Vitamins, minerals and our weight

All you need is...

All you need is…

Everyone knows that excess weight grows from overeating. We overeat out of fatigue or to calm down, when we want to please ourselves, or simply after a long break between meals. These reasons are usually obvious. But there is another, often hidden reason for overeating – uhthen a lack of vitamins and minerals in the diet. It would seem that vitamins and minerals can be obtained from dietary supplements, but there are a number of serious risks – surpluses from synthetics are very dangerous, and almost no one controls dietary supplements. Everything is complicated by the fact that the needs for vitamins and minerals are individual and depend on many factors. The most adequate way to obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals is from natural foods, but it is almost impossible to achieve this without a systematic approach (the probability tends to 0). To do this you need to algorithm took into account the individual needs and wishes of a particular person and created a nutrition plan based on them, and this is a lot of calculations.

So, let’s begin. What scientists say.

  • The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (sample of 18,177 people) found that 40% of all participants research do not consume the required amount of vitamin A, C, D, E, calcium and magnesium. And also that Overweight people consume 5-12% less micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and they have a higher prevalence of inadequate micronutrient intake compared to those of normal weight.

  • A randomized, controlled 26-week study conducted in China compared 3 groups of participants: participants who took a multivitamin supplement (29 elements); participants who took calcium supplements (162 mg per day) and participants who took placebo. Scientists found that taking a multivitamin complex resulted in significant reductions in body weight and fat component, wrist circumference, blood pressure, and also increased resting energy expenditure. Participants who took the multivitamin lost 3.6 kg; those who took calcium – 1.1 kg; placebo – 0.2 kg.

  • Vitamin D is essential for proper metabolism and research confirms that Inadequate vitamin D levels can lead to weight gain, obesity and metabolic syndrome.

  • Inadequate intake of calcium and dairy products can affect many components of energy balance and body fat mass formation. This indicates that Inadequate intake of calcium and dairy products may increase the risk of positive energy balance (leading to weight gain) and other health problems*.*

  • Several studies have found that blood concentrations of vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and selenium are lower in overweight peoplethan people with normal weight (normal BMI).

  • A number of studies have confirmed that vitamin A and iron may play an important role in the regulation of body weight and excess weight gain due to the activity of its metabolites. Low concentrations of retinol and iron have been found in the blood of overweight people.

This is a brief summary of research; a full list of sources is at the end of the article.

Therefore, it is important to receive necessary vitamins and minerals in what we need quantity so as not to gain excess weight. And it would be very convenient to obtain the necessary norms of vitamins and minerals from dietary supplements and completely meet your needs. But not everything is so simple for a number of reasons:

Quality of dietary supplements

This is the most important point.

In Russia, dietary supplements do not have to undergo clinical trials, and their quality can be checked directly in production. In the USA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require confirmation of the safety and testing of the effectiveness of dietary supplements (unlike drugs).

For us, this means that the name of the vitamin and mineral stated on the package, as well as its dosage, may differ greatly from the actual one. For the period 2007-2016. The FDA discovered 746 types of falsified dietary supplements – they contained prohibited substances that have a lot of contraindications. In 20% of cases, counterfeit dietary supplements contained 2 or more components not listed on the packaging. Moreover, after the FDA discovered such dietary supplements, the agency demanded a recall of the drug, but the manufacturer could sell the dietary supplement for a year, as investigations show.

Dosage. More is worse

Some people believe that huge doses of vitamins can prevent or cure diseases. But to date, this hypothesis has been refuted by research. In fact, doses of vitamins that significantly exceed the daily requirement can be dangerous. Intoxication is possible primarily from fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), because they accumulate in the liver and adipose tissue.

High doses of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E) can be dangerous

Excessive intake of vitamin A can lead to hair loss, cracked lips, decreased bone strength, headaches, and increased intracranial pressure.

Vitamin D intoxication may cause nausea and vomiting, weakness, itching, increased urination, unquenchable thirst, and eventually kidney failure.

When taking high doses of vitamin E, you may experience fatigue, nausea, headache, and the most dangerous risk is internal bleeding.

Overdosing on vitamins and minerals obtained from food is unlikely and practically impossible.

Interactions with drugs

Regarding interactions between medications and dietary supplements, always consult your doctor.

In some cases, dietary supplements can affect the absorption, metabolism or excretion of drugs.

For example.

When combining Vitamin A and medications based on retinoids (isotretinoin, acitretin, which are used to treat psoriasis), vitamin A intoxication may occur.

Vitamin B6 reduces the effectiveness of the medications phenytoin (an antiepileptic drug) and levodopa (an antiparkinsonian drug).

Vitamin K reduces the effectiveness of warfarin (an anticoagulant), which can lead to thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, or stroke.

And in the matter of interactions with medications, the important thing is that many do not think that vitamins can affect the way medications work and do not even warn their doctor that they are taking them.

Thus, lack of vitamins and minerals can affect appetite and weight gain. And taking dietary supplements is possible, but not the optimal way to get all the vitamins and minerals. A the best way is a complete and balanced diet.

So, let’s try to figure out what a complete and balanced diet is in terms of the presence of vitamins and minerals in it. Let’s ignore the importance of adequate content of CBJU (calories, protein, fats, carbohydrates) in the diet – this is important, but now let’s talk about something else.

As we have already said, today even in developed countries there are deficiencies of vitamins and minerals. Let’s look at what deficits are most common and what needs to be done to prevent deficits from occurring.

The most common deficiencies are: deficiency of vitamins A, C, D, E, as well as calcium and magnesium.

  1. Daily value of vitamin A is 700 mcg. Beef liver (100 g) contains 9000 mcg, carrots (100 g) – 800 mcg, butter (100 g) – 800 mcg, pumpkin (100 g) – 500 mcg, spinach (100 g) – 500 mcg, hard cheeses ( 100 g) – 200-300 mcg.

The vitamin requirement can be easily achieved if you have beef liver in your diet (moreover, vitamin A accumulates in the body, so 1 serving of liver per week covers the weekly requirement). But, if a person does not eat liver and, for example, dairy products (in particular cheeses), he needs to carefully monitor the consumption of vegetables containing vitamin A.

  1. Daily value of Vitamin C is 75 mg. Bell pepper (100 g) contains 180 mg, spinach (100 g) – 130 mg, kiwi, broccoli, Brussels sprouts (100 g) – 90 mg, strawberries (100 g) – 60 mg, orange, lemon, cauliflower (100 d) – 50 mg.

The vitamin is found in a large number of vegetables and fruits; a varied diet will ensure you receive the vitamin in full.

  1. Vitamin D is contained in a very limited number of products, and the synthesis of vitamin D in the human body is possible when ultraviolet rays hit the skin in a certain way.

According to the clinical recommendations of the Russian Association of Endocrinologists to ensure daily value of vitamin D persons aged 18-50 years are recommended to receive at least 600-800 IU per day.

  1. Daily value of vitamin E – 15 mg. Sunflower seeds (100 g) – 35 mg, vegetable oils (100 ml) – 30-40 mg, almonds (100 g) – 25 mg, hazelnuts (100 mg) – 15 mg.

A diet rich in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds will provide adequate amounts of vitamin E.

  1. Daily calcium requirement is 1000 mg. Hard cheeses (100 g) contain 700-1000 mg, almonds (100 g) – 270 mg, cabbage, spinach (100 g) – 230 mg, Brazil nuts (100 g) – 160 mg, beans (100 g) – 150 mg , sour cream, kefir (100 g) – 140 mg, cottage cheese (100 g) – 110 mg.

If you have dairy products in your diet, your calcium requirement is easily met. If there are no dairy products in your diet, you need to carefully monitor the presence of other sources of calcium.

  1. Daily value of magnesium is 320 mg. Pumpkin seeds (100 g) contain 600 mg of magnesium, Brazil nuts (100 g) – 370 mg, sesame seeds (100 g) – 345 mg, sunflower seeds (100 g) – 325 mg, cashews, almonds (100 g) – 300 mg, buckwheat (100 g) – 220 mg, beans, peanuts, oatmeal (100 g) – 180 mg, bulgur (100 g) – 160 mg, brown rice (100 g) – 140 mg.

If your diet includes cereals, nuts and seeds, then your magnesium intake will steadily increase daily.

Thus, vitamins and minerals (with rare exceptions) can be obtained from food. But it’s also important know what to eat and in what proportions – how many calories, protein, fats and carbohydrates, and also imagine which foods contain which vitamins and minerals, so as not to forget to add them to your menu. This is difficult and requires a systematic approach.

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  2. Effects of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on adiposity, energy expenditure and lipid profiles in obese Chinese women. Li Y, Wang C, Zhu K, Feng RN, Sun CH. Int J Obes 2010. E-pub ahead of print 9 February 2010.

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