Micro – Nutrients :Vitamins / Minerals

Part 1 : Basics

If I’m not hollerin’ about macro nutrients (protein, fats, and carbs) then I am always hollerin about micronutrients – YOUR VITAMINS AND MINERALS THAT WE GET FROM FIBRE SUCH AS RAW VEG AND FRUITS.

Listen up girls,  if you want to actually anti age your body this anti ageing process starts microscopically – from the cells. Each cell in your body needs to “anti age” meaning become younger, stronger and preform better. For this you need to consume your vitamins and minerals from a natural and raw source. Anti-aging with vitamins and minerals is another topic – coming soon ;). But first, we need to understand micro-nutrients and their importance in the body, which is the purpose of this article.

So before you go and waste money on mutli-vitamin supplements please read and understand this !

VM.001.jpeg

Micro nutrients is the name for an entire group of vitamins, minerals and trace elements essential and mandatory for body function and growth. The word micro in micro-nutrients refers to the amount of energy delivered to the body. Micro nutrients do not delivery energy as much as macro nutrients do – proteins, carbs, fats provide more energy.

It is a misconception that micronutrients mean the body needs a small amount of it.MOST Websites will tell you that micro-nutrients mean your body needs small amount of it. WRONG. 

Nonetheless, intake of vitamins/minerals are crucial to your system and we need alot of it to make sure every single function in the body is going smoothly.

Purpose Of Vitamins

Let’s just say they are VIP nutrients and you must treat them like royalty. Starting from cognitive function, all the way through digestive health, covering all areas of growth and repair just to name a few. Here is a short and compact list of functions vitamins/minerals carry out in your body :

  1. Vitamins / minerals are needed for the activity of all enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that increase the rate at which chemicals reactions occur. Everything function in your body is a chemical reaction. So in short, vitamins / minerals are needed to be present for every process in the body. Sum of all chemical reactions is called metabolism (digestion, transport of substance). (1)
  2. During fighting disease or illness, vitamins / minerals are needed to sustain our central ability to cope with illness. Meaning, if you get sick, your body has increased its work to fight the illness and micronutrients are needed at that spot to carry out the work.This increase in metabolism is known as hypermetabolism. (2)
  3. Micronutrients quench oxidative particles which result from hypermetabolism. Meaning, oxidative particles always form when your body is carrying out extra chemical process (due to prevention or cure of an illness). Micronutrients such as zinc, selenium and copper carry out the process of removal of the oxidant species. (3)
  4. Micronutrients modulate gene transcription, where they may be involved in either activation of particular genes, or in the control of this activation. Meaning they control which genes are turned on or off. Want your good genes turned on? Think about your micro’s. (4)

These are the key roles of micro nutrients and do not complete their list of involvement in your body. Vitamins/minerals are present where ever something is happening.

Difference Between Vitamins And Minerals

Oh yes there is a difference between vitamins and minerals which will help you to understand them better.

Vitamins are organic substances, meaning we obtain them from living organisms such as animals, plants or substances that were once alive. Vitamins break down with heat, air or acid. For example, vitamin A, B, and C.

Here is a quick list of information about vitamins. remember, the function of vitamins is not limited to what is listed here.

vitamins.jpg

Minerals are inorganic substances and do not break down once they are inside our body. Minerals are absorbed directly into the body without changing their chemical structure. For example, zinc, copper, calcium.

Here is a quick list of information about vitamins. remember, the function of vitamins is not limited to what is listed here.

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Taking Multivitamin Supplements : A Pill?

So now we get to the juicy part. Does taking multi-vitmain  / multi-mineral supplements (MVM) really work? Or should we just eat fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and such? Here are some facts so you can judge for yourself.

Dietary supplements are a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States, and multivitamins account for nearly half of all vitamin sales, according to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements.

But a growing body of evidence suggests that multivitamins offer little or nothing in the way of health benefits, and some studies suggest that high doses of certain vitamins might cause harm (5). The results of large-scale randomized trials show that, for the majority of the population, there is no overall benefit from taking MVM supplements. Indeed, some studies have shown increased risk of cancers in relation to using certain vitamins (6). 

When does MVS actually work? Yes, if you were diagnosed with a deficiency and because of that deficiency your are facing illness. MVM’s CAN NOT REPLACE THE NUTRIENTS WE GET FROM REAL FOODS. So if you are looking for an easy way out and want to take pills for a quick fix, sorry buddy. Not only is that stupid but a bit of common sense can explain why chemically formulated substances do not equal to the nutrients we get from real foods. 

The studies, published in the Dec. 17 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, found that multivitamin and mineral supplements did not work any better than placebo pills. Meaning…well you get the point.

So Be careful …

In the United States, unlike the case for drugs, human research is not required to prove that supplements are safe or effective (7). Only if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finds that supplements are unsafe, can they stop the distribution of the products (8); otherwise companies can make and sell you what they feel like with any label they want!

There is a tremendously large amount of  inaccurate and misleading advertising in the media, which is why the MVM industry earns annual $27 billion business.

They are misleading us guys.

For example, a TV commercial has advertised the use of a certain brand of MVMs based on the results of a ‘Harvard Study,’ which had shown that lycopene use may reduce risk of prostate cancer. Although a Harvard Study did show the benefits of lycopene and cancer (9) . Companies are using this research to sell MVM’s that contain lycopene and multiple other vitamins and minerals. So why is this wrong? Well we already know that MVM’s contain more than one ingredient and using supplements was not proven in that research. Rather, we can include fresh tomatoes in our diet to get natural source of lycopene.

This is just one small example of misleading advertisement. Our media is full of other misleading adverts for vitamin supplements as well.

No Shortcuts ! Eat All Your Veg and A Variety Of Fish, Poultry & Meats

No offence to my sisters who are vegan or pescatarian. This a choice you have made and I repsect you but I urge you to research into the issue and find the real truth about how the body works and the raw materials it needs to sustain a thriving environment within you.

For my other sisters who eat everything : KEEP EATING EVERYTHING.

  • All fruits of different colors
  • All veg of different colors

Fruits and vegetables are our main source of vitamins and minerals unless you have a nutritional gap which you can not fix through adjusting your lifestyle.  As we have already seen above, the purpose of vitamins and minerals in our body is very crucial to our living healthy, strong and certainly illness free.

Stay tuned for Part 3 which looks deeper into vitamins, the best food sources and how to utilise them for reverse ageing the body. Hint, look, feel and actually become younger from within 😉


1 . Cuthbertson DP. Observations on the disturbance of meta-bolism produced by injury to the limbs. Quart J Med 1932;1:23346.
2-4.  Division of Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GA, UK. Received 7 November 2005; accepted 7 November 2005
5. Farin Kamangar1,2 and  Ashkan Emadi3 Int J Prev Med. 2012 Mar; 3(3): 221–226.
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309636/
7.  NIH Office of Dietary Supplments. [Last accessed on 2012]. Available from: http://www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-Vitamins Minerals/ [Ref list]
8. NIH Office of Dietary Supplments. [Last accessed on 2012]. Available from: http://www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-Vitamins Minerals/ [Ref list]
9.  A prospective study of tomato products, lycopene, and prostate cancer risk.

Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Liu Y, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002 Mar 6; 94(5):391-8.

 

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