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What you need to know about micronutrients

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By Dr. Kaycee Reyes

micronutrients

Too much of anything is bad, and that includes even what you thought was healthy—excess intake of vitamins or other health supplements, without the proper guidance, can have adverse affects.

Micronutrient medicine or orthomolecular treatment may sound unknown to most, but plainly speaking, it’s the prevention and therapy using micronutrients—it’s healing the body using vitamins, minerals, vitaminoids, flavonoids, carotenoids, amino acids, fatty acids, and trace elements. According to its founder, Professor Dr. Linus Pauling back in 1968, Orthomolecular Medicine was defined as “the preservation of good health and the treatment of diseases by altering the concentration of substances normally found in the human body and which are responsible for the maintenance of health.”

The treatment deals with the idea of leading a healthier life—improving your metabolism, being able to age gracefully, or avoiding chronic diseases. So basically, if you’ve ever popped a multivitamin or taken health supplements, chances are you’ve already done some informal orthomolecular treatment on yourself. Whenever you strive to be a fitter or healthier version of yourself, you find what you deem to be lacking in yourself—always catching a cold? Upping the vitamin C might do the trick. Looking into losing weight? There are plenty of supplements created to cater to that need. But there is indeed such a thing called “Micronutrient Deficiency,” which is defined as any condition in which inadequate intake of a micronutrient results in metabolic disorders, dysfunction, or diseases.

Looking into creating a healthier you? Look into the micronutrient that might address your health concern:

Vitamin B1 – learning and concentration disorders

Niacin – depression, fatigue, nervousness

Vitamin B6 – headache, fatigue, nervousness

Vitamin B12 – apathy, mental deficits, homocysteinemia

Folic acid – apathy, mental deficits, homocysteinemia

Vitamin C – reduced physical performance, episode of depression, liability to infections

Vitamin D – liability to infections, muscle weakness

Magnesium – tension headache, liability to stress, nervousness

Iron – pallor, fatigue, liability to infections

Zinc – liability to infections, poor wound healing

Studies have proven that some vitamins do live up to their reputation. That vitamin C you’ve been taking? Yes, that does help in fighting against the common cold, but it also supports the treatment of cancer. Vitamin B can help those with Diabetes, and vitamin D reduces respiratory tract infections and inflammation. Minerals such as magnesium orotate have been proven to help in the treatment of severe congestive heart failure, while vitaminoids like Coenzyme Q10 may also improve cardiac energy metabolism in patients with congestive heart disease. Trace elements like selenium are anti-inflammatory, making it ideal to be taken by those with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, which is the most common type of hypothyroidism.

Never before has it been easier to purchase the health supplements that you think you need to achieve your ideal body or the perfect healthy state. There’s usually no fear in doing so, since the thinking is that since it’s so readily available and there’s no need for a doctor’s prescription, it must be harmless. And the thinking that since it’s all-natural, it must be good for the body, too, right? Your body is all about balance, so going overboard without the guidance of a licensed professional or not heeding the suggested dietary intake of your chosen supplements might result in unexpected results. Some of these micronutrients may need to be taken not orally, but via intravenous means, like through a drip. There is such a term as “Micronutrient Adequacy,” wherein any increase in intake produces no further reduction in metabolic disorders or diseases. Plainly speaking, if you have micronutrient adequacy, taking more health supplements won’t improve your health any longer.

What is the bottomline when it comes to micronutrients? Much like anything, self medication to the extreme, even if that medication is all natural, is not necessarily the best route for everyone, especially those with ailments and conditions. While taking health supplements in the suggested dietary intake will most probably do your body good, going overboard with it or using that as the only route in order to get healthy might be a bit too extreme. Consult with your doctor, especially if you have specific conditions that need special attention. Your physician will always want you to be at optimum health, so it will do you good to talk to them about the micronutrients you’re taking—they might even have their own suggestions. Here’s to your health!

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