In the previous post I started the conversation on supplementing diet. I mentioned two of the more important supplements to consider and will now briefly discuss a few others that can be of benefit to you. Vitamin E, abundant in egg yolk and leafy vegetables, is important for its actions as an anti-oxidant (i.e. cancer prevention) and muscle and nerve maintenance. Deficiencies can result in neurological damage and even gastrointestinal disease.
Inadequate selenium can be a problem for those of us who get locally-grown vegetables from here on the “wet coast.” Heart disease related to low selenium levels has been found to be higher in BC due to the high amounts of rain that wash it through the soil, with the resultant food grown lacking the mineral. A double-blind study has also found that recipients of 200 mcg of selenium per day for 4 ½ years had a 50% drop in the cancer death rate over 7 years compared to the placebo group.
While calcium is the mineral most associate with maintenance of bone, magnesium must not be forgotten and should be supplemented as well. Research has shown that many people are actually taking too much calcium relative to their magnesium intake and creating problems with their natural ratio. Traditionally, a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium has been the recommendation, however, research has shown that 1:1 should be the minimum, preferably 1:2, or even 1:3 is most advantageous.Magnesium’s most serious deficiency is on the heart with irregularities in heart rate. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is also important in maintenance of bone health and has numerous cross-over benefits as well in the body, including helping to minimize anti-oxidants which are important for avoiding cancer.
All of the above nutrients are not expensive and can be found in over-the-counter pill form. If you feel you are healthy, great, but I am still a proponent of supplementing diet for the above reasons. If you have symptoms that are not resolving and overt pathology has been ruled out, consult a trained professional who will look into your diet and lifestyle in detail and make recommendations from there.
Dr. Mark Strudwick is a third-generation chiropractor in Victoria, B.C.