It is becoming more and more apparent the big role micronutrients play in our continued health. In 2003 the New York Times named micronutrients, especially folic acid the “world’s most luscious food”. An article just recently published in the 2010 issue of Otolanyngology brought to light how important folate is for the elderly. The profiled study in the article showed how low serum levels of folic acid is significantly associated with hearing loss. We are already aware of the big role folic acid plays in the development of the fetus and the positive effects it has on brain and spinal cord development. Folate is also necessary for the body to maintain proper levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Without enough folate, homocysteine will build up in the body. High levels of homocysteine are associated with cardiovascular disease.
A similar issued exists with Selenium which has been found to be especially important to our body’s immune system and it’s ability to deal with influenza viruses. There are such dramatic differences in the mineral content of the soil through out the world, that it is difficult to establish a table of foods rich in Selenium.
The body can not make either Selenium or Folate and interestingly enough the soil is not usually re-fortified with either. If it is not in the soil, the plant will not be able to draw adequate amounts. Taking into consideration the these trace nutrients are so unpredictable in our food source, it seems logical that supplementing is a wise idea.
But we now know that minerals, in “inorganic” form can become free radicals as they move from our stomachs into our intestines, making them unavailable for absorption. This is a quandry for those trying to address micronutrients with supplementation. There are vitamins out there that guarantee absorption and can back it up with documented scientific evidence. Do your research or contact me.