You have a drink or three a day – should you take a multivitamin?

So you like a drink every now and then. Who doesn’t? Well….lots of people don’t, but lots of people do.


It is not a moral statement or a position of superiority to be a “drinker” or a “non-drinker”.

If you drink regularly – even only one drink a day – then you probably have a minor chronic deficiency in certain vitamins.


One of the first vitamins that will be in decline are Thiamine, Vitamin B6 and Folate.

Your body processes alcohol with the help of its stored nutrients; when your liver runs out of the nutrients it needs for this job, it pulls additional nutrients from other areas through your bloodstream. Even in regular drinkers who are not alcoholics, the increased nutritional demands of alcohol processing can lead to significant deficiencies in essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid), vitamin B12 and the mineral, calcium.


The presence of significant amounts of alcohol in your body can also directly destroy all members of the B vitamin family. In addition to B9 and B12, this family includes B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B6 (pyridoxine). At the same time, the relatively high calorie content in alcohol (which ranks second only to the calorie content of various forms of fat) can easily lead to weight gain in non-alcoholics who drink regularly.

In alcoholics, damage to the liver, pancreas and stomach degrades the body’s normal ability to process essential dietary nutrients, and therefore increases the intensity of the deficiencies sometimes found in non-alcoholic regular drinkers. Problems grow even worse for long-term alcoholics who decrease their food intake and consciously or unconsciously start using increased alcohol intake to “replace” the missing nutrients in their diet. Eventually, this pattern of usage will lead to considerable weight loss and the onset of clinical malnutrition.


Consumption of alcohol can also produce nutritional deficiencies that trigger emotional/body responses such as depression, fatigue, appetite loss and apathy or lethargy. In turn, in certain individuals, these responses can reinforce the desire to take another drink, and therefore can potentially contribute to the onset of alcoholism. Specific deficiencies related to this unfortunate cycle include deficiencies in vitamin C and the minerals calcium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, chromium, potassium and iron.


Over time, alcohol-related organ damage, poor nutrient absorption and clinical malnutrition can have serious or fatal effects on the body of an alcoholic. According to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, heart and blood vessel-related examples of these effects include high blood pressure, heartbeat irregularities, stroke and congestive heart failure. Liver-related effects include a form of liver scarring called cirrhosis and a form of liver inflammation called alcoholic hepatitis. Other potential effects include stomach ulcers, inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), impotence and other forms of sexual dysfunction, nerve damage-related disorders, and heightened risks for liver cancer and cancer of the esophagus, stomach and upper small intestine.


Regular drinkers can potentially offset at least some of alcohol’s nutritionally harmful effects by eating a balanced diet, eating three times a day on a regular schedule, and supplementing with vitamins and/or minerals in accordance with a physician’s recommendations. Nutritionally deficient alcoholics typically need ongoing treatment under the close supervision of a doctor and a licensed nutritionist or dietician.


JP Vitale is an excellent source of multivitamins and essential minerals. It has no impurities, is manufactured and sourced in North America to incredibly high standards and is tiny – so tiny that it can be taken without water if needed. This multivitamin is potent. So potent that you only need to take one a day.

Be healthy. Be moderate.

Here’s to good health!

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Expensive Pee: Do you really need to take a vitamin?

I often get asked if you NEED to take a vitamin.

You’ve seen the news article, the online blogs…..the statements from the Doctors at Johns Hopkins, WebMD, etc. that all say that you don’t need to take vitamins….and that “Vitamins are just expensive pee”.


Are they right?

Like most things – the answer is not simple. They are right AND they are wrong.

If we all grew our own fruits and vegetables in the back yard – or at least bought them from local farmers….then we’d probably be okay. And if those local farmers practiced crop rotations and allowed soil to rest and replenish on a regular basis….then for sure we’d be okay.



But the fact is for most people that live in North America – fruits and vegetables are increasingly grown in areas where crop rotation is an expensive luxury. Over time, soils get depleted of trace minerals like selenium and chromium. Adding these items through fertilizers to soils is prohibitively expensive for farmers, so it is almost never done.

Tomatoes, for example, more often than not, and in the winter months; taste like cardboard and not very “tomatoey”. Same goes for strawberries – and don’t even get me started on grapes. These items are often picked while still green (makes them more easily survive long journeys to far away markets). When they arrive in your home town, these types of items are fed into big rooms that are then filled with Ethylene gas.

Ethylene gas is a special “plant hormone” that causes produce like tomatoes to artificially turn red. It is not a natural ripening process, and the nice, red-ripe woody-tasting tomato that you are about to eat is severely lacking in trace minerals and vitamins.ethylene

Apply this realization to most of the fruits and vegetables that you eat – and you can easily develop a vitamin and trace mineral deficiency by having a “normal healthy diet”.


Ever wonder why there are so many people with diabetes or thyroid deficiencies?  The latter is strongly related to a selenium deficiency.  The former is often related to chromium deficiency.  Is supplementation the “cure” for these conditions?  No.  But it can help PREVENT the conditions.


JP Vitale has all of the Vitamins and Trace Minerals that you may be missing from your diet. The capsule is tiny and easy to swallow. It has no “non-medicinal ingredients” and no fillers. It is made with high quality ingredients that are sourced from the USA and Canada. The capsule can easily be opened and sprinkled into a smoothy or a spoon of ice cream.

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Getting good marks in school – and the dreaded Diploma Exams

School is getting increasingly stressful for kids. More than ever, they are competing to get “good marks” in order to be able to get to University, Professional School and even Trade School.

Back when I was in grade 12, one only needed about 65% to get into University. At University, we were then subjected to “weeder courses” in the first year that were designed to fail you out. The experience was generally miserable and always stressful.

The combination of living away from home for the first time while balancing financial, work and educational stress was too much for about 50% of University Students who ended up leaving of getting “weeded out”.

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Alcoholic Mom

On teenaged drinking and alcohol abuse

There is one on every block.

Teenaged drinking

We all know who they are – the parents that want the kids to “drink somewhere safe because they are going to do it anyways”…..the parents that want to be “the cool parents”…..the ones who “have all the parties”……the ones who get the kids the booze “because they are going to get it anyways”….the ones who think that letting kids drink wins “the popularity contest”…..and the parents who want to live vicariously through their kids.

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Balanced Diet

Should I Take a Vitamin? Which Vitamin is the best?

This was an interesting question that patients of mine ask me regularly.  Should you take Vitamins or not?  Many would argue that Vitamins are not needed if you have a balanced diet.  I agree. 
The problem is that most “balanced diets” are not nearly as balanced as you would think.  Eating your fresh fruits and vegetables daily may still leave you deficient in key trace elements like Selenium and Chromium.


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