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Dr. Elena Lucchi, Research and Development

The word diet in common usage is associated with a diet with a reduced calorie intake, aimed at achieving, in a more or less long time, the ideal weight and perfect physical shape. However, looking at the Greek etymology of the word, we discover that the correct translation of the term diaita it could be "habit, way of life" , since in ancient Greece, the diet corresponded to the set of behaviors that governed different aspects of daily life, including nutrition, but also physical exercise and idleness.

The diet was therefore constant self-care, aimed at maintaining health and physical fitness. It is from this perspective that food supplements should be considered!

In a country like Italy with a population with the highest average age among European countries, a balanced diet and healthy behaviors can become a resource for improving life expectancy, preventing the risk of chronic diseases and reducing the social impact of these problems. Across the Global Burden of Disease (*1), an epidemiological study conducted on a global level on health, the food consumption patterns of the inhabitants of 195 countries around the world were analysed: it emerged that promoting "positive" nutrition, i.e. concentrated on the intake of those elements sometimes lacking, represents a different point of view compared to the more common restrictive diet approach (*2), which can translate into greater effectiveness in terms of improving public health.

The aim must increasingly be to live a longer and healthier life!

In our diet we often worry about balancing or limiting carbohydrates, proteins and fats, which are the macro-nutrients contained in foods and which represent the fundamental elements for build our body, without considering that foods, in order to be fully used, need micro-nutrients.

What are micro-nutrients?

They are those components, such as vitamins and minerals, which do not provide calories, which our body is not able to synthesize and which we need in small quantities, often in the order of milligrams or even micrograms, but which we cannot do without, because they are essential for correct completion of all biochemical reactions within our cells.

Many may think they have adopted a correct diet and lifestyle, but epidemiological observations highlight the need for greater attention to vitamin and mineral levels for the general population, because even if the risk of deficiencies is averted in most cases , this is not the case for sub-deficiencies, to which we can all be exposed at different periods of our lives. Sub-optimal levels, even mild, must be taken into consideration, especially if long-lasting, because they could become a risk factor for some chronic diseases, such as hypertension, vascular problems, osteoporosis, senile dementia, in the adult and elderly population (*3 ).

We may think that a diet rich in vegetables and fruit can satisfy all our nutritional needs, but we cannot fail to take into consideration that foods preserved for a long time, cooked and refined have a reduced content of vitamins, while those, such as cereals and legumes, rich in phytates, considered anti-nutritional factors, they can interfere with the intestinal absorption of some minerals, such as iron, magnesium and zinc. Smoking, stress, intense sporting activity, digestive disorders, alcohol abuse are all factors that contribute to the lower availability of micro-nutrients.

What are food supplements?

Supplements are a concentrated form of vitamins, minerals and active ingredients with documented nutritional and physiological action, which can be chosen to customize your diet based on your specific needs. They are to all intents and purposes foods, regulated by the rigid controls to which food products are subjected: they are not drugs, but they can be essential to maintain the correct functionality of the organism, in all the different phases of life, they are a precious resource for improving quality.

The BeC supplements they are calibrated to provide nutrients in a bioavailable form, i.e. usable by the body and, although focused on a specific purpose, they are designed for the correct functionality and well-being of the entire organism.

We should all learn to constantly take care of our body and consider that food supplements, used consciously in combination with physical activity and a balanced diet, could be our support for living better!

(*1) Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 Lancet 2019 ; 393 : 1958–72

(*2) Supplements, modern lifestyles and nutrition: role and state of the art in light of the most recent scientific evidence, Franca Marangoni, Review on food supplements: evidence from scientific research and new frontiers of development, Second edition, Nov . 2019

(*3) Pellati R, Submerged sub-deficiencies, FOSAN, year 42, number 3

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