Do You Really Need Nutritional Supplements? | Holtorf Medical Group
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Are Nutritional Supplements Necessary?

Do You Really Need Nutritional Supplements?

Getting all the nutrients needed out of one’s diet is a constant struggle. Ideally everyone would acquire the many nutrients, vitamins and minerals required by simply consuming the right combination of foods. Unfortunately, it is near impossible for anyone to get all the nutrients they need from diet alone!

Everyone has unique dietary needs meaning that there is no perfect diet that fulfills individual nutritional needs. Furthermore, there are many factors that make theoretically optimized diets ineffective. Depleted soil, food storage and transport, irresponsible farming techniques, exposure to toxins and lifestyle factors such as age, stress and food sensitivities all contribute to nutrient deficiency. Using supplements can combat the many areas of deficiency that affect over 40 percent of Americans.

Why We Need Supplements

Supplements provide a healthy method of resolving nutritional gaps that are found in nearly every person’s diet.

It is likely that the entire population has some degree of nutrient deficiency. For example, up to 80 percent of people have suboptimal intake of Vitamin D, which is an important component of metabolic function. Regardless of how optimized your diet is and how closely you follow it, you may still not get the nutrients you need.

Multiple factors influence nutrient quality and impede the body’s ability to absorb and properly utilize them.

Processed foods

Our reliance on increasingly processed foods has resulted in the destruction of nutritional value.

Wheat is an excellent example of nutritional stripping. The process used to turn wheat into white flower eliminates over 80 percent of the product’s magnesium, zinc, chromium and manganese. These are all beneficial nutrients that support bodily function in various ways.

Similar removal of nutrients can be seen in the processes used to refine cane sugar into white sugar and the polishing of rice.

Chemicals and toxins

Pesticides, fertilizers, agricultural toxins, BPAs and plastics come in contact with our food on a regular basis. All these substances contribute to reduced nutritional value of the food itself and can inhibit the body’s ability to properly absorb the nutrients that remain. As the we ingest trace amounts of these toxins, heavy metals and chemicals, it becomes increasingly difficult to absorb the vitamins and minerals necessary to support proper bodily function and combat toxifying agents. Regular exposure to toxins and chemicals require that nutrient gaps be filled through supplementation.

Soil Depletion

Soil depletion has also contributed to nutrient deficiency. Over-farming and use of chemicals and pesticides has caused many of the minerals typically found in soil to be leeched out. This causes food produced on the land to have reduced vitamin and mineral content. Therefore, even if foods are produced without the use of chemicals or toxins, it is likely that they will not provide enough nutrients to fully support the body’s needs.


Some medications, particularly statins which are used for lowering cholesterol, can have a negative effect on nutrient absorption – learn about the other negative side effects of statins.

Birth control, prescription medications and antibiotics can leech nutrients while also reducing the body’s capacity to utilize certain beneficial substances.

Speak with a physician about any possible nutrient-inhibiting effects associated with your medications.

Where Supplements Shine

Even though there are many obstacles, it is still possible to get the nutrients the body needs through supplementation.

Many appreciate the significant value of supplements. Over 50 percent of the United States uses a multivitamin or supplement to balance their diet and fill nutrient gaps. Common supplements such as Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc are associated with greater longevity and wellness in addition to their system specific benefits.

Proper supplementation may also alleviate many symptoms that are caused by different forms of deficiency. Appropriate supplementation can positively impact the following areas:

  • Adrenal Support
  • Bone Health
  • Brain Function
  • Detoxification
  • Energy Regulation
  • Gastro-Intestinal Function
  • Hair and Skin Health
  • Heart Health
  • Hormone Balance
  • Immune Support
  • Joint and Muscle Action
  • Libido
  • Metabolic Function
  • Mood Stabilization
  • Protecting Against GI Infection
  • Sleep Quality
  • Thyroid Management
  • Weight Regulation

Searching for the Right Supplements

The following substances are readily available and can help balance many common areas of deficiency.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids increase the body’s sensitive to insulin (which helps combat diabetes), reduce bad cholesterol through increasing good cholesterol, limit inflammation, improve neurological function, combat blood clots and reduce the risk of heart attacks. Omega-3s are found in fish and various nuts. However, taking a daily dose in pill form can improve health over time.

Magnesium assists in transporting glucose into cells so that it can be used as an energy source. Those who resolve a magnesium deficiency may find that their symptoms of muscle cramping, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, apathy and difficulty focusing are alleviated. Those with severe deficiency may require an exceptionally large daily intake. Consult a physician before taking magnesium supplements if you have kidney or heart disease.

Multivitamins cover a wide range of common deficiencies that people frequently overlook. Generally, people need two to six tablets daily to get the appropriate amount of nutrients. However, individual needs will differ from person to person. Antioxidants in multivitamins can limit oxidative stress, which contribute to diabetes and weight gain. The B complex of Vitamins found in most multivitamins help combat nerve damage, improve metabolism and bolster mitochondrial activity.

Incorporating one or all the preceding supplements into a health regimen may provide a significant boost to overall wellness. However, it is important to always supplement safely and talk with a doctor prior to beginning a new supplement plan.

Overcoming Nutritional Obstacles

There are many factors that inhibit nutritional value and the body’s ability to utilize the many vitamins and minerals it requires to function properly. Being aware of contributors such as the reduced nutritional value of foods, medicinal influence and toxin exposure can help raise awareness of the significant need for nutrient supplementation.

Individually optimized supplement plans and high-quality supplements can help alleviate rampant nutrient deficiency and support long term wellness.

To find high-quality, doctor-formulated nutritional supplements visit


1. Should You Add Supplements to Your Health Regime. HoltraCeuticals.

2. Nutritional Supplements. Dr. L. Wilson.

3. Dr. Hyman: Why You Need to Take Supplements. Ecowatch.

Are Nutritional Supplements Necessary? was last modified: March 20th, 2018 by Holtorf Medical Group

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