By Dr. Kneale
You may have heard that taking vitamins and minerals is a waste of money and that you can get everything you need from your diet. They say, if you eat a variety of foods, you’re covered. Or if you are following a nutrient-dense diet full of great quality foods there is nothing to worry about.
Our grandparents did not need any supplements and they lived a long and healthy life. Why are we not seeing the same results?
I see clients every day with symptoms such as fatigue, skin issues, brain fog, exhaustion, as well as hair loss, digestive issues, migraines, hypothyroid, hyperthyroid, and adrenal burn-out.
The list goes on and on.
I have clients experiencing bone loss in their 20’s, arthritis in their 30’s, diabetes in their teens and constipation in toddlers.
In my youth, I never heard of anyone with cancer; nowadays, it is rare to not know someone confronted with this deadly disease.
What has changed?
Our environment and lifestyle have changed immensely over a short period of time and continues to do so.
Why foods alone is not enough
1) Depleted Soil
Growing the same crops on the same land year after year will rob the soil of nutrients.
If we grow our fruits and vegetables on soil that is depleted of vitamins and minerals it will produce depleted fruits and vegetables. Soil is no longer rested and replenished; instead it is exhausted of nutrients and grown using petrochemical fertilizers that enhance growth. Admit it…you have seen an orange that looks like it has been taking steroids! Our foods are grown for quantity rather than quality.
The Organic Consumers Association cites several studies with similar findings of swindling nutrient levels in our food:
- A Kushi Institute analysis of nutrient data from 1975 to 1997 found that average calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables dropped 27 percent; iron levels 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent, and vitamin C levels 30 percent
(My note here: these are significant decreases in only 22 years!)
- A landmark study on the topic by Donald Davis and his team of researchers from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was published in December 2004 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. They studied U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional data from both 1950 and 1999 for 43 different vegetables and fruits, finding “reliable declines” in the amount of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C over the past half century. Davis and his colleagues chalk up this declining nutritional content to the preponderance of agricultural practices designed to improve traits (size, growth rate, pest resistance) other than nutrition.
“Efforts to breed new varieties of crops that provide greater yield, pest resistance and climate adaptability have allowed crops to grow bigger and more rapidly,” reported Davis, “but their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients has not kept pace with their rapid growth.” There have likely been declines in other nutrients, too, he said, such as magnesium, zinc and vitamins B-6 and E, but they were not studied in 1950 and more research is needed to find out how much less we are getting of these key vitamins and minerals.
Are you seeing a trend here? There is a “reliable decline” in many vital minerals and vitamins in the foods we eat. Our modern foods may fill the void of hunger but they are not building our bodies to maintain health.
2) Modern Food Quality (or lack thereof)
Our food supply is bombarded with thousands of artificial flavors, color enhancers, sweeteners, softeners, and chemicals to preserve it. Many are GRAS (generally recognized as safe) in small quantities. What has not been tested is how much we can tolerate safely and the interaction of having a toxic cocktail of more than one at a time which is common.
Two common toxins in our food:
Aspartame: technical name for the brand names such as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. Some common symptoms: dizziness, nausea, headaches, rashes, anxiety, and more.
Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death. 
MSG (Monosodium glutamate): A flavor enhancer added to Chinese food, canned goods, vegetables and others. MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — include:
- Facial pressure or tightness
- Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
- Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
- Chest pain
All of these chemical variations to our food supply lowers the nutrients in the food we eat.
3) Toxic Exposure
We are exposed to toxins in the air we breathe, skin care products, make-up, EMF (electromagnetic fields: cell phone, Wi-Fi, etc..), food, water, and our body produces toxins.
We have to have essential nutrients in our body to be able to get rid of any toxins we are exposed to. When we do not have what we need, our body will use replacement parts to keep going. If your body needs zinc in the pancreas to make insulin and zinc is not available, your body will use a replacement part (toxic metal or less preferred mineral) in its place. Good news: the body keeps going. Bad news: replacement part is just that, a replacement part, so it does not work as well or as long and it is very common to notice unwanted symptoms.
4) Food Traveling Long Distance
All fruit and vegetables are picked before they are ripe so that they do not spoil by the time they get to the grocery store. Many nutrients are supplied when our foods are ripe. From there, they have to travel many miles and lose more vital nutrients in transit. If it is coming from another country, the food may be sprayed or irradiated to improve the shelf life. Food irradiation (the application of ionizing radiation to food) is a technology that improves the safety and extends the shelf life of foods by reducing or eliminating microorganisms and insects.
5) Diets to Lose Weight
There are so many diets. I cringe to even say the word, mainly because most are terrible for our health, especially if the goal is to lose weight. Starving yourself of nutrients to lose weight can lead to a plethora of health issues. When you are restricting calories, it is easy to become malnourished in minerals and vitamins. Do you know of someone who has lost a lot of weight but still looks and does not feel healthy? One reason why is that they became nutrient depleted.
6) Poor Digestion
What we put in our mouth, our digestion has to deal with. Eating refined foods and chemicals has harmed our digestive system. There are many scientific studies that have shown that we absorb fewer nutrients from our foods as we age. Digestive enzymes naturally decline as we age. These enzymes help to break down and absorb nutrients from the foods we eat. As a result, many people do not absorb nutrients well. This creates a viscous cycle.
Guess what happens when we exercise? We require more nutrients. I was working with a marathon runner that started getting many muscle cramps, shortness of breath when running and other symptoms. He had been running since he was in his teens, and is now in his 40’s. His hair tests showed he was low in many minerals. After improving his mineral balance with excellent quality mineral and vitamin supplements, his symptoms disappeared and he was able to enjoy running again. I am not a big advocate for excessive exercise, but I have clients that live for it. Without enough nutrients, exercise and training can damaged your body and can cause injuries and other health issues.
8) Stressful Lifestyle
Stress alone uses up many more nutrients. It can deplete zinc, calcium, magnesium and others. Zinc can be eliminated from the body within hours of stress. Many people are rushing through their day; eating on the run. Bad eating habits combined with lack of regular meals is like withdrawing from our bank accounts without making regular deposits. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (fight of flight) which tends to use up nutrients more quickly and can impair digestion.
9) Health Issues
Do you suffer from any health issues? The body requires many nutrients to stay healthy and function well. Low nutrients in the body hinders our ability to heal.
I had a client that had a wound on his leg that would not heal. Shortly after he started taking the correct minerals and vitamins for his body, the wound healed completely.
10) Following the RDA (recommended daily allowance)
The RDA is the minimal amount you need of all vitamins and minerals. We want optimal health, not just enough mineral and vitamins to avoid showing symptoms. That would be like having a broken leg and asking the doctor to fix it so you could just walk. We would want our leg working optimally to be able to run, dance-not just sit. Do you want vibrant or just ok health?
11) Not Eating Organic
(Do a comparison at the local store of organic and non-organic cost)
What is organic food? Food that has been grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, and sewage sludge-based fertilizers.
This next section is from Organic Food and What you Need to Know
Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat.
Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic produce is often (but not always, so watch where it is from) produced on smaller farms near where it is sold.
Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and animals as well as people who live close to farms.
Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. Feeding livestock animal byproducts increases the risk of mad cow disease (BSE) and the use of antibiotics can create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Organically-raised animals are given more space to move around and access to the outdoors, which help to keep them healthy.
Organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients. Results of a 2016 European study show that levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, were up to 50 percent higher in organic meat and milk than in conventionally raised versions.
Organic food is GMO-free. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding, most commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide.
Non organic foods have fewer nutrients and more toxins due to processing.
12) We Simply don’t eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables
Most people do not eat enough fruits and/or vegetables. We get many needed vitamins and minerals from both. In my practice I encourage a variety of vegetables and some fruits.
Center of Disease Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2010: A diet high in vegetables and fruits can reduce the risk for many leading causes of death and can play an important role in weight management.
This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, in 2009, an estimated 32.5% of adults consumed fruit two or more times per day and 26.3% consumed vegetables three or more times per day, far short of the national targets (which was 75%).
These findings underscore the need for interventions at national, state, and community levels, across multiple settings.
The belief that we get all of our nutrients from foods was once a valid argument, but sadly that is not the case anymore.
I have worked with over 30,000 clients and ALL of them benefited from taking nutritional supplements. Benefited how you might ask? Symptoms disappearing (see testimonials on this site), more energy, thinking clearer, and simply just enjoying life.
To know how much and which supplements to take please click link: Which Supplements to Take
More information about Dr. Kneale DrKneale.com
 Food Irradiation: What you Need to Know https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm261680.htm