This article is written for Evolving Wellness by Dr. Greg Tefft. Dr. Tefft is is a Board-Certified drugless physician and an expert in orthomolecular medicine, as well as the author of several books. You can learn more about Dr. Tefft at the end of this article.

There are many critical nutritional mistakes being made every day by millions of people no matter how many vitamins they take or what special diets are being utilized.

The statistics speak for themselves with an overwhelming epidemic of over 1600 degenerative diseases also known as diet-related disease which includes overweight syndromes and clinical fatigue. According to the WHO as well as U.S. agencies, these life-threatening conditions are more commonplace today than ever before in the history of the United States and other countries.

In 1912, according to Dr. Willard Wiley, the first head of the Department of Agriculture and the FDA, in the U.S. “1 in 7 (14%) people died directly from heart disease.” Today, 1 in 2 people (over 44%) die directly from heart disease. He also reported that “1 out of 30 died from cancer” while today 1 out of 3 people succumb to some form of this degenerative disease – and it’s close to 1 in 2.

Cancer and heart disease are just two of 1600 dangerous diet-related diseases now reaching epidemic proportions which were far less common 100 years ago. And as boldly stated in the 1988 Surgeon General’s report on Nutrition and Health15 out of every 24 (63%) of deaths in the U.S. directly involve nutrition.” That figure is even higher today.

There’s more bad news as nutrition-related disease statistics multiply further with an explosion of Type II diabetes, childhood obesity, depression, and Metabolic Syndrome (improperly functioning metabolism which is the basis for most illness). Our prescription medications are essentially symptom-relief and ultimately detrimental.

The Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health cite that the “side-effect complications of correctly prescribed medications interacting and compounding over time are the most preventable premature cause of death.” In addition to our problem in the U.S., humans are absorbing more than 400 health-robbing toxins including certain food additives.

Adding to the continued depletion of our nutrition support systems are escalating stress, abandonment of proven traditions, short-cut synthetic industrial farming and genetic modification techniques which undercut food nutrient density. Combine this with food irradiation, fast-food dependencies, acid rain, insufficient exercise and a take-it-for-granted attitude about all the essential health values and this adds “insult to injury.” It’s no wonder we’re becoming so hopelessly disease ridden, fat, fatigued, depressed, and drug dependent.

Say No To Vitamins?

Taking more vitamin-mineral supplements is no way out of this dilemma of ignorance either. The U.S. government-sponsored HANES I, II, and III studies clearly demonstrated this when they determined that over 81% out of thousands of people tested for nutrient deficiencies and excesses within their bodies demonstrated both profound deficiencies and extreme excesses co-existing in the same individual.

The HANES study postulated that 53% of Americans taking vitamins are ingesting so many of the wrong supplements that they would be better off with none at all because nutrient imbalances undermine health dramatically. Medical nutrition labs currently demonstrate that 99% of people tested have multiple imbalances.

My own averages out of approximately 200,000 tests I’ve performed concur with this statistic. At a rate of about 4 out of 10 (40%) nutrient test measurements taken show extreme deficiencies and/or excesses. Additionally, 3 out of 8 heavy metals tested are dangerously high as well. The resolute problem here is that the more nutrient and toxic disturbances found in an individual, the more disease that is present.

What can we do about this nutrition-disease connection?

In 1950, the Department of Agriculture was already figuring out the nutrition to disease connection by looking for the underlying mechanisms for all disease outside of germs. Their study, “An Evaluation of Human Nutrition Research in the United States,” which was conducted throughout its length by all U.S. Universities and land grant colleges from 1950 to1971 concluded four major points:

1. Major health problems are diet- related. (More imbalances equal more diseases).

2. The solution to all illness can be found in nutrition. (Nutrition was defined as testing the nutrient/toxic content of food before you actually eat it followed by testing the body’s retention of these nutrients/toxins after eating the food.)

3. The real potential from improved diet is preventative in that it may defer or modify the development of the disease state. (Proper nutrition lessens disease probabilities.)

4. Better health, a longer lifespan, a greater satisfaction from work, family and leisure time, are some of the core benefits from improved nutrition.

This landmark study laid the groundwork for each and every one of us to effectively use nutrition against disease with scientific precision never before possible. It gave birth to the field of personalized nutrition testing and medically proven corrective diet and supplement interventions officially called Orthomolecular Medicine by the Double Nobel laureate Dr. Linus Pauling and featured in 16 scientific journals.

Self improvement begins by understanding six new (scientifically validated) concepts or what I refer to as Reality Checks:

Reality Check #1

You Are What You Retain From What You Eat

The Department of Agriculture study put to rest the false notion that “you are what you eat and your body takes what it needs and leaves the rest. It was confirmed by Dr. Roger Williams, from the University of Texas, whose research of 1940-1956 proved that “you are what you retain from what you eat which varies from person to person due to biochemical individuality.” It is our nutrient/toxic retention pattern that counts most for health.

Reality Check #2 & #3

No Two People Are the Same – No More One-Size-Fits All

Dr. Williams generated more research about nutrients than any other researcher in history conducting thousands of direct nutritional tests on people to measure the level of nutrients and toxins in each person. He unequivocally proved that no two people are the same. Dr. Williams, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, University researchers and now the entirety of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department have licensed medical nutrition testing to eliminate the now dangerous idea of “one-size-fits-all.”

Imitating others, guessing and/or being general about what food/supplements to eat has absolutely no merit and actually adds to our health problems. Measuring the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, toxins, etc. in each person is the only way to know exactly what foods and supplements are truly needed and in what quantity to create a perfect “Genetic Signature of everlasting health.”

Reality Check #4

You Have to Know, Not Guess about Your Own Nutrition

Laboratory-conducted medical nutrition studies measured the nutritional status of millions of people and one by one statistically correlated them. These labs brought this information to an even finer point of applied science. Lab scientists contend that “one’s nutritional imbalances of today cause the diseases of tomorrow.” This disease to nutrition connection is the single greatest ignorance amongst the general population which is also the easiest fix through self measurement.

The popular idea that “you are what you eat and your body takes what it needs from food and drops the rest” is untrue. This is why we have so much diet-related disease to begin with. Using biochemical measurement instead of guessing is the key to understanding precisely which toxins plague you and which exact nutrients and cell regulators are and are not needed in the short and long terms to stop disease in its tracks. Warning: Conventional medical tests do not supply this information.

Reality Check #5

You Have to Be Into Your Own Personalized Science Event in Order to Fix Yourself Metabolically and Genetically

In 1954, the scientific proof that one size cannot possibly fit all gave birth to the new arm of nutrition science called orthomolecular medicine which has advanced so much today that we now easily individualize nutritional measurements for each person.

This epitome of personalization enables us to determine specific biochemical individuality and effectively address specific problems naturally. You simply enter into your own lab-mediated clinical trial. The labs uses statistics from over 75 million people in the U.S. and abroad to compare one’s unique individuality to analyze, report and recommend a complete nutrient balance and toxic removal program to attain a personal Genetic Signature.

Reality Check #6

You Become Your Own Success Story by the Choices You Make

The scientific truth is that “you are what you retain from what you eat which varies from person to person to person.” Knowing this about each of us from nutritional measurements, nutrition labs apply 12 Laws of physio-chemistry and quantum physics and at the push of a computer button create a systematic nutrition process to specifically correct nutrient balances and deficiencies. With this nutritional protocol in place, UCLA (based on Arizonian Biosphere research) predicts 166 years of life expectancy. Labs demonstrate the developing mechanisms of future diseases that each of us can correct right now – before they intensify.

This means that after a nutrition test we conduct a study on each person using two experimental variables: Foods and Supplements.

Foodis the “Indirectly Controlled Variable” while supplements in exacting amounts and proportions are the “Directly Controlled Variable.” Because we cannot measure exactly what’s in each piece of food you eat before you eat it, we cannot be sure of exactly what nutrients are present in the food and therefore cannot control the amount of each nutrient/toxin going into you precisely. However, we can control supplements to the milligram/microgram level. Their precise usage can accelerate progress at 10-20 times the rate of food alone. Retests provide progress reports with further dietary and supplemental refinements helping each individual to attain the most balanced metabolism genetically possible.

Simplified Example: An Orthomolecular Medicine Clinical Case

Client: Kay L., 71 Yrs. old, First Mineral Test#648118, Date: 11/2/05 presenting as: Slow 1 Metabolism, 23 disease tendencies including osteoporosis and fatigue.

Previous Diet and Supplements: Blood Type Program and Coral Calcium.

Test Findings: 37 minerals tested 13 found to be in full excess, 6 extreme deficiencies 2 toxic metals in high range, 4 in low range.

Symptomatic Complaints: deep bone pain, severe arthritic pain, constant headaches, extreme fatigue, depressed, overweight by 35-40 lbs.

Medical Findings: high cholesterol/LDL/Triglycerides, allergies, immuno-depression, borderline Type II diabetes. Drs. suspected bone cancer but tests only demonstrated mild osteoporosis.

Same client one year later after being on Lab-mediated Personalized Nutrition:

Client: Kay L., 72 Yrs. old, Third Mineral Test#648118, Date; 11/6/06

Findings: Slow 1 Metabolism, 7 disease tendencies not including osteoporosis and with marked reduction in fatigue tendencies.

Note: Lab Compounds and diet maps applied in controlled study format were modified twice.

Test Findings: 37 minerals tested 3 found to be in slight excess, 6 slight deficiencies 0 toxic metals in high range, 2 in low range. (87% improvement)

Symptomatic Complaints:None at all, lost 36 lbs. Feels “fantastic.” Allergy meds not needed.

Medical Findings: All normal findings by conventional tests.

This type of story has been repeated in millions of people. The need for personal measurement of nutritional/toxic retention and it’s medically proven intervention capabilities have never been greater. Real personalized nutrition has finally come of age.

Primary References:

Tefft, Greg, D.C., N.D. _Your Personal Life – Measuring What Your Specific Body Needs to Live Lean, Long, Strong and Better. We_stlake, CA, Angel Mind, 2002

Tefft, Greg, D.C., N.D. For Your Body Only. St. Paul, MN, Dragon Door, 2002

About The Guest Author

Dr. Greg Tefft

Dr. Greg Tefft is a drugless physician, who specializes in orthomolecular medicine. He is also a naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, a renowned clinical bio-nutritionist, wellness practitioner, author and founder of Personalized Nutrition Consultants. Dr.Tefft is also a former sports medicine staff member for the US Olympic Team, the US National Swim Team, the Race Across America and other elite sports organizations. He has written 2 books and today specializes in his practice of personalized nutrition. To learn more about Dr. Tefft and his program, visit