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Essential Vitamins In The Diet

Are you getting enough essential nutrients in your diet? 

by:  Greg PryorGreg Pryor

During my 16-year career as a professional baseball, a physically challenging job, it was very important to get enough of the essential nutrients that my body needed to repair itself for the next game. At that time in my life, unfortunately, I was not aware that there were, at least, 45 essential nutrients that I needed. Therefore, I had no idea if I was getting enough of the 45 in my diet. It wasn’t because I wasn’t trying. During my 6 years in the minors, I would always locate the best buffets so that I could eat as much as possible for the least amount of money. I loaded up on vegetables at the salad bar and also ate beef, fish, and/or chicken for protein. Since I was always told that “if you eat right you don’t need to take dietary supplements,” I never thought about taking any. I was like 50% of all people who do not take any supplements. I have heard the following excuses for not even using a multiple vitamin/multiple mineral product (MULTI):

  •  “They cost too much” Truth is that you can get up to 10X more essential nutrients from a high quality MULTI capsule at a cost of $0.50/cap than you can get from spending $5-$10 for fast food, etc.
  •  “I eat right, I don’t need ‘em” Truth is that a normal diet is deficient on many essential nutrients.
  •  “Aw, they go right through you and you just get expensive urine” Truth is that a high-quality MULTI in a capsule (not tablet) form enables the body to convert a high percentage of essential nutrients to a form that helps many parts of your body.
  •  “I feel great, why should I take a MULTI?” Truth is that even though you can’t “feel” some nutrients when you take them, many parts of your body, your brain, bones, and organs are not getting what they need.
  •  “I only use supplements when I feel a cold coming on” Truth is that prevention is one answer to the health care crisis. I do not get debilitating flu, take no prescription drugs, and have not used antibiotics or prescription drugs in over over 20 years. I choose to not get a flu shot.


In 1991, at age 42, I was fortunate enough to meet Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw. Durk & Sandy are two very intelligent nutritional research scientists and coauthors of a best-selling book on the value of using certain “nutrients” to slow up the aging process. Durk and Sandy wrote their NY Times best-seller, Life Extension, A Practical Scientific Approach, specifically for doctors. Durk & Sandy wanted to provide a reference manual to doctors so that they could understand how certain nutrients helped the body. Durk & Sandy created Designer Food formulas for their own personal use. I found their formulas, began using them, and I have been using and selling them ever since (see all of my Life Priority products at lifepriority.com.) Life Priority offers a high-potency, high quality MULTI called one per Meal Lifeguard. It is a Designer Food formula of Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw. The One per Meal (designed to use one capsule after meals 3 times/day) contains 25 nutrients, many of which are essential, and which include all of the B vitamins. I use the Lifeguard because my “modern” diet is deficient in many of the essential nutrients.

 Using simple logic, since most people are not getting enough “essential nutrients” in their food, the use of a quality MULTI after meals should be part of their daily regimen. Unfortunately, finding a high quality MULTI is not that easy since there are not many good choices in the health food stores or at drug stores. I hope that your choice of a MULTI is in the right form. It should be a capsule and not a tablet. It should contain adequate amount of nutrients meaning more than 100% of suggested RDA’s. You should use your MULTI more than one time a day and I suggest using supplements with each meal/3 times a day.

 An essential nutrient is a nutrient for normal body functioning that either cannot be synthesized by the body at all, or cannot be synthesized in amounts adequate for good health (e.g. niacin, choline) and thus must be obtained from a dietary source. The categories of essential nutrients include vitamins, dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. To function, the human body must have certain nutrients. The nutrients known to be essential for human beings are proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, and water. I am offering details on vitamins on the sidebar in the next column. Please review the other areas mentioned above on your own for specific details. Good luck to you in your quest to live a healthier lifestyle.

The discovery of the importance of vitamins began early in the 20th century. It is likely that some still are undiscovered. Eating a wide variety of foods ensures getting enough vitamins whether or not they are identified. All living things need vitamins for growth and health. The body either cannot manufacture them at all, or cannot normally manufacture them in sufficient amounts, and so we must absorb them from food. Each vitamin has specific roles to play. Many reactions in the body require several vitamins, and the lack or excess of any one can interfere with the function of another.

 Fat-soluble vitamins: Four vitamins - A, D, E, and K - are known as the fat-soluble vitamins. They are digested and absorbed with the help of fats that are in the diet.

 Vitamin A is needed for strong bones, good vision, and healthy skin. It is found both in dark green and yellow fruits and vegetables.

 Vitamin D is essential for children because it helps calcium and phosphorus to form straight, strong bones and teeth. With direct sunlight on the skin, the body can manufacture its own vitamin D. Infants and young children often need a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is added routinely to most milk during processing.

 Vitamin E helps to protect vitamin A and red blood cells. It is found in a wide variety of foods, and almost everyone gets enough.

 Vitamin K is one vitamin that is made within the human body--by bacteria that live in the intestinal tract. Small amounts are found as well in the green leaves of spinach, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower and also in pork liver.

 Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body for long periods. They are stored mostly in the fatty tissue and in the liver.

 Water-soluble vitamins:

The vitamin B group of several vitamins helps to maintain healthy skin and a well-functioning nervous system. B vitamins also help to convert carbohydrates into energy. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is needed for building the connective tissue that holds body cells together. Vitamin C is essential for healthy teeth, gums, and blood vessels. It also helps the body to absorb iron. These water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body for long. Good sources should be eaten every day.


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