Thursday, 7 April 2011

Are Vitamin Pills and Supplements the secret to long life?

Vitamin Pills and dietary supplements are the latest fads today, and companies claim great benefits from them. The list of such health care items can go on and on! First you have those pills, they are the multivitamin pills, then you have the multivitamin and multi mineral pills, then you have syrups, powders, pastes and what not, whew! The so called health freak would probably end up popping countless pills of dubious content!
The supplements come next. You have beta-carotene supplements, then you have Spirulina supplements, you have Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements, then you have fish body oil extracts, you have green-tea supplements, then you have protein supplements, whey protein supplements, and so on. The health freak is spoiled for choice today. Talking about supplements is the fad, and everyone is a doctor today, advising this or that supplement.
An important question however, is whether these supplements or pills really benefit the consumer! It is a well known fact that vitamins remain effective and they have a good effect only as long as you consume them in their natural form! Vitamin C is good as long as you eat an orange. Unfortunately, the moment you isolate it and extract it and then package it in a pill, it no longer has much of a benefit! It seems as  if these vitamins don’t work well enough when they are isolated. Vitamins work well as long as they are in the fruit, along with other naturally occurring substances. Thus excess vitamin C would probably cause you indigestion, or acidity, uneasiness! As far as supplements are concerned, I wonder why people go for green tea extracts, when they can always have a nice cuppa green tea with a few drops of lemon in it! Green tea contains powerful antioxidants  which help fight free radicals. Free radicals are the natural by-product of metabolism the process of oxidation. Free radicals gradually choke the cells. I wonder whether these antioxidants are as powerful when they are extracted, or perhaps they are only finely powdered particles of tea-leaves which are then sold at an exorbitant price to the gullible customer!
Some more supplements that come to mind are, acai fruit supplements, Fish body oil supplements, colon cleansers, and…. well, the list is endless! Again I wonder why one should go for a fish body oil when everyone knows that if you eat oily fish twice a week, it is as good! popcorn, is a good colon cleanser. Eating popcorn once a week will keep your colon clean! Then we come to beta-carotenes. These are the precursors for the formation of vitamin A. The body synthesises Vitamin A from beta carotenes. Beta carotenes  are found in carrots. There is a controversy regarding Beta Carotenes. In their natural form, they fight free radicals, and help fight cancers. In their artificial form however, they might even advance the onset of cancer!
So, then, what should we do to live long? The first question is how long is long? A hundred, a hundred and fifty? The answer can vary a great deal! After looking at the above given facts, it becomes clear that  to live a long and healthy life, one should go natural. Having a nutritious diet will go a long way in providing you with all the essential vitamins and  minerals. Unfortunately, in today’s world, our dietary habits are very bad. We go in for junk food, have lots of burgers and french fries, and our children are becoming obese because they are ingesting too many carbohydrates and trans-fats! The fast food culture is obviously a barrier to long life. Then you have a sedentary life style. Lack of proper exercise is slowing us down. In today’s I.T. age, we are bombarded by information which we can’t handle. This leads to stress, and stress, as we know is a silent killer! Meditation, introspection and prayer are powerful stress-busters, but then the question is, do we have time for a moment of quiet? The reader can judge for himself what he thinks is the secret to a long life, and I don’t have to spell it out because it is obvious!

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