Have you ever wondered about the accuracy of micronutrient testing?
You know, the laboratory tests that evaluate a patient’s vitamin and mineral status.
They sound incredible, but are they too good to be true?
We investigated the accuracy of micronutrient testing and found some interesting information.
In this article, we're going to focus on what we found on one of the more well-studied and popular micronutrients in the Functional and Nutritional Medicine industry - magnesium.
But first, let’s cover some basics.
Quite simply, the word micronutrient refers to all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the human body to function properly. Everything from all the B-vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamins D, E, and K, as well as the minerals calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, molybdenum, and even boron. Each of those is a micronutrient. Micro means small, and nutrient is something...
SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, is a diagnosis that has gained a lot of attention and recognition in the past decade or so. Before that, few people had ever heard about it, but now all of a sudden, practitioners are testing for it and patients think they have it.
Could SIBO be the next candida, gluten sensitivity, or adrenal fatigue – everyone has it, it’s difficult to treat, and is the cause of just about everything
Simply put, SIBO is an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines. By itself, this might be relatively insignificant, but higher amounts of bacteria, or certain types of bacteria, can contribute to significant health issues such as anemia, edema, polyneuropathy, and more. These are a result of issues with digestion and absorption of macro and micronutrients such as fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
SIBO is essentially caused by two different things – small intestine stasis, or a...
Most people equate protein with muscle.
But the amino acids from protein, which means “first” or “primary” by the way, are responsible for helping us build the hundreds of thousands of proteins our body needs for optimal health.
Things like neurotransmitters, channels, receptors, hormones, immune system proteins – they are all made from amino acids, which are from protein.
If we don’t supply amino acids in the diet, our body breaks its own proteins down to provide them.
In other words, making sure you (and your patients) have adequate protein intake should be one of the first health checkpoints to consider.
The RDA, and just about every primary authority, tells us 0.8 g/kg body weight is all we need to be healthy.
But that is only enough to prevent deficiency.
The fitness industry tells us to eat one gram...
Measuring vitamin D has become quite popular in recent years for a couple of reasons.
Number one, the whole process is simple. Run serum vitamin D levels, compare the result to a reference range, if levels are low . . . supplement. Done. Easy.
Secondly, vitamin D has been dubbed as some sort of panacea. Who needs it? Everyone. Need immune support? Vitamin D. Want to improve your bone health? Vitamin D. Have aches and pains? Vitamin D. Feeling blue? Vitamin D. Have a chronic disease? Vitamin D.
This enchanting combination of a turn-key system for an all-healing wonder supplement has elevated vitamin D to super-hero status. It's paved the way for talk shows, blogs, podcasts, and everyone from health enthusiasts to well-trained professionals recommending the vitamin D “Test – Supplement – Done!” approach.
We have made vitamin D too simple.
We’ve all heard it…
“Everyone is acidic.”
“We all need to alkalize.”
“When people alkalize their body, then and only then, can they start healing.”
If you’re skeptical by nature, like we are, you chalked this up as watered-down, pseudo-scientific, nutrition babble.
But guess what, there IS something to this (kind of).
We did what we do best – looked to the scientific literature to see if this had any validity.
Keep reading for what we found...
The acid/alkaline story in circulation is based more on rumor than science and is missing the important nuances to navigate this topic with accuracy.
However, it is correct in the premise that foods we eat can influence the acid load on our body appears to be valid.
According to the scientific literature, the foods we eat can have a significant effect on how much acid or alkali (base) the body produces.
Foods may have...
Selenium is a critically important, yet often misunderstood element.
On the one hand, selenium has many important roles having to do with proper immune system function, glucose regulation, reproduction, mood, cancer prevention, as well as for optimal functioning of specific selenoenzymes necessary for proper thyroid hormone synthesis and glutathione use.
On the other hand, selenium is said to have a ‘narrow therapeutic window’, and according to research, exceeding this optimal intake level might lead to some of the very same issues selenium deficiency prevents.
Despite this narrow window between deficiency and excess, clinicians and practitioners are quick to recommend selenium supplementation to their patients for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, thyroid-improving, and glutathione-boosting properties.
This is problematic and could cause patients more harm than good.
As part of this research, we took a close look at a popular...
There seems to be a lot of movements building these days.
Things to get behind because they sound good.
Things to go along with because everyone else is.
This isn’t new.
It is human nature to join the tribe or fit in because genetically, we’re predisposed to make decisions based on survival.
But we are in a time when it is more important than ever to apply thought to our choices. And just because everyone is doing something, it does not mean it’s smart.
Did I ever tell you about the time everyone cheated in Naturopathic School?
Yes, future doctors, people you would think want to truly learn, have integrity, and be the best, made a really bad decision.
Bad decisions don’t discriminate.
The class was Embryology. Strangely enough, this was one of the toughest courses in the program.
Around midterm exams, a copy of the Embryology test got into circulation.
Students started passing it around, covertly alerting each other of this perilous treasure.
The short answer is, no.
Unless you need it, demonstrated by proper lab testing (which most people aren’t doing)
Iron is a somewhat paradoxical trace element. It is essential for almost every form of life, and in humans is necessary to synthesize ATP (energy) and DNA. However, it is also highly reactive, accepts and donates electrons with ease, and can quickly cause significant damage to fats, proteins, cells, or just about anything it comes into contact with.
Because of this, iron is tightly regulated in the body to ensure it is used for the right things, while not damaging the wrong things.
Before answering this question, consider the following:
This lesson is an excerpt from the February Installment of practiceUP, the Metabolic Fitness membership where we layer relevant research, clinical application, and intelligent discussion to consistently help you become a better practitioner, every month.
Have you ever placed little yellow sticky notes around your house telling yourself that you’re beautiful, attractive, successful, wealthy, or that people like you? If you have, you’re not alone. The idea of positive affirmations has been around for a long time with numerous self-help books and gurus promoting them as a way of improving your life.
But do they work? Is there any research on them?
It turns out there is.
According to the scientific literature, not only do affirmations not work, they may actually be harmful to some people and make them feel even worse about themselves, not better.
One particular research paper looked at positive self-statements, such as “I am a loveable...
According to research, losing weight in midlife might not be such a good idea, as it is associated with an increased risk of dementia, cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality, just to name a few.
“But wait,” some people say, “I thought being overweight is bad and fat loss is good!?”
Exactly. Weight loss appears to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we're told that being overweight is healthy, but on the other hand, some research suggests that midlife weight loss might also be unhealthy. This is why we are calling this The Fat Loss Dilemma.
But first, let’s get a few things straight.
Being overweight, or obese, clearly has negative health consequences and according to research, losing weight is generally considered to be a health-promoting thing to do. Better weight management is associated with multiple positive outcomes such as better glucose and lipid...