Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Dr. Rath Health Foundation

Responsibility for a healthy world Dr. Rath Research Institute 100+ Studies Published In PubMed

FAQs



What is a vitamin?

The term “vitamin” was introduced in 1912 by a Polish scientist, Casimir Funk, to describe natural substances in food that are essential for life. Working on symptoms of beriberi, Funk proposed that four specific diseases were caused by a lack of four different vital “amines” in the diet: scurvy (severe blood loss from leaky blood vessels - a lack of vitamin C), rickets (softening of the bones - a lack of vitamin D), pellagra (skin changes, persistent diarrhea, dementia - a lack of vitamin B3), and beriberi (enlarged and weak heart, pain in the limbs, weak muscles - a lack of vitamin B1).

Today, we know that there are more than 20 organic molecules called vitamins, each of which has a different chemical structure and role in the body.

There are two distinct groups of vitamins: those that are soluble in water (vitamin C and all B - vitamins) and are distributed throughout all watery components of the cell; and those that are soluble in fat (vitamins A, D, E and K), which are found mostly in cell compartments rich in fat, such as the membranes.

Although they are critical to sustain life, vitamins are mostly not produced in our bodies.

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Can’t we get all of the vitamins we need in our food?

No.

Independent studies conducted in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and many other countries show that the nutrient content of our food has fallen substantially over the past few decades.

The tables below show the fall in the nutrient content of broccoli and potatoes sold in Canada between 1951 and 1999:

Broccoli, Raw, 3 spears, 93g. 100/93=1.08

Calcium
(mg)
Iron
(mg)
Vitamin A
(I.U.)
Vitamin C
(mg)
Thiamine
(mg)
Riboflavin
(mg)
Niacin
(mg)
1951 130.00 1.30 3500 104.0 0.10 0.21 1.10
1972 87.78 0.78 2500 90.0 0.09 0.20 0.78
1999 48.30 0.86 1542 93.5 0.06 0.12 1.07
% Change -62.85 -33.85 -55.94 -10.10 -40.00 -42.86 -2.73

Potatoes, one potato, peeled before boiling, 136g. 100/136=.74

Calcium
(mg)
Iron
(mg)
Vitamin A
(I.U.)
Vitamin C
(mg)
Thiamine
(mg)
Riboflavin
(mg)
Niacin
(mg)
1951 11.00 0.70 20.00 17.00 0.11 0.04 1.20
1972 5.74 0.49 0.00 16.39 0.09 0.03 1.15
1999 7.97 0.30 0.00 7.25 0.09 0.02 1.74
% Change -27.55 -57.14 -100 -57.35 -18.18 -50.00 45.00

For more information:

General

Can a healthy diet be sufficient in today's world?

United States

Vegetables Without Vitamins. Life Extension magazine, March 2001.

Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999. Donald R. Davis, PhD, FACN, Melvin D. Epp, PhD and Hugh D. Riordan, MD. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 6, 669-682 (2004).

Modern Miracle Men – Article from Cosmopolitan presented to the 74th United States Congress by Senator Duncan U. Fletcher (D-FL) in June 1936.

Canada

Nutrient Changes in Vegetables and Fruits, 1951 to 1999. Compiled by Jeffrey Christian.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20020705/favaro_nutrients_chart_020705

Apparent Nutrient Changes in Government Data for a Selection of Fruits & Vegetables: 1951 vs 1999. L. A. Piché PhD RD, Associate Professor, Nutrition Program, Brescia University College.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20020705/favaro_nutrients_analysis_020705?s_name=&no_ads=

United Kingdom

The mineral depletion of foods available to us as a nation (1940-2002)--a review of the 6th Edition of McCance and Widdowson. Thomas D. Nutr Health. 2007;19(1-2):21-55.

Meat and diary: where have all the minerals gone? Food Magazine 72, pub. by The Food Commission, UK. Jan/Mar 2006.
http://replay.web.archive.org/20070403150112/http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/PDF%20files/meat_dairy2.pdf

McCance and Widdowson studies
http://replay.web.archive.org/20070222140409/http://www.trccorp.com/faq_root_disease3.php

Netherlands

Dutch vegetables have fewer vitamins. DutchNews.nl. Wednesday 16 April 2008
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2008/04/dutch_vegetables_have_fewer_vi.php

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Aren’t the RDAs sufficient?

No. There is a large body of evidence showing that many vitamins and minerals - when consumed at higher than Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) levels - are beneficial in maintaining optimum health and preventing the development of chronic diseases. The RDAs only indicate the amounts of vitamins and minerals needed to prevent common nutrient deficiency diseases (such as rickets or scurvy) in the average person. They do not take into consideration a person’s individual metabolic needs, determined at the genetic level. Neither do they take into account a person’s dietary habits, lifestyle, health status or numerous other factors. Similarly, the RDAs also ignore  the fact that nutrients operate in teams in our bodies, as opposed to as individual chemical substances in the way that pharmaceutical drugs do.

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What is Cellular Health?

The concept of Cellular Health is based upon the principle that health is determined at the level of the billions of cells that make up the human body. The cellular level in the human body has effectively been neglected by conventional medicine, and orthodox doctors treat our organs without properly addressing the nutritional status of the cells that compose them.

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other essential nutrients are needed for the thousands of biochemical reactions that take place continuously in each cell, and a chronic deficiency of these essential nutrients is the most frequent cause of cellular dysfunction and therefore of disease.

An optimum intake of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other essential nutrients is consequently the key to achieving optimum health and preventing the development of chronic diseases.

For more information, see The Foundation of Cellular Health

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What is Nutrient Synergy?

The concept of nutrient synergy maximizes the health benefits of micronutrients because of the discovery that they work best in "teams". Thus, it is not the intake of any one single nutrient that ensures full health, but the intake of a complete spectrum of various different micronutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace elements. The clinical effectiveness of this approach has been confirmed not only in many of our studies, but also through other independent research.

Cellular Health research focuses on nutrient synergy as the most effective approach to optimizing cellular metabolism and restoring its balance, and has repeatedly shown that this approach is more effective than using individual nutrients, or their random combination.

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What are the advantages of the Cellular Health approach over conventional medicine?

The Cellular Health approach is based upon the discovery that health and disease are not determined at the level of organs but at the level of the billions of cells that make up these organs and the human body.

This is in almost total contrast to the approach of conventional medicine, which divides up the body into different disciplines and essentially treats each organ as a separate entity. Accordingly, in conventional medicine, the cardiologist takes care of the heart; the gastroenterologist specializes in the digestive system; the hepatologist deals with the liver; and so on. This approach ignores the fact that the single most important reason for an impairment of cell function - and, therefore, the development of disease - is a lack of bio-energy at the cellular level.

The most important bio-energy molecules that cells need to function properly are biocatalysts; small molecules that accelerate the chemical reactions that take place in cells. The most important among these molecules are vitamins, minerals, trace elements and certain amino acids. Cellular Health is a new field of research that applies this knowledge to the prevention and treatment of today’s most common diseases.

Pharmaceutically-based medicine, on the other hand, does not treat the root causes of diseases - nutrient deficiencies at the cellular level - and instead only treats the symptoms: painkillers for headaches; antacids to counteract acidity of the stomach; anti-inflammatory drugs for arthritis; and so on.

Moreover, pharmaceutically-based medicine is extremely dangerous. In 1998, for example, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study which estimated that in 1994 around 2,216,000 hospitalised patients in the United States had suffered a serious adverse drug reaction (ADR) and 106,000 had suffered a fatal ADR. This suggests that prescription drugs administered in a hospital by qualified medical staff in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions were between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death in the USA in that year. More recently, US Food and Drug Administration analysts estimated in 2004 that a single drug, Vioxx, had caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks, 30 to 40 percent of which were probably fatal, in the five years it was on the market.

By way of contrast, natural therapies based upon the principles of Cellular Health are actually safer than the food on your dinner plate. So much so, in fact, that it has been estimated, based upon data largely compiled from official New Zealand government statistics, that the risk of dying as a result of taking a supplement lies somewhere between the risk of dying from being struck by lightning and the risk of dying from being struck by a meteorite.

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Is there any research to support the Cellular Health approach?

Yes! The website of the Dr. Rath Health Foundation includes details of numerous important Clinical Studies that document the paramount importance of micronutrients and nutrition in maintaining optimum health.

Together with our Cellular Health and WHO Documents pages, it will be hard for you to find a more comprehensive "library" on the health benefits of vitamins, micronutrients and nutrition in the battle against today's most common diseases of the industrialized and the developing world.

In documenting these studies and reports we have taken great care to include studies from the earliest years possible. We did this to document that an abundance of knowledge and scientific data on natural health has been available for 50, 60, 70, and even 80 years.

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Why did we not hear about these breakthroughs before?

Therapies based upon the use of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other naturally-occurring essential nutrients are of no interest to the pharmaceutical industry, because they cannot be patented.

However, the synthetic patented drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry can be patented, and total global pharmaceutical sales grew by 7% in 2006, to reach $643 billion dollars. In other words, the pharmaceutical industry’s total global sales for a single year now come to well in excess of half a trillion dollars.

The marketplace for the pharmaceutical industry is the human body - but only for as long as the body hosts diseases. Thus, maintaining and expanding diseases is a precondition for the growth of the pharmaceutical industry.

A key strategy to accomplish this goal is the development of drugs that merely mask symptoms while avoiding the curing or elimination of diseases. This explains why most prescription drugs marketed today have no proven efficacy and merely target symptoms.

While the promotion and expansion of diseases increase the market of the pharmaceutical investment industry - prevention and root cause treatment of diseases decrease long-term profitability; therefore, they are avoided or even obstructed by this industry. Worst of all, the eradication of diseases is by its very nature incompatible with and diametrically opposed to the interests of the pharmaceutical investment industry.

Vitamins and other effective natural health therapies that optimize cellular metabolism therefore threaten the pharmaceutical “business with disease” because they target the cellular cause of today’s most common diseases and they cannot be patented.

For more information, see The Laws of the Pharmaceutical Industry

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