‘Micro-nutrient’ is a buzzword for the health and wellness industry, but what are micro-nutrients and are they the same or different from vitamins and minerals?
According to Dr. Terry Grossman, an expert in wellness and vitality and author of the book “TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever”, micronutrients is the correct term for ALL the vitamins AND minerals our bodies needs to function optimally. Micronutrients are placed into four different sub-categories based on their chemical structure and how our body processes them. They include: water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, macro-minerals and micro-minerals.
Let’s start with water-soluble vitamins. These are all of the B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin H.
These micronutrients are crucial to keep the body’s metabolism rates in check, and as the name suggests, dissolve in water. Water soluble vitamins need to be replenished often, because our bodies eliminate them quickly. You can see this happen when you take a multivitamin and your urine changes color. The body flushes water soluble micronutrients out of the system quickly.
According to Dr. Grossman, the best way to get water soluble micro-nutrients in your body is by consuming a balanced diet of fresh fruits, cereal grains, meat, poultry, eggs and fish. If you have a well-balanced diet, then supplementation is probably not needed. If your diet is not balanced and you are deficient in key nutrients, then a multi-vitamin is usually enough to compensate for the deficit.
Fat-soluble vitamins come in the form of vitamins A, D, E and K and are key to reproductive health and wellness (attention ladies!). Good food sources for fat soluble vitamins come from nuts, salmon, kale, dairy products and sunshine. Fat soluble vitamins aid in metabolic function and promote cell development, strength, immune function and nervous system function. Dr. Grossman says that Vitamin D helps fight infections of all kinds, including colds and the flu, and optimizing Vitamin D levels should be a priority for everyone, as deficiency is linked to many common chronic illnesses.
Macro-minerals are a little trickier. We’ve all heard of common elements such as calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium and iron, but not all of us know exactly how to maintain a sufficient intake and deficiencies can lead to health issues, like osteoporosis. Here again, quick tip: look out for dark green vegetables, potatoes, brightly colored fruits, whole grains and lean meat such as chicken and fish, as a natural source of macro-minerals.
By comparison, the body requires micro-minerals, like copper, zinc, manganese and iodine in much smaller or trace amounts. These micro minerals typically come from plant based foods and water, and despite the fact that we need these in smaller amounts their role is critical to good health and wellness. As Dr. Grossman reminds us, “Micro-nutrients work to facilitate important chemical reactions in our body and they need to work together harmoniously to promote good health.”
Dr. Grossman, a visiting wellness consultant at the Vitallife Wellness Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital, says treating a micronutrient deficiency normally starts in the kitchen. “Hippocrates said it best,” according to Dr. Grossman, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”. “A proper diet will go a long way to curing many of the health issues that our modern lifestyle has created.”
Dr. Grossman advises people with poor diet and lifestyle habits should have their micro-nutrients levels checked, because diets rich in sugar, carbohydrate and fat are usually calorie rich but nutrient poor.
The VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center located on the campus of Bumrungrad International Hospital is a global leader in the provision of scientifically-based integrated medicine. Its programs are managed and run by US Board Certified doctors specializing in the center’s Future Health concept, covering predictive, preventive, regenerative, and revitalizing health care.
It is the first medical wellness center in Asia to be accredited by the World Council on Clinical Accreditation (awarded in November 2007). It is also the first compounding pharmacy in Southeast Asia.
Vitallife is the first wellness center in the world to be accredited to DNV.GL’s International Accreditation Standard for Outpatient Specialist Centers. DNV.GL is a globally respected quality accreditation organization renowned for integrity in certification, standards development and risk management in many sectors including healthcare. DNV.GL International Healthcare Accreditation is based on standards approved by the U.S. Government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
Vitallife is a 100% owned subsidiary of the publicly traded Bumrungrad International Hospital since 2001.
For more information please contact:
VitalLife Scientific Wellness Center
68 Bumrungrad International Tower Building 10th Floor,
Soi Sukhumvit 1, Klongtoey Nua, Wattana,
Monday to Friday : 08.00 – 19.00 hrs.
Saturday to Sunday: 08.00 – 16.00 hrs.
Nearest BTS: Phloen Chit