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Episode 2: Are Dietary Supplements a Luxury or Necessity?
The Nugent Report, The science behind health and nutrition. Welcome to this episode of The Nugent Report a definitive source for objective information on health and nutrition. Featuring Dr. Steve Nugent, the renowned psychologist, author, public speaker and expert on science, health, wellness and nutrition. Be sure to visit our website at ‘drnugent.com’ and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @TheNugentReport.
Steve Nugent: Hello my friends and welcome to another episode of The Nugent Report. In this episode of The Nugent Report, we are going to be answering a simple question. Are dietary supplements a luxury or a necessity in the 21st century? Some of you will be very surprised with the information you hear. Some of you may be simply reaffirmed. But in any case, you will be getting scientific information in plain simple language that anyone can understand. That can help you make a decision as to whether or not you should be taking dietary supplements to support your health.
When I say dietary supplement, what am I talking about? A supplement is something designed to supplement what may be missing from your diet. Now that could be a tablet, a capsule, a powder, a drink. Any way that you can get a nutrient that may supplement what may be missing from your diet. Understand that dietary supplements are not medicines. They are not designed to treat or cure or ameliorate disease. That is not their purpose. Your body has a system of mechanisms in its amazing design to deal with almost every kind of natural occurrence that you can possibly imagine.
It does so by fueling the systems through nutrition. Sometimes there are challenges where in some cases a human being is not able to cope with some kind of outside threat. And in those cases, pharmaceutical drugs or medical procedures may be required. Understand that your doctor has been trained well to understand when to prescribe a pharmaceutical drug, when to recommend a particular medical procedure or test. However, medical schools do not teach doctors how to be experts in the clinical use of dietary supplements. So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that all doctors know all things about well everything, because it’s just not the case.
So, what we’re going to talk about today is some science that perhaps your doctor is completely unaware of and that’s fine with me. Because this is an educational podcast.
All right, so a supplement is designed to supplement what might be missing from your diet. But well all governments tell you that if you eat right you won’t get sick, you don’t need supplements our food supply is the best every country will say. Our nutrition is the best every country will say. And discussion of dietary supplements is well, pretty limited by most governments if at all. Your body is the key. Your body is the true miracle. Whether you know this or not, your body has well in my mind the most amazing design ever. In fact, your body is designed to cope with almost any kind of naturally occurring challenge you could possibly imagine.
How does it do this? Well, you have a number of systems in your body that cope with different challenges. And when I say this, most people think about their immune system primarily. Well okay, let’s talk about the immune system for a moment. I want you to think of your body as a big industrial complex and I want you to think of that industrial complex your body, as having many factories inside of the complex. One of those factories would be your immune system. Well, let’s say as an example that you know you got yourself pretty rich one day and you decided to buy an automobile factory.
In order to run that factory, of course the factory will have to be powered naturally. But you’re gonna have to have certain materials certain supplies nutrition for that factory if you will. That would include things like steel and rubber and plastic and all manner of things that are necessary to make a car. If you’re missing any of those materials to make a car, guess what? No matter how good that automobile factory is, it’s not going to produce a car that functions. Is it? Think about your immune system and all the other factories inside of your body. So, you think of your glandular system as a factory, okay. All of them requiring supplies, materials in this case nutrition from various foods.
Again, the hope is that everyone eats properly and that everyone eats sufficient levels of nutrients necessary to fuel all those various factories within the body. So, that you have the ability to meet the challenges as your body was designed to meet those challenges. That’s the whole idea. Well, that would be ideal. In life, how many things are ideal? Not many. Well in the 21st century you have very very different conditions than our ancestors faced throughout the majority of human history. Some of those conditions are obvious you’re aware of. Such as pollution, air pollution and water pollution today is more severe than it has ever been in the history of the world.
Scientists can take ice core samples that they know go back thousands of years. They can date these samples with pretty good accuracy. And they know from these samples what was in the air during each of those centuries. We can tell you for sure that the pollution today is far more serious than pollution has ever been in recorded history or even in pre-history. Wow. Is air pollution a problem? You bet it is. Air pollution can cause well oxidative stress and you’ve heard the term free radicals and other terms related to that. Oxidative stress can damage the cells of your body.
There are some oxidative molecules that can even damage human DNA. This is serious stuff and most of these chemicals that are found in the pollution today on planet earth did not exist on planet earth before the year 1930. That essentially is the beginning of the age of synthetic chemistry. Synthetic chemistry is pretty amazing, I mean it really is amazing. When you look at some things that synthetic chemists have been able to create, it’s well astounding. But there are also synthetic chemicals which are very harmful to life on this planet, not just to humans but to animal life as well. And these chemicals are growing every year.
We know that according to the US Environmental Protection agency, there are more than 75,000 synthetic chemicals on planet earth registered with that agency. And I use them as an example because more chemicals are registered with them than any other federal agency in the world. They tell us that these 10,000 of chemicals are really only the beginning. We know from scientific study and this was sort of an accidental discovery really. Where scientists found that when different synthetic compounds come in contact with each other in water, they frequently make brand new compounds that were never intended.
Now with that idea in mind, when you’re starting with more than 75,000 chemicals to begin with and now you begin to combine them at random. There is no possibility of knowing how many chemicals are on this planet today. Simply no possibility. So, that’s a stress. You better know it. When your oxidative stress goes up, your cells are damaged and it’s I like to describe it as well rust. Rust is probably the best way to describe it. If you’ve watched rust on metal and you see how it sort of eats it away, that’s oxidative stress on metal. All right, you’re not made of metal I understand. But the effects on your cells are very very similar to what happens to metal when it is having oxidative stress or rust.
To have sufficient nutrient to cope with that, you need a type of nutrient called an Antioxidant. Antioxidants are found in various colorful fruits and vegetables. Now you will find antioxidant phytochemicals, phytochemical comes from an ancient Greek word which means plant. So, plant chemicals, now these are not vitamins. They’re not minerals, they’re not amino acids, they are their own category of nutrition, phytochemical antioxidants. Then there are vitamin antioxidants like Vitamin A, C and E. Phytochemical Antioxidants are things that most people can’t pronounce when they see them. And I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
Other than to say, that you are supposed to eat adequate levels of fruits and vegetables in order to have those phytochemical antioxidants to help you fight the oxidative stress of the 21st century. Back in 1995, the US Department of Agriculture or USDA, they did a study. A study using a test developed by their agricultural research service which is a division of the USDA. And this test is called Serum ORAC. Serum means blood and ORAC is an abbreviation that stands for Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity. Or the capacity of any nutrient to potentially neutralize the harmful effects of an oxidative free radical or oxidative stress. So, when they did this study, what they did was they checked the blood of volunteers who were eating various fruits and vegetables and at various numbers of servings. I’ll explain servings in a couple of minutes.
And what they found was that, most people they tested were not getting adequate levels of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables. So, they made a standard and they said, we think everyone should have between 5 and 7 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. This was 1995 now. And 5 to 7 servings every day, fresh. Not canned, not frozen, not packed in syrup but fresh. Every time they repeated this test, they found that the requirements had gone up. Now this is logical, because pollution continues to go up every year. So, the stress from pollution keeps going up. It makes perfect sense that a human being would need then more fuel to cope with that.
I’m going to use this analogy a couple of times. I’m talking about an automobile under stress. Now you know that if you drive your car on a level road, it will burn less fuel than if you drive your car uphill. Now think about it. So, for Americans let’s say if you’re driving 5 miles on a level road versus 5 miles uphill, you will use a lot more fuel driving uphill. For the same distance, 5 miles or for the world outside of the united states let’s put that into kilometers, okay. So, the point is the more stress the car is under, the more stress the engine is under. The more fuel it burns and the more wear and tear there is on the parts of the car.
You’re no different, no you’re not made of steel and rubber but you still have more stress. So, that means you require more fuel. So, as the pollution continues to increase, air and water pollution and even chemicals that are in various foods. Then our needs for those nutrients go up, the antioxidant nutrients goes up. This is an important thing; I want you to remember this as we proceed. Now that was 1995. In 2006, there was a study published in the journal of the American Dietetic Association. And in this study, they said that about 40% of Americans were consuming at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Only 40%, 60% were not.
By 2015, there was another study published and this said depending on sex and because men require more of various nutrients than females do almost across the board. So, it’s about age, it’s about gender and so on. So, depending on the test subject involved, you need anywhere between according to the 2015 report, anywhere between one and a half to two cups per day of fruit and two to three cups per day of vegetables. Now I know that the majority of people listening on the planet are on the metric system. There are still three countries in the world that are not and the United States is one of them. And a large portion of my listening audience is in the United States and so I have to do this both ways.
So, people they’ll say to me, so what’s a serving? Well, a serving is a cup, okay. Now a US cup is going to translate approximately to about 227 grams of solid material. Now in cooking in the US, there’s a standard 8-ounce cup and it’s meant for liquids, but we’re also using which of course would then translate to MLS for the rest of the world. But in this case, we’re talking about solid material fruits and vegetables placed in that same container. So, that’s going to translate to roughly 227 grams of solid material per serving. In 2017, another report came out and this was from the American Centers for Disease Control from their morbidity and mortality weekly report.
It said, only one out of every 10 American adults were getting the minimum recommendation of fruits and vegetables daily. So, see the trend here. The trend is showing us that as we progress in time people are eating less healthy diets each year. They’re getting less of the nutrition they need. While at the same time, the stress on their bodies from the environment alone just the environment just from air pollution and water pollution, and there are certainly other stresses today, okay. But just those stresses alone tell us that, that’s increasing while dietary choices are apparently decreasing in terms of good dietary choices. This is not a good scenario, is it?
So, what we’re up to right now is a recommendation of between 7 and 13 servings per day of fresh fruits and vegetables. Realistically my friends, I don’t know even if a dedicated vegan would eat that much fruit and vegetable per day. That would be very time consuming and boy, you’d have to have a really efficient digestive enzyme system to digest that much fruit and vegetable without feeling well pretty miserable and producing a lot of gas and so on. So, overall it’s not really a good scenario, is it? Then here’s a study that was published by someone named Mare. And she decided that she would check the content of 20 different fruits and vegetables and compare them for nutritional value between the 1930s and the 1980s.
She selected 20 fruits and vegetables from a published report from the united kingdom’s composition of food tables. And here’s pretty much what she said, I’m paraphrasing here but this is basically what she said. By the way, this was published in the British Food Journal in 1997. So, mayor said that as she compared these that there was a statistically significant reduction in the levels of Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, and Sodium in vegetables. And a statistically significant reduction of Iron and Copper in fruit. The only mineral that showed no significant difference over the 50-year period was Potassium.
Now there’s a reason for that, so stay with me. Another finding that Mare had was that the water content of the fruits and vegetables had increased over that 50-year period. Well, that’s primarily due to farming methods. Many people don’t know this but farmers have a really tough life, I mean really tough. First of all, farming today is a science. It’s not a question of well you go find some soil dig a hole and throw a seed in it and hope for the best. That’s not the way it works. The profit margin on farming is so small. That farmers have to become almost scientists and mathematicians and use all manner of high-tech equipment to make sure that they have a yield large enough just to stay in business.
Because countries like the United States and like Canada as an example, these two countries produce far more food than the population of the US or Canada could ever possibly eat. And they’re producing more food because if they don’t produce that level of food, many of these farmers simply can’t stay in business. So, that food is sold to other countries obviously and sometimes given to other countries. The point here is that farming is pretty close to a science these days. Now produce is sold by weight, isn’t it? And water is heavy. If you could change your farming methods where your fruits and vegetables had higher water content than previous years. They would be heavier and they’d sell for more. Because you sell by weight.
So, what Mare found was that there was in fact an increase in the water weight of various fruits and vegetables and a decrease in the amount of solid mass of those fruits and vegetables. This may be one of the reasons that we have a decrease in various nutrients that she found in her particular study. Now I want to point out, remember objectivity is the key to good science, I want to point this out. Her study needed to go a few steps further, but in virtually every study that I’ve ever known about including the ones I’ve been involved in you have a limitation of money and time. And you can only study certain things, you can’t possibly study everything in one study. It just can’t be done, and this is why you have yet another study in another study.
And it’s why at the end of almost every science paper you’ll see anywhere, it usually will have a statement that says something like more study is needed. No matter how good their data was. And in this case, I would say more study is needed because there could be other reasons that the mineral content of these 19 of the 20 fruits and vegetables that she checked. There could be other reasons that the mineral levels were down, okay. It didn’t necessarily have to be that it was simply about water. The water weight was changed obviously okay, so that’s a fact. But more study is needed to figure out what else may have been going on.
In the United States and I will use the US a lot because it’s simply easier to obtain statistics for the US in most areas not every area. There are some areas where statistics are better kept in as an example Sweden or Denmark or in some other countries like that. But generally overall, it’s easier for me to get a broader level of statistics related to this subject from the United States. And of course, all human beings do have the same basic biological requirements. So, back to the example. In the US, of course we’re told that the modern diet is fantastic. The American food supply is amazing, it’s wonderful never better.
Well, if that’s true and if Americans are making good food choices and if we add the fact that according to the council on responsible nutrition. They say that approximately 75% of all Americans take dietary supplements and about 73% of Canadians by the way take dietary supplements. Then you shouldn’t find too many people who aren’t getting enough Vitamin and mineral every day. In fact, if you were to put those things together, you would say well there’s probably nobody who’s not getting an adequate level of Vitamin and mineral every day. Well according to the US government the US Department of Agriculture, they tell us that more than 90% of Americans are getting less than adequate levels of at least one or more nutrients. And again, that depends on age and gender and so on.
But what this tells us is that despite the fact that there’s plenty of food to eat, despite the fact that government guidelines have been put up telling people the recommended way to eat. We still have 90% of the US population who are not getting adequate levels of Vitamins or minerals. More than 70% several different vitamins and minerals are missing and some of these are very key. As an example, close to 50% of Americans get inadequate levels of Magnesium. Now right away you say, oh that’s about Calcium right. Well, of course it is. It is about breaking down calcium so that you can utilize Calcium. But Magnesium has about 600 functions in the body not one.
So, it’s super important and having about 50% of the American population not getting sufficient Magnesium, this is a very big deal my friends when you’re talking about 600 functions roughly. Well, let’s take this another step. We’ve been talking about minerals, we’ve been talking about phytochemicals, antioxidants. Now let’s talk a little bit about Vitamins. Specifically, there was a study done by a couple of doctors Fletcher and Fairfield. And this is a blood study with human volunteers. Their research question was. Do people get sufficient vitamins? Now they’re only testing for vitamin nothing else, okay. Do people get sufficient vitamin by diet alone? What they found was that the vast majority do not.
In fact, the words, their words not mine from their study. Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. It appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements. Wow, two medical doctors published in the journal of the American Medical Association. Does your doctor know this? Probably not. In the United States about 50% roughly of medical doctors are subscribing to the journal the American Medical Association are our members of the association. And even so doctors are human beings my friends. I mean give them a break, okay. Doesn’t every human being want to have personal time? Doesn’t every human being want to have time with their family their loved ones? Doesn’t every human being want to have some relaxation time or recreational time? Of course.
So, don’t expect that your doctor can magically read the millions of studies that exist right now let alone try and keep up with them as new one comes out. So, don’t be hard on your doctor if your doctor doesn’t know this information. Give them a break, okay. So, now we’ve talked about phytochemical antioxidants and we’ve talked about Vitamins and we’ve talked about minerals. This should be enough right there to help you make your choice. But I want to make sure that you have a clear idea of a couple of words that I’ve used. Adequate versus deficiency. And when you look at your labels and in every country it’s different. I wish it wasn’t makes me crazy. My own country the US, is just constantly changing this identifier if you will.
So, you may see the required daily allowance, you might see the required daily intake, you might see the daily value. You might see the minimum daily requirement, whatever it’s labeled in your country. And you look at this on a Vitamin product, okay. Now by the way Fletcher and Fairfield their recommendation was for people to take a multivitamin every day. Just so you know just to be clear and keeping with our theme of objectivity. They were not recommending anything more than that, simply that everyone take a daily multiple vitamin mineral product, okay. And I didn’t recommend anything particular because they’re scientists and scientists don’t recommend products. They just report their science, okay.
So, when you look at those labels and let’s say that the label says, required daily intake. All right. So, if it says this is 50% of the required daily intake what that means is. it has 50% of what is considered adequate to feed your body that nutrient for its functions for that day. That’s different than deficient okay, it’s a different definition. When we start talking about deficiencies, that can imply disease states of various types you know like Scurvy and Beriberi and so on, okay. And that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about adequate levels to maintain healthy levels of function of all of the factories in your factory complex. So, of all of your systems that’s the point, okay. So, that’s adequate versus deficient.
All right, so now that we’ve looked at just these categories of nutrition, and oh Gosh we could do so much more. But podcasts need to be limited to a certain length, so that people actually be able to listen to it in a reasonable period of time. So, then the question is. Do you eat a perfect diet? Its unlikely statistics show us that it’s very unlikely. In fact, statistics are showing us that about 90% of you do not, okay. Is your life stress free? Psychological stress causes you to need more nutrition. Did you know that? It does and this is why psychological stress can affect your health and your immune system. The more psychological stress you’re under, the less likely your immune system is able to respond to an immune challenge.
And it’s unlikely in the 21st century that you live a stress-free life, really unlikely. Stress vitamins by the way are considered the B Complex and C in general Vitamin C. so, B Complex in Vitamin C. It’s more complicated than that but that’s generally what we look at. And then you ask the question. Are you immune to the effects of pollution on planet earth in the 21st century? Well of course, you’re not. So, this means more antioxidant protection, more nutrition, more fuel for that car driving uphill. And there are many other stresses as well.
So, my friends the decision always from The Nugent Report will be yours. My job is to provide you with information which is scientifically accurate. So, that you can make the right decisions for your health. The choice is yours. And I truly enjoy, as I say this is a labor of love The Nugent Report. I want to help as many people on this planet as I can. You cannot make an informed decision unless you’ve been informed. So, that brings us to the end of this episode of The Nugent Report and I look forward to the next with you. In the meantime, be safe be sensible and stay objective.
Thanks for listening to this episode of The Nugent Report. Visit our website at ‘drnugent.com’ for more objective facts about health and nutrition. And email your questions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @TheNugentReport. Stay informed, get the facts with The Nugent Report.
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纽金特报告（The Nugent Report）》第2集：膳食补充剂究竟是奢侈品还是必需品？
他们发现，接受检测的大多数人没有从水果和蔬菜中获得足够量的抗氧化剂。因此，他们制定了一个标准，认为我们每人每天应该吃 5 至 7 份新鲜水果和蔬菜 。这项研究是在1995年做的，而且是每天吃5到7份新鲜的、不是罐头的、不是冷冻的，更不是果酱制品，而是新鲜的水果和蔬菜。每次他们重复这个研究时，都会发现，需要摄入新鲜水果和蔬菜的份数有所增加。这一结论合乎逻辑，因为污染每年都在持续增加。污染带来的应激不断上升。人类需要更多的燃料来应对这个问题，这很合理。
所以，人们会问我，一份是多少？其实，一份就是一杯。一个美式杯子能装大约等于227克的固体物质。目前在美国烹饪时，会用一个标准的8盎司杯专门测量液体， 但我们现在也在使用它测量固体，然后转换成毫升 以方便世界上其他地区的人。但在这种情况下，我们讨论的是将固体物质水果和蔬菜放置在同一个容器。按这样转换过来，每份食物大约是227克的固体物质。2017年，又有一份报告发表，这份报告源自美国疾病控制与预防中心发布的发病率和死亡率周报。
因此，当你看到那些标签后，让我们谈谈标签的含义，关于每日所需摄入量。如果标注每天所需摄入量的50％ 则意味着什么？如果这样标注表示它可以为你的身体提供当日所需足够营养的50%。记住，这与缺乏不同，二者的定义不同。当我们谈到缺乏时，则可能意味着各种类型的疾病状态 ，如坏血病（Scurvy）和脚气病（Beriberi）等等。我们指的不是这些。我们说的是要保持足够水平来维持体内所有系统的正常运作。注意，是所有系统中，这才是重点，好吗？因此，这就是足够与缺乏的区别。
所以，朋友们，听完《纽金特报告》后决定权永远在你自己手中。我的工作是为你提供科学准确的信息。这样，你就可以为自己的健康做出正确决定。这是你自己的选择。 我真的很享受这一过程，正如我所说的，《纽金特报告》是一份充满爱的劳动成果。我想尽我所能帮助这个星球上的人，多多益善。只有清楚告知你之后，你才能做出明智决定。本集《纽金特报告》就到这里， 我期待着在下一集与你相会。 同时再次提醒各位，请记住要安全、理智、保持客观。
感谢收听本集《纽金特报告》。如需了解更多关于健康和营养的客观事实，请访问我们的网站’drnugent.com’。请将你的问题和反馈发送至我们的邮箱 email@example.com。请在脸书（Facebook）、推特（Twitter）和Instagram @TheNugentReport上关注我们。《纽金特报告》带给你最新信息，让你获取客观事实。