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Why continue with supplements when I don't feel anything?

To assist consumers of dietary supplements to "stay the course" and not quit their program prematurely because they "weren't seeing anything" we need to educate them. Not only about the supplements in their regime, but about their own body and how nutrition supports the body to effect improvements in overall health. 

To this end, I've found seven principles worth remembering and passing on to people we wish to see benefit from nutritional supplements and programs. 

1. With nutrition, we are not suppressing or manipulating symptoms as with pharmaceuticals. We are not treating conditions as with herbology. We are simply giving the body what it needs to heal itself and rebuild itself anew and this takes time. 

When correcting nutritional deficiencies, while we won't see instant improvements in most cases, we will be promoting true and lasting healing. Pharmaceuticals may sometimes "work" instantly, yet never address underlying causes and possess unwanted side effects. Contrary to popular thinking, drugs don't heal anything: only the body can do that - when it gets what it needs. 

In Optimum Sports Nutrition, Dr. Michael Colgan explains why patience is the key: 
"A principle of nutrition you need to know is physiological dynamics. Unlike drugs, nutrients do not have rapid effects. No quick fix. The business of nutrition is to build a better body. That has to wait on Nature to turn over body cells. A blood cell lasts 60-120 days. In 3-4 months your whole blood supply is completely replaced. In 6 months almost all the proteins in your body die and are replaced, even the DNA of your genes. In a year all your bones and even the enamel of your teeth is replaced, constructed entirely out of the nutrients you eat." 

This time course is well illustrated by the course of deficiency diseases. If I remove all the vitamin C from your diet within 4 weeks blood vitamin C will drop to zero. But, you will see no symptoms of disease at 4 weeks. You will have to wait until enough of the healthy cells have been replaced with unhealthy cells. It is another 12 weeks before the symptoms of scurvy start to ravage your body. 

"So when you implement an optimum nutrition program, don't expect to see rapid results. In one of our studies at the Colgan Institute, runners were supplemented to try to improve their hemoglobin, hematrocit, and red blood cell count. But after one month of supplementation, there was no improvement at all. After 6 months, however, all three indices were significantly increased." 

"Think of it this way: If you take a neglected houseplant and start feeding and watering it, the leaves may perk up a bit from the improved nutrition. But you have to wait for the old leaves to die off and new leaves to grow before you get a really healthy plant. It is the same with a human body. When you start feeding it better, you have to wait on physiological dynamics of the body to grow new, improved cells in the improved medium. After 18 years in sports nutrition, the shortest program we will give any athlete is six months". With patience, nature can do its work and produce its miracles.

2. We are all unique. Individual biochemistry's are affected by diet, lifestyle, drug usage, stress, fitness level, genetics, toxins, etc. It's inevitable, therefore, some persons will respond more rapidly than others to improved nutrition. If you're not experiencing results as fast as you'd like, it could be a factor of any number of things. It might be that the body has priorities other than the one upon which you're focusing. For example, you may want to lose body fat while your body may want to lose a tumor you don't even know you have. Give your body permission to have its own priorities and timetable. 

3. Positive health changes can be occurring without your "feeling something". Research studies utilizing blood tests, bone density and body fat measurements, etc. confirm this. Improved health begins on the molecular and cellular levels. Later, this may translate into the alleviation or disappearance of specific symptoms and conditions. 

(The already healthy or symptom-free person, especially persons with abundant energy, might take note: Your health benefits from optimal nutrition tend to come in the form of your body's correcting sub-clinical problems, depletions, imbalances and toxic build-ups that haven't yet become clinical conditions or "felt" diseases. In other words, in optimizing and maintaining health, remember "feeling healthy" really only means "feeling symptom free". Actor Michael Landon was "feeling great" on National TV: three months later he died of cancer. Virtually everyone can benefit from improved nutrition since, simply by living, toxins accumulate within our bodies, the body wears out and chronic degeneration slowly settles in. Giving the body what it needs to stay healthy can minimize the ravages of modern living and optimize health.) 

4. The greatest health benefits of improved nutrition may well come in the later years of life. Regardless of the rate your current health challenge is improving, continued optimum nutrition just makes good sense, since the greatest benefits may be experienced in your senior years. While others are painfully shuffling around nursing homes and tending to medicine schedules, you might be enjoying your summers on the Colorado River and winters in Hawaii. Is this the benefit you want? Learn what your dietary supplements can do for you. Then make an educated choice. 

5. If you experience a "correcting crisis" while on an optimal nutritional program, stay the course - its working! When your body begins cleaning out toxins, metabolic wastes, parasites, candida die-off and the like, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms. Because you may feel worse before you feel better, it's important to read the articles and books, which address this phenomenon so you can better understand this process. The correcting crisis, when understood, is a clear indication that your improved nutrition program is truly working and leading you to improved health. 

6. Licensed health care practitioners still make educated guesses as to how long it might take to see a specific health improvement using nutrition. Admittedly an imprecise science, but as a starting point, a holistic medical doctor uses the following formula: For a specific health improvement, figure three months, then add one additional month for each year the chronic condition has existed. For example, a chronic condition of 5 years might be expected to see a good improvement within 8 months, provided the body, mind and spirit of the patient gets everything it needs. Experience with nutraceuticals largely indicated the longer the consumption, the greater the benefit. 

7. As one very prestigious medical doctor has well stated, dietary supplements ought to carry the warning: "Not to be taken on an empty spirit". The human mind and spirit are powerful beyond measure. They can easily override any optimal health plan. They must therefore be in alignment with the healing process. Sometimes the non-physical causes of ill health are poorly understood by the individual dealing with it. If long term attempts to achieve better health bring minimal or no results, there may be deeper reasons that need exploration. Caroline Myss' works, including Why People Don't Heal, or the works of Bernie Siegel, M.D. might be a good starting point. Tend to your thinking; nurture your spirit. 

Staying mindful of these seven principles of nutrition and healing will hopefully keep all of us out of the trap of quick fix thinking and help allow us to create the time and patience to achieve true healing and enjoy lasting optimal health.

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Excerpts from Rare Earths
by Dr. Joel Wallach and Dr. Ma Lan

Nutritional studies in animals and cell cultures have demonstrated that Down's Syndrome can be created at will in the laboratory by preconception zinc deficiencies during the formation and development of the sperm and the egg. It has been clearly demonstrated in laboratory animal, pet animal and agriculture that 98% of all birth defects are not "genetic" in nature, but in fact are nutritional deficiencies of the egg, embryo and fetus and can be prevented by preconception nutrition. 

Genetic engineers refer to the essential mineral cofactors as "metal fingers" which are required to activate genes! In the abscence of the appropriate "metal finger" DNA and genes are powerless!

The awesome zinc requirements alone of the embryo for DNA, RNA replication and as a cofactor for enzyme activity is reflected in the fact that just about every physical defect described in man can be produced by an embryonic zinc deficiency. For example spina bifida is a well known embryonic result of a folic acid deficiency, yet folic acid supplementation only prevents 50% of this defect - the other 50% is preventable by zinc supplementation!

The embryo has become a fully formed human at 90 days of gestational age, the brain, spinal cord and heart form in the first 28 days of pregnancy. There are literally dozens of human "genetic" diseases that can be prevented and in the early stages reversed or "cured" with minerals. Good examples of this are cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. Cystic fibrosis has been caused in monkeys by a selenium deficient diet. In 1972, the chick model for selenium deficiency was introduced. In the case of the chicks when they were given selenium in the first 30 days after hatching the cystic fibrosis disease was totally reversible!

Muscular dystrophy is another crime against the American people by the "orthodox" medical doctors for reasons of money. Muscular dystrophy has been wiped out in the veterinary industry by simple selenium supplementation to pregnant animals and rapidly growing prepubic animals. Kawasaki disease is totally preventable with preconception supplementation of copper.

More difficult to understand than the physical birth defects are the biochemical behavioral, learning and emotional defects that are preventable with preconception nutrition. The principals for preventing the "Bad Seeds," children with emotional and learning defects are the same as those for preventing physical birth defects. Children without a conscience (sociopaths), violent behavior, dyslexia, retardation, fetal alcohol or drug syndrome, ADD and homosexuality are all preventable for a few pennies per pregnancy.

The gradual increase in the percentage of gays in America and other industrialized nations of the world parallels the gradual decrease in the mineral content in our farm and range soils and therefore our food supply. Homosexuality can be prevented with the right minerals and vitamins during pregnancy. This change in thinking resulted from the finding of a common physical defect in the brains of gay men.

It is never too late to start taking in all 90 nutrients required by our bodies. A comparison of two groups of marathon runners showed that one group that did not receive supplementation showed an improvement of 5:27 minutes after six months while the group that supplemented showed a whopping improvement of 16:57 minutes!

Our immune system requires all 90 nutrients (60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 essential amino acids and three essential fatty acids) to maintain and repair itself in order to protect us from infectious diseases. Chronic degenerative diseases that affect Americans are totally preventable with mineral, vitamin, amino acid and essential fatty acid supplements. The healthiest and longest lived cultures on the planet consistently consume high levels of minerals with each meal - their reward is a drug free, crime free, disease free, healthful people. "Old age" is not a disease - it is a sad fact, however, that everyone who dies of "infirmities" or "natural causes" dies of nutritional deficiency diseases.

Those who as a group do not take supplements, in fact they pooh pooh the use of supplements and believe that one can get all of the essential nutrients they need from "the four food groups", this group is made up of the mainstream allopathic physicians whose average lifespan is 58 years of age. There are five well-known human cultures whose peoples routinely live to their potential of 120 to 140 years of age. All five are in third world countries. One of the things these cultures have in common is that allopathic medicine has not historically been available. They have been able to fulfill their genetic potentials for longevity without the "blessings of modern high tech medicine, vaccines, antibiotics, steroids and transplants." "Those who have lived the longest seem to be those remote from medical practice." - Ruth Wegg, M.D., Professor University of Southern California.

Iatrogenic or doctor caused mishaps which cause injuries and deaths run from four to five times greater numbers than deaths and injuries on the highways! 16,000 car crashes a year are due to adverse drug reactions (we think doctors should be held accountable just as the bartender who serves too many drinks to the drunk driver!)

"Doctors main source of information about prescribing drugs is the drug industry," says Ray Woosley, professor and chairman of pharmacology at Georgetown University Medical Center, "and should be enough to make patients, young and old, terrified when being given a prescription drug." Woosley and other experts say poor prescribing practices cause more medical problems than illicit drug use.

If any other industry in America were to perform the way our "health care" system does the American people would rebel, there would be senate investigations, there would be class action suits. "In the medical world," said Paul E. Coggins, the United States Attorney in Dallas, "practices that are illegal have been accepted and tolerated - very much akin to the climate that pervaded the savings and loans." Federal officials have estimated that fraud gulps approximately ten percent of America's health care expenses to the tune of $100 billion per year.

In November of 1992, two articles appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine which stated that "doctors are out to milk us dry." We spent $3.4 billion for unnecessary cataract surgery in nursing home patients, we spent $117 billion for cholesterol testing, we have over 400,000 unnecessary hysterectomies per year and a ceasarian rate of over 34% each year and doctors double their fees if they know you have insurance. We get charged $750,000 for a heart transplant, when the surgeon's real cost is about $500. In fact one trace mineral, selenium, will prevent cardiomyopathy and in the initial phases of the disease clinically cure it!

A recent Harvard study revealed that "59% of physicians and 78% of medical students use psychoactive drugs and that 40% of "orthodox" doctors get high with friends on a regular basis; lastly the United States loses the equivalent of seven medical school classes each year to drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide." In the book, Medicine on Trial, they calculate that patient visits to these ticking "Drug Head" time bombs exceed 45 to 100 million each year!

Here are a few minerals and what can be caused by deficiencies of them.
Calcium - osteoporosis, receeding gums, arthritis, high blood pressure, insomnia, kidney stones, bone spurs, cramps, twitches, PMS, low back problems, panic attacks

Copper - white and gray hair, dry brittle hair, sagging tissue, hernias, varicose veins, aneurysms, anemia, hypo and hyper thyroid, arthritis, ruptured vertebral disc, liver cirrhosis, violent behavior, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, high blood cholesterol, reduced glucose tolerance

Magnesium - asthma, anorexia, menstrual migraines, growth failure, neuromuscular problems, depression, muscular weakness, tremors, vertigo, calcification of small arteries

Manganese - deafness, asthma, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, convulsions, infertility, still births or miscarriges, loss of libido, retarded growth rate, shortened long bones

Nickel - poor growth, anemia, high newborn mortality, dermatitis, delayed puberty, poor zinc absorption

Selenium - anemia, age spots, fatigue, muscular weakness, muscle pain, scoliosis, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, cardiomyopathy, multiple sclerosis, heart palpitations, irregular heart beat, liver cirrhosis, Lou Gehrig's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Lorenzo's Oil Syndrome, infertility, low birth weight, high infant mortality, Sudden infant death syndrome, cancer, sickle cell anemia

Zinc - Down's syndrome, cleft lip, brain defects, spina bifida, clubbed limbs, heart defects, lung defects, loss of sense of smell, loss of sense of taste, infertility, failure of wounds to heal, poor growth, high infant mortality, anemia, alopecia, frizzy hair, diarrhea, depression, paranoia, weight loss, severe body odor, anorexia and bullemia
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The immune system is like money, paid out of the bank vault, for every toxic invasion. When the money is gone, the bank (your health) fails.

If you are looking for good health it won't come from drugs. In mice, it takes a million Salmonella bacteria to start an infection. After giving them streptomycin, an antibiotic, it only took 10 bacteria to infect them! Your intestines are similarly handicapped after antibiotics.