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Food Supplements

I'm a big fan of food supplements. It all started with Vit C when I stumbled over a self help book called 'How do I live longer and feel better' some 25 years ago. I had the German version called 'Das Vitamin Programm'. The author is Linus Pauling of whom I knew that he had one Chemistry Nobel Prize and one Peace Nobel Prize. I had learned of his work when I was studying Chemistry myself, and him being a scientist and double Nobel Prize winner made this book look trustworthy to me, although it was published in a self help series.

And most importantly, on the telly I had seen a documentary with interviews where he was talking about vitamins in general and Vit C in particular, and telling that he was taking them himself since a long time. He was 93 when he passed away.

Sometimes a girl has to get lucky: This became the book that has influenced my life the most!

I had hayfever all my life, starting in very early spring with the first hazel and birch trees and ending with the rye crop harvest in August. I couldn't eat most of the fresh fruit and vegetables and I couldn't have any kind of nuts either. They didn't kill me, but they made my gums swell and caused a highly uncomfortable itch of the throat and the mouth. Even cleaning carrots or peeling potatoes or apples made me sneeze and gave me runny eyes, when the aerosols set free from the vegetable skin touched the soft tissue of the nose and the eyes. I was allergic to certain breeds of dogs, cats and very much to guineapigs.

In his book he suggested that Vit C might help against those kind of allergies. The underlying metabolism is a complicated chain of events, and the fault from which the allergic reaction arises can happen anywhere during the process. However, it is likely that at least in some of the scenarios where something goes wrong, high doses of Vit C can help to soothe or even prevent the reaction. I liked the approach of depicting case studies and stating that studies are needed, but that the cases known give hope for at least some people. Thus not promising anything that can't be kept. This was true scientific style of writing as opposed to the commercial style that can be found so often in this type of books.

Well, so I gave it a try... and it at least gave me great instant relieve when I had an allergic reaction. So I then started experimenting with all the other vitamins and minerals and I'm taking them until today and still experimenting with new stuff that is coming up. And there is some very interesting new stuff ... Hence over the next few weeks - well, it might even be month, it's so many of them - I will give you an overview of my experience.

Please acknowledge that this is all I can give you: An account of my experience!

Everybody is different and has different needs. If you are perfectly healthy and you don't encounter any problems whatsoever: Why would you want to spend a lot of money on supplements when eating an apple and a carrot per day does the same - and probably more - for you.

Basically it is my personal believe that given the preparation of the food is done correctly and the mix of nutrients is appropriate, the saying is right: Food is more than the sum of its ingredients. There are quite likely beneficial things in it of which we don't even know yet.

However, in our modern world of food technology a lot of the food is deprived of certain nutrients, either by processing or by over-using the land it is grown from, or it may contain chemicals from the production process which are not favourable. So my premise of 'right mix of nutrients' sometimes just can't be achieved by food from the shops. Then supplements are firstly, a great way to top up on what is missing and secondly, they are well controlled and pure.

As always: There is no getting away with just following the lead of the one of the other - sometimes self proclaimed - expert. You will have to find out your needs, and then you will have to gather the information that applies to you and try it out.

Happy Experimenting!

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Author: Rika