What are nutritional supplements?
Antioxidants refer to any substance (certain vitamins and minerals, certain phytochemicals) that renders free radicals harmless in the body. Free radicals are produced in the course of normal cellular metabolism (sometimes called oxidative metabolism). When unchecked, free radicals have been implicated in the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
What are essential nutrients?
When should we use nutritional supplements?
First, it is almost impossible to get the amounts of nutrients we need from diet alone if we want to protect ourselves from certain diseases of modern life, such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and others, as well as to correct the effects of pollution on our bodies.
Second, our foodstuffs have been altered and their nutrient content diluted by modern growing techniques and the use of fertilizers and pesticides. This, taken together with modern storage methods, means that we sometimes run into oranges that have no Vitamin C or tomatoes with little or no lycopene.
Vitamins and minerals are essential in cellular metabolism because they act as co-enzymes, or enzyme cofactors, thereby having a central part to play in the work of all our living cells. Vitamin and mineral coenzymes allow enzymes to do their work of converting foodstuff into energy and then detoxifying and eliminating the end-results of these reactions. Vitamins and minerals are essential for our survival on this planet.
[Excerpted from Dr. Feingold's book, The Complete Self-Care Guide to Homeopathy, Herbal Remedies and Nutritional Supplements.]