Bio-Chemical Individuality: towards an understanding of dietary supplements and the categories of essential nutritional needs. A health primer.                       By Jack Kettler

A myth must be put to rest, which is still very prevalent in our society. That is the myth that dietary supplements are not necessary. Why? First off, can one get all the nutrients needed simply by eating a healthy diet? How many people can eat the five servings of fruits and vegetables per day that are recommended? It is a fact that most people fail to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily. In reality, doing this is an almost impossible time-consuming task. It is therefore vital to recognize that supplementation with top quality dietary supplements may be helpful. The supplementation concept will be defended in this article, and the importance of finding the optimal food sources of essential nutrition.

Unfortunately, for too long, the conventional wisdom from so-called health experts who denied the need for nutritional supplementation is now seen to be nothing more than quackery under the veneer of respectability. Fortunately, a change was coming. The June 19, 2002 volume of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) contains the “Clinician's Corner” section that features the Scientific Review and the Clinical Applications, “Vitamins for chronic disease Prevention in Adults.”

From the publication JAMA:

“Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone...It appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements.” (1)

The JAMA article is an excellent starting point. Maybe in the future, JAMA will recommend and publish studies regarding the use of other nutritional supplements. When common sense begins to take over, and someone is sure that nutritional supplementation is necessary, questions arise like which supplements, how many, and length of time before having desired results. These questions may involve much research on the inquirer’s part before finding satisfactory answers. It is hoped that the following article will supply the reader with a strategy for an ongoing program of nutritional supplementation.

To begin with, the most critical nutrient for anyone is the one that a person is deficient. As a practical starting point to answer this question in a general way, everyone should be concerned to know if one’s body is getting the required nutrients in each class of the essential nutrient categories. The first goal should be to obtain essential nutrients in our diets. If this is not feasible regarding what supplements, how many, and how long to take a particular supplement should be asked by those seeking to remedy a health issue more challenging to answer. Why is this? Those involved in the nutrition industry are well aware of the phenomena of varying results among supplement users. Some people have seemingly miraculous results, while others have no noticeable changes. Why is this so? It is easy to share the excitement with those who have immediate results with nutritional intervention. What can we say to those who see no change after using the same regiment of nutrients?

Before we can even attempt to answer this question of varying results, a concept called “Biochemical Individuality” will help us understand why different individuals utilize nutrition more efficiently, leading to different results from nutritional consumption. Hopefully, this article will shed some light on this phenomenon of different results among individuals who are using the same supplements and providing a rational basis for continuing a program of nutritional supplementation.

As previously mentioned, some people seem to have immediate results with supplements, and others do not notice anything. It is important to note that noticing or feeling is not necessarily indicative of the effectiveness of nutrition. How many people feel or notice a change when vitamin D is absorbed into the bloodstream and feeds the cells in various places in the body? If one is getting vitamin D through the diet or supplementation and the body is utilizing it efficiently, how can one question the fact that a metabolic process is happening in the body and one may benefit even if it is not noticed outwardly?

The metabolic process may be different for different individuals. Therefore, an understanding of the concept of “biochemical individuality” will also give direction when trying to determine what amount of supplements is right for an individual. It will provide the basis for experimenting with different amounts of nutrients and not being discouraged.

The term “Biochemical Individuality” is the name of a book written by the brilliant biochemist Roger J. Williams in 1956 and republished in 1998. Dr. Williams discovered the vitamins, Pantothenic acid in 1933 and Folic acid in 1941

Dr. Williams explains the “Genetotrophic Concept,” a term, which he created, which is essential to understanding biochemical individuality:

“While the same physical mechanisms and the same metabolic processes are operating in all human bodies, the structures are sufficiently diverse and the genetically determined enzyme efficiencies vary sufficiently from individual to individual so that the sum total of all the reactions taking place in one individual's body may be very different from those taking place in the body of another individual of the same age, sex, and body size.” (2)

“Although every nutritionally important mineral, amino acid, and vitamin is needed by every individual, it follows – if biochemical individuality exists – that the needs are quantitatively distinctive for each individual.” (3)

“It may be stated as follows: Every individual organism that has a distinctive genetic background has distinctive nutritional needs which must be met for optimal wellbeing.” (4) (Emphasis mine)

In other words, each individual also has unique and distinctive nutritional needs, which means some individuals may need higher levels of nutrients than others may. Determining and meeting those needs will give the body a fighting chance to combat health issues naturally.

The concept of nutritional individuality can also be explained by showing how human physiological differences are known to be both outward and internal.

We are individuals who are unique and different from everyone else. One’s body appearance, though in many ways the same, is also quite different from others. Individuals do not all look the same. There are both outward and inward differences. The inward differences are just as striking as our outward differences. Everyone has the same vital body organs. However, all stomachs are not the same size, nor are their hearts and other internal organs. They come in all shapes and sizes.

An individual’s intestinal lining may be different or even malformed, thus hindering critical nutrients’ absorption into the bloodstream. If this is the case, the individual may need more of certain nutrients to get the necessary cellular support. In addition, as Dr. Williams has shown in his book mentioned book above, an individual’s internal composition and comprised of the different organ shapes and sizes are factors, plus an individual’s enzymic functions, excretion patterns, and endocrine activities are involved and can have a substantial impact on individual nutritional needs.

Biochemically speaking, individuals have differing nutritional needs. As a side note, when the government puts out the recommended daily nutritional allowances (RDAs), these figures for some people may have no relationship to reality. Unfortunately, as Dr. Williams has argued, there may not be such a thing as usual or average nutritional requirements.

Summarizing his laboratory experiments, Dr. Williams says:

“It is worthy of note, however, that these experiments give strong corroboration of the central idea of this chapter, namely, (1) each human individual has quantitatively a distinctive pattern of nutritional needs, (2) from individual to individual, specific needs may vary several fold, and (3) important deficiencies may exist which have not been discoverable clinically by observing acute outward symptoms.” (5) (Emphasis mine)

Therefore, to summarize Dr. William’s research, each person has unique or distinctive nutritional needs. Furthermore, not every person starts at the same place when considering cellular health. Unfortunately, for some individuals, many processes leading to bad health have begun to take a toll, and they need to nourish the body in such a way as to provide the nutrients needed for the body’s immune system repair functions. The endocrine, digestive, and elimination systems of our bodies also need to have care.

In other words, one may need more than a daily maintenance amount of nutrients. It should also be noted that the government’s RDAs should not be confused with nutritional requirements. These guidelines are helpful and a good starting place when looking into where to start when analyzing one’s nutritional picture. The RDAs criteria were developed for healthy people with no known illness or deficiency problems.

The challenge of nutritional science is to find ways to identify an individual’s unique needs. What we do know is that there are four main classes of essential nutrients. Listed below are the four main groups of nutrients with brief descriptions of their role in the body. Some familiar food sources are also listed. In addition, there are other vital nutrients such as phytohormones or plant sterols, a unique group of antioxidants, and other immune system support nutrients.

An individual will have to determine if they are deficient in any of these nutrients and then take steps to correct the problem. A task like this is not necessarily easy. With that said, this task does not have to be seen as daunting. Dr. William’s books are an excellent place to start this quest to determine unique individual nutritional needs.

A survey of the different categories of essential nutrition:

1. Monosaccharides:

What are they? Monosaccharides are natural plant sugars. Eight have been identified as essential to optimal cellular needs and are utilized by the body in the battle against health issues. Monosaccharides are the newest class of recognized essential nutrients.

Glycosylation can be described as the course of action, which involves the essential monosaccharides and is the beginning and end of cellular health without exception! In fact, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review, February 2003, “If you don't have glycosylation, you don't have life.” Glycosylation is adding a polysaccharide (chain of sugars) to a polypeptide (chain of amino acids) to make a glycoprotein. Each of the essential biologically active sugars is needed by the body to make specific glycoproteins that coat every cell surface in our body, enabling the immune system to function by creating the cellular antenna on each cell surface. These cell surface antennas allow the cells to communicate with each other using a unique cellular alphabet.

Because of the importance of the glycosylation process and the role monosaccharides play in this process, many doctors, health practitioners, and nutritionists are now calling monosaccharide technology the “operating system” of the human body. This is why this category is listed first.

The Eight Monosaccharides:

  • Glucose provides a potent fast-energy source, enhances memory and stimulates calcium absorption, and can be found in many fruits and vegetables, sorghum, dates, raisins, and pineapples.
  • Galactose enhances wound healing, increases calcium absorption, and triggers long-term memory formation, and is found in milk.
  • Mannose is vital to proper cellular function and positively affects the body's immune response to pathogens. Mannose may also have anti-inflammatory and blood-sugar-lowering capabilities and can be found in seeds, plant saps, cacti, and aloe.
  • Fucose plays a vital role in developing a healthy immune response in infants and can be found in flaxseed, gum, algae, and certain seaweeds.
  • Xylose like other essential saccharides, xylose helps fight microbial invaders such as fungus and bacteria and may support weak immune systems. It has been featured in allergy nasal spray products due to its ability to discourage allergens’ binding to mucous membranes and can be found in husks of grains, such as wheat, rye oat, and barley.
  • N-acetylglucosamine can be very helpful for the proper maintenance of joints and can reverse or prevent cartilage and joint damage and inflammation and is found in some seeds and plant saps.
  • N-acetylgalactosamine plays a vital role in promoting proper function of and communication between cells. There is evidence that it can help improve the immune system and is found in milk.
  • N-acetylneuraminic acid can significantly influence a newborn’s immune and nervous systems and is found in milk.

These eight monosaccharides have been identified in “Harper’s Biochemistry,” chapter 56, of the 1996 and following editions. Only two, glucose and galactose, are common in the modern diet.

A combination of green harvesting, processing, over-cooking of foods, and different eating habits account for the loss of these vital nutrients from the modern diet. If lacking any of these necessary sugars, it is prudent to supplement the missing ones. There is an ongoing scholarly debate regarding a healthy individual’s body and its ability to manufacture the missing ones from the two still common in our diets.

In regards to glycosylation, it should be noted that some cells are replaced in the body daily. Other cells are replaced weekly, monthly, and in the case of bone cells, may take a year or more to be replaced with new ones. The glycosylation process is ongoing, does not happen overnight, and has the utmost bearing on the question of how long someone should supplement.

It should be noted that it is impossible to know which cells will receive the necessary requirement of monosaccharides or how many cells will get the monosaccharides they need. The cells that die are being replaced by cells, which also need to be glycosylated, and one may or may not have sufficient monosaccharides available at that moment to get that job done.

Many glycoproteins have a short life of 10 days or less. Keeping the body supplied with an adequate amount of monosaccharides seems prudent to be used for the new glycoprotein synthesis process. It is also important to note that monosaccharide absorption, which is the beginning of the glycosylation process, depends on the necessary enzyme, vitamin, and mineral co-factors. Having the necessary co-factors is of enormous importance. If one does not have the necessary co-factors, the vital nutrients will simply pass through the body and be eliminated in the waste.

2. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs):

In biochemistry, a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid or organic acid with a long aliphatic tail, either saturated or unsaturated. Most of the natural fatty acids have an even number of carbon atoms because they are made up of acetate, which has two carbon atoms.

  • Omega-3 or Alpha-Linolenic Acid (LNA) is an essential fatty acid (EFA), which means that it is essential to human health and cannot be manufactured by the body. For this reason, Omega 3 fatty acids must be obtained from food. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in fish and certain plant oils.
  • Omega 6 or Linoleic Acid (LA) is an EFA, cannot be made by humans, and is considered essential in the diet. Omega 6 is found in cereals, eggs, poultry, oils, whole-grain bread.
  • Omega-9 or Oleic Acid is essential but technically not an EFA because the human body can manufacture a limited amount, provided the essential LNA and LA EFAs are present. Oleic acid lowers heart attack risk and arteriosclerosis and aids in the prevention of numerous health issues. It is found in olive oil (virgin cold-pressed), olives, avocados, almonds, peanuts, sesame oil, pecans, pistachio nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts.

It is vital to maintain a balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 in the diet as these two fatty acids work together to promote health. It should be noted that usually, there is far more Omega 6 in the modern diet.

3. Amino Acids:

Eight are essential of 22 known amino acids. Amino acids have been called the “building blocks” of the body. They help in building cells and repairing tissue. In addition, they form antibodies to combat invading bacteria and viruses. They carry oxygen throughout the body and participate in muscle activity.

The eight essential are:

  • Isoleucine provides elements required for the manufacturing of essential biochemical components in the body, which are utilized to produce energy, stimulates the upper brain, and helps one mentally alert. They can be found in eggs, fish, lentils, poultry, beef, seeds, soy, wheat, almonds, and dairy.

  • Leucine also provides ingredients for manufacturing essential biochemical components in the body, which are utilized of energy, stimulates the upper brain, and help one be mentally alert. They can be found in cottage cheese, sesame seeds, peanuts, dry lentils, chicken, and fish.

  • Lysine ensures the adequate absorption of calcium and helps form collagen, which makes up bone cartilage and connective tissues and aids in the production of antibodies, hormones, and enzymes. They can be found in food sources such as green beans, lentils, soybean, spinach, and amaranth.

  • Methionine is a principle supplier of sulfur, which prevents maladies of hair, skin, and nails. It helps lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver's production of lecithin, reduces liver fat, and protects the kidneys. They are found in fish, whole grains, and dairy.

  • Phenylalanine is used by the brain to produce Norepinephrine, a chemical that transmits signals between nerve cells and the brain; keeps you awake and alert. It reduces hunger pains, functions as an antidepressant, and improves memory. Phenylalanine is found in dairy products, almonds, avocados, lima beans, peanuts, and seeds.

  • Threonine is a vital component of collagen and enamel protein. It helps prevents fat build-up in the liver. It also helps the digestive, and intestinal tracts function more smoothly, assists metabolism assimilation. Threonine is found in dairy products, beef, poultry, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds.

  • Tryptophan is a natural relaxant and helps ease insomnia by inducing normal sleep. It reduces anxiety and depression; helps in the treatment of migraine headaches. It is known to help reduce the risk of artery and heart spasms and works with Lysine in reducing cholesterol levels, and is plentiful in chocolate, oats, bananas, dried dates, milk, cottage cheese, meat, fish, turkey, and peanuts.

  • Valine promotes mental vigor, muscle coordination, and calms emotions and is found in dairy products, grain, meat, mushrooms, peanuts, and soy proteins.

We get most of the amino acids from food. If we lack any of the essential ones, they must be supplied through supplementation. The others are non-essential, which means the body can manufacture them with proper nutritional intake. Remember that adding a polysaccharide (chain of sugars) to a polypeptide (chain of amino acids) is essential to make a glycoprotein. Monosaccharides and amino acids are without question vital for optimal health.

Amino Acid deficiency can be manifested as a weak immune system, fatigue, stomach acid or alkaline imbalance, dizziness and nausea, water retention, and infertility.

4. Vitamins and Minerals:

A vitamin is any group of organic substances, which are essential for metabolism and for physiological growth and development. Vitamins are co-factors, and are necessary for the proper functioning of an enzyme.

Vitamins and minerals are needed in the body for several important processes, including:

  • The growth and repair of body tissues
  • As co-factors in enzyme metabolic reactions
  • For oxygen transfer and oxidative metabolism
  • Support immune function
  • Work as antioxidants
  • Vitamins regulate metabolic processes.
  • Control cellular functions

Essential Vitamins:

  • Vitamin A plays a significant role in the functioning and quality of the body's immune system, especially the body’s skin and mucus membranes. It can be found in green, yellow, and orange vegetables, cantaloupes, apricots, and sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamin B and Complexes: B1, B2, B6, and B12. The B vitamins help the body to convert food to energy. They break up the proteins and fats that make the nervous system run efficiently. They help keep the eyes, hair, and skin healthy, and maintain mental functioning, and support muscle tone and oral health. They can be found in bananas, meats, poultry, fish, potatoes, broccoli, grains, eggs, and milk.
  • Vitamin C plays a vital role in wound healing, and the rebuilding of tissues and can be found in citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and green or red peppers, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin D helps to ensure calcium absorption and is especially important in bone development and strength and is supplied from fish, liver, and egg yolks.
  • Vitamin E has a role in the repair of DNA and in the body's natural immune system and is found in seeds, nuts, seafood, eggs, and oils.
  • Vitamin K is vital for blood clotting and can be found in cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables, cereals, soybeans.

Essential Minerals:

Minerals are inorganic and are essential, acting as the necessary co-factors for many enzymes. Enzymes would not function without minerals. Minerals help the body organize the molecular construction of the cells and membrane. The fourteen minerals necessary for life are:

  • Phosphorus is best known for its role in the creation of bones and teeth and is found in whole grain cereals, milk, fish, and vegetables.
  • Copper acts as a co-factor for many enzymes and vitamins and is found in oysters and other shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, and organ meats.
  • Manganese works in the digestive system by breaking down foods through digestion into a form that the body can use and is found in whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, and teas.
  • Selenium is especially important in the body’s battle against free radical damage and is found in brown rice, chicken, wheat, shrimp, sunflower seeds, tuna, and eggs.
  • Zinc serves many vital purposes since approximately one hundred enzymes rely on zinc presence to be effective in their specialized tasks and is found in beef, pork, and lamb.
  • Calcium is also vital in the prevention of incapacitating bone problems, such as osteoporosis and is found in milk and milk products such as yogurt, cheese tofu, broccoli, and orange juice.
  • Iron promotes the important functioning of the body's immune system, particularly in the production of the white blood cells, which are essential to combating infection and numerous health issues. It is found in red meats, seafood, and fish apricots, and beans.
  • Phosphorus has a role in the working of the body's muscular system and is found in dairy products, egg yolks, meat, poultry, fish, and legumes.
  • Sodium has a vital role in the circulatory system and is found in meats, nut, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Iodine plays a role in the body's basic metabolism levels and processes because of its influence on the thyroid's activities and is found in salmon, tuna, and seaweed.
  • Potassium promotes the growth and health of cells, particularly through its importance in waste product removal and to enhance muscle control and is found in milk, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Magnesium is required by more than 300 biochemical processes in the human body, such as the body's most fundamental structures and systems, from the bones to the heart, and is found in spinach, almonds, barley, and Brazil nuts.
  • Choline is necessary for growth and nerve and kidney function and is found in lecithin, beef liver, beef heart, egg yolks, wheat germ, cauliflower, cucumber, and peanuts.
  • Molybdenum protects against tooth decay, is necessary for metabolism, and is found in green beans, wheat germ, and spinach.

Phytoestrogens, the most important Phytohormones:

Phytoestrogens are compounds that occur naturally in plants and, under certain circumstances, can have actions like human estrogen. Phytoestrogens are commonly found in foods such as beans, cabbage, soybeans, and grain. These nutrients help support communication among the body’s organs. They have been shown to support the body’s well-being against heart problems and weak immune systems.

  • Saponins; are the most important being diosgenin, which comes from the wild yam root of the Dioscorea plant.

  • Isoflavones are found abundantly in legumes or beans.

  • Lignins are found in seeds, particularly in flaxseed.

The Best Known Antioxidants:

Antioxidants are involved in the prevention of cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are atoms with an abnormal number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with specific molecules. They can do immense damage when they react with important cellular machinery such as DNA or the cell coverings. The body’s defense system utilizes antioxidants.

The best currently known antioxidants are:

  • Quercetin is both fat and water-soluble. It helps reduce inflammation, lowers blood pressure, and supports the heart, and is found in apples, onions, parsley, and red wine.
  • Grape skin extract is water-soluble and is known to protect the body against weak immune systems, and heart problems.
  • Green tea is water-soluble and is known to help the liver and stop infections by supporting the immune system.
  • Bush plum is water-soluble, and has the highest known concentration of vitamin C, and helps the body repair tissue and the healing of wounds found in the Australian Bush Plum.

Colostrum and Lactoferrin:

Colostrum, or the mother’s first milk and is an important immune system builder.

Consider how significant a lack of colostrum can be:

“If a calf, foal, puppy, etc. experiences difficulties at birth and is unable to nurse for 12 to 18 it will probably die. This is due to the re-absorption of immuno-factors by the mother.” (6)

Lactoferrin is known to be a biologically active glycoprotein and helps activate the immune system and benefits intestinal cell health.

Essential Enzymes and human needs:

First, an enzyme is a protein that catalyzes or speeds up a chemical reaction in the body. Enzymes are digestive agents that break down food particles into molecules that can then be absorbed through the intestinal walls and into the bloodstream.

Secondly, enzymes require companions or helper molecules in order to operate. They are called co-factors. A co-factor is a substance that needs to be present with the enzyme for a specific reaction to take place. The term co-factor can refer to either an inorganic molecule that works with enzymes or organic molecules. It should be noted that some enzymes specifically require organic molecules (vitamins) to function correctly, and others require inorganic molecules (minerals) to function correctly. They are both called co-factors because they help carry pieces of molecules to different places in the body via the bloodstream.

If the companion molecule is an organic vitamin, then the companion is called a co-enzyme. The word co-enzyme refers to an organic molecule or a vitamin. A co-enzyme is a functional and necessary part of an enzyme.

Digestive enzymes come from food sources such as sprouts, papaya, pineapples, avocados, bananas, and mangos. Enzymes are manufactured internally in our bodies by the digestive system, which secretes them into the saliva, stomach, pancreas, and intestines.

There are six main divisions or groups of enzymes. Within each class of enzymes, there are many more.

The Six Groups:

  • Hydrolases are needed to break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fat molecules into their simplest forms.

  • Isomerase breaks down chemical groups within molecules. Note: this enzyme is needed to help attach galactose (a monosaccharide) to the bodily cells,

  • Ligases bring about the unification of two different molecules.

  • Lyases split the double bonds between atoms within certain chemical groups.

  • Oxidoreductases facilitate oxidation and reduction within a wide range of biological processes.

  • Transferase, as the name implies, transfer chemical groups from one molecule to another.

What happens if one is deficient in one or more critical enzymes? Alternatively, if the necessary nutritional co-factors are missing, the enzymes cannot assist in the digestive process. On the other hand, the enzyme may be missing the needed co-enzyme. Enzyme deficiency is known to cause heart problems, joint pain, obesity, and many other health problems because of the nutritional loss due to this deficiency. The importance of essential enzyme activity has been seriously overlooked in the field of nutritional science. There are a number of good enzyme supplements available in the marketplace.

Concluding thoughts on dietary supplements and how nutrition is turned into new cells:

The information supplied in this article will help the reader with some directions when trying to answer the question regarding the right supplements and food sources and how much of each particular supplement is needed by the body to feed or supply its necessary nutritional needs.

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers for each individual’s unique requirements. It would be wonderful if there were a nutritional body scanner that could answer this question. The doctor could then tell the individual if one needed extra vitamin B or more amino acids. Short of waiting for this machine to be invented, it seems prudent to adhere to a well-balanced diet consisting of foods as close to their raw state as possible. Maintaining a regime of essential nutrients and a proper exercise program, coupled with plenty of rest, drinking clean water, and breathing clean air will help develop a healthy, active lifestyle.

Again, it needs to be asked, what happens if one is deficient in one or more of the essential monosaccharides, amino acids, vital dietary enzymes, or vitamins, and minerals? Will the glycosylation or other metabolic processes break down if an individual lacks in their unique required nutritional needs?

Unless there are unique factors that require a doctor’s analysis and recommendation, it is vital to take enough of a supplement and take them long enough. Like the ongoing glycosylation process, all cells need vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and enzymes supplied in the diet or by supplementation to live. This is an ongoing, lifelong sustaining process. In other words, the body needs to be nourished.

Nutritional supplements are not drugs. They must be thought of differently. Approaching nutrition like drugs is a mistake. One should not be looking for an overnight quick fix. Nourishing the bodies through proper diet and nutritional supplementation is entirely different. It is a lifestyle or way of life. Eating is necessary to live. It has been said, “We are what we eat.” Therefore, it must be evaluated if our food intake is truly nourishment and not merely empty calories devoid of nutritional content.

Finally, some people ask when they would be able to stop taking a supplement. This question is a tip-off that the individual is approaching a nutritional supplement like a drug. To make a point, what happens if one is deficient in one or more of the essential vitamins and minerals? Beriberi, pellagra, rickets, and scurvy are well known nutritional deficiencies. Suppose one had the symptoms of scurvy (a vitamin C deficiency). It be wise to take a vitamin C supplement until the symptoms disappeared and then stop or make sure that one is continuing to get enough vitamin C through your diet or a supplement for the rest of their life.

In review, one of the ways the structure and function of cells are determined is the nature of nutrition supplied into the body. Nutrition is the raw material that goes into the ongoing creation of new cellular structures. For this process to happen correctly, an individual needs to have vital nutrition in the body. When ingested in the body, nutrition is broken down into micronutrients, which become the building blocks or parts used in the making of the cells in one’s body.

All of the recognized groups of nutrition are vital for improving cellular structure and function by supporting the body’s physiological functions of repair, regeneration, and other immune defense mechanisms. In other words, the body repairs itself, and nutrition provides the molecules necessary to accomplish this. When this happens, these are not drug effects. It is normal physiology. In other words, the biochemistry of the body is being changed nutritionally, and because of this, no claim is being made that nutritional products treat, cure, or mitigate disease. In short, when the body has the correct nutrition supplied, the structure of the new cells will be normal, and they will function correctly.

Nutrition is essential because it supplies critically needed raw material for your body’s metabolism processes. Live a healthy lifestyle, nourish the body with the best foods, and find the best supplements for the body by giving it the tools needed to repair and correct itself! In other words, give the body a fighting chance! Support the immune, endocrine, digestive, and elimination systems of the body and do not let health issues get the upper hand. Be proactive when it comes to health!

The Bible and Nutrition:

“The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:12)

“Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.’” (Genesis 1:29)

Barnes' Notes on the Bible explains this passage:

“Every herb bearing seed and tree bearing fruit is granted to man for his sustenance. With our habits it may seem a matter of course that each should at once appropriate what he needs of things at his hand. But in the beginning of existence it could not be so. Of two things proceeding from the same creative hand neither has any original or inherent right to interfere in any way whatever with the other. The absolute right to each lies in the Creator alone. The one, it is true, may need the other to support its life, as fruit is needful to man. And therefore the just Creator cannot make one creature dependent for subsistence on another without granting to it the use of that other. But this is a matter between Creator and creature, not by any means between creature and creature. Hence, it was necessary to the rightful adjustment of things, whenever a rational creature was ushered into the world, that the Creator should give an express permission to that creature to partake of the fruits of the earth. And in harmony with this view we shall hereafter find an exception made to this general grant Genesis 2:17. Thus, we perceive, the necessity of this formal grant of the use of certain creatures to moral and responsible man lies deep in the nature of things. And the sacred writer here hands down to us from the mists of a hoary antiquity the primitive deed of conveyance, which lies at the foundation of the common property of man in the earth, and all that it contains.

The whole vegetable world is assigned to the animals for food. In the terms of the original grant the herb bearing seed and the tree bearing fruit are especially allotted to man, because the grain and the fruit were edible by man without much preparation. As usual in Scripture the chief parts are put for the whole, and accordingly this specification of the ordinary and the obvious covers the general principle that whatever part of the vegetable kingdom is convertible into food by the ingenuity of man is free for his use. It is plain that a vegetable diet alone is expressly conceded to man in this original conveyance, and it is probable that this alone was designed for him in the state in which he was created. But we must bear in mind that he was constituted master of the animal as well as of the vegetable world; and we cannot positively affirm that his dominion did not involve the use of them for food.” (7)

“Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.” (Genesis 9:3)

“Then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.” (Leviticus 26:4)

“You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; you greatly enrich it; the stream of God is full of water; you prepare their grain, for thus you prepare the earth.” (Psalm 65:9)

“He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, So that he may bring forth food from the earth.” (Psalm 104:14)

“My son, eat honey, for it is good, Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.” (Proverbs 24:13)

“But as for you, take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt, put them in one vessel and make them into bread for yourself; you shall eat it according to the number of the days that you lie on your side, three hundred and ninety days.” (Ezekiel 4:9)

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude.” (1 Timothy 4:4)         

Wisdom through the ages:

“All that mankind needs for good health and healing is provided by God in nature... the challenge to science is to find it.” - Paracelsus, the father of Pharmacology

“Doctors are men who prescribe medicine of which they know little to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of which they know nothing.” - Voltaire

“Let your food be your medicine, let your medicine be your food.” - Hippocrates 320 BC


“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” - Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb

“A dietary deficiency cannot be corrected with drugs or anything else, only the missing nutrients.” - Anonymous

In closing:

A healthy diet from optimal food sources is of the utmost importance. Nutritional products are vital for improving cellular structure and function by supporting the physiological functions of repair, regeneration, and other immune defense mechanisms of the body. The body heals itself and nutrition provides the molecules necessary to accomplish this. When this happens, this is not a drug effect, it is normal physiology, in other words, the biochemistry of the body is being changed nutritionally and because of this, no claim is being made that nutritional products treat cure, or mitigate disease.

Mr. Kettler is a Certified Wellness Consultant (DSHEA Certified) (Diplomat in Nutritional Education and Health)

Extended Bio

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at:

Disclaimer: The information in this article should not be considered a substitute for a doctor’s care or advice.


  1. Journal of the American Medical Association, Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults, JAMA 2002; 287:3116
  2. Roger J. Williams, Biochemical Individuality, (New Canaan, Connecticut, Keats Publishing, Reprint 1998) p. 189.
  3. Williams, p. 189.
  4. Ibid, p. 190.
  5. Ibid, p. 184.
  6.  Beth M. Ley, Colostrum & Lactoferrin, (Detroit Lakes, MN, BL Publications, 2000) pp. 45, 46.
  7. Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Genesis, Vol. 1. p. 71-72.

This article was originally written in 2005 and now updated in 2020.

Recommended Reading:

Roger J. Williams, Biochemical Individuality, (New Canaan, Connecticut, Keats Publishing Reprint 1998).

Roger J. Williams, The Wonderful World Within You, (Wichita, Kansas, Bio Communications Press, Revised edition republished 1998).

Roger J. Williams, Nutrition Against Disease, (New York, Pitman Publishing Corporation, 1971).

Roger J. Williams, Physicians Handbook Of nutritional Science, (Springfield, Illinois, Thomas Books 1975).

Anthony J. Cichoke, The Complete Book Of Enzyme Therapy, (New York, Avery, 1999).

Robert Ronzio, The Encyclopedia of nutrition and Good Health, (New York. Facts On File Inc., 2003).

Beth M. Ley, Colostrum & Lactoferrin, (Detroit Lakes, MN, BL Publications, 2000).

Lester Packer and Carol Colman, The Antioxidant Miracle, (New York, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1999).