by Roger J. Williams, PhD.
Summary and comments by Doctor Yourself volunteer Robert Sarver
Aside from the frank starvation there are three levels of nutrition that human beings have experienced: Poor, fair and good. "Supernutrition" (total nutrition in the most sophisticated sense) is above and beyond all these. It is concerned with the quality of nutrition, and is antithetical to caloric overnutrition.
"Poor nutrition" brings about in human populations severe underdevelopment of the young as well as deficiency diseases: beriberi, scurvy, pellagra, rickets, kwashiorkor and all the ill-defined combinations and variations of these afflictions.
"Fair nutrition" is good enough to prevent the well-recognized deficiency diseases but is not good enough to promote positive health and excellent development. Mediocre nutrition is unfortunately the kind that medical practitioners have generally been taught to regard as satisfactory. Many nutritionists have tended to accept the same doctrine: if everyone gets the government's suggested but minimal daily requirements of certain specified nutrients, and are free from overt deficiency diseases, the major aims of nutrition have been achieved.
"Good nutrition" is best exemplified by what we often give our cats and dogs, as well as chickens and pigs being raised for the market. Such nutrition provides the animals not only with energy, but with an abundance of protein of high quality, as well as a good assortment of minerals and vitamins well above the danger line. Good nutrition is experienced by no more than a minority of the population such as ours in the United States; for many are satisfied if their nutrition is fair and the physicians, who are typically ill-trained in this area, too often concur.
"Supernutrition" is a strategy for promoting health and preventing disease. It is a valid concept because there are many loopholes even in good nutrition. If all individuals had perfect digestive systems and about average needs in every respect, then the loopholes would be minimal; but such individuals are probably so rare that they need not be considered. Supernutrition is based on two biological observations which can hardly be challenged: First, living cells, in our bodies and everywhere, practically never encounter perfect optimal environmental conditions; second, living cells when furnished with wholly satisfactory environments, including the absence of pathogenic organisms, will respond with health and vigor. If any link in the cells' environment is weak or missing, then the cells cannot remain healthy. The weak link may be something well recognized like oxygen, tryptophan, thiamine or iron or it may be something more obscure like molybdenum, folic acid or selenium. The result is the same: an impoverished environment which leads to functional impairment.
How does the above article, written 34 years ago, apply to what we know today about nutrition? The nutritional situation has changed little in that time and may even be worse for the average person. Americans consume too many processed foods, too much sugar and too little nutrition.
Poor nutrition is the state of the most Americans' diets. Typical of this nutritional level are diets high in foods containing added sugar, processed foods, and might contain one or two servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. This diet contains no vitamin or mineral supplements.
Fair nutrition is the level of nutrition for those who make some minimal effort for a better diet. This diet includes some restrictions of highly processed foods and foods with added sugar, might contain three or four servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day, and includes a low-potency multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement.
Good nutrition includes at least seven servings (each serving is half a cup) of unprocessed fruits and vegetables each day, 400 IU of vitamin E, 3,000 mg of vitamin C taken in divided doses during the day, and a high potency multivitamin/multi-mineral.
Supernutrition includes those items for good nutrition and the supplements recommended at http://www.doctoryourself.com/news/v2n7.txt. Supernutrition also includes added nutrients for preexisting conditions or those predisposed to medical conditions as indicated by familial medical history. A link to the common diseases, supplements and nutrition are on the left side of the screen at www.doctoryourself.com.
The supplements recommended at Doctoryourself.com are safe, available without a prescription and can be purchased over the Internet or at a discount store. (Doctor Yourself does not have any financial connection with any company, brand or manufacturer. We also decline to recommend sources or suppliers to any reader.)
Can you afford supernutrition? The real question is: can you afford not to have supernutrition? Visits to the doctor's office, hospitalization, prescription drugs, pain and suffering, time lost from work and away from loved ones are all reasons to give your body supernutrition. Supernutrition will help you live a healthier, happier, more productive and longer life.
TO LEARN MORE:
You can read three dozen full text nutrition articles by Dr. Williams online and free of charge by going to http://www.doctoryourself.com/rjwilliams.html
 Williams RJ. 'Supernutrition' as a strategy for the control of disease," J. Orthomolecular Psychiatry, 1, 98-103 (1972). This paper was originally presented at the National Academy of Sciences, October, 1971.