What You Should Know about Vitamins and Minerals INTRODUCTION: forty percent of Americans take vitamin and mineral supplements optimal bodily function, especially in athletes, cannot occur without daily ingestion of a precise mix of 59 substances, in the correct amounts oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur are needed in large amounts, while the remaining 54 are needed in medium or small amounts the 54 substances previously mentioned are less plentiful in the environment and thus in our food, so you are more likely to develop a deficiency in those ones as of May 1992, 13 vitamins, 22 minerals, 6 cofactors, 8 amino acids, and two essential fatty acids (EFAs) were recognized as essential to the human system all nutrients act in synergy to produce, maintain, and renew the body, and if even one is missing, or in short supply, the functions of the others are impaired the word ”essential” means: 1) nutrients have to be present in adequate amounts or function is impaired, 2) the body cannot make nutrients or cannot make enough of them for normal tissue function, and 3) you have to get them from your diet supplements can make up for shortcomings in your diet. supplements can make good health easier for you to achieve. on 9 April, 1991, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Nutrition, a Washington lobby representing 3000 physicians, asked the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to abandon the four food groups and to reclassify meats and dairy as ”optional foods” – 2004 Harvard has instituted a food pyramid that tips the USDA and Health Canada food pyramids upside down. a professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University, presented evidence that the excess intakes of meat and dairy products in America is strongly linked with their high rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis on 27 April 1992, the USDA issued a food pyramid emphasizing whole grains, then vegetables, then fruits, as the basis of nutrition, with meats and dairy as minor foods just a ”balanced” “mainstream” diet alone is not enough to ensure good nutrition. pregnant women, dieters, and senior citizens, simply cannot obtain the recommended allowances for certain nutrients through “mainstream” food alone. sometimes supplements are a safer source of certain nutrients than certain foods. Principles Of Nutrition Synergy. Nutrients are co-dependant on other nutrients to exert function within the body. They function only by interdependent interactions with each other. Completeness. The corollary of synergy is that even if one essential nutrient is in short supply, none of the others can function properly. Biochemical Individuality. Nutritional needs of individuals differ as much as their faces and fingerprints. Each person requires an individual nutrition program Lifestyle Dynamics. Lifestyle choices such as the choice of training level, or the choice of living in a polluted urban area, dramatically affect nutritional needs. Precision. There is only a narrow range of intake of each nutrient that will produce the optimum function. Physiological Dynamics. Improved nutrition must wait on nature to renew whole bodily systems before its effects can show.