Home' Nova National : NOVA NATIONAL APRIL 12 Contents make up our diets, we are now inundated
with many new stressors, including environ-
mental toxins and modern day stress that
increase the body's need for nutrients.
Food additives and contaminants, fluoride
and aluminium added to water, increasing
environmental toxins in our homes, and
the effects of pollutants like environmental
tobacco smoke, decrease our nutrient
reserves and place increased stress and
nutritional demands on our bodies.
Pregnancy and lactation is one period
of increased physiological and metabolic
demands as pregnant women require
more energy and nutrients to meet the
needs of the developing foetus. During
this time, inadequate stores or intake of
vitamins or minerals, referred to collect-
ively as micronutrients, can have adverse
effects on the mother, such as anaemia,
hypertension, complications or even
death during labour. Furthermore, the
foetus can be affected, resulting in still-
birth, pre-term delivery, intrauterine
growth retardation, congenital malformat-
ions, reduced immune-competence and
abnormal organ development.
There are many subgroups within
our population who are likely to have a
significantly lower than average nutritional
status. This may be a low-income group,
the aged or maybe a group with a particular
disease or disability. For example, there is
a large number of growing disease
conditions that reduce our ability to digest
and absorb nutrients even when they are
available in food. These range from the
increasing stress that affects everyone to
overeating, poor digestion, coeliac disease,
irritable bowel and other inflammation
diseases of the gut. An important fact to
remember is that the nutrients have to get
to the cells where the real work is done. If
they don't contribute to cellular nutrition,
they are worthless, no matter what you
eat.The science is overwhelming -- with
the publication of thousands of articles in all
levels of scientific journals -- on the benefits
of supplementing, not only for the general
population but also for specific illnesses
and disease conditions. Unfortunately
these do not seem to get media attention
despite the fact that they may show
dramatic reductions in the incidence
and severity of diseases such as heart
attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, asthma,
Alzheimer's and many more.
In fact, most people do supplement,
especially those who know the most. Our
own research shows us that people who
supplement are usually the people who
have higher levels of education, enjoy a
healthier diet and lifestyle and are more
interested in health; these are people
who are taking responsibility for their
A Case for
Peter Dingle PhD argues that it's no longer possible to
get all the nutrients we need from food because it is
so compromised in quality and we should be taking
20 © NOVA APRIL 2012
In the beginning there were healthy,
whole foods and healthy lifestyles;
people took responsibility for their
own health. Now most of the world
is dying from food related illness. Half
the world is dying from not enough food
and the other half from too much nutrient-
depleted, calorie-dense food. Times have
changed and so has the way we need to
look at food, nutrition and our health.
Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardio-
vascular disease and cancer are now the
biggest killers in developed countries.
The current medical model that focuses
on treating, rather than preventing, illness
is simply not working. As individuals we
need to take responsibility for improving
For years, a so-called debate has raged
over the relative importance of dietary
supplements as a means of maintaining
good health and safeguarding against
disease. The debate has, unfortunately, not
relied on good science but rather has been
fuelled by a very small number of quasi-
scientific studies that have been fraught
with controversy. Even the 'unbiased'
research findings have often been mis-
represented by the medical industry and
by popular media in attempts to create
the next controversy. Such an excess
of misinformation has led to a strongly
divided public and professional opinion
on the place of supplements in our diet.
Most people should be taking
supplements because eating a balanced
diet all of the time and absorbing the
required nutrients all of the time is almost
impossible for people throughout the
world. The argument for supplement-
ation is easily summed up into several
main areas: the first is that it is no longer
possible to get all the nutrients that
should be in our food. Through modern
cropping, growing and harvesting tech-
niques, transport, storage and marketing,
not to mention processing and cooking, it
is possible to lose 100% of the nutrient
value of the food and, in its place, add
toxins. This means that if it is not in
the food we eat, we have to get it from
The modern day processed 'white
foods' such as sugar, bread, white rice
and processed breakfast foods are full of
empty calories and, often, extra sugar and
are low in nutritional value. Unfortunately,
these foods now make up a large portion
of many people's food intake. Meanwhile,
most people rarely consume their full
share of fruit, vegetables, nuts and beans
and other nutritious foods -- or when they
do consume vegetables it is usually in the
form of over-processed potatoes without
the nutrient-dense peel.
In addition to low-nutrient foods that
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INTRODUCTION TO THEOSOPHY COURSE
Basics of the Ancient Wisdom Philosophy
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