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Don’t Die from a Deficiency

An abundance of published scientific research reveals that many common problems afflicting the aged are attributable to a lack of specific nutrients in the diet. Considering that low-cost supplements are available to guard against these deficiency syndromes, it amounts to personal negligence if one does not at least take their basic daily vitamins and minerals.

Few doctors are aware of how shockingly deficient Americans are in essential nutrients. We are not talking about the benefits of taking higher-potency vitamin supplements right now. Instead, we are down to the fundamental fact that the vast majority of Americans fail to obtain even the tiny amount of nutrients in their diets that the medical establishment itself says are needed.

For example, over the past several years scientists have validated the critical role vitamin D plays in regulating a host of bodily functions. These findings link insufficient blood levels of vitamin D to common age-related problems. Startling evidence of this widespread vitamin D insufficiency has led to recommendations for Americans to increase their vitamin D intake to 5,000 IU per day and higher. While most multivitamin supplements contain only 400-600 IU of vitamin D, Life Extension has upped that to 2,000 IU in both the Life Extension Mix™ and Two-Per-Day formulas. Most Life Extension members also take a 5,000 IU softgel of vitamin D3 each day to achieve optimal blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which are between 50-80 ng/mL.

A huge study was published in early 2013 in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It looked at blood levels of vitamin D (measured as 25-hydroxyvitamin D) in 9,949 people aged 50-74 for a median of 9.5 years. Compared to those with sufficient vitamin D levels, those who were deficient had a 71% higher rate of dying from any cause. Being vitamin D deficient was associated with a 42% greater risk of dying of cancer, 39% greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and a 250% greater risk of dying from respiratory disease. This study documented the dangers of inadequate vitamin D intake, yet the vast majority of people fail to maintain optimal vitamin D blood levels, something that can be easily corrected with low-cost supplements.

Epidemic Deficiency of Vitamin E

Many Americans supplement with vitamin E to obtain antioxidant benefits from this particular nutrient. The federal government, however, says that only 15 mg of vitamin E (22.5 IU) (in the form of d-alpha tocopherol) are needed. The Journal of The American Dietetic Association says that 93% of American men and 96% of American women do not even consume the federal government’s recommended 15 mg (22.5 IU) of vitamin E in their diets!1 This means that virtually all Americans who fail to supplement are at serious risk of suffering a vitamin E deficiency.

How Dangerous Is It To Be Deficient In Vitamin E?

In November of 2006, the largest study in medical history was published using blood levels of vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) as the marker of vitamin E status. The purpose of this study was to correlate baseline vitamin E levels with specific causes of death and overall mortality with a follow up over a19-year period. There were 29,092 subjects initially enrolled and 13,380 deaths available for analysis.2 The study results showed a significant reduction in overall mortality in the quintiles of highest blood levels of vitamin E compared to the lowest quintile.

Based on these statistics, an editorial published in this same journal asked why doctors ever questioned the importance of vitamin E supplements.3 The editorial went on to emphasize the importance of obtaining the amount of vitamin E necessary. When analyzing fine details of this largest human study on vitamin E, the editors stated that the amount of this nutrient needed to achieve the optimal results could be achieved “ only with supplements.”

Vitamin E Deficiency Accelerates Age-Related Decline

In the January 2008 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the findings from a study that measured vitamin E levels in people 65 years and older was published. The results showed that those with the lowest blood levels of vitamin E were 60% more likely to suffer physical decline over the three-year follow-up period.4

The study’s authors concluded: “These results provide empirical evidence that a low serum concentration of vitamin E is associated with subsequent decline in physical function among community-living older adults.”

What continues to be overlooked by doctors who make recommendations to the public is the critical need for those who supplement with the alpha tocopherol form of vitamin E to also take the gamma tocopherol form. Remarkable benefits have been observed with higher levels of alpha and gamma tocopherol in the body.

Vitamin E Is Only One of Many Deficient Nutrients

Sadly, most diets fail to provide even the minimum amounts of nutrients even according to the low government recommended daily intakes. As a result, Americans suffer egregious deficits of vital nutrients such as magnesium, potassium,5 vitamin B6, vitamin B56 and vitamin D.7

Fortunately, it is easy to obtain potent doses of these basic nutrients in multi-nutrient formulas.

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