Abigail Butcher Explores the 'Nutrition Gap' with Cytoplan's Amanda Williams
Leading lifestyle PR agency Pilot PR is delighted to welcome back leading health and fitness writer, Abigail Butcher, as Guest Editor. Here in discussion with Amanda Williams, she explores the nutrition gap and the reasons why we may need to supplement.
Abigail Butcher reports:
The intricate relationship between our personal genetic makeup and what we eat is just beginning to be realised. The role of nutrition in staving off, fighting and even curing chronic disease is also beginning to be understood more fully, and nutritional supplement company Cytoplan (www.cytoplan.co.uk) is at the very forefront of the work. As a small, forward-thinking business owned by a charitable foundation, it exists solely to make a real difference to the health of the people who use its products.
Cytoplan also does things very differently to its rivals. Founded over 25 years ago, Cytoplan directs all of its profit to charities working on nutrition-related projects around the world — so its motivation is entirely non-commercial.
Moreover, Cytoplan is one of a very few supplement companies in the world to offer Food State™ and Wholefood supplements. This means when you take Cytoplan’s vitamins and minerals they are in the same form as they occur in food, so your body can recognise the nutrients as food and use them safely, easily and far more effectively than “isolated” supplements.
Cytoplan Wholefood nutrients are derived from hydroponically grown brassica, a member of the broccoli family
It sounds like common sense — so why have few people heard of Cytoplan, and why can’t we buy the products on the shelves of our local health food store?
Believing in the need for tailored, informed use of supplements, and personalised prescriptions, Cytoplan sells directly to healthcare professionals — doctors, dentists and complementary healthcare professionals — though a growing number of patients are now approaching Cytoplan direct.
“To provide these clients with the necessary expert advice, we have expanded our own team of in-house nutritionists and also provide a free confidential health questionnaire service,” says Managing Director Amanda Williams, a qualified nutritional therapist with more than 40 years’ experience in the industry.
“The rock upon which we stand is in providing good, sound, accurate, unbiased information about health and our products for healthcare practitioners and consumers alike.
“The UK supplement industry has the most rigorous legislation in the world, designed to protect the consumer, but it is poorly policed. If people are guided by a qualified health professional towards the best products for themselves the likelihood is that they will get good results — if people make their own choices, particularly for complex health conditions, things can go very wrong. One size does not fit all!”
Why do we need supplements at all? As well as the many lifestyle factors that affect our diet - smoking, drinking and consumption of fast foods - the quality of what we’re eating, even if it is a ‘copybook diet’ has depleted. During the course of her research 15 years ago Amanda discovered that, globally, there is a widespread nutrition depletion in soil due to the evolution in farming methods — for example the world’s soils are 80% depleted of selenium, causing selenium-depleted fruit, vegetables, meat and therefore people. Added to this, the long distances our food travels, and the change in our lifestyles from hunter-gatherer to sedentary, desk-bound beings, has created a ‘nutrition gap’.
“This nutrition gap in the population and the shortage of essential nutrients is responsible for most of the chronic degenerative diseases of today,” explains Amanda.
“Most people are very short of protective micronutrients, and while this may not be noticeable on the surface, the reality is that there is an explosion of chronic degenerative diseases and many have their causation firmly rooted in nutritional deficiencies.”
Cytoplan makes all of its products in the UK from ingredients sourced and grown around the world — from Aloe organically grown in Mexico, to organic kelp from the Outer Hebrides, Wholefood Calcium derived from a natural multimineral seaweed product harvested off Ireland's southwest coast, to Krill Oil from Antartica, and fish oil from Peru etc...
Because it is a small company, owned by a charitable foundation, Cytoplan is quick to react to and meet new market requirements — most lately in the field of nutrigenomics and personalised medicine.
“Our genetic makeup is an important factor in our susceptibility to disease, and it is now realised that health and disease in an individual is determined by two intertwined influences, the environment - i.e. diet and lifestyle – and our genes,” explains Amanda. “Virtually all human diseases result from the interaction of genetic susceptibility and modifiable environmental factors.Variations in genetic make-up are associated with almost all disease. Genetic variations do not cause disease but rather influence a person’s susceptibility to environmental factors and hence genetic information can be used to target interventions. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
“The difference lies in each person’s different and unique genetic make-up. The beauty of this is that knowledge is empowerment. Knowing your diseases susceptibility and also the diet and lifestyle your genes need for health enables people to make informed choices for health.