Micronutrients: Who Needs Them?

Apr 15, 2021 | 2021 April A to Z Challenge, Nutrition

As a newly qualified medical specialist with dual Fellowships in Pediatrics and Medical Biochemistry, the first research problem I tackled was to find out how much zinc and copper was needed for premature babies, too small to be fed orally, who received their nutrition intravenously.  Babies who did not get enough zinc became very sick. They were immunodeficient, their tiny bodies were covered with a red scaly, inflamed rash and they developed yeast infections. When we added zinc to their intravenous fluids, the changes seemed miraculous.  Their skin cleared up, the infections were cured and they began to grow.

That work sparked my research interest in micronutrient nutrition and toxicity, that continued until I retired. It has  been regenerated by my passion for discovering ways for aging youthfully. That in turn led to the founding of the  Growing Older Living Younger (GOLY) Project and becoming an entrepreneur, starting an ‘anti-aging’ business in my seventies. 

Zinc and copper are just two of the essential trace elements we include in the term, micronutrients. Others are selenium, iron, manganese, chromium to name just a few. Micronutrients are fundamentally the vitamins, minerals and trace elements that are essential to keep your metabolism ticking along smoothly.  

While the nutrition debates rage on about carnivore versus vegetarian, and the macronutrients, carbohydrates, fats and proteins, the prevailing approach to micronutrient supplementation by health professionals seems to be dismissive. We have all heard the statement ‘you don’t need supplements if you eat healthy,  you will just make just make expensive urine.’  So not true.

I think that many professionals were trained to think of vitamins in terms of the deficiency diseases. They therefore tend to overlook the fact that while their patient may not have rickets or scurvy, sub-optimal levels of vitamin d or c may mean that their metabolism is not working nearly as efficiently as it should.

As well there are major issues with much of the large scale nutrition research that examines associations rather than cause and effect.  

My approach is that I have one body and one mind and I want both to keep working well until I head off to sit on those fluffy white clouds, play my harp and sing through eternity. So I have a daily regimen of micronutrients that I know are safe , bioavailable and of the highest quality. And despite my dancing, or maybe because of it,  they keep my knees, hips and ankles in great shape and pain -free.

And besides, we, the masses, obviously don’t listen to the professional naysayers. According to a recent report by Infresearch, the global dietary supplement market was USD 167.8 Billion in 2019 and could reach USD 306.8 Billion by 2026.  

So – micronutrients who needs them? We all do. And we haven’t even talked about phytonutrients and antioxidants. 

If you want to learn how you can start your own at-home, on line business and take part in this massive industry growth, drop me a line at askdrgill@gmail.com and we can find a time for a chat.. 

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