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“You can get past the dead end. You can break through the ceiling. I did and so have countless others.”

Clinical Pearl Wednesday #184

Products for healthy bowel. Natural food for gut.

It is not enough to eat the right foods.  We must eat, digest and absorb the nutrients that our bodies require to function.  Many patients struggle with nutrient deficiencies and have a hard time understanding why they are deficient or suboptimal because their diets are “on point” or they are supplementing.  The issue may not be, and usually isn’t, with their diet, it’s with their ability to breakdown and absorb nutrients.  Instead of recommending a ton of supplements, we must be asking why these nutrients are deficient.  What is the root cause of the deficiency? 

 Here are the top 5 nutrient deficiencies, why they are important, and why these nutrients may not be broken down or absorbed properly.

Nutrient deficiencies are common amongst the US population with the top 5 deficiencies being vitamin D, iron, B12, calcium and magnesium.

1) Vitamin D
a. Vitamin D is a prohormone and has a role in hormone regulation. It also has a role in glucose and insulin secretion and metabolism.
b. It regulates calcium and phosphorus which supports bone mineralization
c. It modulates immune function
d. It is involved with regulating cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation. Vitamin D influences the expression of genes that control normal cell health and function.

2) Iron
a. Oxygen transport via hemoglobin
b. ATP synthesis
c. DNA synthesis
d. Immune system support and function
e. Neurotransmitter production

3) B12
a. Red blood cell production
b. DNA synthesis and cell division
c. Nerve function and myelin production
d. Methylation which is important for gene expression, detoxification and neurotransmitter synthesis
e. Mood regulation
f. Cardiovascular health

4) Calcium
a. Bone health
b. Smooth and skeletal muscle contraction
c. Cellular signaling
d. Blood coagulation
e. Nerve cell signaling and transmission
f. Multiple enzymes related to digestion, cellular health and ATP production, blood clotting, and more

5) Magnesium
a. Activation of over 300 enzymes
b. ATP
c. Glucose regulation and metabolism
d. Bone health
e. Heart health
f. Nervous system support
g. Muscle function
h. DNA and protein synthesis

Most common causes for nutrient deficiencies:

1) Infection or disease
a. Dysbiosis
b. H. Pylori
c. Celiac disease, IBS, Crohn’s disease, Colitis, etc

2) Medications
a. Proton pump inhibitors
b. Many prescription medications can cause deficiencies
i. Oral contraceptives – associated with B6, B12, magnesium, vitamin C, zinc deficiencies.
ii. Metformin – can contribute to a B12 deficiency
iii. Statins and beta blockers – can contribute to a deficiency of CoQ10

3) Impaired digestive function
a. Insufficient hydrochloric acid, pancreatic enzymes, bile

4) Toxin exposure

5) Stress – Stress directly impacts digestive function by decreasing the production and excretion of digestive enzymes, altering motility, requiring additional nutrients for the production of stress hormones, and decreasing blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract in an effort to prioritize support for the sympathetic nervous system.

If you are interested in learning more about the importance of gut health from a functional medicine perspective and how it affects the whole body, then check out The Functional Medicine Advanced Gut Health Course before the sale ends!

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