Welcome to deficiencies. You'll remember a lot of this information from the gut health section when we briefly spoke about the fact that many people are very deficient in minerals, vitamins, and nutrients because they don't absorb them properly. Invariably this starts with dysbiosis of the gut and inflammation.
It's a very dangerous, deadly cycle. If you are deficient in nutrients already, you are unable to take up nutrients which makes you even more depleted! So deficiencies are something we need to look at very carefully. It's usually the second step after looking after your gut.
There are many different types of deficiencies. We can have:
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Mineral deficiencies
- Digestive enzyme deficiencies
- Amino acid deficiencies
- Fatty acid deficiencies
- Phytonutrient deficiencies
All of these deficiencies we can test for to determine what we can do to help ourselves. To assist in our diagnosis, we here at Truly Heal also recommend looking at the cellular membrane potential. The cellular membrane potential will let you know whether your cells can actually take up nutrients and get rid of waste products.
Next we look at treatments for deficiency. Which treatments are the most effective? We also look at causes for deficiency, such as excess (or not enough) heavy metals.
Mineral deficiencies are very often depleted in patients that come to us. We've done many charts with our patients during our workshops and the majority of them end up showing that they are deficient in most minerals. Even people who eat very healthily and take massive amounts of supplements will show depletion. Why is that? To help explain why, let's go through some of the most important minerals and their different properties.
Iodine is a mineral that has bodily responsibilities related to so many factors. These include detoxification, immune system response, cell division, endocrine modulation, myelination and synaptogenesis, physical and mental development, and synthesis of thyroid hormones.
The heavy metal antagonists for iodine are mercury and uranium. This means they will affect your iodine levels. The implications of low iodine include:
- Heavy metal accumulation.
- Inhibiting correct thyroid activity.
- Allowing tumour or cyst formation.
- Compromised immune system.
We don't want any of that!
I've seen a lot of people (I was actually one of them!) try very hard to increase their iodine levels by lathering themselves in Lugol's solution, but failing. For me, it wasn't until I noticed which synergistic nutrients were required to enable the uptake of iodine, that I actually managed to correct my levels. Things like Vitamin B3, B complex, Vitamin C, copper, magnesium, tyrosine, selenium, and zinc. You need to have them in high levels to be enable the uptake of iodine. This is why most good supplements are in a synergistic compound.
The functions of selenium include:
- It is a co-factor in the enzyme glutathione peroxidase
- Antioxidant effect
- Anti-viral effect
- Anti-tumor effects
And that's just a few of its benefits. Selenium is one of the main weapons your immune system has in its arsenal to fight cancer. If your selenium levels are low it makes it very difficult for your body to fight cancer, and also allow other treatments to fight it too.
Implications of low selenium include:
- Loss of protection against oxidative stress (especially from heavy metals), thyroid dysfunction, enzyme production, depressed glutathione peroxidase (the master antioxidant), free radical damage, depressed mood, growth impairment, infections, liver damage, hypertension and heart failure
You really don't want any of these problems! To get those levels up you need to ensure you are ingesting enough food with high selenium content. Things like:
- Brazil nuts, oysters, whole grains, sunflower seeds, fish, meat (beef, liver, lamb, pork), poultry, eggs, mushrooms, and onions
The metal antagonists of selenium include:
- Silver, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, thallium.
Synergistic nutrients for selenium include:
- Vitamin B3, C, E, coenzyme Q10, cysteine, glutathione, methionine, zinc, and iodine.
As you may realise, I am reading all of this information straight from our Truly Heal app. Without it I wouldn't be able to tell you any of this off the top of my head! For people who are dealing with patients all day this is a must know, but if it's not your daily process and you still need to see and analyse a deficiency, the app is such a handy tool because it really helps you through everything you need to know about the minerals.
Let's briefly explore the different tests. If you know how to properly take supplementation but you don't know how to find out what's wrong, that doesn't really get you anywhere!
This is why we recommend you work with a practitioner who has knowledge about the Organic Acid Test. It's one of the most comprehensive tests you can have. It gives you so much insight into deficiencies, energy production, metabolism of carbohydrates, anaerobic and aerobic energy production, fatty acid oxidation, B complex markers, neurotransmitter function, oxidative damage and markers, detoxification indicators and bacterial growth.
It really is a phenomenal test that will give you so many insights about what's going on in your body and help you to identify where the root causes of your problems are.
There is also the fatty acid test which tests for the balance between omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in your body. Imbalances of these fatty acids are known to cause mental and emotional problems and repair mechanism impairments. But honestly? It's a test that is not quite as relevant as others.
You gain 10 times more information out of a stool test. A comprehensive stool test, which looks at your gut bacteria load, pathogenic bacteria, parasites (which could be eating up all the good nutrients before they get to you!), fungi, digestion pancreatic enzymes, fat absorption, and malabsorption is a much better idea. All of this information about your body can be found through a simple stool test! It's a great indicator of where the problems lie so that you can specifically target them and really sort yourself out.
Supplementation is an art. Just as an example, if you drink carrot juice but do not also consume the proper oils with it, you will not be able to absorb the vitamins you've just taken in. This is why we suggest that you work with someone who really understands the tests conducted and can read your mineral status and deficiencies, and then help you to synergistically bring them back up.
I just want to briefly mention deficiencies of Iron. If you have a low level of iron, most practitioners will just give you iron supplements or IV iron infusion without any further tests. We at Truly Heal recommend that you look deeper, at the ferritin and the transferretin levels. Ferritin is iron storage, and transferretin is what your body can use. If you have high storage but your transferritin level is low, it's actually an indication of a very intelligent system. Your body is clever! It is down-regulating the transferritin in order to prevent the growth of cancer, pathogens, bacteria, fungus, and mould, because all of them thrive in a high iron environment.
If you just get an iron injection but you don't first get rid of your pathogenic load then you can actually be promoting cancer growth! And there is plenty of research that backs this up.
This is something that needs to be checked. If your body has down-regulated, you don't just want to add to it. You need to first get rid of parasites and pathogenic load and then the iron status in your body will release it automatically when it knows it's safe to do so.
That's just one of the many little nuggets of gold information that might help you get well.
Let's talk about Vitamin D. Vitamin D alone in high doses is not good. You need to combine it with vitamin K, which is in all green vegetables. Vitamin D is crucial for:
- Regulation of the immune system
- Blood pressure and cardiovascular health
- Regulation of bone health
- Regulation of insulin and blood sugar levels
- Preventing some cancers, as well as Alzheimer's, autism, depression, asthma, and many more diseases.
The chart labelled Vitamin D3 above shows us what the optimal levels of vitamin D3 should be to help prevent cancer. You can see that optimal levels to help prevent most cancers are at around the 30 to 55 mark. But in order to cure or heal, it's wise to be at around the 50 to 60 mark as a minimum.
Most patients we test have levels at around 11 to 13. The reason for this is pretty simple. We're not exposed to the sun anymore. We also have a lot of ethnic cultural mix. If you have a dark complexion and you move up to England or Scotland where you don't get much sun at all, then you're levels of Vitamin D are going to be very low. The darker your skin the more exposure to the sun you need in order to get adequate levels of Vitamin D.
If you have red hair and fair skin and go out into the sun for only a short amount of time, you will produce enough Vitamin D. It's simply based on your heritage. Keep that in mind and check your vitamin D levels. It's a simple blood test that you can ask your doctor for.
We spoke about Vitamin B levels briefly before. They are crucial for dealing with cancer. They need to be high because Vitamin B helps with cell formation, methylation, protein synthesis, metabolism of fat and carbohydrates among other things.
There is a lot more that we could go over in the deficiencies section, but this is just a taster to get you thinking about the importance of having enough vitamins and minerals in your system. You need to have a good nutritional doctor or dietician that understands these principles. Someone who can work through and develop a protocol with you to ensure your body has all it needs to replenish your deficiencies and keep you healthy.