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The regimens throughout this book are recommendations, not prescriptions, and are not intended as medical advice. Before starting any new program, check with your physician or a nutritionally oriented doctor see section , especially if you have a specific physical problem or are taking any medication. Starting out, my professional education was strictly establishment when it came to vitamins.
My courses in pharmacology, biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, and public health hardly dealt with vitamins at all—except in relation to deficiency diseases. Lack of C? Out of B1? Insufficient vitamin D? In I opened my first pharmacy. Until then I had never realized just how many drugs people were taking, not for illness but simply to get through the day. My partner at the time was very vitamin-oriented.
Both of us were working fifteen hours a day, but only I looked and felt it. When I asked him what his secret was, he said it was not a secret at all. It was vitamins. I realized what he was talking about had very little to do with scurvy and beriberi and a lot to do with me.
I instantly became an eager pupil, and have never since regretted it. After embarking on the most elementary vitamin regimens, I was not only convinced, I was converted. Suddenly nutrition became the most important thing in my life.
I read every book I could find on the subject, clipped articles and tracked down their sources, dug out my pharmacy school texts and discovered the amazingly close relationship that did indeed exist between biochemistry and nutrition.
I attended any health lecture I could. In fact, it was at one such lecture that I learned of antioxidants and their age-reversing properties. I have been taking antioxidant supplements since then, as well as SOD—superoxide dismutase, an enzyme present in green and white tea extracts.
Today, because of these, most people guess me to be five to ten years younger than I am. I was excited about each new discovery in the field, and it showed. By I was totally committed to nutrition and preventive medicine. When I mention the word vitamin , most people think pill.
Thinking pill brings to mind confusing images of medicine and drugs. Though vitamins can and certainly often do the work of both medicine and drugs, they are neither. Vitamins are essential to the normal functioning of our bodies and, save for a few exceptions, cannot be manufactured or synthesized internally. Necessary for our growth, vitality, and general well-being, they are found in minute quantities in all natural food.
We must obtain vitamins from these foods or from dietary supplements. What you have to keep in mind is that supplements, which are available in tablet, capsule, liquid, powder, spray, patch, and injection forms, are still just food substances, and, unless synthetic, are also derived from living plants and animals.
A lot of people think vitamins can replace food. They cannot. In fact, vitamins cannot be assimilated without ingesting food. There are a lot of erroneous beliefs about vitamins, and I hope this book will clear up most of them.
Vitamins are not substitutes for protein or for any other nutrients, such as minerals, fats, carbohydrates, water—or even for one another! Vitamins are components of our enzyme systems that, acting like spark plugs, energize and regulate our metabolism, keeping us tuned up and functioning at high performance.
Compared with our intake of other nutrients like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, our vitamin intake even on some megadose regimens is minuscule.
But a deficiency in even one vitamin can endanger the whole human body. And you would probably be right. The problem is, very few of us are able to arrange this mythical diet. According to Dr. Daniel T. Because most restaurants tend to reheat food or keep it warm under heat lamps, if you frequently eat out or take out you run the risk of vitamin A, B1, and C deficiencies.
Also, since so many of our foods are processed or genetically modified 75 percent of the food in grocery stores has been genetically modified , lack of calcium, folic acid, and magnesium is epidemic. Processed foods have been depleted in nutrients.
Take breads and cereals, for example. Enrichment means replacing nutrients in foods that once contained them but because of heat, storage, and so forth no longer do. Unfortunately, standards of enrichment leave much to be desired nutritionally. For example, the standard of enrichment for white flour is to replace the twenty-two natural nutrients that are removed with three B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and iron salts.
Now really, for the staff of life, that seems a pretty flimsy stick. Carbohydrates, proteins which are made up of amino acids , fats, minerals, vitamins, and water are all nutrients—absorbable components of foods—and necessary for good health.
Nutrients are necessary for energy, organ function, food utilization, and cell growth. Micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, do not themselves provide energy. The macronutrients—carbohydrates, fat, and protein—do that, but only when there are sufficient micronutrients to release them. The amount of micronutrients and macronutrients you need for proper health is vastly different—but each is important. See section 75 for the protein—amino acid connection. Nutrients basically work through digestion.
Digestion is a process of continuous chemical simplification of materials that enter the body through the mouth. Materials are split by enzymatic action into smaller and simpler chemical fragments, which can then be absorbed through walls of the digestive tract—an open-ended muscular tube, more than thirty feet long, which passes through the body—and finally enter the bloodstream.
Knowing how your digestive system works will clear up some of the more common confusions about how, when, and where nutrients operate. Digestion begins in the mouth with the grinding of food and a mixture of saliva. An enzyme called ptyalin in the saliva begins to split starches into simple sugars.
The food is then forced to the back of the mouth and into the esophagus, or gullet. Here is where peristalsis begins. The tiny valve at the end of your esophagus opens long enough for chewed-up particles to enter the stomach. Occasionally, especially after eating, this valve relaxes—which is what enables you to belch. This is the biggest bulge in the digestive tract, as most of us are well aware.
But it is located higher than you might think, lying mainly behind the lower ribs, not under the navel, and it does not occupy the belly.
It is a flexible bag enclosed by restless muscles, constantly changing form. Watery substances, such as soup, leave the stomach quite rapidly. Fats remain considerably longer. An ordinary meal of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is emptied from the average stomach in three to five hours.
Stomach glands and specialized cells produce mucus, enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and a factor that enables vitamin B12 to be dissolved through intestinal walls into the circulation.
Pepsin The predominant stomach enzyme, a potent digester of meats and other proteins. It is active only in an acid medium. The stomach is not absolutely indispensable to digestion. Most of the process of digestion occurs beyond it. Twenty-two feet long, this is where digestion is completed and virtually all absorption of nutrients occurs. It has an alkaline environment, brought about by highly alkaline bile, pancreatic juice, and secretions of the intestinal walls.
The alkaline environment is necessary for the most important work of digestion and absorption. The duodenum, which begins at the stomach outlet, is the first part of the small intestine.
This joins with the jejunum about ten feet long , which joins with the ileum ten to twelve feet long. Any material leaving the ileum and entering the cecum where the small and large intestine join is quite watery.
Backflow is prevented at this junction by a muscular valve. The colon is primarily a storage and dehydrating organ. Substances entering in a liquid state become semisolid as water is absorbed.
It takes twelve to fourteen hours for contents to make the circuit of the intestine. The colon, in contrast to a germ-free stomach, is lavishly populated with bacteria, normal intestinal flora. A large part of the feces is composed of bacteria, along with indigestible material, chiefly cellulose, and substances eliminated from the blood and shed from the intestinal walls.
The liver is the largest solid organ of the body and weighs about four pounds. It is an incomparable chemical plant. It can modify almost any chemical structure. It is a powerful detoxifying organ, breaking down a variety of toxic molecules and rendering them harmless. It is also a blood reservoir and a storage organ for vitamins such as A and D and for digested carbohydrate glycogen , which is released to sustain blood sugar levels.
It manufactures enzymes, cholesterol, proteins, vitamin A from carotene , and blood coagulation factors.
One of the prime functions of the liver is to produce bile. Bile contains salts that promote efficient digestion of fats by detergent action, emulsifying fatty materials. This is a saclike storage organ about three inches long.
Earl Mindell's New Vitamin Bible
The regimens throughout this book are recommendations, not prescriptions, and are not intended as medical advice. Before starting any new program, check with your physician or a nutritionally oriented doctor see section , especially if you have a specific physical problem or are taking any medication. Starting out, my professional education was strictly establishment when it came to vitamins. My courses in pharmacology, biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, and public health hardly dealt with vitamins at all—except in relation to deficiency diseases. Lack of C? Out of B1?
Earl Lawrence Mindell born January 20, is a Canadian-American writer and nutritionist who is a strong advocate of nutrition as preventive medicine and homeopathy. Mindell was born to parents William and Minerva on January 20, , in St. Boniface , Manitoba , Canada. He immigrated to the United States in and was naturalized in Mindell earned his Ph.
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