Health Supplements – Part I: The Basics
Dietary supplements contain vitamins, trace elements, minerals, amino acids, fiber, plant or herbal extracts. Many diseases occur because the micronutrient balance is disturbed or chronic stress with non-bodily substances unbalances the metabolism.
A targeted treatment with dietary supplements is therefore highly effective.
The field of this medicine is called orthomolecular medicine. Often, a combination of different substances is required to ensure optimal absorption and effect within the body. At ENKI Institute, we pay attention to optimal combinations to maximize the impacts.
Which dietary supplements make sense?
On the one hand, there are essential nutrients that the body cannot produce itself. Therefore, they need to be absorbed through food. There are also non-essential nutrients that the body can produce itself (e.g. vitamin D3, certain amino acids, fatty acids, coenzyme Q10 or carnitine). In some circumstances, however, the body's own synthesis may also be negatively impacted. The causes may be illness, medication interactions, diet, age or lifestyle. There are 17 essential minerals, 13 essential vitamins and two fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself.
Grossman and Kurzweil have distinguished three categories of dietary supplements:
· Universal dietary supplements that everyone needs.
· Super dietary supplements that are not necessary for optimal health. They are still helpful to most people.
· Specific dietary supplements that help prevent certain diseases and symptoms.
Difference between Reference Nutrient Intake and Optimal Nutritional Allowance (Table 1)
The Reference Nutrient Intake value (RNI) is the average nutrient intake value needed to prevent 97-98% of the population from developing deficiencies. Since we are showing average values, the individual specifics that were mentioned earlier are not taken into account.
The Optimal Nutritional Allowance (ONA) is the amount of nutrients that is necessary for the optimal supply in order for the body to maintain health. As a result, the value may be higher than the reference intake value in some cases. However, the dosages required for detoxification or energy production fully depend on individual conditions. (2) (3) (4)
Universal dietary supplements
In the universal dietary supplements table, it is immediately noticeable that in most cases, the dosages of optimal nutritional levels are much higher than the reference intake values.
There is no general reference intake value for vitamin D - only in the UK, there is a recommendation of 10mg from the age of 65. There are no reference intake values for vitamin E and K either, as well as for manganese, chromium and omega-3 fatty acids.
The reference intake value of vitamin C prevents deficiencies such as scurvy. Sufficient mineral levels are important because minerals, as well as vitamins in various enzymatic reactions, serve as co-factors. (2) (4)
Continue reading about our Super Supplements and Specific Supplements here…
(1) BURGERSTEIN, HANDBUCH NÄHRSTOFFE, Trias Verlag, 12. Auflage, 2012; S 14-16 und 23-25
(2) KURZWEIL, R & DR. T GROSSMAN, FANTASTIC VOYAGE – LIVE LONG ENOUGH TO LIVE FOREVER, Rodale-Verlag 2004
(3) IOM INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE, DIETARY REFERENCE INTAKES. APPLICATIONS IN DIETARY ASSESSMENT, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 2000
(4) LIEBERMAN, S & N BRUNING, THE REAL VITAMIN AND MINERAL BOOK, Garden City Park, 1997
(5) SINGEWALD N, SINNER C, HETZENAUER A, SARTORI SB AND H MURCK, MAGNESIUM-DEFICIENT DIET ALTERS DEPRESSION- AND ANXIETY-RELATED BEHAVIOR IN MICE—INFLUENCE OF DESIPRAMINE AND HYPERICUM PERFORATUM EXTRACT, Neuropharma-cology, 2004 Dec, 47; 8: 1189–1197