What is Your Health and Nutrient Status?
Your nutrient status is important for a healthy functioning of your body. What is the difference between being nutrient deficient and optimal? What about insufficient or toxic? Learn to speak like a pro and optimise your nutrient status at The IV.
Being nutrient deficient means that you will develop a disease from lack of that nutrient. Ever heard of scurvy or rickets? These nutrient deficient diseases are very uncommon in Canada but are still a huge health problem in developing nations. If Vitamin C is deficient then scurvy can result. Imagine the sailors of yesteryear who were away at sea for months at time, without a fruit or vegetable in sight. Their limited diet had to be supplemented with oranges to avoid getting scurvy. This vitamin deficiency causes bleeding gums and very poor tissue healing due to Vitamin C’s role in collagen formation. When Vitamin D is deficient in children they develop rickets. Their bones do not form properly and they have bow legs. If Vitamin D is deficient in adults they develop osteomalacia which is a softening of your bones.
Being nutrient insufficient isn’t as obvious as deficiency. Typically nutrient insufficiency doesn’t cause disease but it definitely doesn’t foster health or wellness either. When your nutrient status is insufficient then you will often have bothersome symptoms and feel unwell. If you are Magnesium insufficient you may have cramping muscles or menstrual cramps. If you are B vitamin insufficient you may experience low energy or depression. Insufficiency may not cause symptoms immediately but would predispose you to disease. If you are chromium insufficient you may experience imbalanced blood sugar which, over time, will put undue stress on your insulin producing cells and lead to type II diabetes.
Insufficiency is often mistaken for nutrient deficiency and these terms are usually used interchangeably in conversation, but they are in fact distinct.
Optimal Nutrient Status:
Having an optimal nutrient status is much more conducive to health, feeling well and preventing disease. Optimal status allows all your body functions to run smoothly. Your immune system, cardiovascular system, digestive system and your hormones are in balance and you feel vibrant. You do not suffer from symptoms and when you get a bug it’s relatively mild and you recover quickly. You look younger than your peers and any wounds heal quickly. This is the sweet spot. The recommended daily allowance (or RDA) is a nutritional guideline that when followed ensures that you are not nutrient deficient; however you would be far from optimal if you only consumed those levels of nutrients.
Too much of a good thing can be toxic. Although it is difficult to get toxic amounts of vitamins from food, you can over dose on some supplemented vitamins more than others. Vitamin A can become toxic at very high doses for a very long time. It would especially affect the liver and signs of over dosing would show up in your skin – dry and flaky. B vitamins are more difficult to over dose on as your body doesn’t store them, which in turn makes them potentially more likely to be insufficient or deficient.
Now you know the difference between deficiency, insufficiency, optimal, and toxic statuses. If you suspect you are anything other than optimal consider a nutritional assessment at The IV and ensure optimal nutrient status! The IV is Vancouver’s first ever wellness clinic specializing in intravenous vitamin therapy – a treatment which delivers high doses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids intravenously.