Keep it simple

But if you stick to the basics, you may never find yourself caught up in the confusion over whether you really need a certain product, and you can avoid a countertop full of supplement bottles.

by Dr. Melenie Dunn — 

If you have a car, you likely fill your gas tank when it nears empty. You change the oil every 3,000 miles or so. You rotate the tires. These are considered common-sense habits that will maintain the excellent function of your car for as long as possible.

Now, apply these same concepts to your body. There are a few common-sense things most people can do to enhance and prolong their excellent physical health for much longer than anyone might expect.

First of all, there are supplements. Marketing firms do a great job of creating a frenzy around the next great cure. And, in reality, wonderful, natural, encapsulated little miracles are available on store shelves. But if you stick to the basics, you may never find yourself caught up in the confusion over whether you really need a certain product, and you can avoid a countertop full of supplement bottles.

The following supplements encompass the basics for health maintenance. (Notice the word “maintenance” and not “treatment.” These suggestions are for people in good general health who want to maintain their health as long as possible.)

A good multivitamin/mineral without iron from a whole-food source is the start of your daily maintenance. Between the tendency for most people to choose processed and fast foods and the decrease of nutrients in non-organic, farm-grown produce, most people’s diets will not provide the necessary nutrients in sufficient amounts to maintain excellent health. A whole-food source usually ensures natural forms of those nutrients, rather than synthetic forms.

Add to that a separate and potent antioxidant blend that includes nutrients, such as higher doses of certain vitamins and minerals, in addition to herbs and foods. Each of these components will travel through different channels to result in the neutralization of free radicals. It does not matter whether that antioxidant is newly discovered, or old news. Either will get the job done.

Next, add an essential fatty acid blend. A good option is flax oil, borage oil and fish oil, all contained in one product. Left out, these oils can become rancid, so it is wise to keep them refrigerated. Fish oils will help reduce chronic inflammation, and the other oils provide an excellent storehouse of fatty acids so your body can build healthy cell membranes, skin, hormones and more.

A probiotic blend has become a necessity. The majority of a person’s immune system can be found in the digestive tract. Probiotics greatly assist the body by helping protect it from invading pathological microorganisms and producing some vitamins. Since most chronic conditions begin with a vulnerability in the digestive tract, it makes sense to put more guards at that door. A good product will have a diverse blend of beneficial organisms, such as acidophilus, bifidus or saccharomyces.

This last recommendation is really up to the individual’s judgment. This world is not exactly a clean place. Between food additives, medications, birth control pills, vaccinations, smog, fluoridated water, artificial sweeteners and beauty products containing propylene glycol and parabens, the human liver has definitely got its work cut out for it. For all these reasons and more, some form of a liver support formula that emphasizes herbal ingredients over nutrients is helpful so the body can choose to deter the use of a nutrient toward some other purpose.

These supplements create the best foundation for good health maintenance and the best use of your time, money and tolerance for swallowing pills. Common sense and simplicity are excellent guidelines to follow. Find out how they work for you. Consult your physician with any questions.


Dr. Melenie Dunn is a naturopathic medical doctor with a practice in Scottsdale, Ariz. 480-556-6700.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 5, October/November 2006.

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