By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
For many people, nutritional supplementation is a must for improving and maintaining health. In an ideal world, we’d consume all the nutrients necessary to sustain and protect our health in our foods. In reality, however, most of us do not eat a nutritious diet, full of vegetables and fruits, enough healthy fats, and lean protein. Instead, we might opt for the convenience and price of processed foods, which are highly-caloric and nutrient-deficient.
Even if we do manage to eat healthy foods, our diets probably don’t contain therapeutic amounts of the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals necessary, in light of relative environmental toxicity, to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and other degenerative diseases which are associated with premature aging due to free-radical oxidative stress. Free radicals are both by-products of natural metabolism, as well as unhealthy foods, environmental toxins and immune system response. Since our bodies contain limited amounts of enzymes that neutralize free radicals, we need to obtain antioxidants from outside sources.
While nutraceuticals are, by no means, a substitute for nutrition, they provide support which can help prevent oxidative damage and boost energy production in the body. Knowing which nutrients are best for you individually, as well as in what amounts, can help you nurture yourself appropriately. Supplementing with nutrients designed to facilitate and stimulate energy production is the basis of metabolic cardiology. As for damage control, nutraceuticals with antioxidants, also found in many fruits and vegetables, neutralize free radicals.
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