Posts Tagged ‘health’

Do Supplements Really Boost Your Health?

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Supplementing with vitamins has become big business. Americans spend an average of $17 billion per year on their supplements. I have been among them until recently. I took a break from my vitamin regimen after I learned that I was not properly absorbing my nutrients and was deficient in several areas. I wondered how that could be…

It seems that those of us with Leaky Gut Syndrome, a condition in which the lining of the intestines becomes more permeable than it should be, tend to be malnourished. Food molecules that normally wouldn’t pass through the intestinal wall, slip by and alarm our immune system. Consequently, microphages come to the rescue and attack the foreign invader and we develop antibodies as a result. The next time that same food passes through our system, whether it slips through the intestinal wall or not, our body says, “There’s that foreign invader again!” and goes in for the attack. More and antibodies develop until we have a whole slew of food sensitivities—but that is a subject for another day.

I have been wondering how a foodie like me, who eats whole grains, beans, greens, fresh fruits and vegetables could become malnourished. Ironic, huh? Well, after much reading and discussion with my functional medicine and osteopathic physicians, I have a few answers.

When people with Leaky Gut take supplements, their digestive systems work about as well with vitamins as they do with food. Some of the nutrients get metabolized and reach their intended destination and some fail. According to my doctor, it is the metabolic pathway that is to blame. If that isn’t functioning properly, we seem to get stuck in a rut of compromised health. He explained that going after the resulting food sensitivities and allergies is like trying to catch the fragments once a bomb has gone off. You may get some, but many more will elude you and you will go around and around chasing after them.

The key is healing the underlying malfunction of the system. That takes probiotics, targeted supplements to heal specific areas in the metabolic pathway, and an increase in certain vitamins. Most of us don’t get nearly enough of the nutrients our bodies’ desire from our food or multi-vitamins. Years of single crop farming, pesticides and synthetic fertilizer have left our crops fairly malnourished as well. And, like us, in their compromised state, they require intervention to keep them from dying. Fortunately, we can get tested for our nutritional deficiencies and specifically target them with the correct supplements.

It seems that the quickest way for someone with food sensitivities to get their fair share of nutrients is by juicing. Max Gerson, MD, discovered after World War II a regimen that could literally cure cancer. Of course everyone is different, and it can’t cure all forms and all people, but it seems to have prolonged the life of many patients. Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte, has continued his work both in the US and in Mexico. I decided to take a page from their nutritional book and began juicing carrots and apples every day during the holidays. My husband and I continue to drink a delicious, 8-ounce glass of organic juice to raise our level of nutrients every day. Next, we will add in a daily greens juice with an apple to make it more palatable.

As for the vitamins, I’ll take my C, B, minerals, magnesium, calcium, and fish oil, as well as a multivitamin. I need whatever nourishment can get through my system. I won’t rely solely on any one source, though. I am also careful to make sure I know what is in each supplement I take, so I don’t get lots of synthetic fillers that my body doesn’t recognize or use.

The bottom line is that we are an undernourished overweight society. Convenience and easy access has cost us much more than our dollar. It has long-term health costs and consequences we are only beginning to understand. We would probably all do well to take a page from Gerson’s book and nourish ourselves back to health through whole fresh foods, juicing and targeted nutritional supplements.

My First Blog

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Sheryl Worthington TurgeonMy first blog is like staring at my first blank page of a creative writing assignment when I was in school. They used to say, just start writing, so here I am.

It would be wonderful if this blog served to inspire women (and the men who love them) to share their stories of great transformation in their lives. For example, I had two big birthdays in my adulthood that prompted me to make major changes in my life.

When I turned 30, I left a six-year relationship and moved from Michigan to Massachusetts for a new job in health care public relations. I had promised myself that if I got the job I wanted I would quit smoking, so I did. I also cut my hair, found a new apartment and started that new job. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done, because I had to grow and change as a result.

I went through a period of mourning for that relationship, which was never quite what I wanted. Suddenly, I had to re-examine who I was as an independent woman and that was hard.

When I turned 50, I was running a community health center as a CEO. I had been there 14 years and I was feeling like I needed to do something that had a greater impact on people’s lives. I could no longer tolerate aspects of my life and work that didn’t fit with who I was, so I began searching the internet for something that would resonate with me.

I discovered the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York City and read every word on their website. This was it! They had experts in health and nutrition from around the world and I could earn my certification in nine months. I took the train from Providence to New York on the weekend once a month for two days of classes. Sunday nights I would head back to Massachusetts to start my regular work week.

I always thought I ate a healthy diet, based on what I learned from my mother. But I had gained several pounds over the years that were difficult to lose. I went to a well-known weight loss program that helped me lose some of the weight before I plateaued and decided that at my age this must be where I was destined to stay.

Was I wrong! From what I learned at IIN, I began eating whole foods and explored food allergies, eliminating a couple of mainstays from my diet and voila! The weight literally fell off. I have been back to the same size I was in high school ever since.

I started thinking more clearly and people noticed improvements in my skin and hair. When they asked me what I was doing, I told them I was eating better. They shook their heads in disbelief.

After about six months of building my new business, Your Health Potential, I left my 14-year position. I was thrilled to be pursuing my new passion–to help women enjoy healthy, nourished bodies, experience abundance and fall in love with their lives!

The journey as a soul-inspired entrepreneur has been exciting, sometimes scary, and greatly rewarding. I recently finished my certification in life purpose coaching to help women discover and pursue their own life purpose, along with learning the business strategies that can help them attain financial success.

I would love to hearing about your seminal moments and what you have learned along the way. I invite you to join me in supporting each other on our journeys toward full bloom magnificence!