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Nature is Your Best Defense

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The 2016 summer Olympics gave witness to the amazing human body.  These are the world’s best athletes.  Proof that repetition and dedication enhance performance, agility, and strength.  Our bodies get progressively better with use.  After Simone Biles won her fifth Olympic gold medal she was asked how she would celebrate.  Her response, “I think I’ll order a pizza”.  For these athletes, pizza is a treat, not a staple.  Athletes do not feed their body with commercialized and processed food.  They rely on carefully prepared diets rich with the nutrients and proteins bodies need to perform at this level.  Although most of us do not have the time (or ambition) to achieve these physical accomplishments, we can adjust our eating and exercise patterns to help our body be healthy again.

For the past two decades, our bodies have become exposed to an increasingly unhealthy diet.  Heavily processed, preserved and commercialized food is low in nutrient value and high in calories.  Our calorie dense diets are adding unnecessary weight, deteriorating our health and stressing our immune system.  This ominous trend is likely causing increasing cancer rates in those under the age of 40.  Government data reveals increasing rates of colon, kidney, and other cancers of the digestive system in young people.  I fear our children’s poor quality diet may damage their body’s ability to stay healthy.  Observational data from Israel documents increased cardiovascular death for those with unhealthy weight starting at age seventeen. Additional evidence suggests that the excess deaths related to obesity have surpassed those related to tobacco.

In addition to our poor quality dietary habits, physical activity has become less common.  The striking increase in the average American weight roughly coincides with the development of the Internet.  No longer do we need physical activity and sport to socialize; these interactions now take place electronically with very little physical activity. In addition to quality food, routine exercise is needed to keep us healthy.  However, losing weight by exercise alone is difficult. 

Try this simple experiment.  Using a timer, measure how quickly you can consume a soda or candy bar (or whatever is your favorite indulgence . . . mine being salted caramel gelato). Then use the treadmill to “burn” those calories. You will find that those calories are consumed in about 2 minutes but require 20 to 30 minutes to burn.  A very inefficient use of time! So the real secret to weight management is actually managing caloric intake.  Exercise is critical to keep our bodies functioning well and to improve mood, but in my opinion, it may not be an effective weight loss technique for busy families.

We recommend a few simple steps to improve and maintain our diet and believe it is critical to teach these concepts to our children at an early age. 

First:  Use a calorie counting app for one or two weeks to determine your average daily calorie consumption.  The ADA recommends between 2000 and 2500 calories for the average American . . . but for most of us, this is too many daily calories. If your BMI is under 22 or 23, modifications to daily intake may not be needed.  If BMI is over 23, then develop a plan to reduce daily intake. This can be as simple as dropping a beverage, using smaller portions, or reducing the idle calories in alcohol. 

Second:  Improve the quality of the food you eat.  We need to greatly increase our consumption of fruits and vegetables and avoid prepared and processed foods. I frequently tell my patients that if you’re reading a label, it is probably bad for you.  Small quantities of red, organically raised meat are fine, but most protein should come from fish, chicken, and plant-based protein such as wheat and nuts. For example, the best pattern of eating is probably the Mediterranean style. This dietary pattern is heavy in fruits and vegetables and olive oil.  Small amounts of white meat include tissue and chicken or consumed, and tree nuts are part of the diet. Observational science suggests this dietary pattern results in less coronary disease and less cancer burden. 

I frequently find myself eating out with my 3 teenagers and have intentionally developed a habit of cutting everything in half.  This is difficult for many of us since we grew up in households where we were told to “clean our plate”. This practice is no longer relevant in modern America.  When eating out, avoid the secret calories in condiments and sauces, use extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead.

Third: Avoid dieting!  The idea of a temporary change in eating pattern to achieve a goal weight never works.  Instead: eat “Right, Light, and Organic”.   Manage your daily calorie load the same way you manage your busy day.  Allow one meal a week as your “reward” for a week of carefully scrutinizing your food consumption.

Finally: Carefully select quality dietary supplements to fill the gaps in your diet.

VitaFend supplements are the ideal way to fill the gaps in your diet.  As a medical oncologist, Dr. Bryan E. Martin created VitaFend to help his patients and survivors find the best supplements to support a healthy body and mind before and after a cancer diagnosis.  Rather than rely on commercial interests to determine the latest supplement trend, we review observational data on dietary patterns and health outcomes and chose only those supplements that are incorporated into ideal diets.  VitaFend supplements are carefully selected with quality in mind.  We scrutinize the certificate of analysis for all of the products we offer and will forward this data at our customer's request.  Our supplements are manufactured in and FDA certified and inspected facility according to Good Manufacturing Practices.  These safeguards are part of VitaFend's commitment to quality supplements.  To further ensure the safety of our products, all supplements are screened for potential drug/herb interactions and when important conflicts are discovered they are displayed on the product detail page at www.vitafend.com.  Dr. Martin understands that Nature is your Best Defense and incorporating the right supplements into a healthy diet will energize your body, support ideal immune function, and improve physical and mental function.

Our Thrive gummy multivitamin was carefully crafted to match the vitamins studied in the Women's Health Study.  This tasty gummy is great for the busy mom.  VitaFend believes that mega-dosing vitamins are not supported by available science and the use of proprietary blends is an unproven practice.  Thrive MVI by VitaFend provides the daily recommended dose of essential vitamins and nothing more.  These easy to use gummies are great for home or work.

Green tea is an essential dietary component worldwide.  Observational evidence from the Orient and Indian subcontinent suggest green tea consumption is associated with superior health.  If routine consumption of green tea is not part of your daily routine we recommend VitaFend Green Tea Extract.  This is an excellent way to get the powerful antioxidant ECGC into your diet.  Our water extracted extract has 15mg of naturally occurring caffeine.

Turmeric root is an important element in the diet of many cultures.  Those who consume Turmeric in the Indian subcontinent seem to have superior health when compared to age-matched Americans.

This is likely due to their diet high in rice, vegetables, and turmeric spice.  We recommend our turmeric extract to support joint and digestive health.  This product also has immune support properties to keep active bodies healthy and is a great way to support gastrointestinal health.  We do not add Biopurine to our Turmeric extract; this common practice has not been shown to add any benefit in measurable health outcomes even though commercial supplement suppliers tout it as a benefit.


The Mediterranean style of eating likely reflects the best dietary pattern worldwide.  Diets rich in fish, tree nuts, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables are associated with superior health in terms of cancer and cardiovascular outcomes.  Extra virgin olive oil is an essential element of this diet.  Observational science suggests that the plant-based oils are a healthy and need not be avoided.  It is important to source olive oil from reputable suppliers since most of the commercial olive oil sold in the United States is inferior to that available in Europe.  For busy families, we recommend a daily dose of VitaFend Olive Leaf Extract to get the necessary amount of Oleuperin, the essential element of olive oil. VitaFend Olive Leaf Extract is completely vegetarian and gluten free.  Use Olive Leaf Extract to support immune and digestive health. 

The best way to keep yourself healthy is to eat “right, light, and organic”.  Develop a firm understanding of your daily caloric intake and modified it to keep yourself near a healthy weight.  These dietary habits must be taught to her children along with tobacco avoidance.  Remember:  Nature is Your Best Defense

To learn more, visit www.vitafend.com and be sure to “like” our Facebook page.  Also, www.consumerlab.com and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering “About Herbs” website are also excellent sources of science-based supplement information.

About author 


Bryan E. Martin MD has a busy Medical Oncology practice and gets to interact with the most amazing people. Patients that journey through a cancer diagnosis want all the help they can get. "I realize the importance of vitamins and supplements and am concerned about the poor guidance offered by standard medicine. VitaFend supplements are selected to reinforce the dietary benefits of healthy eating."

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