Val is a life-long student of unexplored human potential and many challenges that self-honesty throws at us on that path.
I take protein and amino acids supplements, but I honestly don't know if they do anything.
-- Rich Flemming Jr.
A Benevolent Enterprise -- or Is It?
I hope you are not expecting yet another "sound advice" about what diets, pills, and tinctures may fix some of your health issues. As the title is hinting, even if I were an expert in the field of nutrition, I would not take any chances with violating anyone's psycho-biological individuality.
Instead, allow me to share some thoughts about this relatively new and blooming multibillion-dollar industry of nutritional supplements, which -- benevolent as it appears -- is in the first place a business trying to sell.
Traditional medicine paved the way for this line of medicating by making us believe that we are some fragile beings likely to die without some regular intervention by the doctors.
Supplement industry scared us further with stories about a polluted air, water, soil, and processed foods, which -- as possibly true -- may not actually affect us as much as those claims are making us believe. After all, nature gave us something like liver and kidneys to filter out whatever body can't use.
Besides, when we take in the account all horrible hygienic conditions throughout the history, plus a virtual absence of medicine and nutritional experts, we may start wondering how our species survived, after even mighty dinosaur went extinct.
Much about those stories from health authorities of any kind start sounding illogical if we are not gullible enough to buy them at their face value. They may not, after all have our best interests in their mind, but interests of their colossal profits.
Another argument to be mentioned is about this terrible fact that experts themselves are not sure what our optimal dietary recommendations should be -- so we often hear those with exactly the same education and expertise having opposite opinions.
When it comes to the literature in that genre, even more confusing messages we are bound to read about.
Namely, many a writer will smartly pick a bombastic title followed by a controversial, against the grain topic, to ensure a good selling of their book. One in particular that I remember was by a medical doctor who titled his article: "I Haven't Had a Glass of Water in 20 Years".
You see what I mean? Who wouldn't want to find out "why" -- after virtually every nutritionist and medico are recommending those "eight glasses of water a day".
All in all, health customers have gone nuts filling up their medicine cabinets with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, enzimes, herbal tinctures, and what not.
What they may not be aware of is the fact that each person has their own psycho-biological individuality, and what may be good for one, many not be good for another.
I don't take supplements -- I get nutrition from food.
-- Muye Musk
An "Inner Chemist"
People have also become quite some "experts" when it's about their suspected "nutritional deficiencies" -- so, having learned in some book that B-vitamins are "personality vitamins". they think that their depression or anxiety will be gone if they peck on those pills.
While that may turn out to be true in some cases, in other cases their problem is strictly psychological, maybe due to their poor stress management or some objective problems in the family, at job, or with finances.
Almost as a rule, those supplements won't fix a problem with health unless there is a prominent deficiency of those micronutrients in the body, either from wrong foods or from poor absorption of right foods.
I have my own, albeit possibly wrong view on this question of "absorption" -- and it's even somewhat humorous, at least the way I like putting it. It goes like this:
I see a "chemist" in our body that keeps spying on our prevalent level of optimistic attitude in life -- and then, according to what it sees, it will turn a crap into a vitamin, or a vitamin into a crap. So much about absorption.
I know, it doesn't sound very scientific, but human truth is not exclusively in the domain of science.
Thus, for someone with a poor stress management who gets pissed at politics, at prices, at traffic, at everything -- their "inner chemist", according to my little theory, will say: "Okay, master, since you are obviously insisting on these crappy dispositions, you will not need vitamin C and B-complex from the fruits and veggies that you are daily consuming".
I have personally seen some chronic jerks or worriers who were loading themselves with supplements, to no avail.
Then we read about those communities in the so called "Blue Zones" at different localities in the world, with an astounding numbers of centenarians -- with no particular dietary secrets explaining it, but rather their happy coexistence and strong family ties.
So, if my theory about "inner chemist" put a little smirk of disapproval on your face, maybe you should take it just a bit more seriously. Our daily dominating thoughts, attitudes, and especially emotions, can make a huge difference in our overall health and vitality.
We can't but see it that way after getting somewhat familiar with sciences alike psycho-neuro-immunology, epigenetics, and neuroplasticity. as well as placebo and its counterpart nocebo effects and what they may do for, and against, our health.
But that would be the topic for some other article, and here I just wanted to throw in these fancy names to make my "inner chemist" a little more believable.
One, I am skeptical of the effectiveness of nutritional supplements.
-- Michael Shermer
Sometimes Science Just Doesn't Apply
There is no question whether eating right, by following some generally proven guidelines, is good or bad for us, and I would be a hypocrite if I denied the importance of it, while myself being quite conscious about what I am putting in my mouth.
But then, trust me, at times I wish I had never read a book on nutrition, because of this habit that's hard to kick, boiling down to my automatic spying on my foods -- is it the right one for that time of the day? Is it acidy or alkaline? Is it producing cholesterol? What about its glycemic index? Am I chewing it enough?
On a conscious level, I stopped fussing over all these questions long time ago, and it's just that they pop up in my mind involuntarily, like crazy commercials during your enjoying a TV program.
It's been a long time ago that I stopped taking nutritional science seriously. Not only because of the experts changing their tune all the time and disagreeing with one another; and not because hardly any of them, or those health nuts living by the book, look as if particularly enjoying a vibrant health themselves -- but mainly because I started seeing health as a state of mind, not so much as the stuff on my plate.
So, I am not one of those who are claiming: "You are what you eat" -- but rather: "You are what you predominantly feel and think".
Which brings me to the stories of the Inuit people up north who hardly eat anything that nutritionists would call "balanced diet" -- with no fruits and veggies growing on their ice and snow. And yet, they are strong and healthy enough to go through their demanding and hard daily routines.
Then I read about some nutritional experts who decided to go up there and do an experiment with those folks by feeding them vitamins and minerals and other scientifically sound crap -- only to cause the poor people to start losing hair and teeth, with a list of other health issues appearing as the result of that "healthy eating".
Now, according to the experts, people are only people with the same organs, basically same physiology and metabolic needs from the food -- but with the example of the Inuit folks they are shooting themselves in the foot with their theorizing.
Namely, those folks are genetically predisposed to their eating habits, and their bodies will derive vitamins from the killed animals' organs -- unlike us who need fruits and veggies for that purpose.
Which is bringing us away from the Inuit folks, with the question of our own psycho-biological individualities, where a supplement for one may be a major irritant, if not dangerous for someone else. And I am not merely talking about folks who are allergic to peanuts, but also a plethora of other possible sensitivities to foods and supplements.
I am saying that we, as modern humans, have turned into a breed of sissies when it's about our dietary needs -- again, heavily brainwashed by the health authorities in whose interest it is to keep us worried and concerned over what we eat, to the point that we started counted calories.
By weakening our awareness about our true natural resilience they are securing a steady flow of customers.
I see it as just another aspect of the old good mafia formula, also used in politics and religion: "Offer them protection after making up an enemy".
So, our leaders keep inventing our national "enemies" presenting themselves as our "protectors"; religion is inventing "evils and sins" and offering "protection, forgiveness and salvation", and nutritionists, as well as medico-pharmaceutical establishment, are scaring us with our fragile health, offering protection and healing.
Well, seen from that perspective, we might as well have some additional reasons to think twice before falling for all those advertisements, because we all have our psycho-biological individuality which dictates our true needs.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Val Karas