types of infections carry the most risk.

I really feel the need to touch on cardiovascular disease. When my brother died, last spring, from Atherosclerosis at the age of 37, it was shocking to say the least! And once again, I found myself doing research. How did this happen to my very active brother? Heart disease doesn’t run in our family. No one in my Mother or Father’s family had ever had a heart attack!

More than 15,800,000 Americans have known coronary artery disease.
About 8 million of them have had heart attacks.
Around 500,000 people will die of coronary artery disease this year. More than a million will have a heart attack.
One-third of all deaths in Americans older than 35 are due to coronary artery disease.
After age 40, about 50% of men and one-third of women can expect to eventually have coronary artery disease.
Source: webmd

When I look at those numbers, I just shake my head. This is strictly my opinion…I think ‘most’ people go to the doctors. I think most have an annual check-up…I know I am in the minority. So, why are these numbers so high. If going to the doctors, and taking the medicines, keep us healthy, why are we so sick?
And why when someone like me chooses a different path, and it is working are we the ‘lucky’ ones?
To nourish my family, I first strive to feed them a clean, healthy, and natural diet. As I have said in other post, supplementation does have a place in our home. When I choose supplements they must be whole food supplements.
In 2002, 12 years ago:

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently reversed a long-standing anti-vitamin stance by publishing two scientific review articles recommending multivitamin supplements for all adults.
In the scientific review article, the researchers wrote that the North American diet is generally sufficient to prevent overt vitamin deficiency diseases such as pellagra, scurvy, and beriberi. However, they explain, “recent evidence has shown that suboptimal levels of vitamins, even well above those causing deficiency syndromes, are associated with increased risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis.” In a clinical commentary, they note that “a large proportion of the general population” has less-than-optimal intakes of a number of vitamins, exposing them to increased disease risk. In addition, they counsel that, “it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.”

Before my children become adults and it is “prudent” because they are deficient, I will give them supplements as they grow. My husband, myself, and Roman all get a multivitamin and mineral. With Silas nursing he will not start a multi until he weans.

The first supplement I give to my babies is a fish oil for the omega 3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

Most recently, two new studies have confirmed that boosting your child’s intake of DHA as an infant and into the school-age years may be a simple way to generate measurable improvements in their brain function.

Hundreds of studies suggest that omega-3s may provide some benefits to a wide range of diseases: cancer, asthma, depression, cardiovascular disease, ADHD, and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
How could fatty acids be so beneficial for so many different conditions?
“All these diseases have a common genesis in inflammation,” says Joseph C. Maroon, MD, professor and vice chairman of the department of neurological surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Co-author of Fish Oil: The Natural Anti-Inflammatory, Maroon says that in large enough amounts omega-3’s reduce the inflammatory process that leads to many chronic conditions.

More info from National Institute of Health on the benefits of fish oil.
The final vitamin I would encourage you to research for your family is Vitamin D3. During the winter months, all four of us take a vitamin D3 supplement.

There is no one-size-fits-all dosage level at which “magic” happens, but based on the most recent research by GrassrootsHealth—an organization that has greatly contributed to the current knowledge on vitamin D through their D* Action Study—it appears as though most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day in order to get their serum levels above 40 ng/ml. This is significantly higher than previous vitamin D recommendations!
For children, many experts agree they need about 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight.
More info here.

Vitamin D is a major player in immune defense.

Scientists have found that vitamin D is crucial to activating our immune defenses and that without sufficient intake of the vitamin – the killer cells of the immune system — T cells — will not be able to react to and fight off serious infections in the body. The research team found that T cells first search for vitamin D in order to activate and if they cannot find enough of it will not complete the activation process.

Individually we all have genetic weakness that I supplement for. Roman was not only blessed with my skin color and eyes, he also, got my sluggish digestive system. He often complained of tummy aches after meals. Diligently, I give probiotic foods, yogurt, milk & water kefir, kombucha, raw milk from our grass fed cows. He also needed a digestive enzyme. I give him a herbal supplement of papaya, dandelion root, and ginger. Since, I implemented the herbal extract he no longer gets tummy aches.
Because of the years working with concrete, Jeff has a weakened respiratory system his bronchiolar tubes and lungs are easily irritated. After trying many things (all with no risk of side effects) he found an herbal lung cleanse and is feeling great improvement.
This is just a quick look into our supplementation regimen. There is not a magic pill nor supplement. We are all just as unique as snowflakes. What works for one may not work for another, but trust me, God made just what you need.
One of the first books I read that helped me to understand the benefits of supplements was “What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You” by Ray Strand M.D. Maybe you will find it helpful, too.