As told by Dr. Miles Nichols, DAOM, MS, LAc | Buddy Nutrition Scientific Advisor
Do you ever wonder, should I be taking supplements? The answer, is yes it’s time to up your buddy vitamin intake. In modern society unfortunately we don’t always get enough nutrients from our food so an extra helping hand goes a long way. Want to know more? Our expert Dr Miles Nichols, a mindfulness expert devoted to a unique medical approach is here to help.
Why should you take supplements?
About 75% of the US population does not consume the recommended intake of fruit, and more than 80% do not consume the recommended intake of vegetables (1). In fact, 95% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, 94% in vitamin E, 61% in magnesium, 51% in vitamin A, 49% in calcium, 43% in vitamin C, 15% in B6, 13% in folate, 12% in zinc, 8% in iron, 5% in copper and 4% in B12 (2), so you can see why you need to add a buddy vitamin! Processed and refined foods are so devoid of nutrients that governments have mandated fortification of foods with certain vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamin D and more.
Put simply, we do not consume the diversity of food and plants that our ancestors did, hence the need for an extra buddy vitamin. Additionally, many of the foods we do have access to have been bred for taste and flavor, not nutritional content.
Poor soil quality
Modern farming practices, such as over-cropping and overgrazing, have depleted the soil of vitamins and minerals, leading to a lower nutrient content in the foods grown. One study found “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B2 and vitamin C in vegetables and fruits grown in depleted soil over the past half century (3).
Put simply, our food supply today is contaminated due to farming practices and chemicals in the environment. These include heavy metals, pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, radioactive elements, electronic waste pollutants, plastics, nanoparticles and others (4). Furthermore, we are exposed to countless industrial chemicals. “In reality,” Lynn R. Goldman, Former Assistant Administrator for Toxic Substances at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said, “we really don’t know how many chemicals are currently in commerce in the United States” (5). Our bodies’ toxic loads are therefore increased by this unprecedented exposure to all sorts of chemicals. When subjected to this level of chemicals and toxin exposure, the body requires more nutrients and buddy vitamins to detoxify and cope.
The American Psychological Association’s 2010 Stress in America survey found that “most Americans are suffering from moderate to high stress, with 44% reporting that their stress levels have increased over the past five years” (6). Stress has many negative effects on health and requires more nutrients to combat these damaging effects. It depletes many important vitamins and minerals, namely B vitamins, C, E and magnesium, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, weakened immunity and possibly other illnesses if not addressed.
Widespread use of medications
Nearly 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and over 50% take two (7) and we’re sorry to say that can mean they are depleted from essential nutrients. Most medications, including OTC ones, cause a depletion of important vitamins and minerals.
Poor gut health
The overuse of antibiotics alongside excessive hygiene practices and increases in elected medical procedures have all contributed to gut microbiome changes. The bacterial populations in the gut are important for absorbing and even creating certain nutrients in the body and if the gut isn’t working properly, you won’t have optimal absorption.
In addition to the importance of taking supplements & consuming, it is also critical to take high-quality supplements. There are a number supplements available that have fillers, additives, synthetic compounds and poorly absorbable ingredients, which is why I recommend trying a Buddy Shot to up your supplement intake. Buddy Shots are a great way to fill the nutrition gaps without having to take pills, but still get all the benefits of supplements. Plus, your Buddy Shot is personalized just for you and fortified with all the vitamins, minerals, and herbs that your unique body needs.
Written by Dr. Miles Nichols, DAOM, MS, LAc | Buddy Nutrition Scientific Advisor
1. US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans December 2015. Available at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/. Accessed 2/27/19.
2. Fulgoni VL, 3rd, Keast DR, Bailey RL, Dwyer J. Foods, fortificants, and supplements: Where do Americans get their nutrients? J Nutr. 2011;141(10):1847-1854.
3. Davis DR, Epp MD, Riordan HD. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004; Dec. 23 (6).
4. Thompson LA,Darwish WS. Environmental Chemical Contaminants in Food: Review of a Global Problem. J Toxicol. 2019; doi: 10.1155/2019/2345283.
5. Identifying and Reducing Environmental Health Risks of Chemicals in Our Society. Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Institute of Medicine. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2014 Oct.
6. American Psychological Association. 2011. Stressed in America. January 2011, Vol 42, No. 1. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/01/stressed-america. Accessed Feb. 27, 2019.
7. Mayo Clinic. 2013. Nearly 7 in 10 Americans Take Prescription Drugs, Mayo Clinic, Olmsted Medical Center Find. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/nearly-7-in-10-americanse-prescription-drugs-mayo-clinic-olm-taksted-medical-center-find/. Accessed Feb. 27, 2019.