If you want to obtain optimal health from nutrition, you have to understand first, how much what you put in your body effects your health. The human body was designed with lots of care in order to transform a mixture of certain compounds that are found in nature into muscles, bones, organs, glands and our brain. The interactions of these nutrient compounds are the hairy bags of chemical soup what we call human beings. Every time we mass around with them, they will mass around with you. People who consume fatty burgers with nutrient poor fries don't realize how much they are disturbing the excellent precision of nutrient use by their bodies. Let's look at some examples in order to make clear how that precision makes the engine of a Masserati look like a child's toy. Let's look at a good one: vitamin B12. You need only a few micrograms (millionths of a gram) of vitamin B12 each day: the RDA (Recommended daily Allowance ) is only 2 micrograms. Your blood contains only about 5 nanograms (billionths of a gram) per liter, less than a speck of dust. Even under a microscope you couldn't see such amount. It represents less than one part per trillion of your body weight. But if you lack that tiny speck , your whole body declines into a serious disease, called pernicious anemia, which gradually destroys the myelin sheaths, which protect your nerves, leading to blindness, insanity and death. A second example is iodine. A daily intake of about 50 micrograms is considered to be sufficient for most people. This amount is still so tiny that you could hardly see it on the head of a pin. Every day your body separates the few molecules of iodine that occur in different foods with a precision that goes far beyond the most advanced computer and transport them straight to the thyroid gland. There they convert an inert chemical called thyronine into powerful thyroid hormones. These hormones then control your energy supply, your mood and even how well you can think. The same applies to other micro nutrients. It is still a mystery how such minute amounts of these substances can hold the keys to health, to sanity and even to life itself. But they do and if they are deficient in your food, you are asking for disease. We need a daily dose of a precise mix of 59 nutrients for optimal bodily function from the following list: |
Elements required in large amounts daily: Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, Sulfur, Nitrogen
Elements required in medium amounts daily: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride
Elements required in small amounts daily: Iron, Manganese, Chromium, Fluoride, Arsenic, Germanium, Zinc, Silicon, Selenium, Molybdenum, Boron, Copper, Cobalt, Iodine, Nickel, Tin.
Vitamins (common form names): A (retinol), B3 (niacin, niacinamide), B12 (cobalamin), C (ascorbic acid), K (phylloquinone), B1 (thiamin), B5 (pantothenic acid), Folic Acid, D (calciferol), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), Biotin, E (d-alpha tocopherol).
Co-factors (common form names): Choline, Para-amino-benzoic acid (PABA), Pyroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), Inositol, Bioflavonoides, Co-enzyme Q10
Essential amino acids: Isoleucine, Methionine, Tryptophan, *istidine, Leucine, Phenylalanine, Valine, Taurine, Lysine, Threonine, *Aginine, * Conditionally essential
Essential fatty acids: Linoleic acid, Linolenic acid
From some you need a lot, others you need only tiny amounts. But they all have to be provided in the correct amounts. The first five, which you need in large quantities, are plentiful present in foods and in the air we breath, so supply is not often a problem.
The remaining 54 nutrients we need in medium or small quantities and are less readily available in the environment. More important, they may be deficient or entirely absent in any of the degraded foods that we now find in most of our food supply. We know that 13 vitamins, 22 minerals, 6 co-factors, 8 amino acids ( plus 3 more in certain circumstances) and 2 essential fatty acids are required for optimal bodily function.
All these essential substances interact with each other in precise synergy to produce, maintain and renew your body. IF one is missing or in short supply, the functions of all the others are impaired. Although the comprehension "essential" of co-factors is still controversial, they are included, because recent evidence all points in that direction.
The meaning of the word " essential" in science means: (a) The nutrients have to be present in adequate amounts or function is impaired. (b) The body can't make the nutrients or can't make enough of them for normal tissue function. (c) You have to get them from your diet. If you can't get them from your diet, you have to supplement them from a high quality source.
About the Author
Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management while he was an associate with a nutritional supplement company. Since 2008 he has written several articles about nutrition and likes to share his knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it. There is no better way to find what is proven to be the best supplements on the market,by visiting: www.on-nutrition.org
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