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Which of the following is an antioxidant?
Vitamin E
Vitamin B

 Nutritional Medicine: Why You Need Vitamins 

Your Health Future
After considering all these issues, the last and perhaps most important point is that your future health depends on a number of your current health practicesÑwhich you have the power to change. Taking dietary supplements of any kind will almost certainly help you overcome many of your current health problems and enhance your energy. And they will protect you from disease and degeneration well into a vital, vigorous, and healthy future.

A Note on the RDAs
The Recommended Dietary Allowances are established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council, National Academy of Science. These nutrient levels are supposed to prevent deficiency diseases in most healthy people. Unfortunately, the values have been heavily influenced by the food industry, economic considerations and politics, not just by science.

Many researchers question the value of the RDAs. They make the highly processed American food supply look more nutritious than it is, and they appear to be influenced by the food industry. The RDAs are not useful in establishing optimal health. You are at little risk of developing the deficiency diseases--pellagra, scurvy, or beriberi. Our modern problems are not deficiency diseases but degenerative diseases. Nutrients play an important role in preventing these conditions. The RDAs cannot be used in evaluating the therapeutic and preventive value of large doses of dietary supplements.

The sad truth is, if you look around, you will see many people who do manage to get the RDA levels of most nutrients, but they still go on to develop early heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. They have frequent viral infections (colds, the flu, herpes), they are overweight, and they lose their teeth to decay and gum disease. In terms of life expectancy, infant mortality and health care costs, Americans are not in the most favorable position in world statistics. Average Americans have a lower life expectancy than citizens of some third world countries.

In this regard, it is not good to be averageÑthe average American will die early of heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer. You can do many things to improve your health and reduce your risk of developing the health problems of the rest of the population. Taking dietary supplements is one of them. And it is an important one. Let's explore what nutrients may do for your health, energy and general sense of vitality and well-being.

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 About The Author
Michael Janson MDMichael Janson, M.D., is past-president of the American College for Advancement in Medicine and the American Preventive Medical Association. He founded one of the first holistic medical practices in New England......more
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