Micronutrient absorption, tissue uptake, and use almost always require additional micronutrients. And given the prevalence of low intakes in most micronutrients, it is essential to consider a major negative effect: the repercussion of a micronutrient deficit on other micronutrients.
It is well known that vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium, but it is less well known, for example, that zinc is necessary for the good absorption of vitamin B9 and vitamin B9 for that of vitamin B1.
In France, around 80% of the population does not receive the recommended intake of zinc, 40% of vitamin B9 and 60% of vitamin B1 through food. Lack of zinc can therefore contribute to increasing the lack of vitamin B9 which in turn can worsen vitamin B1 deficiency.
It can be seen that, at the first level of absorption alone, a micronutrient deficiency can have chain repercussions.
On the other hand, it is not enough to absorb a micronutrient. This micronutrient must be transported and enter the cells where it must act.
For example, the sodium pump exchanges intracellular sodium which it rejects in favor of the entry of potassium. This operation depends on an enzyme whose cofactor is magnesium. If there is a lack of sufficient magnesium, cellular potassium depletion may remain resistant to potassium administration until the magnesium deficit has been corrected.
As for the retention of magnesium in the cell, it depends on a number of factors, including taurine, a sulfur amino acid derivative that the body is able to synthesize, but often not in sufficient quantities.
Vitamin E works by protecting circulating fat and cell membrane fat from oxidation. But the content of these fats in vitamin E depends on their quality. The richer they are in polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular of the omega 3 series, the more they mobilize vitamin E. (Note 2005: a negative study encourages this notion to be rechecked). But in France, almost 100% of the population does not receive the recommended vitamin E intakes through food.
Micronutrients rarely work in their original form. They must be integrated into other molecules and / or transformed. So none of the B vitamins work until they have been transformed into what is called a coenzyme, its active form.
This transformation is achieved through the intervention of tools whose effectiveness depends on other vitamins and minerals. All the B vitamins require magnesium to operate their transformation; vitamin B6 needs more zinc, vitamin B2 and vitamin B3 in order to achieve its active form. Likewise, vitamin B9 uses in addition to magnesium, vitamin B2, vitamin C and probably zinc to become a coenzyme.
We see again what repercussions a micronutrient deficit can have on the functional capacities of other micronutrients.
Once transformed, the cofactors often still operate in synergy to allow the construction and renewal of cellular structures and to make the cells of the different systems of our organism function. To take another example, the production of energy in the form of ATP from carbohydrates and lipids involves, during its many stages, magnesium, vitamins B1, B2 and B3, and, for one of its key steps, the transformation of pyruvate into acetyl CoA (coenzyme A), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and biotin (vitamin B8) in addition.
Most functions, such as repairing cell damage or defending against infection, are the result of a chain of biochemical operations.
However, if a single step of these chains of operations is slowed down by a lack of a micronutrient, the steps which are downstream of the affected operation are also slowed down due to a lack of substrate. by the lack of parts on an assembly line.
Author Jean-Paul Curtay