Since vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are essential to every process in the body, running low can result in a wide variety of health challenges, including, hindering your ability to fight disease*.
It can definitely take some effort to identify specifically what you're body needs, what won't produce unwanted effects, and what will fit into your diet and lifestyle. And not everyone is deficient. What we do know, however, is that the typical American diet does tend to run low on certain nutrients*. For instance, an estimated 80% of Americans are Magnesium deficient*. Here are the most common deficiencies:
Magnesium and Calcium— As mentioned, few Americans get enough Magnesium, and this goes hand in hand with Calcium deficiency. This is complicated, oddly enough, by public awareness of the need for calcium. Consuming too much calcium creates an imbalance in the ratio of calcium to magnesium in the body. This means we need to up the ante on Mag, to balance the calcium. Magnesium is also vital in supporting how the body absorbs and properly utilizes calcium.
Trace Minerals — Trace minerals including copper, chromium, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc are important factors in maintaining health across all systems, especially the immune system. Zinc, for instance, is critical for maintaining healthy immunity*, and for supporting the production of neurotransmitters.
Selenium (that's a mouthful), has an important role in supporting the body's natural ability to detoxify itself, since mercury exposure is a challenge for many Americans. A multi-mineral supplement containing selenium may be a safe way to maintain healthy selenium levels.*
B Vitamins – B Vitamins are a catalyst for many of the body’s important chemical reactions. When you run low on B Vitamins, you can experience challenges in normal body functions, and compromise your immune response in the process. Supplementing B vitamins is relatively easy, however, as with many other nutrients, more is not always better. Flooding the system with excessive quantities of B vitamins may fuel an overgrowth of non-beneficial flora in the intestines—and much of the supplemented vitamin may not be absorbed in the body. A “sustained-release” B vitamin complex is best. Also, it’s better to take a B vitamin complex, since the Bs work best together, rather than independently.*
Vitamin C – Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid), is required for the ongoing growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. The body needs Vitamin C to make its most abundant protein, collagen. Collagen is the cellular "glue" that holds the skin, blood vessels, arteries, muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments together. This is especially important in the artery walls, which must expand and contract with each beat of the heart.*
Many people run low on Vitamin C today. According to the National Institutes of Health, maintaining healthy Vitamin C levels is vital for: healthy hair and skin, periodontal health, healthy tooth enamel, joint health, red blood cell health, balanced immune response, and healthy metabolism.*
Amino Acids – Amino acids are the “building blocks” of proteins and are necessary for virtually everything in our bodies, including most hormones and all neurotransmitters. Healthy levels of amino acids are associated with: healthy probiotic/Candida balance in the gut; healthy overall energy levels (especially L-Tryptophan and L-tyrosine); thyroid health (L-tyrosine plays a key role in the production of thyroid hormone); and healthy athletic recovery. Well-balanced dietary supplements can help maintain healthy levels of amino acids, but only while also striving to get enough high-quality protein in the diet.*