Supplements are used because they contain molecules that participate in the normal biochemistry of the cell. The modes of action of nutraceuticals act on various molecular receptor sites to either activate, sedate, or modulate the actions of the target molecule. A supplement may be any one of a number of molecular types, such as phytochemicals, vitamins, amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, combination molecules, minerals, or hormone-like compounds.
Phytochemicals are molecules derived from plants. Modern chemistry used phytochemicals as the starting molecule for the design of many drugs with a more focused and stronger action than their natural phytochemical cousins.
Vitamins are molecules which bind to a site on an enzyme and change the shape of the enzyme so that the active region of the enzyme can fit the shape of two other molecules and thereby bring them close together and catalyze a reaction between the two and catalyze a reaction
Hormones are molecules that stimulate fundamental changes in the biochemical efficacy of a target molecule, much like vitamins. But, hormones will typically target only the molecules of a particular organ system, although thyroid hormone, growth hormone, insulin, and cortisol do have broad effects. The control systems of the body (e.g., the hypothalamus) use hormones as messenger molecules to increase the activity of a particular organ or system’s function.
Multilevel/Direct Marketing products are newly discovered or rediscovered bioactive molecules that have demonstrated some dramatic clinical efficacy. These newly recognized modes of action may be peer-reviewed or anecdotal. If the new MLM product has a real biochemical effect, the new bioactive molecule will go through a period of popularization and hyperbole where its benefits are often exaggerated. If actually effective, the widespread exposure of the supplement to the public and the professional market stimulates the production of similar products. Eventually, the MLM company will go into decline, and the professional and retail market will adopt the molecule and provide it to the wider public, usually at a lower price.
An important concept regarding supplementation is that the body is an active control system. The body was created by God to adapt appropriately to the stresses of its environment without damaging the human frame. The activity of each cell, and the molecules within each cell, should deliver the required response to meet the stress faced by the human frame as it interacts with its environment. That perfect action and reaction between molecules
With deficient/insufficient nutritional intake, the cells and their molecular machinery do not have the structural components needed to respond appropriately to external stresses. A nutrient deficiency must be repleted to restore optimum function. A diet deficient in minerals, vitamins, and the macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) can only be restored by diet and supplementation. Ideally, the diet supplies all the necessary nutrients to support optimum cellular biochemistry. But, the perfect human genetic code, created by God, has been damaged by chemicals. As a result, a higher concentration of minerals and vitamins may be needed to bring the enzymatic activity up to normal/optimal. And, because our food is probably farmed in mineral depleted soil, we probably do not get adequate micronutrient/mineral intake to support optimum enzymatic action.
The solution is not hyper-supplementation of nutrients. The body can eliminate excess intake of intake of vitamins and minerals, but at some point, the excess overwhelms the excretion mechanisms. Likewise, excess macronutrient intake (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) overwhelms the body’s ability to burn off the excess energy intake as heat.
Ideally, we should supplement only the nutrients needed to support an optimal response to stress. Excess micro-nutrients must be excreted by the elimination organs (kidneys, liver, skin, and breath). The macro-nutrients are eliminated by metabolism and excretion, and if not, the excess is stored as fat in the liver, organs, muscles, and under the skin.