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"We Consume Too Few Minerals and Vitamins"

Professor Dag Viljen Poleszynski, Codex Alimentarius observer for Norway – At the "Symposium – Health for the 21st Century" on the eve of the Codex Alimentarius meeting on Sunday 18th June 2000 in the Estrel Hotel, Berlin

Prof. Dag Viljen Poleszynski

In my discussions with Norwegian officials I continually hear that having a good diet is enough. The Norwegian diet contains sufficient vitamins and minerals etc. However, that is not the case. Probably it is also not true of the German diet either, although you do get fantastic Sauerbrot here. And I find the argumentation too simple-minded. These officials should be challenged a little.

The argument goes something like this: people have evolved over the past few million years from Australopithecus via other types to the Neanderthal Men who were discovered here in Germany; then later on Homo erectus became Homo sapiens perhaps a few hundred thousand years ago.

Throughout that time our genes have been linked to our diet. Accordingly we have evolved in a close relationship with our environment. Homo neandertalensis, for example, was a very efficient hunter. We now know that his diet was roughly the same as a wolf’s or lion’s. Earlier they did not believe that he was very able, but in fact he was intelligent, he was muscular, and he ate large quantities of raw animal flesh: a raw diet, in fact.

Later on things changed somewhat. 10,000 years ago we began to farm the land. However, we were not genetically adapted for it, and as a result we became shorter. You may be aware that at the time of the American Civil War of 1861-1865, the average soldier was 1.65 m tall (5’ 5”) Today Americans, and also Norwegians, average 1.80 m (5’ 11”). The reason for this is that we now eat more meat, more protein. However, at the same time a lot of people eat too much, too many carbohydrates: white flour, sugar and additives. And of course that leads to illness.

What has happened over the past 10,000 years? We have polluted the environment while at the same time we have been consuming less of certain foodstuffs. I refer here to findings from American research (Eton & Conner) over the past 15 years analysing various animals and plants ... [some text is missing here?] ... conclusion that we should consume 60 to 70% carbohydrates, 10 to 15% proteins and no more than 20, 25, 30% fats.

That might not be such a bad recommendation, but as we know, the proportions of proteins and carbohydrates in the Stone Age were completely different. There are now different calculations which show that the diet consisted of more proteins and less carbohydrates.

For years there has been veritable hysteria on the subject of cholesterol. In Norway the recommended intake is less than 300 mg cholesterol per day. In the Stone Age, however, they consumed around 500 mg without getting heart attacks.

There have been analyses of vitamin and mineral intakes comparing the Stone Age with modern times:

In the Stone Age the intakes of riboflavin, preventive vitamins, vitamin C, beta carotene etc., were very much higher than today’s recommended daily allowances (RDAs). The calculations indicate around 600 mg. Today’s RDA has now risen to 75 mg. The consumption of minerals has also changed significantly. Take sodium, for instance. In the Stone Age salt was never used in cooking, but today fairly large amounts are consumed. At the same time we consume about a third less potassium, so that the ratio of potassium to sodium has shifted quite dramatically.

Thus it can be determined that today we consume less minerals, vitamins and other nutrients while also being exposed to greater contamination. This means our bodies are subjected to greater strain. And we have to close this gap by taking vitamin and mineral supplements.

Vitamins and health: a variety of studies have shown how to determine optimum intakes for ideal enzyme functioning. If we take more than the RDA then the bodily enzymes function optimally and many diseases are eliminated.

The Norwegian authorities claim and, as you have heard, so do many others besides, that the gap between optimum and toxic levels is very narrow. But that is not the case. In fact the gap is very wide. Only vitamins A and D can be hazardous – so you should avoid eating polar bear’s livers. Vitamin E, for example, is not toxic. There are now good quality long-term studies involving 800 units per day, and they have not revealed any side effects.

I know of an American who took around 30,000 units for several months and suffered no side effects. And of course studies have also shown that vitamins B and C are not harmful. There may be no point in exceeding these optimum limits, but under certain therapeutic circumstances it could perhaps be worthwhile in order to achieve fast results, thereafter reducing the dose a little.

The conclusion is clear. Given that we are genetically adapted to large quantities of vitamins, minerals and so on, and that the environment has become so polluted, we must simply take preventive dietary supplements until the environment recovers and agriculture has been reformed so that it meets its needs in the way it used to.



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