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Nutrition for better digestion

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vitamin and mineral supplements Can They Help Prevent Diseases?

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients required in very small quantities for essential body processes. These nutrients along with proteins regulate metabolic processes ranging from the breakdown of sugars and fat in the body for energy to the synthesis of proteins that make up the foundation and are the building blocks of our bodies cellular structures.

What quantities in vitamins and supplements are considered enough?

A well-balanced, nutrient rich diet should provide most people with enough essential nutrients – vitamins and minerals. A well-balanced diet includes eating fresh nutrient rich foods from all the four major food groups:

  • Dairy
  • Protein - meat and nuts
  • Cereals and whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables
If you are found to have iron deficiency anemia and your doctor believes it is a result of a nutrient deficiency, your doctor might measure the level of iron in your blood (hemoglobin test). Iron, in fact, is the only mineral for which blood levels correlate with the total amount of iron stored in your body.
vitamin and mineral supplements Deficiency in other minerals such as sodium, potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium are found predominantly in the cells of the body, so blood levels of these nutrients when tested can, at times, be incorrect. (Check with your primary care physician and he will guide you. Primarily a balanced nutrient rich diet is key)
If you have gastrointestinal diseases and digestive system diseases they may lead to significant malabsorption, your doctor might measure some of the levels of vitamins and minerals in your blood. Atrophic gastritis, for example, is a condition that specifically leads to the malabsorption of vitamin B12. This vitamin can be measured in your blood if atrophic gastritis is suspected.
When should a vitamin or mineral supplements be taken?
  • A well-balanced diet is sufficient to maintain adequate levels of vitamins and minerals for most people.
  • If you have malabsorption or severe liver disease, your doctor can provide oral nutrient vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • If you have atrophic gastritis, your doctor will likely need to provide you with periodic injections of vitamin B12 to maintain normal body stores.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases and digestive system diseases can affect levels of vitamins and minerals. Significant malabsorption can result in low levels of all the essential vitamin and mineral nutrients. However, fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and zinc can be more adversely affected than other nutrients.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver can result in a diminished capacity to store vitamins A and B12. Diseases that result in pancreatic insufficiency and diminished bile acid secretion by the liver can also lead to malabsorption of fatsoluble vitamins.
vitamin and mineral supplements
CAUTION: Always ask your primary care provider before taking any vitamin and mineral supplements. While they can be beneficial, in some cases they can cause harm especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.
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