There are over 90 nutrients that we should consider “Essential” to our health:
If we don’t have the proper amounts of these nutrients there are symptoms, mild to severe.
A few examples:
The deficiency may be mild like with Vitamin A, you’ll get dry eyes or poor night vision.
A shortage of B12 will give you a low blood pressure [less than 120/80, which is considered optimal].
Too little vitamin C and you’ll have easy bruising, more infections and a tendency to have bleeding gums.
On average, there are 10 deficiency symptoms for each mineral that we are lacking.
Calcium deficiency, it has been said, can lead to 147 symptoms including osteoporosis, joint pain, joint popping/creaking/cracking etc, sleeplessness, irritability, road rage, PMS, twitching muscles, low back pain and neck pain, sciatica, kidney stones, bone spurs, heel spurs, ringing in the ears and the list goes on and on. [Seizures, Cancer and Death are on the list as well]
With a deficiency of Tin and Manganese you’ll have hearing loss and hair loss.
A deficiency of Selenium increases the risk for cancer [conversely Selenium with beta carotene and vitamin E decreases cancer risk].
A shortage of Selenium also increases the incidence of Keshan’’s disease, a fatal cardiomyopathy.
Selenium deficiency is also associated with SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
~ Essential Fats/Oils
If you are short on the Omega 3 oils you are more likely to have asthma, eczema and high cholesterol.
There are similar lists for other minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fats/oils that are considered “essential”.
Remember PLANTS cannot make minerals !!
The list of ESSENTIAL nutrients includes 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 3 fats or oils [plus Vita-Nutrients like cholesterol and CoQ10]
For practical purposes I like to think in terms of 5 groups: Minerals, Vitamins, Protein, Fats and Vita-Nutrients.
Each group can be Optimized.
On a continuum you’ll have “Deficiency” at one end and “Optimal” at the other.
There are key symptoms we can use to guide us and I’ve used many of these for years.
Some practical points;
Three key issues that lead to inappropriate hunger and are also good indicators of nutritional deficiency.
1) Lack of Minerals:
Known as Pica or Cribbing – described as a craving for non-food items or specific salty or sweet items- “pickles and ice cream”. Seen frequently in pregnancy.
a. Colloidal Minerals [from HUMIC shale not “IONIC”] 15cc twice a day [in juice or straight]
b. Chromium 200mcg 1-2 pills twice a day [EPA says toxic @ 70,000 mcg, so it’s very safe]
c. Calcium from MCHA [derived from cows] is 40-60% absorbable vs 3% with Calcium carbonate as seen in most brands.
2) Lack of Protein
Solution: Get 30-40 grams of animal protein per meal (eggs, cheese, fish, pork, beef, chicken, etc.) while reducing the amount of starches (rice, potatoes and pasta) to a small serving and avoiding them altogether after 5 PM because excess starches convert to fat. Remember sugar (starches) is burned first, then protein and last, fat is burned. With Body Building it is suggested that we get one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.
L-glutamine, a non-essential amino acid, suppresses the “sweet tooth” syndrome within 20-30 minutes [usually 2-3 grams per dose]
3) Lack of Good Fats –
a. Eat 2 eggs per day – Without a long rant I’ll say you need a certain amount of cholesterol in your diet to produce a variety of items – hormones, cell membranes, healthy skin as well as normal brain function.
You can only make 20% of the cholesterol you need – the remaining 80% must come from the diet.
American Heart Assoc study in 1994 showed no elevation of blood cholesterol with 2 eggs per day.
b. Flax oil – About one tablespoon per day in milk or on bread or in yogurt…. this helps all sorts of things including skin, cuticles, brain function as well as weight loss. [Capsule form is available as well]
3% (or slightly more depending on metabolic state) of our calories should come the Omega 3’s (3% of 2,000 Calories is 60 Cal or about 7 grams)
~ Fish oil has been the GOLD STANDARD for Omega 3’s but Krill oil is comparable and possibly even better than fish oil. Krill oil may be the new “Best Choice” . I have some very good feed-back to support this. [Several people reported improved mental function]
Other things to consider:
Body temperature: If your temp is 97.8 or less your thyroid is underactive due to Iodine deficiency. [Normal range is usually considered 98.6 to 99.4]
~ Use Iodized salt [my new favorite is Morton’s LITE SALT which is 50% Sodium chloride and 50% Potassium chloride….”killing three birds…” so to speak by getting Sodium and Potassium plus iodine] or you can get a supplement of Potassium Iodide, don’t get kelp it’s not as usable by the body).
~ Salt your food to taste. It a persistent medical myth that salt is bad for you
Adrenal Insufficiency: If you startle easily or get sweaty palms or sweat excessively you may have Adrenal Exhaustion.
This is due to a couple of shortages, Vitamin C and dietary cholesterol. [ I take a supplemental Adrenal Extract to support adrenal function and DHEA to facilitate hormone production. You can read about the pairing of pregnenolone and DHEA for wellness.
~ Vitamin C is very important for this application as well as a dozen or more reasons. Most of us are borderline low on C. Without a long lecture, you need around 4,000 mg Vitamin C with rose hips. Start with 1,000 mg twice a day then advance to 2,000mg twice daily after a week.
Interesting Note: C is compartmentalized in the tissues at a fairly steep gradient, ie. If in the blood the level is 1, the lens of the eye has a level of 100 and the adrenal glands are at 150!!! Each tissue has a similar gradient; as do many types of cells like white blood cells in particular but also realize that EVERY cell membrane’s optimal function relies on this gradient formation. So, It is accurate… We do “urinate out excess water soluble vitamins”….. But not before making stockpiles of sorts.
Also of interest, Humans are one of around four species that do not manufacture their own vitamin C. Dogs, cats, lions, tigers and bears all make their own. A mule makes around 13 grams a day where a gorilla makes 4 grams or so; this means they are using that much and it gives us an idea what we need by example. There are many other indicators as well, so much for the short version.
25% of overweight people are deficient in Coenzyme Q10.
As I always Remind you…
To achieve full spectrum nutrition we all need to supplement our diets.
Supplements to consider:
1) Get a good multiple vitamin/mineral product. Versions with “Chelated” minerals are best. I also like those with some plant based vitamins.
2) Take a quality Calcium product. Look for MCHA as the calcium source and one that includes Magnesium, vitamin D and some assorted trace minerals.
3) Take Omega 3 oils. Flax oil is the best to start. Adding Krill or fish oil later [BTW – Krill oil in the container has a distinctive odor – if you place 3-4 desiccant packs in the bottle and refrigerate it, the odor is gone in 12 hours]
4) Find a good Colloidal mineral product for trace minerals. Make sure it’s from Humic shale and NOT ionic minerals. Humic shale is the “fossilized” remains of the dinosaur days. Plant based colloidal minerals are 98% absorbed.
As always, feel free to comment or message questions or concerns.