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Critics: To Take Vitamin Supplements or Not?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Health Issues page and our All About Organics page.

There's been much controversy surrounding the question of whether or not you need to take supplements. Critics claim that vitamin supplements are a waste of money, as you can get all the nutrients you need from your diet. They also claim that most people are not, in fact, nutritionally deficient, thanks to all the fortified foods on the market.

Alas, there are a number of problems with such assertions. First of all, I believe we have to acknowledge that there is a problem with our food supply-it's simply NOT providing you with the same nutrition as it did in generations past.

This is largely related to industrial based modern methods, which include reliance on synthetic fertilizers that radically decreases nutrient density, including valuable micronutrients that have long ago largely vanished from most of these soils.

Furthermore, toxic agricultural chemicals, used in ever-increasing amounts, end up on and in your food. I believe a strong case can be made that many people-especially if you do not eat a diet of unprocessed, organically-raised foods- are suffering from nutritional deficiencies of varying kinds and to varying degrees.

To suggest the general population of Americans consume a nutrient dense diet is complete nonsense and shows extreme ignorance of the facts.     

General Population Does Not Eat Enough Fruits or Veggies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, dated September 10, 2010, highlights one of the core problems encountered by most Americans, and that is lack of access, availability, and affordability of fresh, whole fruits and vegetables. According to the CDC:

"A diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk for many leading causes of death and can play an important role in weight management.

Healthy People 2010 objectives for fruits and vegetables include targets of increasing to 75 percent the proportion of persons aged ≥2 years who consume two or more servings of fruit daily and to 50 percent those who consume three or more servings of vegetables daily."
        


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