The Nine “Thieves” That Are Stealing Nutrients from Your Body

By , Category : Food and Nutrition

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Your natural health requires a constant intake of essential nutrients. It’s no health secret that eating nutrient-rich, fresh foods is a vital way to stay healthy. This article is a two-parter illustrating nine factors that deplete the nutrients in your body.

Did you know that nutrients can just disappear? Certain things can either strip food of its nutritional value or deplete your body’s supply of any number of essential vitamins and minerals. This information is important when you are shelling out money for supplements to boost your nutrient levels, or if you have made significant dietary changes in order to get the most out of your food.

It’s difficult to generalize and give an overall list of the things that cause you to lose nutrients. This is because many different factors will deplete certain minerals and specific vitamins, while leaving others untouched. But in any event, take a close look at what follows. The most susceptible nutrients to depletion are folic acid, magnesium, and calcium. They are working against you, hurting your level of nutrients, and leaving you more prone to disease because of it. But let’s get started on that list of potential nutrient-robbing items, with the first four:

1. Processed foods: This one is the biggest source of lost nutrients. If you choose processed grains/white flour over whole grains, your body is being robbed of nutrients. When technology entered the food industry, manufacturers made softer bread, pastries, and cakes that had longer shelf lives. When a grain is processed, its fiber and nutrition germ is removed to create a finely ground flour. Choose products from your bread and cereals food group with careful scrutiny — aim for whole grains, all the time.

2. Diuretics: Simply put, diuretics are used to promote more urination. They have a direct impact on your potassium levels, and are classified either as “potassium-depleting” or “potassium-sparing,” depending on what they do. You should pay close attention to this. Researchers have found that diuretics also lower your level of folic acid — dramatically. For this reason, they suggest if you take diuretics, you should supplement with folic acid as well.

3. Stress: Stress exerts devastating consequences on your body, including your ability to absorb and use vitamins and minerals. Prolonged stress causes gastrointestinal problems and excessive stomach acid, disrupting chemical processes and enzyme activity.

4. Antibiotics: These, as we all know, are drugs used to kill bacteria. Using antibiotics over the long term can deplete your body’s store of essential nutrients — notably vitamins B2, B9, B12, and K. Antibiotics may reduce vitamin K levels especially, and the body’s ability to absorb it. It’s generally accepted now that we have been overusing these drugs for a long time, so only get a prescription if you truly need it.

Stay tuned for the last five on the list in the next Doctors Health Press bulletin.

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Dr. Victor Marchione, MD

About the Author, Browse Victor's Articles

Victor Marchione, MD received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years. Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The... Read Full Bio »