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Many educated dietitians believe that you should get all of the nutrients your body needs from the food you eat. They continually tell clients that supplements aren’t necessary if you eat right. That may or may not be true, depending on the person, but many of us just don’t eat right. When was the last time you had six to nine servings of fruits and vegetables in one day? Then there’s the problem of our depleted soil, chemical-laden water supply and polluted atmosphere, all of which add to nutrient deficiencies, even if you do eat right most of the time.

Here are a few facts from the January/February ’09 issue of Well Being Journal that show how important taking a multivitamin and -mineral supplement can be:

• The Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that 75 percent of Americans fail to get the recommended daily allowance of copper.

• The RDA for vitamin E is 30 I.U., but the average American gets only nine I.U.

• Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical School, says, “Some 90 percent of the population consumes diets deficient in zinc.”

• A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that a typical diet provides less than two-thirds the RDA for magnesium.

Remember, the RDA is for survival, not optimal health. Athletes need even more.

—Becky Holman

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