When it comes to nutrition, what we may not understand is that micronutrients play an important role in how our body reacts to different types of foods. There have been numerous studies that have shown the correlation that deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and vitamin-like substances have been directly linked to weight gain and obesity.
Jayson Calton, PhD1 explained that economics and Human Biology, which was published in December of 2007, conducted a study in which participants had an 80.8% higher chance of being overweight or obese due to micronutrient deficiencies compared to those who were not micronutrient deficient.
Another study was conducted by the Medical College of Georgia to see if vitamin D had a correlation with childhood obesity. The study included 650 children between the ages of 14 and 19 in which the results showed that the children who had the lowest amount of vitamin D had the highest percentage of body fat.
This is a bigger issue than many Americans believe it to be. A study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that 70% of children in America are insufficient in vitamin D. Do not think that since you aren’t a child that you are off the hook though. A different study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that 75% of US teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D is not the only issue when it comes to deficiencies in America. The USDA reveals how deficient we really are as a country.
Potassium Deficiency – 9 out of 10 Americans
Vitamin E Deficiency – 8 out of 10 Americans
Vitamin A Deficiency – 7 out of 10 Americans
Vitamin C Deficiency – 7 out of 10 Americans
Magnesium Deficiency – 7 out of 10 Americans
Not only are these deficiencies coming from Americans who are eating “empty calories,” but it also comes from some of the people who are trying to make changes in their lives. Yes, someone who is eating fake foods and meal replacements will definitely be deficient in certain areas since they aren’t receiving these vitamins and minerals from true whole food sources.
The fact of the matter is that some of your diets could even be creating deficiencies due to the elimination of food groups that are essential for the body to function properly. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition states that the Atkins diet, the DASH diet and the South Beach Diet are just a few that have been shown to be deficient in providing you with proper essential micronutrients.
The study showed that participants were deficient in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, sodium, zinc, choline, chromium, iron, potassium, iodine, copper, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B5 and vitamin B7.
The fact remains that micronutrient deficiencies are affecting us more than we ever thought. The first thought in our minds could be to run to the store and grab a multivitamin, but it is never that simple. First, never ingest a mega dose of vitamins because many vitamins and minerals fight with each other for absorption in the intestines. Look for the proper ingredient on the label, for example Thorne Research states on their 5-MTHF product that “Folic acid must be converted to its active forms to be used by the body. This is a multi-step biochemical process that occurs in the intestines and liver. In the presence of intestinal or liver dysfunction this conversion may not occur sufficiently enough to meet the body’s needs. Furthermore, up to 60-percent of the U.S. population may have a genetic enzyme defect that makes it difficult for them to convert folic acid into active 5-MTHF.”
Yes, multivitamins can help you retain some of those micronutrients, but it can never replace the vitamins and minerals that you receive from ingesting real, whole foods. Not only does your body know the difference between these two, but you are also more likely to retain these nutrients within your body with the real deal.
The point is that we must have a sound diet prior to beginning a supplement regimen! The data reveals that if you take a vitamin supplement, take a high-quality supplement from a trusted manufacturer only. Buy them from a health practitioner or do not take them at all!
1. Calton, J. Could micronutrients deficiency be a missing link in the fight against overweight/ obesity? JAAIM Summer 2010. Also see https://www.caltonnutrition.com/