In functional medicine, our aim is always health optimization and learning about your unique nutritional needs.
Micronutrient status changes person-to-person depending on dietary intake of nutrients, antioxidant needs, digestive health and function, presence of inflammation, genetics variations, and even environmental exposures.
While there are many personalized factors that affect nutritional needs, there are some common nutrients we see low most often!
Omega-3 fatty acids.
One of the most common needs we see in micronutrient testing is low omega-3s or an imbalanced omega-3/omega-6 ratio in the body. Omega-3s are the healthy fats responsible for building healthy cell membranes, and balancing immune responses and inflammation in the body. Dietary sources of omega-3s include nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts), and cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, herring, and sardines.
It is extremely common to have one or multiple B vitamin deficiencies. Lack of dietary consumption, genetic factors, and use of B vitamin cofactors in biochemical pathways in the body may dictate your needs. While many B vitamins are plentiful in animal foods, there are plant sources as well. Folate for example, or vitamin B9, is abundant in dark leafy greens and legumes. Vitamin B12 on the other hand, is more difficult to obtain from plant foods and may need to be supplemented or fortified in a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Involved in over 600 enzymatic reactions in the body, magnesium is something that you do not want to be missing out on. Magnesium plays crucial roles in cellular function and communication, affecting every system in the body. If you’ve heard of people taking magnesium for all sorts of reasons, that’s probably why! Different forms of magnesium (citrate, malate, glycinate, etc.) can have different actions in the body depending on what the magnesium is bound to, but boosting levels in the body overall can be helpful in deficiency or inadequate nutrient status. Magnesium rich foods include dark greens, nuts & seeds, and legumes.