Health & Wellness


“90% of women and 71% of men get less than the RDA for vitamin B6.” Dietary vitamin B-6 intake and food sources in the US population: NHANES II, 1976-1980. Kant AK, et al. 1990
Vitamin C?
“Men with the lowest amount of vitamin C have a 62% increased risk of cancer and a 57% increased risk of dying from any cause.“ Vitamin C status and mortality in US adults. Loria CM, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 72:139-45, 2000.
Vitamin D?
“Supplemental vitamin D reduces the risk of colon cancer by half compared to dietary vitamin D which reduces it 12%.” Calcium, vitamin D, and dairy foods and the occurrence of colon cancer in men. Kearney J, et al. Am J Epidemiol 143:907-17, 1996.

Celiac Sprue
Food Pyramid
Foods that Fight
















Do Our Vegetables Really Contain Vitamins and Minerals?

We all grew up being told by our mother and the FDA to eat lots of vegetables. We need 3-5 servings each day in order to stay healthy. Even to this day the FDA supports the idea of a food pyramid. Some people think monied interests have distorted the food pyramid, but vegetables are still a valuable item on the pyramid.

But do today's factory farm raised vegetables actually contain the vitamins and minerals we think they do?

A nutritionist named Alex Jack was doing some reading and ordered a copy of the latest US Department of Agriculture food tables. He happened to have a 1975 version of the same report and out of curiosity he compared the published nutrient values in the tables. Jack was astonished to find a lot of differences in the nutritional value of the different vegetables listed. The calcium in broccoli had dropped more than 50%. Watercress was down 88% in its iron content. The vitamin C levels in cauliflower dropped 40% since 1975 levels. Corn lost more than 78% of its calcium..

In 2006 Jack went to the FDA looking for an explanation. Two years later he is still waiting for a response. Organic Gardening Magazine did an open article written to Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture about the topic. They haven't gotten a response either.

Life Extension Magazine decided to do some investigations themselves. They acquired a 1963 version of the USDA food tables. Dozens of vegetables and fruits were compared. The nutrient values of many vegetables have dropped dramatically. The vitamin C in sweet peppers was listed as 128 mg in 1963. The current USDA book lists the C level at 89 mg. The vitamin A in apples dropped from 90 mg in 1963 to 53 mg in 2007.

Not all vegetables were lower. Carrots showed a gain in vitamin A. Although the National Academy of Sciences now say it takes 2X as many carrots are originally thought to get the minimum daily requirement.

Broccoli not only lost 50% of its calcium, the vitamin A content also dropped 50%. Collard Greens have lost almost 50% of its vitamin A, from 6500 IUs to 3800 IUs. The potassium content fell from 400 mg to 170 mg. Magnesium is down from 57 mg to 9 mg. Half the vitamin C in cauliflower is now gone as well as the thiamin and riboflavin. Pineapple has lost almost all the calcium in it, from 17 mg to 7 mg.

Life Extension also contacted the USDA. The response that came back from Edward Knipling, head of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, was very similar to one Organic Gardening got from a Phyliss Johnson, an USDA employee. People don't eat broccoli to get calcium and maybe the testing is different now than it was in 1963 and 1975. Or maybe people aren't eating the same parts of the plants. The USDA appeared to have more interest in making sure the produce looked good and the yields were high. That, by the way, would be taking the side of the companies producing the products rather than the citizens that are eating them.

So what does this mean? Isn't the USDA concerned that just maybe the nutrient values of our fruits and vegetables are decreasing? Is the recommended 3-5 servings of fruits and 2-4 of fruit still appropriate? By the way a serving is one cup of raw leafy vegetables or one half cup of cooked or non-leafy produce or 3/4 cup of vegetable juice. If you do a little figuring as the people at Life Extension did, that is about 9 cups of vegetables and fruits a day. So who is eating that much?

Study after study shows that hardly anyone in the US is getting those levels of fruits and vegetables. Few people actually get the RDA minimum levels of nutrients. Instead the American diet if full of bad things, processed foods and fast food. According to one study, less than one third of Americans get the minimum five servings for fruits and vegetables. Only about 10% of Americans are eating healthy groceries. And if the rest of the 90% accidentally eat a vegetable it sure looks like they don't contain the nutrients they use to.

Bottom line is if you want to fight for your health you can't do it with food alone. You need a high quality supplement to fill in what you aren't getting in your diet.

bulletLife Extension Magazine - Vegetables Without Vitamins (Primary Source for this article)
bullet Organic Gardening’s letter to Dan Glickman, and the response of Phyllis E. Johnson of the USDA - see
bullet Composition of Foods (Raw, Processed, Prepared): Agriculture Handbook No. 8. USDA Agricultural Research Service. 1963.



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© 2007 - All Rights Reserved  Last updated on Monday, November 19, 2007