Daze of My Life: Vitamin Efficiency
Daze of My Life
Partially due to doctor's orders, partially due to advancing age and partially due to friends', relatives' and educated opinions I've heard on radio and seen on television, I have begun, over the last year, to gradually supplement my vitamin- and nutrient-challenged diet with an assortment of pills, capsules, gel tabs, liquid gels and soft gels to provide healthy sustenance that so far has escaped me. Since I cannot beat them on my own, I have decided to join them. If I've learned anything in life, it is that!
Surely exercise would help, as would dropping another 20 pounds (only 20?). Completely changing my eating habits, and I mean, 180 degrees, likely would contribute as well to a healthier and more fit me. But it's rather difficult to turn an ocean liner around after it's headed out to sea, and so far as I can see, the horizon is in my rear view window.
However, I imagine a few unexpected and discouraging results in my next quarterly blood test would most assuredly get the captain of my ship to turn tail and return to port. And even though my current and birth-to-date eating habits would seem to indicate that I don't yet know port from starboard, if I was unfortunate enough to receive "the talk" from my primary care physician and/or his nutritionist, I'm sure my interest and predilection to focus on the inside aisles at the supermarket (pre-packaged, bottled, canned; generally speaking, manufactured foods) would change rather quickly to a more concerted re-focus on the outside aisles at the supermarket (fresh and prepared foods, produce, dairy, meat, poultry, fish, etc.).
In lieu thereof, I have been pill-popping in one form or another going on 18 months. And for all I know, and for all my lab results seem to indicate, there may actually have been some benefit to the 10 to 12 pills a day regimen that I've maintained and even added to recently: multivitamin, a few prescriptions, baby aspirin, fish oil, Resveratrol of late, and possibly COQ-10 in the future, all in an attempt to stem the biochemical tide and imbalance caused no doubt by the life, liberty and happiness that I pursue.
And even though I've never characterized these pursuits as any kind of declaration of my independence, in effect, they were, and continue to be so. Now whether this pursuit has caused irreparable harm or in fact created an internal environment in which these manufactured and presumably concentrated supplements have no counter-balancing effect, I certainly don't know. Nor do I imagine that even the health care professionals who speak so knowledgeably and eloquent on the subject know exactly how the human body will ultimately respond for sure. One thing I know for sure, however, I'm not getting any younger. Nor am I, unfortunately, able to go back in time and start all over. Therefore, I have to make the best of the hand - and the health - that I've been given. From my perspective, it's certainly nothing to complain about, it's just a dozen pills a day - or more eventually, I'm sure - likely for the rest of my life. A life that, because of, in spite of, all these supplements, will last longer and maybe even be healthier than I have a right to expect.
Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.