Better Living Through Chemistry?

Do you remember when only very acutely sick people took pills? Isn’t it amazing how practically everyone takes pills of some kind? Whether drugs or supplements it is really kind of bizarre how this has become a part of everyday life for most people. It has not always been so. One has to wonder how and why it has all come about and whether it is really necessary

Most people believe that our food supply has been compromised, due to poor soil management and profit driven corporate adulteration of food. However we consumers should also admit that we are just as much to blame. By choosing convenience and economy over food quality we have shot ourselves in the foot, so to speak. Thus, the supplement industry was borne, and most of what we save in buying cheap food products is instead spent on buying vitamin pills to try and counteract the effects of malnutrition.

Vitamin companies are also not all that they purport to be. June’s Readers Digest reported that the New York State Attorney General’s office accused Walmart, Walgreen’s, Target and GNC of selling fraudulent dietary supplements. They found that many pills did not even contain the ingredients listed on the label. For example a supplement marketed as Ginkgo Biloba, contained only asparagus, rice and spruce.


I think that we are beginning to realize that the promise of “Better Living Through Chemistry” whether drugs or supplements, was a house of cards. Basing our health on a system that relies on isolated, fractionated parts is counter to the way nature really works. In nature, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. For example, if you take apart a watch, none of the pieces will tell time. The parts must work together to function as a whole mechanism and all of the parts must be there and functioning in order for the watch to work. All this to say that the way to better health, vitality and longevity is with whole foods as nature intended. Please go through your cabinet and check the labels on your pill bottles. Keep the ones that read as food and be very cautious about anything else, especially in the long term.

In 1921, Dr. Royal Lee, a dentist and nutritionist created the first concentrated multiple vitamin/mineral supplement in order to help his ailing mother. He did it by cold drying real raw home grown plants like carrots and beets, buckwheat and alfalfa… and crushing them into a pill. Interestingly, since then, there has not been any “new” nutrient discovered that is not already found in this very wisely prepared multiple supplement (available under the Standard Process brand).

Unfortunately, Dr. Lee died a disappointed man, persecuted for his opinions which were outside of medical consensus at the time. Here is one of my favorite quotes of his:

“That is one of the biggest mistakes that medical science has ever made: to provide drugs to people who are starving. A starving man doesn’t need drugs. He needs food. And if he gets food he recovers. If he gets drugs, he doesn’t.”

Of course, I see in my nutrition practice, that high quality, whole food supplements are indeed very helpful but only when specifically targeted for the individual and their therapeutic need at the exact time and exact dose they need it. A good individually designed clinical supplement program is like a carpenter’s tool box. The supplements provide the raw materials and tools for the body to accomplish the rebuilding and regenerating. When this is accomplished, you should no longer need those therapeutic supplements. Wouldn’t life be a lot more fun with fewer pills?



signature_w_heartCathy Lidster, Health Educator, Energy Nutritionist/Allergist offers free nutrition classes monthly (see important dates). She can be reached at Centennial Building Wellness Centre, 250-819-9041,, or

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