Show me a nutrient that doesn’t demonstrate a U shaped curve with our health (too little produces negative effects – too much produces negative effects) and I’ll go ‘HE!’ Go on…try it now… But the way many have been taught nutrition has lead to some erroneous thinking, it would seem, about the inherent ‘safety’ of all micronutrient prescriptions. To know these vitamins and minerals well is to respect their potency in every sense – from their incredibly positive application at both physiological doses, correcting deficiencies, and in a small number of scenarios almost pharmacological benefits, when used at doses that are intended to exceed the natural physiological state (think IV vitamin C, or high dose B3 for lipid-lowering as two famous examples), to their potential for fallout when healthy levels are unwittingly exceeded, especially long-term.
Our risks of over-supplying individual micronutrients have arguably been amplified by the industry’s increasing promotion of nutritional formulas or complexes over the use of single nutrients. How often do you go through and studiously add up all your cumulative totals for individual nutrients for each prescription?
Especially those that tend to find their way into such a large number of formulas and have clear upper limits, such as Vitamin B6, Folate, Selenium and Manganese…to name a few of my (not so) favourites.
Many of you will know I am a fan of staying single 😉 I mean using single nutrients rather than all the ‘bells-&-whistles-formulas’ we’ve come to rely on so heavily. This is one key reason. But the other is that many of these formulas are someone else’s, perhaps a whole tech team’s, idea of what a ‘generic’ low thyroid patient, or an ‘average’ immune challenged patient needs. Not sure about you, but I don’t subscribe to ‘average’ and ‘generic’ when it comes to nutrition…that’s one of naturopathic nutrition’s key criticisms of conventional dietetics, right? So where does this reliance on generic nutritional complexes comes from? Is it purely convenience -yours and the patients?
Or are we insecure in our confidence in creating our own crafted formulas? Is it a need to know our tools of trade better..because if we did, might we better realise the power and potency (positive or negative) of our own prescriptions? Especially in the realm of accurate assessment and individualised requirements.
The latter is my call to action on this, predictably! 😉
I am often asked about where my ‘nutritional nous’ comes from. Which magic journals do I subscribe to that fill my head so full? What non-existent-far-superior-course did I undertake? The answer I give is the same every time. I had one solid nutrition teacher in my under-graduate across my 4 years of naturopathic nutrition at SSNT. What made her so good and why has so much she taught stayed with me? She simply taught me every single nutrient literally from the ground (soil) all the way up (human nutritional physiology) and everything in between. Once you know each nutrient that well and the big concepts that are a truism in nutritional science…you can never go back and you will practice nutritional medicine at its best. My wishful thinking? I wish that for us all 😉
Let’s make sense of the over-arching nutrition principles, that will profoundly change your understanding and application of this modality Truly understanding the ‘big’ concepts, so often overlooked, or incorrectly taught, ensures you get the critical ‘small’ detail in your nutritional prescriptions right. In this 4 hour recording, together with key clinical tools, we talk about the tough stuff: dose-response curves, active versus passive stores and excretory pathways and ooh lah lah…the myth of taking ‘activated vitamins’. Even those who feel satisfied with their original training – will find a lot in this critical review that is new, insightful and truly practise-changing!