Nutritional Supplements – A Simple Solution to Complex Problems? (2nd part)


There is a growing demand for mineral supplements as more research confirms that they are essential for normal body function. Since doctors all the time warn women about the danger of developing osteoporosis in premenopause and menopause, the stores are filled with calcium preparations. In addition, there are many nutritional supplements containing magnesium and selenium, microelements that are part of antioxidant enzymes and perform a number of other important functions in the body. Selenium is recommended as a trace element that supports immunity, since the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which contains it, is one of the main defenders of immune cells from free radicals. Trace elements that support the immune system include zinc, which is part of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). Usually calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc are part of vitamin-mineral complexes and there is no need to buy them separately. Of course, in the autumn-winter period, the demand for immunomodulators and food supplements for colds increases. Echinacea extract is the leader here. Echinacea-based nutritional supplements often also include vitamin C and goldenseal extract (goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis L.), which contains the alkaloid berberine, which has a powerful antimicrobial effect. In the older age group, nutritional supplements are popular to prevent atherosclerosis and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some of them are complex. These miracle drugs include garlic and coenzyme Q10. Garlic not only prevents the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, but also has antimicrobial and immunomodulatory effects. Modern garlic-based nutritional supplements are completely odorless, so you can take them even in the midst of a stormy romance. Coenzyme Q is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects against damage to mitochondria, the powerhouses of cells. For the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, phytoestrogens are also recommended (mainly the emphasis is on soy preparations and soy products), essential fatty acids (mainly linseed oil, borage oil, deodorized fish oil or complexes of these oils). We should also mention food supplements containing resveratrol from red grapes. However, many people prefer to consume a natural product instead of food additives, that is, red wine, since winemaking is well developed in America, and many wines from California and Washington are not inferior to the best French wines. In conclusion, let’s look at some of the anti-aging supplements that are popular with a small group of more savvy consumers. Most of them act primarily as antioxidants, which brings us back to the top of the list. These drugs include N-acetylcysteine ​​- a sulfur-containing amino acid necessary for the synthesis of glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid — an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and protects other antioxidants from destruction, silymarin from milk thistle (milk thistle, Silybum marianum (L.) Gaerth.) , which protects the liver from damage, has antioxidant and antiviral effects, and some other substances. From time to time, this or that nutritional supplement is declared a miracle remedy, a fountain of youth and takes off to the top of consumer sympathy. Antioxidants, flavonoids, essential fatty acids, coenzyme Q, phytoestrogens have passed the stage of miracle remedies. Now such nutritional supplements include melatonin and DHEA. Supplements: Pros and Cons So, let’s imagine that we are taking vitamin E, vitamin C (or a multivitamin complex), any preparation containing plant polyphenols (for example, Pycnogenol), a dietary supplement with phytohormones (for example, soy isoflavones), Gingko (for brain stimulation), essential fatty acid oil, coenzyme Q10, garlic extract, one or two wonder drugs (like melatonin)… you can go on and on, but you can stop… still, the number of capsules to swallow is noticeable . And if you add more specialized nutritional supplements here, for example, for weight loss, then the list will lengthen even more. It would be possible to take nutritional supplements in cycles, but does it make sense to protect yourself from free radicals for three weeks, and then leave your body without protection? Does it make sense to prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, or malignant tumors for a month, if then they still form? How much can you slow down aging if you fight it for a month or two? It turns out that many nutritional supplements must be taken continuously throughout life, or not taken at all. Wouldn’t it be easier to rethink your diet and try to get the same antioxidant vitamins and plant polyphenols from vegetables and fruits? After all, traditional herbal medicine did not imply the use of medicinal herbs throughout life. Herbs, like drugs, may or may not be combined with each other, may have side effects and may be contraindicated in certain diseases. Even now, doctors, plastic surgeons (however, like all other surgeons) and cosmetologists need to take into account the likelihood that the patient’s body is under the influence of certain herbs. For example, ginseng, garlic, ginger, ginkgo are contraindicated before surgery, as they increase bleeding, and patients taking St. Thanks to glossy magazine articles (which make it so easy to read that health problems have a simple solution), the number of supplement users is constantly on the rise. Well, over the past 10 years, life science has made tremendous strides. And of course, the fruits of science must be used. We see that people who take care of themselves look better than those who either do not want to spend time and energy on caring for their health, or do not have such an opportunity. And if now we can use ancient phytotherapeutic agents meaningfully, understanding the mechanism of their action, then why not use them instead of synthetic drugs? Modern life sometimes makes really unbearable demands on the body’s defense systems, and, holding back the onslaught of harmful factors, they work in such an intensive mode that they resemble a stretched string that is ready to burst at any moment. So that the string does not break, sometimes a little rest is needed, a kind of vacation, during which the defenders will recuperate and heal their wounds. Therefore, even if we cannot take nutritional supplements for life, the respite they give the body by protecting it from free radicals, destroying pathogens, improving brain function, eliminating depression, relieving stress, etc. can prevent disruption of adaptive systems leading to disease. Source


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