We're back to tell you more about our brilliant new ebook -pictured - and to share an extended excerpt from it. This is the book where we ask a panel of 12 leading experts the biggest questions regarding the raw diet and lifestyle. Click here to read an extended selection of those questions and/or to download the book and read on to see who is on the panel.The excerpt we've chosen to share is part of the chapter on supplementation. [Note: a similar excerpt appeared in the current issue of Get Fresh! magazine - if you have already read it there it is still worth reading on, as this version contains information that was not included there due to space constraints]. Without further ado, here it is...
Do you agree or disagree with the view that even those on an optimal raw regime can’t meet all of their nutritional needs through diet alone so therefore require supplements? If you disagree with the use of supplements for general health maintenance, are there any circumstances in which you think use of the highest-quality supplements is necessary – for example, in the case of someone who has been diagnosed with chronic nutrient deficiencies and/or is fighting a life-threatening illness?
Elaine Bruce I agree that even on the best raw regime it’s not possible for most people to meet all nutritional needs through diet alone, so supplements are needed.
Dr Brian Clement Conducting sophisticated nutritional profiles has led us to conclude that the use of whole-food supplementation is crucial for the majority of people. It is certainly crucial for anyone dealing with disease, to ensure the immune system has everything it needs. The one supplement that is needed by all is a bacterial form of B12 practically every day.
Dao Earl I agree, but the best supplements are vegetable juices. Concentrated forms of minerals and vitamins can be useful to the system, but often arrive in too big a burst and are flushed from the body.
Dr Douglas Graham These were my two official professional positions (relevant to this question) when I was in private practice:
I am philosophically not in favour of the prophylactic use of any supplement, medication or other nutritional intervention.
I am always willing to throw my philosophy to the wind in favour of saving the life and the health of any individual.
I promote what is said by many to be the world’s most nutritious diet. It is made up solely of health foods – fruits and vegetables – known to be the most nutritious of all foods. I have never seen any scientific evidence that demonstrates the need for “preventative” use of supplementation. There is no valid model in nature to support the use of supplements, nor would it make sense.
Shall we ask 20 or 50 supplement salesmen which of them sells the “highest quality” supplements? Do you think any of them would point to anyone but themselves? Can they all be the highest quality? Are we supposed to turn a blind eye to the information that clearly demonstrates that often supplements do not contain the quantities of specific nutrients that they claim to contain, or that they often contain toxic levels of certain substances? Are we not supposed to ask how in the world supplement producers figured out how to grow plants on healthy soil while they claim that farmers can’t figure out how to do so?
In a situation like the one outlined above – “someone who has been diagnosed with chronic nutrient deficiencies and/or is fighting a life-threatening illness” – I would suggest that following a healthy diet and lifestyle is still a requirement. In the 20 years that I was in practice, I never came across one single instance where I found, or heard, that such supplementation was required. I allow for the fact that there could be life and death intervention, but this is typically done with drugs, not supplements, and even that would not preclude the necessity of a comprehensive program of subsequent healthful living.
Thomas Lodi, M.D. Supplements cannot replace whole foods. Certain supplements, though, are useful once pathology has become well rooted and they should be as close to their natural state as possible, from a source that is appropriate for humans, and grown under organic conditions. The less that is done to a natural product, the more biologically available it is, hence useful.
Paul Nison Most people today, even raw fooders, are deficient in vitamin D and vitamin B12, so supplementation of these nutrients is important. A Complete Blood Count (CBC) test will determine if there are other deficiencies. If the missing nutrients are not available in raw fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds, then adding whole food supplements can help.
Holly Paige There are two factors here. Firstly, nutrient content in our food is below what it was due to soil depletion, storage, fruit being picked before it ripens and is fully mineralized, etc. Secondly, the ability of our guts to assimilate food is impaired due to the existing changes in our brain build (which of course runs our body) over millennia, triggered initially by a move away from our natural diet. Therefore we need all the help we can get.
Frederic Patenaude I would certainly say that supplementation in such a case could be advisable. This would of course have to be determined by the doctor advising the person. But I have done the nutritional analysis for the low-fat raw vegan diet at 2,500 calories per day, and the nutrient intake is 2 to 6 times higher for almost every nutrient than the recommended guidelines, so I do not see why it would be necessary to routinely supplement.
Natalia Rose I believe in vegetable juice as the only “supplement” everyone needs. Powders are dead. The life force of the vegetable is in its liquid. The fastest way to health is to improve blood chemistry. When your blood is clean it’s not leaching minerals from your bones and your organs are healthy. That’s how you improve the body. And you improve blood chemistry by alkalizing and removing rubbish.
Think of the body as a beautiful marble floor that is dirty. Taking supplements is like putting linoleum over the floor. No, you’ve got to clean up the dirt! The trick is to remove the obstruction. In the beginning all that matters is, “Are you getting rid of the waste matter?” The magical equation is “awaken and release”. Vegetable juices and other alkalizing factors are the soap – green juices, fruits, salads and coconut water soften and hydrate waste, and colonics sweep it out of the body.
Jasmine Scalesciani Even though I am not an advocate of the systematic use of supplements I hardly ever see a client who at some point or other does not need some form of supplementation. I believe this is due to the high levels of stress in our modern-day society, along with greater contamination of environment, soil depletion, improper diet and toxic build-up. As maintenance, what I’ve found works best for my clients and myself is rotating supplements in the same way I would food.
A study in the British Food Journal by Cornell University researcher Anne-Marie Mayer, found that modern farming methods and plant breeding are stripping produce of many of the nutrients essential for human health. On average as compared to 60 years ago, vegetables have lost about half of their sodium and calcium content, a quarter of their iron and 76% of their copper content. The nutrient levels of fruits have also declined significantly with iron, copper and zinc all falling by up to 27%, whilst the proportion of sugars has doubled in fruit.
So supplementation is important because the nutritional value of food today is not what it used to be. But in the same way that we look at our food for optimal nutrition, it is extremely important that the supplements we use be of premier quality as well.
Supplements should come from whole foods to deliver the frequencies of the entire plant. You cannot expect to receive DNA rejuvenation from synthetically-produced agents that are often created in a test tube. These have degraded resonant frequencies due to the fact that the ingredients have been grown poorly, drenched in pesticides and contaminated with chemical additives, which over time, if consumed repeatedly, will diminish your cellular frequency and lower your vitality.
Excipients are non-nutritive binders, fillers, and “glues” used in many nutritional products. These substances often test toxic. Never use supplements in tablet form, as they always contain excipients (they cannot be made without them). We all are familiar with the excipient magnesium stearate (which research indicates suppresses the immune system), but how about the commonly used silicon dioxide, used as a cheap flowing agent? Or talcum powder which is rarely listed on product labels but is a suspected human carcinogen and another all too common excipient used in the encapsulation process.
Supplements that are not excipient-free can over time cause DNA and mitochondria damage and mutations. Think of your supplements as equivalent to “bodies of light” that must meet your highest requirements.
Shazzie Those on a vegan diet, regardless of raw, can’t meet all their nutritional needs. If we are to be raw vegan, we need supplements: B12, D in non-sunny climates, K2, choline and usually DHA. I highly recommend my book Evie’s Kitchen, which clearly lists the hard-to-find nutrients in a vegan and raw vegan diet.
Tonya Zavasta If you have a deficiency of some nutrient or mineral when you are transitioning to the raw food lifestyle, you may need to take a supplement to deal with the precise issue in the short term. But to rely on supplements to assure long-term health is counterproductive.
Wikipedia defines life thus: “Life is a condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally.”
Ask yourself the following questions: Will any supplement do any of those things? Will it sprout like a carrot top placed in the ground? Will it reproduce like a raw nut or seed planted in the soil? Will it adapt to its environment? Will it stop ripening when refrigerated, but swell with juice when left in a warm place? The answer to all these questions is obviously “No.”
That being said, there is one supplement that even raw vegans like myself with a personal “no supplements” rule must consider, and that is vitamin B12.
To read the rest of the chapter, buy the book now.
For just £9.97 you will get 280 pages of first-class health and nutrition information, and the only book in the world to feature so much in-depth expert opinion on so many questions regarding the raw diet and lifestyle.
We believe you will find it a fascinating read from start to finish, and a reference you will want to refer to often.