Do You Need Nutritional Supplements?

by Dr. Joseph F. Unger, Jr., D.C., F.I.C.S.


How does one know if he or she requires nutritional supplementation for optimal health? The simple answer is: everyone does.  To understand why this is true, let’s review some of the pertinent facts surrounding human nutrition.


The nutritional value of plants is dependent upon the soil in which they grow. At one time or another, nearly all of the forests in this country were clear-cut. This, along with other agricultural methods, has resulted in serious erosion of the topsoil. For example, 50 years ago the average topsoil in Iowa was about 18 inches. Now it is nine. Much of the soil has also been over-farmed, and many of the nutrients and trace elements essential to good health have been leached from the ground. If these nutrients are not present in the soil, they cannot end up in the plants that we consume.


Another important factor is genetic engineering of plant stock. The altering of the genetic structure of plants began many decades ago through hybridization. These hybrids were specifically designed to grow in soil poor in nutrient value.  The new genetically-altered plant stocks may appear to be healthy, robust plants but are actually grown on either nutrient-depleted soil or soil containing harmful man-made chemical elements. The same is true for hydroponic agriculture. With this method, the plants simply grow in water containing only the bare essential nutrients in the form of the basic chemical compounds required for growth. Unfortunately, human nutrition is far more complex than that.

Over the decades scientists have identified hundreds of minerals, trace minerals and other biochemical components essential for human nutrition. Only recently it was “discovered” that we require zinc and selenium in our diets. There may well be many hundreds more nutrients necessary for optimal function that have yet to be identified. Nutrients can only be found in foods grown in that nutrient-rich soil and are of seed stock designed to incorporate the nutrients into the plant.


Another factor in human nutrition is stress and toxicity.  Currently there are approximately 50,000 chemicals allowed in our air, food and water. Many of these compounds have unknown effects upon human physiology. Research has demonstrated, however, that an increase in toxic load requires greater amounts of vitamins and minerals in order for the body to properly process and excrete these poisons. It has also been shown that increased stress causes the body to utilize more essential nutrition in order to maintain proper function. To combat these factors, the body requires greater amounts of nutritional supplementation.


As a result of the increased burden of nutrient depletion in the soil, plant hybridization, stressors and toxins, it becomes essential to supplement one’s diet nutritionally for optimal health.  In our experience, the ideal supplements are whole food concentrates. At Atrium Health Services, we feature whole food supplements manufactured by Standard Process Inc.  Based on an analysis of your blood work, we are able to design a nutritional supplementation program tailored to your specific needs.


More information is available at www.standard process.com and www.atriumhealthservices.com. Or schedule for a nutritional consultation at 314-872-9955.