This post looks at a few basic vitamins and minerals that should be added to your diet and why should you take supplements? The selection can be enlarged as required. Let’s discover some important facts about vitamins and minerals:

  • More than 20 years of research have shown the positive effects of regular supplements and disproved the claim that they only provide expensive urine.

  • A varied diet is a basis for our health, but sometimes it is no longer 100% sufficient.

  • Nutrient deficiency symptoms have been shown to have adverse effects on the body and are already noticeable in at least 2 billion people worldwide. 

  • Our nutritional needs are individual, from person to person, lifestyle and age difference.

In 1992, nutritionist Victor Herbert was quoted in Time Magazine as saying that vitamin lead to “expensive urine”. Unfortunately, many skeptics have been using this outdated and incorrect quote ever since it was published to brand taking supplements as a useless effort, although it has been proven untrue in thousands of research and studies.

Of course, it is fundamental to ensure a balanced and nutritious diet. However, research has clearly shown that this alone is no longer sufficient and that we also have vitamins and minerals need to prevent deficiency symptoms. We all have different needs like genetics always prove with studies. 

A wholesome and varied diet and the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables may still be too little. A typical western diet is proven to no longer provide enough nutrients.

The levels of nutrients in food from Europe and the UK are decreasing, as described in this report on nutrients. The decrease in nutrients results from the type of agricultural cultivation, the preparation of the food and the time it takes to get from the plant to the plate.

 In addition, some people, genetically or due to diseases, do not optimally absorb and digest the nutrients from the food they eat. Defects are known to lead to cancer, diabetes and heart disease. 

We need macro and micronutrients, like Iron (Fe) so that the human body and all the metabolism perform functions correctly. This study shows that at least two billion people worldwide are deficient in micronutrients. 

Pregnant women and adolescents are most at risk from the deficits. In this phase of life, the body must not only meet the basic need but also meet a higher demand, which is necessary due to growth and development.

In some cases, taking supplements may be more efficient than food, such as turmeric. The active ingredient curcumin in the turmeric root is not very well absorbed. As a concentrated curcumin nutritional supplement, however, the effect and bioavailability are increased enormously.

VITAMIN A

Vitamin A deficiency is the most common cause of preventable childhood blindness . Personal eating habits of every single person influence their needs. For example, one of the largest sources of vitamin A is beef liver. Vitamin A for vegans and vegetarians is abundant as a precursor in carrots, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. These plant-based sources of vitamin A contain vitamin A in the form of carotenoids, which still have to be converted into retinol. Retinol is bioavailable and can be used by the body. You need a large amount of carotene-rich foods to get enough retinol. For example, 2 kg of carrots contains the same amount as an 85 gram serving of liver. However, a large part of the population cannot absorb vitamin A genetically (BC01 gene). Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, it is advisable to combine vegetables with fatty foods, for example.

The WHO has found that 250 million children worldwide are severely vitamin A deficient. The deficiency can lead to night blindness, blindness, dry eyes, growth defects and increased infections.

B GROUP VITAMINS

The B group vitamins are water-soluble. They are used in the body but not stored and excreted in the urine. This may remind you of the phrase “expensive urine”. However, the body needs B vitamins to convert food into energy, hormone regulate to perform cognitive functions; in the detoxification of the liver, to DNA-Synthesis and much more. The typical consumption recommendations for B vitamins are as follows:

Vitamin B1 – 1.1 mg
Vitamin B2 – 1.4 mg
Vitamin B3 – 16 mg
Vitamin B5 – 6 mg
Vitamin B6 – 1.4 mg
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) – 50 mcg

Vitamin B9 (folate) – 200 mcg
It was announced last year that the recommended intake of folic acid should be increased. For this purpose, flour products are now enriched with folic acid to ensure adequate intake by the population. Since the form in which folic acid is present plays a decisive role in the absorption into the body, it is not yet certain that the measure will be successful. Folic acid is best absorbed in the form of folate. Read more about folic acid here.

Vitamin B12 – 2.5 mcg
It is undeniable that B12 is one of the most important vitamins for people who do not consume animal products. B12 is only found in animal products or is added to nutritional yeasts. With a vegan or vegetarian diet, supplementing with B12 is of crucial importance. The vitamin is obtained from the food in the intestine with the help of a special protein that is released in the stomach. ProteinMolecule (intrinsic factor) added, which binds the vitamin and thus protects it from destruction.

Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease in which the stomach attacks itself and cannot produce the intrinsic factor needed to ingest B12. This is how a deficiency arises.

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in blood formation, in the production of red blood cells and can thus help to reduce the symptoms of fatigue; in the breakdown of fat acids and in the synthesis of DNA.

With B12 supplements, always look for products that are in the form of methylcobalamin, Adenosylcobalamin or a combination of both. Taking B12 in liquid or powder form under the tongue can improve absorption. Vitamin B12 is called coenzyme in a methylation cycle needed – a process that 70% of the population, due to genetics, can only carry out to a limited extent. 

The above-mentioned daily consumption recommendations for the vitamins of the B group are intended as a guide to support a healthy body. In case of stress and deficits, experts can recommend higher doses to be successful. From a naturopathic point of view, these amounts are very small.

Vitamin D

“There is evidence that low vitamin D status in adults, both men and women, and older children, has an impact on bone health: in particular, an increased risk of rickets and osteomalacia.” (Nutrition survey 2010-2015) , Millions of people in Europe are probably unaware of a vitamin D deficiency. It is therefore important for you to know your vitamin D level. Vitamin D is crucial for the immune Immune, the breakdown/build-up of bone minerals and the balancing of hormones. It is classified as a hormone itself. Vitamin D is found in small amounts in mushrooms, but not in the average mushrooms found in supermarkets.

Vitamin D3 is synthesized with the help of sunlight in the upper layer of the skin, where a form of cholesterol is converted into vitamin D3 with the help of UV-B radiation. Clouds, glass windows, clothing and sunscreen prevent this synthesis. A sufficient intensity of the sun is needed, which is only available north of the Alps from March to October. The ability to synthesize vitamin D through the skin decreases drastically with age.

Vitamin D3 supplementation is the best way to ensure that you get enough of it. The recommended intake of vitamin D3 for an average adult is 800 IU per day. Specialists recommend quantities of up to 4000 IU per day, sometimes even more, when there is a higher need or shortage. But do not forget, the body always strives for balance, more is not always better. You have to take responsibility for your health and find out what is necessary for you as an individual.

You can have your vitamin D level tested at any time by a 25-hydroxyvitamin blood test at your family doctor or privately at a laboratory-like Thriva.com. If your values ​​are less than 80 nmol / l, then you should consider supplementing to achieve sufficient amounts. A holistic working doctor or specialist can advise you on this.

Iron

β€œ There is evidence of iron deficiency anemia and low iron stores in adolescent women and adult women. This is in line with the results of previous studies and has health implications for these groups. ”(Nutrition survey 2010-2015). According to the World Health Organization ( WHO), 1.5 billion people worldwide are affected by iron deficiency. 141 million of them in Europe alone. Iron is usually associated with anemia associated because of anemia worldwide and more people affected, than any other caused by iron health problems.

The iron content in the body must be balanced, both too much and too little can cause damage. Due to the monthly blood loss in the menstrual cycle, women are less at risk of developing iron toxicity than men. Iron is a mineral that is accumulated in the body. If you suspect iron deficiency or are considering supplements, you should always seek the advice of a specialist first.

IODINE

Iodine deficiency is the main cause of preventable brain damage in children . It is, for thyroid function for the growth and development needs. In May last year, the WHO wrote an article that iodine deficiency, by adding iodine to table salt, is being overcome more and more. (Iodine has been added to salt commercially since 1924.) While this is good news, table salt is not healthy for the human body. Table salt is actually sodium chloride, which only mimics the taste of real salt. It contains toxic chemicals, release agents and auxiliary substances that are harmful to the body. Even the iodine added to the table salt is synthetic and not natural. The natural salt, on the other hand, is heated to temperatures of 650 degrees Celsius, whereby 80 important minerals are lost. One of the best ways to get good iodine is by eating algae like wakame, arame, kelp or seaweed. As with iron, the iodine content in the body must be balanced. People with hypothyroidism quickly supplement with iodine. However, since the thyroid is the only tissue in the body that absorbs iodine, iodine levels must always be checked by a doctor. Too much iodine can sometimes lead from hypothyroidism to hyperthyroidism, too little becomes too much.

MAGNESIUM

Research suggests that an astonishing 80% of the population have a magnesium deficiency and know nothing about it. Since magnesium is responsible for over 300 metabolic processes in the body, we cannot afford to absorb too little of this important mineral. Magnesium deficiency cannot be reliably determined in a blood analysis since only 1% is stored in the blood. In addition, certain factors can promote magnesium deficiency, such as alcohol, which affects the kidneys’ ability to store magnesium. The body preserves serum magnesium at the expense of magnesium in cells and bones, and the serum level can then appear normal even with a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium requires both parathyroid hormone and vitamin D for absorption. The parathyroid hormone(PTH), is a parathyroid hormone, with the main function of maintaining a sufficient calcium concentration in the blood plasma and in the body tissues. Theoretically, people with a low vitamin D content or low PTH level could be at risk of magnesium deficiency.

Signs and symptoms that may indicate magnesium deficiency:

  • Twitching, tremors and muscle cramps
  • muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rapid fatigue
  • apathy
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • osteoporosis
  • high blood pressure
  • atherosclerosis
  • diabetes
  • insomnia
  • asthma
  • arrhythmia

Studies have shown that higher magnesium intake is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Consistent with other studies, higher magnesium intake was associated with lower glucose and fasting insulin. Low levels of magnesium are seen in menopausal women associated with osteoporosis. Several studies have shown a positive correlation between magnesium intake and bone density in both men and women. 

CONCLUSION

Based on widely available studies, I believe that the supplementation of macro and micronutrients such as vitamins,  minerals,  proteinogenic amino, and omega fatty acids, all of which are essential for many reactions in the organism to reduce the risk of developing deficiency symptoms. Deficiency symptoms can lead to illnesses, which may change life drastically.

Scientific knowledge about the interactions of these nutrients and the body is increasing. We must, therefore, continue to educate ourselves, keep our knowledge up to date and recognize with a certain modesty that we can still learn a lot from nature; it usually gives us the best answers.

We are all unique. With an individual body shape, body size and genetic makeup; with different eating habits and personal lifestyle. Health is not a state, it is more like a journey in which we have to take the reins in our own hands to reach the goal. Nutrition is only part of the overall picture, movement and the harmony of body, soul and spirit should not be missing in the luggage.

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