We are deficient in certain vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients needed for our optimal health. This deficiencies are caused by mostly an improper diet, meds and the aging process. Not correcting these deficiencies results in chronic disease or other medical conditions. These deficiencies are rarely acknowledged or corrected by your GP, partly because the U.S. Health system especially the AMA does not focus on the root causes of disease. Below is list of 5 known deficiencies that most American have.
1. Vitamins- The major deficiency is in Vitamin D3. It is estimated that over 80% of adults are deficient in this vitamin which we can get from sunshine (too much sunshine also gives us melanoma). You need to get a blood test to determine the vitamin D3 level. The AMA says less than 20 ng/ml is OK, however, clinical studies show 50-70 ng/ml is optimal and the risk of many diseases including breast cancer can be cut in half if your Vitamin D3 level is in that range. Vitamin D3 is cheap and every adult needs 4000-5000 IU/day depending on whether you weigh 120 pounds or 200. It is the #1 deficiency gap to close. Vitamin D3 is a vitamin but acts like a hormone. Every month there is appears to be a new study that comes out and discovers Vitamin D3 as a cancer cure, chronic disease fighter (including Alzheimer's) etc. Check the relationship of Vitamin D3 and disease. This chart which comes from many clinical studies demonstrates why you want your Vitamin D3 level to be over 60 ng.ml.
2. Minerals-Magnesium. This mineral is estimated to be deficient in at least 80 % of all US adults according to several studies around the world. The soil has been depleted of 40% of magnesium over the lat 40 years so it should be no surprise we are lacking in this key mineral even if we eat lots of green veggies. This is hard to test for to determine level in your blood. The simplest way to get enough magnesium to avoid neural, cardiovascular and other system problems is take it in powder form as magnesium citrate or a chelated version of magnesium. It is cheap and should be part of your diet regiment- add 350 mg/day. Calcium and Magnesium go together, so you should be getting about 1000 mg of Calcium per day. We do not absorb Calcium very well from milk.
3.Bacteria - Eighty percent of our immune system is in our gut and we are deficient in gut flora or gut bacteria. We do not have enough of the right strains of gut flora to prevent disease and protect us from other bugs we get that cause colds, diarrhea etc. We are deficient in gut flora because of all the antibiotics we take plus we generally eat an acidic diet. Everyone should be taking probiotics that have several strains of bugs. Eating Yogurt is OK but not sufficient. Look for probiotics that contain several billion bugs/CFU and different 3-5 different strains of bugs and add fermented food to your diet to add diversity as well.
4. Fats- The major deficiency is Omega 3 fat level and the study below shows that 80% of Americans have sub optimum levels of Omega 3 in their bloodstream to prevent Heart Disease. We consume about 1/2 the amount of Omega 3 fats as other healthier nations. We need to be eating 2 servings/wk of salmon/trout or other high omega 3 fat fish or supplement with fish oil pills that have been distilled (to get rid of mercury). Omega 3 fats are generally classified as DHA or EPA. We need about 0.75 gm of EPA ( for heart) and the same amount of DHA for your brain daily as a minimum. Studies have shown that Americans get less than 1 gm total EPA/DHA per day. Ground flaxseed or chia seed is a substitute but our body can convert only about 10% of the ground flaxseed or chia seed into EPA/DHA. So unless you eat a lot of fatty fish you will need to supplement with a fish oil pill that has gone through distillation to eliminate the mercury. These triple strength fish oil pills contain up to 1mg of EPA and DHA. So fatten up with some Omega 3s to help your heart and brain.
5. Anti-oxidants - Co-Q10. This anti oxidant is a critical element needed in our cells for energy. As we age we lose about 40%. If one takes a statin that depletes the CO-Q10 supply by another 40% lowering the nutrient by 2/3 of what we had when we were 20 years old. There is a considerable amount of research on this nutrient that helps every cell whether it is a muscle (heart) cell or neural (brain) cell. Adults over 40 need to be taking about 100/mg of Co-q10 daily. If you still take statins then you need at least 200 mg/day. Buy formulas that are absorbed best into your blood stream- good brands are Life Extension, Drs. Best, Swanson etc.
Top nutrients needed to improve our health and minimize chronic inflammation and diseases (including cancer) not associated with deficiencies are listed below. Some people call them superfoods, in any case they will help your immune systems and reduce the risk of many diseases including cancer. Many of these nutrients I will discuss later in disease blogs.
1. Curcumin. Tumeric is a spice and one of the main components of curry powder. Curcumin, is a form of Tumeric and a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. that has been used by humans for thousands of years. Your body does not absorb it well so as a nutrient/supplement you need to buy a brand like life extension "super bio curcumin"- the daily dosage is 400mg/day. This brand ( and others similar to it) is bio enhanced so your body to absorb it better.This form of turmeric is a wonder food for AD, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and many other chronic disease. It will reduce your chronic inflammation by 30% in less than 4 months and is cancer protective. Curcumin and Vitamin D3 can clear AD plaque safely out of your brain better than any drug.
2. Pomegranate juice concentrate. This superfood like curcumin has a high ORAC rating as an anti oxidant and reduces inflammation (as measured by CRP test) by 20%. It has proven to be as good as many high blood pressure meds and it declogs your arteries which no med can claim. Buy only the concentrate to reduce the sugar level (one TSP/day) or buy pills from Life extension - no sugar. Pomegranate is unique in that it restores your blood vessel epithelium wall in addition to being a strong anti inflammatory and anti oxidant. If you over 50, pom. juice extract/pills should be on your daily list since at this age all your arteries are starting to clog.
3. Green tea. Green tea has been around for thousands of years and still considered the best liquid to drink outside of water. It is strong anti oxidant and contains EGCG and other compounds that help prevent cancer, oxidation in our body and also kills bacteria.
4. Fermented foods. Fermented food used to part of our diet 50 years ago when our moms and grand moms pickled and canned foods. Fermented foods are needed by our gut to help grow the right type of bacteria and they also contain good amounts of vitamin K2. This key vitamin we lack prevents osteoporosis and can reverse calcified plaque in our arteries. Because we lack Vitamin K2 and eat an acidic diet, the calcium in our bones gets leached out into the bloodstream and hardens the plaque. Fermented foods help cultivate many types of bacteria and contain vitamin K2 to keep our gut healthy. 80% of our immune system is in our gut, not enough good bacteria is bad news.If you have to eat a hot dog make sure you have sauerkraut.
5. A "green" mixture of barley grass, wheat grass and spirulina. The average adult has over 400 toxins in their tissues and it is no wonder why our cancer rate is so high. The grasses are important to clean out out liver and organs to detoxify our system. Algea is a natural cleanser of toxins in the environment. Spirulina is a blue green algea that is one of the best detox natural foods we can eat. Since we have so many toxins in our tissue, we need to detox and "greens" are the thing to eat. Below is link to one brand.