Why a balanced diet is not enough

I’m sure you have heard it said that nutritional supplements are a waste of money because “you get everything you need from a well-balanced diet.

Is that true? What is the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of nutritional supplements?

Misconception: Supplements just fill gaps if you don’t have a balanced diet

First, let’s dispel a general misconception about health supplements – that their role is just to fill any gaps in your diet.

YoungCouple1A-254x185That may be true in your younger years – when research shows that many people do get less than the RDA/RNI [Recommended Daily Amount or the newer title Reference Nutrient Intake] of certain nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, folic acid and calcium.

So a simple A-Z supplement can be of value to the under 30s or even under 40s. [Not least because there is good evidence that some fruits, vegetables and grains have a lower nutritional content than 60 years ago, due to depleted soils etc.]

Seniors-group-cropped-FBut by the time you reach your 40s and 50s and beyond, the true value of a nutritional supplement is NOT just to make up any deficiencies against the RDAs.

The RDA guidelines were only ever set to prevent overt disease – for example the RDA for vitamin D ensures you will not get rickets and the RDA for vitamin C will prevent scurvy – but these are not the most serious threats.

No, the test of a genuinely effective nutritional supplement for over 40s is this:

More important: The right comprehensive supplement can help defend you against the 4 main threats that eventually rob people of their health

These threats are:

  • Accumulative damage to your DNA, which increases risk of cell mutations
  • The activation of genes that cause disease – and the de-activation of protective genes
  • The build-up of chronic internal inflammation in body tissues
  • A less effective immune system

Defend yourself against these four key threats and you help prevent almost all the so-called age related diseases. Prevent age-related disease and you will logically live healthier, longer. As do people who live in the world’s healthiest places. [see World’s Healthiest Diets]

So, the primary reason for taking a nutritional supplement in the 40-50 plus age group is this:

to ADD a comprehensive supplement to a healthy food regime, to ensure that EVERY DAY you have the full range and optimum level of nutrition found in the diets that create positive long term health and longevity.

What are these nutrients and their OPTIMUM daily amounts?

By pulling together whole population studies, and the results of thousands of clinical trials, scientists now know what those nutritional elements are.

Dr Paul Clayton is a leading health researcher – and former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine. He has created a short – 14 slide – explanation of what a nutritional supplement needs to contain to make a genuine difference to your health.

7 Pillars Slideshow Page1It’s called the Pillars of Health, and you can see it here now.



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Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthbutton-2 supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.

Health Defence bookDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from most good bookstores. See the website www.healthdefence.com for excerpts and links to buy direct from the publisher.

See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Combined 3 courses strip