From FAT to FIT again – Transformation Challenge

YES, I did it and I achieved my goal. In just 12 weeks of this weight loss challenge, (January 4th-March 29th  2015) I lost 10.3 kg (23 lbs) of unwanted weight and I trimmed my waist circumference with 14 centimeters (5.5 inches)

In fact those are my results week by week:

Date Section Weight Waist
January 4, 2015 Start Weight 92 kg       (202 lbs) 106 cm
January 11, 2015 Week 1 86 kg       (189 lbs) 98 cm
January 18, 2015 Week 2 85.3 kg     (188lbs) 97 cm
January 25, 2015 Week 3 85 kg         (187 lbs) 97 cm
February 1, 2015 Week 4 84 kg         (185 lbs) 96 cm
February 8, 2015 Week 5 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 15, 2015 Week 6 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 22, 2015 Week 7 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 1, 2015 Week 8 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 8, 2015 Week 9 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 15, 2015 Week 10 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 22, 2015 Week 11 82.4 kg   (181 lbs) 93 cm
March 29, 2015 Week 12 81.7 kg   (180 lbs) 92 cm

 

RESET March 29 2015

Why I decided to do this challenge?

On my previous blog from January 2015, entitled ‘From Fit to Fat – My Transformation Challenge’ http://www.mariofit.ca/fit-fat-transformation-challenge/  I wrote how stress, medication for pain and nervous tension, affected my life, my health and my physical fitness. And as a result of those stressors, my blood sugars elevated, my blood pressure rose to unhealthy readings of over 140/90, my weight gain move up from 84 kg to 92 kg in only few months, and my waist measurement increased to 106 centimeters (42 inches). This constellation of symptoms made me a candidate for developing a pre-diabetic state known as Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X.

Having personal experiences and knowing that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company with clinical studies in Reversing of Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, I decided to restore my health and lose some unwanted pounds by participating into their Usana Reset Nation weight Loss Challenge and follow their protocol. See some clinical trials at the end of this blog.

And I have to admit that even with my knowledge in functional fitness and holistic nutrition, achieving this ambition and losing 10 kg, was not an easy task without exercising.

Yes, due to some re-occurring back pain and muscular stiffness (as a result of a car accident in 2009) I was not able to exercise during the first 8 weeks of my challenge, yet I was able to lose 7 kg of my weight just by changing my nutritional habits, as recommended in the USANA’s RESET™ Nation Challenge.

But when 4 weeks ago I also started to workout using a combination of moderate intensity weight training and functional bodyweight exercise program I personally designed for my recovery, I was able to achieve my goal and to lose an additional 3.3 kg.

RESET March 29 2015 -2

Why I set my goal to lose 10 kg?

And if someone might ask why my goal was to lose 10 kg and not six, eight or 15kg, I can surely affirm that before 2009, this was my ideal weight as a fitness professional and martial arts athlete. This was the weight that in the years 2005-2009, kept me extremely active, strong and in great physical condition despite my age of 47 (in 2009).

But what motivates me to participate into this challenge NOW was mostly a combination of many personal choices.

  1. First, I needed to restore my health which in the last year started to decline at a considerable speed and I wanted to win the big prize: The Usana Health Sciences all inclusive trip to Sanoviv Medical Institute (May 2nd-May 7th 2015)
  2. On the same time, I wanted to prove again and again that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company. In the past, as a Registered Holistic and Sport Nutrition Consultant in Canada, I was able to help many friends, athletes and other clients to improve their wellbeing using a combination of healthy nutrition, regular physical exercises and the use of Usana Health Sciences nutritional supplements.
  3. My next reason to win this challenge was to raise awareness to my fellow Romanian friends and compatriots, and to point out that Usana Health Sciences is indeed the True Health Company.

Once one of the top karate athletes in Romania (and than in Italy) I grew up as an eyewitness to the effects of malnutrition in many orphan children in Romania. And at that time I was unable to help at all. But in 2002, thanks to Children’s Hunger Fund (a Charitable Organization) and its long-time partner Usana Health Sciences, I have heard how they restore health to thousands of Romanian orphans for many years. This is why in 2012 I decided to ‘return the favor’ and to compete (at the age of 50) in the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championships to raise funds for Usana True Health Foundation and Children Hunger Fund to be exclusively used for children in desperate need of food and medicine. For me as a USANA Associate, giving to Children’s Hunger Fund was more than a donation — it was a fight. And I would like to thank Usana and their True Health Foundation for recognizing me as one of their “Champion”. In fact in 2013, the management of Usana Health Sciences and True Health Foundation invited me in Salt Lake City to present to me the ‘Champion for Change Award’

4. And NOW the year of 2015, become my time to restore my health and bring back my well being. And thanks to Usana Reset Nation Challenge, I am on my way to get healthier and better physically, emotionally and financially.

And to conclude I would like to tell everyone:

YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR WEALTH

More information about Usana Clinical Studies on Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome:

What’s better: Eating Fish or Taking Fish Oil Supplements?

A diet rich in fish WAS one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, known for their health benefits. Note that I said ‘WAS’ and not ‘IT IS’ since pollution and the contamination of our oceans with mercury, polycarbonate bisphenols (PBC) and other nuclear toxic waste become a big concern for our living environment, including marine life.

fishoil[1]By now, most of us are probably familiar with the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, (Eicosapentaenoic Acid – EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid – DHA) readily available from oily fish or fish oil such as: cod liver, herring, mackerel, salmon and sardine.

If you don’t, know much about the benefits of Omega-3, just consider the review done at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, that show the effectiveness of  Omega 3 fatty acids in combating high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease,  diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), osteoporosis, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cognitive decline, skin disorders, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma, macular degeneration, menstrual pain, colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer, just to name a few.  The entire article can be founded at this link: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm

  • DHA is so important since is the primary structural component of the human brain and retina in the eye.
  • EPA become also essential to health because acts as a precursor for anti-inflammatory hormone-like substances that participate in a wide range of body functions such as the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle, the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, control of blood pressure, and modulation of inflammation.

For general health it is recommended a minimum of 650 mg of combined EPA + DHA per day up to a safe limit of 3000 mg per day. But due to the increased level of bioaccumulation of toxins in the fish, the same health authorities recommend no more than 2 servings of fish per week, and if you are pregnant women you should avoid fish totally. And according to many environment agencies, the mercury contamination should be less than 0.5 microgram per kilogram of body weight. But this makes it difficult to get the recommended amount of omega-3s from diet alone without exposure to dangerous contaminants, which can affect our health.

515px-MercuryFoodChain-01[1]And as I mention on my previous article:  ‘Omega 3 Fish Oil and Inflammation’ (published March 17, 2014) mercury and PBC are neurotoxins which are hard to be eliminated from the body since  accumulates through the food chain in a process called bioaccumulation.

There is also a big concern about the purity and quality of the fish oil supplements as trace levels of PCBs were found in many product tested by Consumer Lab – a leading provider of independent product testing helping consumers and healthcare professionals make safe and knowledgeable purchasing decisions. Also the August 2012 Consumer Lab report on the quality of fish oil / omega-3 supplements revealed that some supplements exceeded contaminations limits for PCBs, while others contained 20% to 30% less than the claimed amounts of EPA, DHA or other omega-3 fatty acids. One softgel product contained spoiled fish oil, while an enteric-coated softgel (intended to reduce “fish burp”) released its fish oil too early.

 

USANA-BiOmega-352x198[1]This is why I recommend Biomega-3 from USANA Health Sciences. It has been thoroughly tested, evaluated and given the respected stamp of approval by ConsumerLab.com. USANA’s BiOmega contains 1050 mg of EPA+DHA (1200 total omega-3 fatty acids) in a daily dose of two gel caps and without contamination. Plus, with USANA’s BiOmega, you get some extra vitamin D, but without the fishy aftertaste due to the added lemon oil.

This picture speaks for itself: 1221250192[1]

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil and Inflammation

Acute or Chronic Inflammation?

url1[1]While acute inflammation is the short term “normal” response to protects and heals the body after an injury or infection, chronic inflammation, also known as low-grade or systemic inflammation is the long term internal irritation that leads to many degenerative and chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, obesity-related diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto-immune diseases, and many types of cancer including breast and prostate cancers.

In the past was demonstrated omega-3 fatty acids to have a number of potentially heart-healthy effects, including reducing triglyceride levels, slightly raising levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, “thinning” the blood, reducing levels of homocysteine, and reducing blood pressure. But now, a new review of the last 60 years of medical data (from 1950 to 2013) confirmed that long-term supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA – from marine sources) reduce blood markers of inflammation and the risk of many chronic inflammatory-related diseases. The study was published in the PLoS ONE, on February 05, 2014, and involved in total 4,601 participants from 68 randomized, controlled trials of healthy subjects with chronic autoimmune diseases, and subjects with chronic non-autoimmune diseases (ie. cardiovascular disease).

Markers of Inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP), Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6)were analyzed and strong evidence has been provided for the association of C-Reactive Protein, IL-6 and TNF-α with obesity, CVD, diabetes, many forms of cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and ulcerative colitis.

  • C-reactive protein (CRP) – a reactant protein produced by the liver, which could increase 100 times within 24-48 hours during an inflammatory process and is an important market for cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes obesity and cancer.
  • Tumour Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α) – is a group of cytokines (proteins like molecules) produced by the macrophages (involved in the in the regulation of immune cells, and when a disruption of TNF occur, can cause cell death (apoptosis), cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Interleukin 6 (IL-6) – is another class of pro-inflammatory cytokines, produced by the T-cells and macrophages, (a type of white blood cells) in response to inflammation.

Researchers also separated studies using omega-3s from supplementation as active treatment with those using omega-3s from dietary intake (fish consumption) and included them into different meta-analyses. The researchers founded that that omega-3 from supplements, decrease considerable the CRP, TNF-α and IL-6, while dietary fish was effective in lowering only the IL-6 but did not appear to lower CRP or TNF-a.

Problems with Fish or Supplements

515px-MercuryFoodChain-01[1]Consuming fish more than twice per week, may increase the risk of mercury contamination. Same is true with most omega-3 fatty acids supplements, which are obtained from natural sources (fish oils). Levels of omega-3 (DHA and EPA) in supplements can vary, depending on the source and method of processing.  Contamination has also been an issue, because fish can accumulate toxins such as mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Mercury can damage the nervous system — particularly in a fetus. Dioxins and PCBs may be carcinogenic at low levels of exposure over time and may have other harmful effects.

Recently ConsumerLab.com selected 35 omega-3 products, for review of the freshness, purity, and the amount of omega-3 fatty acids claimed. Unfortunately eleven products didn’t pass their testing. So be careful what supplement you choose.

My Recommendation:

Eat fish no more than twice a week and take a high quality purified fish oils daily, additionally to a high quality multivitamin supplement that has antioxidants and natural plant extracts.

To ensure purity and potency, I usually recommend products from USANA Health Sciences and in this particular case, the BiOmega-3. Manufactured in a state-of-the art facility, USANA’s BiOmega is virtually free of contaminants, which are eliminated through a double-molecular distillation process that ensures the highest possible purity. Through this process, heavy metals, PCBs, pesticides, and organic residues are effectively eliminated. Also free of trans-fatty acids, each capsule contains 2 mg of mixed natural tocopherols (vitamin E) to minimize oxidation of the omega-3 fatty acids and maintain product quality during storage. In short, BiOmega is one of the purest, highest quality products available on the market today.

POM BiOmega Rotation[1]You can buy USANA Health Sciences products at the preferred client status, in more than 20 countries around the world, including Romania, and many other European countries. Visit my USANA business page, http://www.mariofit.usana.com/ click Change Market (on the right top corner) and choose the country. Then click on the PRODUCTS, and follow instructions. You can also choose to do your FREE Health Assessment, without any obligation. For additional information please contact me.

Vitamin D & Athletic Performances

1249325954_aerobic-exercises_1004107[1]If you are an athlete who is planning for good performances, you probably are developing in advance your training. You are also preparing in advance your pre and post -workout meals such as proteins, carbohydrates, water and electrolytes and you are probably trying to get enough sleep to recuperate. But are you also preparing the right micronutrients before and after an intensive workout for your fast recovery?

Multivitamins and minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and joint support nutrients should be also part of an athlete’s nutritional program. I will write more articles on this subject. But, now, I would like to focus on the newest research, which demonstrated that higher level of vitamin D in the blood can protect muscles from damages and speed up recovery after an intense workout. There is no doubt that vitamin D supplementation is a health promoting nutrient, but how this “sunshine vitamin” may improve athletic performances?

Athletic Performances?

In my opinion, there is no athletic performance by taking any supplements. I cannot take vitamins, minerals and other supplements (including vitamin D) and wait to become a champion. Athletic performances are gained only by training hard, smart and by planning your workouts. But specific nutrients such as essential fatty acids and antioxidants can protect the muscle from free radical damages. And now it was demonstrated that also higher concentration of vitamin D BEFORE an intensive workout will speed even more the recovery to the working muscle. If this proved to be true, then your next workout can be more rewarding leading to better performances.

The Clinical Study

body-solid-leverage-horizontal-leg-press-lvlp-1[1]A recent study by The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital (TOSH), in collaboration with USANA Health Sciences, revealed that increased levels of vitamin D before an intensive plyometric workout can reduce skeletal muscular weakness. The Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation (Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, UT, USA) and the ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology (Salt Lake City, UT, USA) approved this study and the results were published in the journal: Nutrients. Apr 2013; 5(4): 1253–1275.

The Protocol

Fourteen active non-smoking subjects participated in this study, doing specific plyometric exercises (stretch shortening contraction – SSC – with one leg) to induce peak isometric force deficits that would persist for several days. The SSC protocol consisted of 10 sets of 10 repetitive jumps (using a horizontal Plyo-press machine) at 75% of body mass with a 20 seconds rest between each set.  The primary objective of this study was to identify if vitamin D (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D ) concentrations predict muscular weakness after intense exercise. During the procedure, different blood tests were performed, including the blood vitamin D level, and serum enzymes (AST and ALT) which are all indices of skeletal muscle damage.

The Results

The researchers concluded that that maintaining an adequate vitamin D serum concentration in the blood, could attenuate muscular weakness after intense exercise. In other words, taking vitamin D before you exercise can help you recover more quickly afterwards, making it the perfect supplement to pair with your workout.

My Recommendation

Vitamin D can be picked up from the sun during your outdoor activities.  But just because it’s sunny out doesn’t mean you’re getting the proper amount of “the sunshine vitamin.” In fact, deficiency is common during the summer months when people use extensively “protective” sunscreen, and neglect vitamin D supplementation.

Don’t fall into the trap—make sure you maintain your vitamin D levels all year long to ensure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients for your body, especially when you exercise.  And make sure that the vitamin D you take is from a trustable manufacturer, who guarantees the potency and purity of their supplements.

usana_vitamin_d__80043.1353690555.1280.1280[1]Usually I recommend supplements from USANA Health Sciences, which is the only one company in the world, who has an Athlete Guarantee Program backed up by a Million Dollar. They manufacture their products in state of the art facility approved by the FDA, and in accordance with the pharmaceutical grade standards, which is superior to the food grade standard (cheaper) used by most of the other manufacturers of nutritional supplements. This is why USANA can guarantee that their products are potent, safe and free of contamination.

You can buy USANA Health Sciences products at the preferred client status, in more than 20 countries around the world, including Romania, and many other European countries. Visit my USANA business page, http://www.mariofit.usana.com/ click Change Market (on the right top corner) and choose the country, then click on the PRODUCTS, and follow instructions. You can also choose to do your FREE Health Assessment, without any obligation. For additional information please contact me.

Stay Fit and Healthy for Life

Be Aware of Cardiovascular Disease – My Sad Athletic Story

In my 35 + years  experience in martial arts, I have had the chance to teach the art of self-discipline and fighting strategies to kids, adults and many military officials. And through my personal example, my focus was always to promote a healthy lifestyle, before any athletic performances.

karate romania 3 001 - CopyAs a competitive athlete in martial I was training with some of the best martial arts practitioners and top athletes in Europe, particularly in Romania, Italy, Germany and France. And I was working hard for my recognition.

And what was the cost?

In Romania, I was a national champion many times between 1983 and 1989. And as I moved to Italy, in 1990, I trained even harder as my believing was so strong that I can  become a European or even an international champion.

121_HIVCardiovascularDisease-610x390[1]But in 1991, in Milano Italy, at the annual sport medical assessment, I was found to have abnormal beating of the heart (arrhythmia and palpitations) and I was advised to see a specialist in cardiovascular diseases. Personally I was thinking that this might be possible because overexertion, excessive adrenaline, and maybe caffeine.

I was only 29 years old and full of energy. I was refusing to think that I could have some potential disease to my heart.

But I followed the advice and I have had a chance to spoke to Dr. Alessandro Lanzani, a sport medicine doctor specialized in metabolic syndrome, hypercholesterolemia, obesity and functional fitness. This doctor helped me to get a more understanding on what is going on into my body.

Dr. Lanzani, explained me that an increase in oxygen consumption during an intensive training, will lead to an elevation of free radical production and implicit an oxidative stress. Excess free radicals create internal injuries to the cells, and as a result promote also inflammation, disrupting their function. We need antioxidants to prevent the oxidative stress, and essential fatty acids to combat inflammation.

But as I was sceptical to take supplements (I was looking for some anti-arrhythmic medicine) Dr. Lanzani   explained to me that eating a diet ‘rich in antioxidant-containing foods’ such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, founded in Mediterranean diet, is indeed linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular (heart and blood vessels) diseases, but for athletes this is not enough.

What? A healthy diet is not enough? Why?

Yes – he argues – is not enough. And then he explained: “We need a surplus of B vitamins which you easily lost with increased perspiration, and we need a good balance between Calcium and Magnesium (2:1). We also need antioxidant supplements such as vitamins A, C, E and the mineral selenium and also essential fatty acids. And this on top of our Mediterranean diet”oxidativestress[1]

I have to recognize that my first reaction was that this guy is trying to sell some expensive supplements as part of his private practice. So, I find an excuse to leave. But later I realized I was wrong. He didn’t sell me anything. He just tried to educate me.

Few months after, in Italy, at one of the major national competition, one of their best Italian athletes (competing at the international level) dropped dead from a heart attack. It was a surprise for many, but for me it was a shock, since I was in a position where my heart created me some problems.

So, I returned to Dr. Lanzani, this time with an opened mind.

And after some physical examination and an expensive blood sample test, I got a prescription for  anti-arrhythmia,  to take it for one month, but also a prescription for some for nutritional supplements to take them for at least six month.

red_bold_rx_frame[1]My prescription included: mega doses of B vitamins, a supplement of Calcium with Magnesium and vitamin D, a quality multivitamins from Switzerland, and expensive pharmaceutical grade fish oil from Germany. In total about $400/month supply. And I kept this treatment for about 8 month.

So, as I get better, and better, with no symptoms of arrhythmia or other related signs, I started to search medical literature and to study many books related to fitness, nutrition, and nutritional supplements for a healthier lifestyle.

Since my personal experience in 1991, I become my own guinea pig. And based on my extensive research and on my personal experience, now I recommend to everyone, athletes or not, to take at least a good multivitamin/mineral supplement, a broad spectrum of antioxidants and essential fatty acids additional to a healthy diet. I will tell you more on my next articles.

If you  want to receive regularly updates and important articles on the subject of fitness, nutrition, anti-aging, athletic performances and healthy lifestyles, subscribe to my e-newsletter founded at: www.mariofit.ca

Vitamins for Chronic Disease and Prevention? – Vitamins & Minerals Controversy – Part 3:

Are vitamins preventing chronic diseases?  According to few respected medical journals, YES they are. All of the previous articles on Vitamins and Minerals Controversy (part one and two) pointed to the fact that a large majority of our population is micronutrient deficient and in need of proper supplementation.

Research has shown micronutrient deficiency to be scientifically linked to increased free radicals production and inflammation, with a higher risk for obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other dangerous and debilitating degenerative diseases.

oxidativestress[1]

Even I, as one of the most meticulous food consumer, I find it difficult to get all the nutrients I need from food alone. And as a competitive athlete in Italy, I have had my own sad experience with nutrient deficiency and some form of cardiovascular disease. And I was only 29 years old. Since then (1993) I believe that dietary supplements helped me to fill my nutrient gaps. More information can be founded on my website :www.mariofit.ca.

In fact, I follow this advice:

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin

But I am not the only one who believes supplementation should be recommended to fill in the nutritional gap and y to prevent nutritional related diseases.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reversed in 2002, their long-standing anti-vitamin attitude by publishing two scientific review articles recommending multivitamin supplements for all adults. Why they change their position? Because many researches, proved that there was a large percentage of the population deficient in micronutrients. And since this micronutrient deficiency create degenerative diseases, JAMA now is advising all adults to take at least one multivitamin a day.

Harvard School of Public Health also recommends everyone to take multivitamins. This is what their position is: “A daily multivitamin is a great nutrition insurance policy…A daily multivitamin, and maybe an extra vitamin D supplement, is a good way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy. True, a healthy diet should provide nearly all the nutrients you need. But many people don’t eat the healthiest of diets. That’s why a multivitamin can help fill in the gaps, and may have added health benefits”.

Dr. Mark Hyman, a five-time New York Times bestselling author on optimal health declared: “a whopping 92 percent of us are deficient in one or more nutrients at the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) level…The RDA standards do not necessarily outline the amount needed for optimal health.”

Dr. Mehmet Oz reports that “A study of 3 million people revealed that less than 1% of the participants got enough essential vitamins from diet alone. That’s why you must take a multivitamin; it also helps prevent heart disease, breast cancer and colon cancer.”

The bottom line is that the micronutrient deficiency epidemic is real, and the power to prevent micronutrient deficiency is in your hands. There are more to tell you about, but I just let you reflect at your health first. In the end it is all about YOU:

Your Health, Your Life, Your Way.

For more information please visit my website: www.mariofit.ca

Leave a comment, or ask a question. We will be glad to answer you.

Sources of information: Journal of the American Medical Association, Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Mark Hyman…

Are You Micronutrient Deficient? – Vitamins & Minerals Controversy – Part 2:

Are you a micronutrient deficient? You might answer: How do I know?

It is easy: Lack of energy? That is all.

In fact if soils are depleted of minerals, then our body is also deficient on micronutrients. See my previous article on Vitamins & Minerals Controversy – Part 1 – We do not need supplements. We can all nutrients from our foods.  More detailed information can be founded at: www.mariofit.ca

Continue reading “Are You Micronutrient Deficient? – Vitamins & Minerals Controversy – Part 2:”

We Don’t Need Supplements – Vitamins & Minerals Controversy – Part 1

12119696-delaware-dietitians-continuing-education[1]We don’t need to supplement with vitamins and minerals, as we can get all nutrients our body need from a healthy and balanced diet. This is what your doctor or your dietician might advise you.  And they might be right. Some other ‘health experts’ would even say that supplementing with vitamins and minerals is nothing more than ‘expensive coloured urine’. And they might be also right.

title[1]Others so called orthomolecular specialists will argue that vitamins and minerals are essential for health and life, and we that we cannot get the optimum amount of these micronutrients from our modern but nutrient depleted foods.

Who is right and who is wrong? Who do you believe?

This controversy is going on for decades and confuses the general public even more. To make some light on this intriguing subject I did my own research and I analyzed a few facts I want to share with you. This is just Part 1 of a series of mini articles on Vitamins & Minerals Controversy, published on www.mariofit.ca . After your review of the data and the credibility behind the facts, you might get your own conclusion and this is what counts the most. In the end it is all about YOU:

YOUR HEALTH  &  YOUR LIFE  &  YOUR WAY

??????????Please consider that now I am a Registered Holistic and Sport Nutrition advisor, and what they teach me in the school is that we don’t need supplementation if we have a balanced diet. But as an athlete and particularly as a martial arts competitor   I always struggle whit what does it mean to have a healthy and balanced diet?

I was thinking that few servings of fruits and vegetable per day, a well-adjusted ratio of healthy carbs with moderate proteins from lean meats, and avoiding of saturated fats is all I need. In theory all this sounds good and indeed it is a healthier choice. But my personal experience as a karate competitor in Italy (at the age of 29) changed my way of thinking. Despite the fact that I tried to have a healthy and balanced diet on a regular basis, I was founded to have some arrhythmia to my hearth due to the low levels of minerals into my body and too much exercise. More about this subject on another blog.

Edible RainbowBy the way? When was the last time you have had a healthy balanced diet? And if you had one, do you have those healthy habits three times per day on a regular basis?  Do you prepare daily your healthy and ‘balanced meals’ or like many others for your convenience you prefer to eat outside.

If you are like me, living a busy and stressful life, you will probably struggle with your healthy choices all the time. Just be honest with you and don’t get into a trap to think that you have better healthy habits than other people, because you might be wrong. And before you get any conclusion, let’s analyze some facts:

Fact: A United States Department of Agriculture study of 21,500 people found that not a single person got the minimum recommended amounts (RDA – Recommended Daily Allowance) of 10 micronutrients!  Not even one!  This is sad, because many people think that they eat healthier and get all the nutrients from food.

  • For those that are not familiar with the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), it was developed during World War II by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences because of food rationing during the war. RDA was not designed to cover the optimum level of nutrients for health, but the minimum recommendation to prevent specific nutrient deficiencies and implicit diseases.

Fact: Since 1936, during a Congressional investigation into U.S. farming practices, the North American people were officially warned of nutrient depletion in land and on the foods. In this regard, U.S. Senate Document #264, published by the 2nd session of the 74th Congress stated:  “The alarming fact is that foods (fruits, vegetables and grains) now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain minerals are starving us – no matter how much of them we eat. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the minerals he requires for perfect health because his stomach isn’t big enough to hold them.”

Fact: In August 2003, News Canada reported that fruit and vegetables contain far fewer nutrients than they did 50 years ago. Potatoes, for example, had lost 100% of vitamin A content, 57% of vitamin C and iron, and 28% of calcium. The study show that over the entire 20th century the average mineral content of vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, spinach and tomatoes declined from 400mg to less than 50mg.

Fact: A 2010 article named ‘Micronutrient Deficiency Conditions: Global Health Issues’ was published on the Public Health Reviews. They state: ‘Micronutrient deficiency conditions are widespread among 2 billion people in developing and in developed countries. These are silent epidemics of vitamin and mineral deficiencies affecting people of all genders and ages, as well as certain risk groups. They not only cause specific diseases, but they act as exacerbating factors in infectious and chronic diseases, greatly impacting morbidity, mortality, and quality of life’.

Fact: In 2010, a review of literature published from 2002 to 2009 on the nutritional status of children aged 6 to 12 years from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Eastern Mediterranean region was published in the September edition of Food Nutrition Bulletin. The review indicates that malnutrition is a public health issue in school-aged children in developing countries and countries in transition.

Fact: A study 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.

Fact: 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. The Organic Consumers Association cites several other studies with similar findings.

Fact: A study of British nutrient data from 1930 to 1980, published in the British Food Journal, founded that in 20 vegetables the average calcium content had declined 19 percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent.

Fact: Another study concluded that one would have to eat eight oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.

Fact: A report in the Journal of Complimentary Medicine in 2001 pointed out that US and UK Government statistics show a decline in trace minerals of up to 76% in fruit and vegetables over the period 1940 to 1991.

Fact: The UK publication Food Magazine published an analysis of food quality changes in the UK over the period 1940-2002. In an analysis of milk it was concluded that the iron content had fallen 62%, beef rump steak fell 55%, magnesium – another commonly deficient element, was down 21% and the copper content had disappeared completely. In fact the context of magnesium levels fell in almost all foods examined with Parmesan cheese loosing 70% fall in value. Also the calcium and iron content of all the foods examined was reduced dramatically.

Now take a moment and reflect on those official government documents.

  • On my understanding, the decline in the nutritional quality of food probably can be linked to pollution and quality of the soil that was affected by the modern agricultural production methods that result in soil degradation.
  • My conclusion is that as our planet’s soil are too deficient to be able to sustain us.  As the soil becoming more and more nutrient deficient, we as well become nutrient deficient and at increased risk of a degenerative disease. .

More detailed information can be founded on my other reports posted at: www.mariofit.ca

Sources of information: Journal of Complimentary Medicine, News Canada, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Medical Research Council Special Report Series No. 235, London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office (The Chemical Composition of Foods), Scientific American, Public Health Reviews, Complimentary Medicine, Food Nutrition Bulletin, Kushi Institute, Organic Consumers Association, United States Department of Agriculture, Centre for Disease Control, University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.