Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are essential for the body. Vitamins and minerals are essential building blocks that are involved in a number of functions in our body. Without them, we and other living beings could not survive. Their discovery has been described as a milestone in medicine.
Before we get into the question of how to properly dose vitamins and minerals, we need to understand: what are nutrients? How do these affect our well-being? And what are the causes of possible defects?
Can the body produce its own vitamins and minerals?
The human body cannot produce many of the vitamins itself. This ability has been lost to us over the millennia of evolution. It is therefore essential, i.e. vital, that we ingest them with food. In humans, only 3 out of 13 vitamins are produced by our body itself, these include niacin, vitamin K and vitamin D.
All information about vitamins can be found in our specialist article "Vitamins".
Unlike vitamins, the body cannot produce minerals itself. They must therefore be supplied through food.
Micronutrients and their effect on our well-being and performance
The effects of vitamins and minerals have been studied for almost a century and are now widely known. The recognized health-promoting effect is in the Health Claims Regulation set by the European Commission and is based on hundreds of scientific studies.
In summary, vitamins and minerals maintain the healthy or "normal" function of all of our metabolic processes. These include all vital processes that take place in our body every second. Cell division, transmission of signals in the nervous system, the activity of the immune system, regeneration of dead tissue, motor processes and much more.
If you know more about the Health Claims Verordung If you would like to find out more, then take a look at our specialist article on this topic.
Causes of nutrient deficiencies
One might think that despite a rich supply of food, a nutrient deficiency is not possible in our areas. However, this is far from the case. Many factors have a significant impact on our metabolism, nutrient absorption and supply.
What problems can lead to nutrient deficiencies:
- Unbalanced diet
- Diet with nutrient-poor fast food and finished products
- Genetic Factors and Diseases
- External influences such as the environment and pollution
- stressors and lack of sleep
Above all, factors related to nutrition and external factors play an ever-increasing role when it comes to nutrient deficiency goes.
fast food and convenience products
The Study (1) "The Hidden Dangers of Fast and Processed Food", which referred to 48 other studies, clearly showed the health disadvantages of modern nutrition.
"The point here is that processed foods such as bread, pasta, salad oil, mayonnaise, doughnuts, cookies, rice cakes, breakfast bars, chips, soda, candy, and popcorn do not contain a significant micronutrient benefit." The Hidden Dangers of Fast and Processed Food
In addition to the high calorie content of fast food and ready-made products, the low nutrient density was also highlighted as a cause. A low nutrient density means that the food contains no or very few vitamins and minerals.
External influences and stress factors
Other negative influences on our micronutrient balance can be influenced by stress and environmental factors. The study (2) "The Effects of Psychological and Environmental Stress on Micronutrient Concentrations in the Body: A Review of the Evidence" was dedicated to this topic.
"Finally, if it is confirmed that stress significantly impacts nutrient concentrations, understanding the mechanisms associated with these changes will be important."
During the studies, changes in levels of magnesium, zinc, iron and B vitamins were noted.
What nutrient deficiencies can occur
Overall, this question cannot be answered 100% because every person is unique. As already mentioned, many factors can go hand in hand with a nutrient deficiency. Generally known nutrient deficiencies, their possible causes and affected systems are listed below for you:
|Vitamin D||External influences and lifestyle||Immune system, bones, muscles, cell division|
|Iodine||Nourishment, Metabolism / Genetics||Schildrüse|
|Magnesium||Nourishment, Metabolism / Genetics||Cardiovascular and muscle function, nervous system|
|To demand||Metabolism / Genetics, Genetic Factors||fatigue (4)|
|Vitamin C||Nourishment||Immune system, iron absorption, fatigue|
|Vitamin B12||Nourishment||Nervous system, dementia, vision (3), concentration|
The table illustrates that the cause of nutrient deficiencies is often due to genetic or dietary factors.
Identify a nutrient deficiency
A slight nutrient deficiency is usually not noticeable at all or only noticeable through general symptoms. Which includes:
- brittle hair and nails
A disease-related nutrient deficiency is usually very difficult to recognize and must be diagnosed by a specialist with the appropriate expertise in nutrient science. In general, a nutrient deficiency should always be determined and documented by means of a blood count. Ask your doctor regularly to check your micronutrient levels.
The "NRV" reference values when taking micronutrients in dietary supplements
NRV is an abbreviation for "Nutrient Reference Value". NRVs are set for 13 vitamins and 14 minerals for food labeling purposes and are EU guide values for the daily amount of vitamin or mineral that an average healthy person needs to avoid deficiency. This information must be on all foods and Dietary supplements (NEM) must be included as soon as these nutrients have been added.
The right approach when choosing and taking dietary supplements
Dietary supplements (NEM) differ from conventional foods because they contain nutrients such as vitamins or minerals in a concentrated, isolated form. As with everything you put into your body, you should choose your supplements wisely. Before you do this, however, you should know exactly why you actually want to take NEM. Compensate for a nutrient deficiency or improve your general nutrient intake? Your goals and motivations should be clear.
Our tips when choosing and taking your dietary supplements:
- Choose products with highly bioavailable vitamins and minerals (minerals in the form of citrate or bisglicinate).
- Prefer natural vitamins to chemically produced ones.
- If possible, choose products without additives.
- Choose products that are subject to regular quality controls, pay attention to the availability of current laboratory analyzes and certificates from the manufacturers/products.
- Avoid very cheap products, they usually only contain chemical and poorly bioavailable nutrients.
- Avoid all-in-one products but choose purposefully.
- Avoid severely overdosing products (NRV >500%).
- Observe the manufacturer's instructions and respect the specified daily portions.
Curious, then take a look at ours Products.
The risk of overdose and false advertising of dietary supplements
As already mentioned, dietary supplements contain nutrients such as vitamins or minerals in a concentrated isolated form. As a result, overdoses are possible more quickly, and "good" can become "problematic to health".
Many manufacturers advertise their products as "highly dosed" and therefore (more) effective. They let the customer believe that more is better, which can quickly become dangerous for customers. Especially with B vitamins, vitamin D, A, calcium, magnesium and zinc, extremely high doses and potentially harmful daily portions are very often found. This is particularly dangerous with the fat-soluble vitamins, since excess vitamins cannot be excreted by the body. This is not the case with water-soluble vitamins, here the body can excrete excess vitamin. However, an overdose over a longer period of time can also have serious consequences for water-soluble vitamins.
Examples of overdosed daily portions in dietary supplements:
- Vitamin B12 500ug = 200x nutrient reference value, i.e. 20000% NRV or more
- Vitamin D 250ug (10000IE) = 50x nutrient reference value, i.e. 10000% NRV or more
- Vitamin C 1000mg = 12.5 x nutrient reference value, i.e. 1250% NRV or more
- Magnesium 800mg = 2.1x nutrient reference value, i.e. 215% NRV or more
- Zinc 50mg = 5x nutrient reference value, i.e. 500% NRV or more
An excess of individual nutrients can impede the absorption of other nutrients and thus throw the body off balance.
We have set ourselves the following rule of thumb for Beyond Nutrition products and therefore do not produce any products with:
- individual vitamin content of more than 5 times the nutrient reference value (exception: vitamin D)
- individual mineral content with more than 2.5 times the nutrient reference value
In our opinion, products in higher doses make no sense for a healthy person, there are more disadvantages than advantages. For specific deficiencies, the dosage should be adjusted individually and in consultation with a specialist doctor or nutritionist.
Micronutrients are essential for your health and a deficiency can quickly affect your well-being and health. Have a possible nutrient deficiency determined by blood count, try to adjust your diet accordingly and start dietary supplements targeted one. Be careful when buying Dietary supplements for high bioavailability and origin of the ingredients. Avoid very high-dose products and talk to a specialist in advance.
(1) The Hidden Dangers of Fast and Processed Food
(2) The Effects of Psychological and Environmental Stress on Micronutrient Concentrations in the Body: A Review of the Evidence
(3) Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease
(4) Iron Deficiency Anemia: A Common and Curable Disease
(5) How many vitamins are there in total. (Beyond Nutrition article)