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Nutrition and the role of nutritional supplements

Although a balanced diet should cater for the average vitamin and mineral requirements, some people need to supplement their diets. People who are active and exercise; those who are under great stress, on restricted diets, or mentally or physically ill; women who take oral contraceptives; those on medication; those who are recovering from surgery and injury; smokers and those who consume alcoholic beverages all need higher than normal amounts of micronutrients. A diet that lacks essential nutrients over a long period of time leads to a greater risk of degenerative disease.

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The role of micronutrients:

  • Micronutrients contribute to good health by regulating the metabolism and assisting the biochemical processes that release energy from digested food. There is a cooperative action between certain vitamins and minerals, which work as catalysts, promoting the absorption and assimilation of other vitamins and minerals. Correcting a deficiency in one vitamin or mineral requires the addition of others, not simply replacement of one in which you are deficient.

The role of antioxidants:

  • Antioxidants can neutralize the cell-damaging effects of free radicals. Furthermore, people who eat fruits and vegetables (good sources of antioxidants), have a lower risk of heart disease and some neurological diseases, antioxidants might also help to protect the body against other diseases such as suppressed immunity due to poor nutrition. Some experts have suggested that in order for antioxidants to be effective and beneficial, a person must consume them on a regular basis over a period of time. In order to protect a body against oxidative stress, several antioxidant defence mechanisms depend on minerals for proper functioning. The major enzymatic antioxidant defence systems in the body are superoxide dismutase, which requires copper, zinc and magnesium; glutathione peroxidise is another enzymatic antioxidant defence system requiring selenium, with catalase which requires iron.

Nutritional supplements and recovery

The loss of nutrients during the course of the illness can be restored by the use of supplements during the period of recovery and convalescence – an intense or long bout of illness can quickly deplete all essential nutrients in the body of the patient. Nutritional supplements can rapidly speed up the rate of recovery, though they cannot be used as a replacement for the inclusion of wholesome foods, or in lieu of adequate rest.

Supplementation with a good multivitamin/mineral will ensure that all vitamins and minerals required by the body are present in adequate amounts during the convalescence process. In addition to this multivitamin/mineral, the diet of the patient must also include additional amounts of vitamin C and the essential mineral zinc for additional support during the recovery process.

For many people living in this day and age, a healthy balanced diet seems to be an unattainable goal. Modern day pressure, such as a lack of time for proper meal planning and preparation, result in a reliance on unhealthy fast foods for quick energy. The consequences are a steady accumulation of unwanted body fat, sub-optimal health and an increased risk for potentially life threatening diseases such as diabetes in both children and adults. Also insulin fluctuations caused by sugar laden foods such as chocolates, sweets, crisps, muffins, and cool drinks result in poor performance, lethargy, lack of concentration and a renewed craving for sugary food. Nutritional supplements provide an invaluable solution to a modern day problem.

The new era of advanced nutritional supplement powders contain bio-available proteins for ease of digestion, absorption and muscle support, complex carbohydrates providing stabilised blood sugar levels and thus sustained energy, and a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals for enhanced health and vitality.

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Lifegain* is a high quality nutritional supplement that has been specifically designed to assist in building and regaining physical strength.

The soy-based formulation provides individuals with additional proteins, essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. The unique formulation may support optimal absorption of its protein content, that can offer support and lower the risk of chronic conditions**

Lifegain is:

  • Very high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • High in protein
  • High in energy
  • High in zinc
  • High in iron
  • A source of fibre

X     Sugar, cholesterol, trans-fatty acids and lactose free

Lifegain is available in vanilla, strawberry and cappuccino flavours.

*Lifegain is a nutritional supplememt

**Consult a healthcare practisioner for a diagnosis

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For further information visit our website: www.nativa.co.za

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LIFEGAIN Junior is a high quality nutritional supplement with a unique soy-based formulation. This formulation offers nutritional support that can provide children from the age of 3 years with additional proteins: essential amino acids; fatty acids; vitamins and minerals.

Optimal nutrition can lower risk of developing illnesses. Lifegain Junior is gentle on the system making it ideal to take if children are in a weakened physical state or unable to eat.

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REFERENCES – Further Reading

  1. 2008. World Health Organization, World Health Statistics, Geneva.
  2. 2009. Preventing chronic disease: a vital investment, Geneva
  3. Gabriballa S, et al. 2006. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of nutritional supplementation during acute illness. The American Journal of Medicine 119: 693-699.
  4. Rondaneli M, et al. 2011. Effect of essential amino acid supplementation of quality of life, amino acid profile and strength in institutionalized elderly patients. Clinical Nutrition 30: 571-577.
  5. Allan LH, et al. 2009. Provision of multiple rather than two or fewer micronutrients more effectively improves growth and other outcomes in micronutrient deficient children and adults. Journal of Nutrition 55: 237-242.
  6. Gilbert J-A, et al. 2011. Effect of proteins from different sources on body composition. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2010.008
  7. Turcotte MS. 2006. Nutrition advice for the elderly. The diet channel, [accessed on 20 of April, 2010]. http://www.thedietchannel.com/Diet-and-Seniors-Nutrition-Advice-For-The-Elderly.htm
  8. Van Zyl R. 2005. Nutritional supplements for the elderly. SA Pharmaceutical Journal September: 18-21
  9. Wiendow RA. 2009. Biological and physiological ageing. Research starters 1-5.
  10. Heilbronn LK, et al. 2006. Effects of 6-month calorie restriction on biomarkers of longevity, metabolic adaption, and oxidative stress in overweight individuals. American Medical Association 295 (13): 1539-1547.
  11. Carter CS, et al. 2007. Molecular mechanisms of life and health-span extension: Role of calorie restriction and exercise intervention. Nutr. Metab 32: 954-966.
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