To properly understand what essential nutrient supplements are, it is necessary to understand the scientific meaning of the three terms.
Essential = If something is classified as essential in nutritional or biochemical terms it means that the body cannot make it and must therefore receive it from the diet.
Nutrient = A nutrient is something that the cells of the body require in order to function properly, express health and avoid sickness. You are probably familiar with nutrients such as vitamin, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Supplement = Aimed at providing sufficient ingestion of essential nutrients which are not readily available from the diet.
Without these essential nutrients, proper health is impossible and illness is inevitable – they are literally that important in terms of determining quality and quantity of life.
Omega-3, Vitamin D and Probiotic deficiency is a casual factor in so many diverse health problems because Omega-3, Vitamin D and Probiotics are essential nutrients that all humans require in sufficient amounts for health and the prevention of illness. Supplementation with Omega-3, Vitamin D and Probiotics results in better healing, better reduction in pain & inflammation and better overall health in less time with less cost. Daily supplementation with these nutrients is not optional; it is essential for recovery, wellness and prevention.
The role of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (specifically EPA and DHA) in the promotion of health and the prevention of illness has been studied a great deal in recent years. Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are some of the most crucial essential nutrients for human health ever identified.
Omega-3 EFAs are extremely important in the structure and function of every cell in the body and the function of your cells is what determines your health. Your cells are what determine your immune function, healing, hormone levels, heart function, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, digestion, moods etc. Literally, the function and health of your cells determines every aspect of your health.
EPA and DHA Omega-3 EFAs are part of every cell membrane and are required to maintain the proper shape, flexibility or fluidity, and “slipperiness” of cell membranes. Omega-3 EFAs play a role in virtually every human function including growth and development, digestion, brain and nerve function, immune function, hormone production and regulation, maintenance of skin and bones, regulation of healing and inflammation, heart function, vision, cholesterol levels, and even emotions and behaviour.
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Although most often categorised as a vitamin, Vitamin D is actually a hormone. Vitamins cannot be produced by the cells in your body and thus must be obtained via consumption from dietary sources. Vitamin D, however, can be made by the cells in your body in a process that involves the conversion of cholesterol derivatives into Vitamin D using sunlight.
Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin of humans (and other vertebrates) after exposure to ultraviolet B light (UVB). Vitamin D3 only becomes biologically active after two conversions; one in the liver (primarily) to 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25 OHD), the circulating form of Vitamin D, and then in the kidney to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25 (OH)2D), the biologically active hormone form which is also known as calcitriol. Calcitriol or biologically active Vitamin D is often considered the most potent steroid hormone in human physiology.
Like all steroid hormones, Vitamin D is involved in the genetic regulation of the production of proteins and enzymes which are essential for wellness and prevention. Many cells have Vitamin D receptors and many genes are influenced by the action of Vitamin D. This is why being deficient in Vitamin D can lead to increased risk of many diseases, and, conversely why being sufficient in Vitamin D is essential for wellness and prevention.
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Despite popular belief, not all bacteria are bad. In fact, our bodies are full of good bacteria. Probiotics are species of health promoting bacteria that we require for proper digestion of food and immune defence against illness promoting bacteria, viruses and fungi. The term “probiotic” derives from Latin and Greek, meaning “for life.” The World Health Organisation (WHO) has defined probiotics as “live micro-organisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.” To put this simply, probiotics, which are also know as “intestinal microflora,” are “good bacteria” that live in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract and aid in promoting optimal health and preventing illness. Although these bacteria live throughout our intestinal tract, they are found in the highest concentrations at the far end of the small intestine and in the large intestine.
Research has demonstrated that the total number of bacteria living in a healthy adult amounts to ten times more bacteria than the total number of cells in the human body. In fact, a healthy intestinal tract should contain up to 1kg of bacteria. Most of these organisms are either neutral or health promoting but some have the potential to cause illness (e.g. Salmonella or E. Coli). In order to be healthy and to prevent the colonisation of harmful bacteria, our GI tracts must contain sufficient numbers of health promoting beneficial bacteria.