January 24, 2020
👉🏽DO YOU TAKE VITAMIN OR MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS?
This post is Co-written with @bernadette.abraham
🤷🏽♂️WHAT IS THE NUTRIENT DANCE?
Do you supplement with single-nutrients like iron, magnesium, B12, zinc, and so on?
If so, please be aware that vitamins and minerals interact with each other and can either enhance (i.e. synergists) or inhibit (i.e. antagonists) absorption and utilization of one another (Stang et al., 2000).
This ‘give and take’ relationship between vitamins and minerals is like a delicate dance in the body.
Supplementing with isolated nutrients can help replenish low levels but can also compete for absorption or decrease another creating a deficiency.
💊A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF THIS DANCE:
Supplementing with zinc long term can enhance vitamin A but can negatively affect iron and cause a copper deficiency.
-Mega-dosing with magnesium, the mineral often seen as the Holy Grail, can also have an opposing effect on calcium levels.
🕒SUPPLEMENT TIMING IS KEY!
Avoid taking zinc and iron at the same time as calcium (or calcium-rich foods like dairy).
So how does one navigate this complex world of nutrient interactions?
1. Eat a whole foods diet first and foremost. Nature provides foods with the right balance of vitamins and minerals.
2. Supplement only if there is a need. A functional practitioner should know which ones to check based on your symptoms and health history. Or consider a micronutrient test such as SpectraCell or an Organic Acids Test.
3. Re-test after 3 to 6 months of supplementation (on average) to know when you are sufficient and most importantly, ask your practitioner when you should stop.