I have written this article way back when I was still trying to understand how the State of Survival works, which is basically a mechanism that kicks in when there is a lack of cellular energy. It is basically about the difference between physiological and pharmacological nutritional supplementation.

I didn’t know that the State of Survival becomes fixed through epigenetic inheritance and I certainly knew nothing about epigenetically caused nutrient dependencies (which means that people require even more nutrients than in pharmacological dosages). But even then, I had made the observation that we are simply not getting enough nutrients through our food to be healthy, which to me, is not the same as disease-free by regular medical standards.

“Nutritional supplementation is not a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet”

This sentence could not be truer. Nevertheless, it is often misunderstood. It was probably originally intended for people who think that by popping a few vitamin pills you can continue to eat fast food, smoke, drink, and otherwise deplete your body.

Unfortunately, this sentence does not mean that people who eat a healthy and truly optimal diet would not need supplements.

This is because healthy eating does not mean simply eating things that are generally considered healthy. A truly healthy diet is one that provides you with all the nutrients you need for optimal functioning of all your body systems, especially for the production of energy at a cellular level. And if you go by that, no one actually eats a truly healthy diet. Nor is it possible to do so at all, as will be shown in a moment.

Nutrient requirements are basically determined by a balance between the intake and consumption of nutrients.

It is true that this ratio is individual. Nevertheless, it has been shown that certain guideline values can be determined for the determination of nutrient requirements.

The following factors must be considered in determining these guideline values:

  • The verification of the accuracy of these recommendations
  • The basic adherence to and compliance with the guidelines
  • The verification that the foods consumed actually contain the specified nutrients
  • The consideration of increased requirements for nutrients

With this, it first makes sense to look at what the official guidelines of the German Nutrition Society are.

Official recommendations of the Federal Republic of Germany for the consumption of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and trace elements

In nutrition, a fundamental distinction must be made between macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are needed to a greater extent to sustain life (protein, carbohydrates, fats). Micronutrients are needed only to a lesser extent (trace elements, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, secondary plant compounds).

Micronutrients:

Example nutrient requirements of some micronutrients:

Vitamin A:

This is the total amount of vitamin A and beta carotene (which is not identical) needed daily.

19 to 25 years 1,0 mg/3333 IU men 0,8 mg/  2666 IU women
25 to 51 years 1,0 mg/3333 IU men 0,8 mg/  2666 IU women
51 to 65 years 1,0 mg/3333 IU men 0,8 mg/  2666 IU women

Magnesium:

19 to 25 years 400 mg men 310 mg women
25 to 51 years 350 mg men 300 mg women
51 to 65 years 350 mg men 300 mg women

Calcium:

19 to 25 years 1000 mg
25 to 51 years 1000 mg
51 to 65 years 1000 mg

Zinc:

19 to 25 years 10,0 mg men 7,0 mg women
25 to 51 years 10,0 mg men 7,0 mg women
51 to 65 years 10,0 mg men 7,0 mg women

Copper, Manganese, Chromium, Molybdenum:

Copper Manganese Chromium Molybdenum
Young people and adults 1,0–1,5 mg 2,0–5,0 mg 30–100 µg 50–100 µg

Source: www.dge.de

What you would need to eat to meet these recommendations

Micronutrients:

The amount calculated in each case is based on the foods that contain the most of that nutrient per 100 grams.

2666 IU vitamin A:

8 grams of beef liver, 106 grams of butter, 2600 grams of milk (about 2.6 l). Fat-free meat contains almost no vit. A.

Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body only under ideal circumstances. One also needs much more of beta carotene (up to a ratio of 19:1) than of real vitamin A. Therefore, only foods that contain vitamin A (always of animal origin) are listed here.

300 mg magnesium:

447 grams of cooked spinach, 1100 grams of banana (about 10 small bananas), 2500 grams of yogurt.

1000 mg calcium:

826 mg (about 830 ml) of milk, 1388 grams of cooked kale, 261 grams of sardines

7 mg zinc:

80 grams of beef steak, 1170 grams of yogurt, 466 grams of cooked chickpeas

1.5 mg copper:

10 grams of beef liver, 500 grams of cooked lentils, 46 grams of chocolate

5 mg manganese:

74 grams of cooked mussels, 89 grams of hazelnuts, 238 grams of whole wheat bread

100 µg chromium:

100 grams Brazil nuts,105 grams Gouda cheese, 200 grams whole wheat bread

100 µg molybdenum:

20 grams buckwheat, 78 grams red cabbage, 142 grams oats

Summary:

Thus, a 25-51 year old woman would have to consume the following foods daily for the few nutrients listed alone to meet the DGE requirements, with the most nutrient-dense foods chosen here in each case.

160 grams of meat, 1300 grams of cooked pasta, 6 tablespoons of butter, 8 grams of beef liver, 447 grams of cooked spinach, 830 ml of milk, 74 grams of cooked mussels, 100 grams of Brazil nuts.

Only a few selected nutrients with their corresponding foods have been presented here. But we basically need almost all elements of the periodic table at least in traces, some of these elements in larger quantities. In addition to the minerals listed here, we also need phosphorus and potassium, for example. Not all vitamins are listed here.

At this point, it becomes clear already that most humans are far away from nutrition, which can cover their nutrient needs!

But this is unfortunately only the beginning of the problem of nutrient supply….

Why you need far more nutrients than the official recommendations suggest

1. the measure of the “threshold of disease

First of all, it is important to know that the official German DGE recommendations are based on “thresholds” that are not necessarily designed to maintain health but to prevent disease. But where is the difference?

The DGE’s vitamin C recommendation is to prevent the development of scurvy. Scurvy is a disease that used to affect seafarers who, due to a lack of vitamin C, developed inflammation of the gums, etc., until their teeth fell out.

But vitamin C has many other functions in the body than just preventing scurvy. It serves as a scavenger for free radicals, ensures that new connective tissue (collagen) builds up, prevents pigmentation spots, supports the detoxification of copper, among other things. But for these tasks, you need much more than just the amount of vitamin C, which prevents scurvy!

The amount of vitamin D is measured by the threshold, which prevents rickets. Rickets is a disease in which the bones soften and deform. In the past, this disease mainly affected people living in working-class neighborhoods, who had to eke out a living in “cellar holes” without light, working all day in dark factories or underground (especially children!), and who had no means of supplementing their vitamin D deficit through their diet (e.g. cod liver oil).

2 Different countries, different standards?

Let’s take as a comparison the recommendations of the nutritional authority of the United States of America (FDA) for a woman of 31-51 years:

Micronutrients:

In each case, the amount is calculated based on the foods that contain the most of that nutrient per 100 grams.

Source: FDA, which has adjusted some values since this article has been written originally – which proves my point further.

5000 IU vitamin A:

15 grams of beef liver, 200 grams of butter

400 mg magnesium:

696 grams of cooked spinach

1000 mg calcium:

826 mg (about 830 ml) milk, 1388 grams cooked kale, 261 grams sardines

15 mg zinc:

171 grams of beef steak, 998 grams of cooked chickpeas

2 mg copper:

13 grams beef liver, 666 grams cooked lentils

2 mg manganese:

29 grams cooked mussels, 35.6 grams hazelnuts

120 µg chromium:

120 grams Brazil nuts

75 µg molybdenum:

15 grams buckwheat

So, in comparison, the U.S. recommends significantly fewer carbohydrates, almost double the vitamin A, 33% more magnesium, 20% more chromium, 25% less molybdenum, 40% less manganese, 33% more copper, and over double the zinc compared to Germany.

The question here is why these recommendations are so different when people everywhere are the same?

 

3. Orientation to the health threshold- the original diet

There is research on how original populations around the world ate before industrialization. These populations had hardly any degenerative diseases. There, the consumption of fat-soluble vitamins was 10x higher than in the U.S. in the 1930s and 4x for water-soluble vitamins. So we could call these levels the “health threshold” of vitamins.

However, this would give us quite different nutritional requirements:

Vitamin Recommendation FDA/USA today Traditional Diets Amount of food to meet the requirements of the FDA Amount of food to meet the requirements of the health threshold
E 30 IU 300 IU 1 kg cooked spinach 10 kg cooked spinach
D 400 IU 4000 IU 4 grams cod liver oil 40 grams
K 80 µg 800 µg 10 grams cooked kale 100 grams cooked kale
A 5000 IU 50000 IU 15 grams bovine liver 150 grams bovine liver
C 60 mg 240 mg 26 grams guava 105 grams guava
B 6 2 mg 8 mg 154 grams sunflower seeds 615 grams sunflower seeds

 

4. Increased consumption due to stress

When the body is under stress metabolically, nutrients are used up very quickly in order to produce energy as quickly as possible. It is through the excretion of certain minerals that the body is able to produce “excitation potentials”. If these excreted minerals are not replaced, the body remains in this state of excitation. It remains in chronic “stress metabolism”. Nutrient deficiencies in and of themselves cause stress in the body. A downward spiral develops. In stress, the body excretes zinc and magnesium in particular. There is hardly any hair mineral analysis with intact zinc and magnesium levels.

5. Refined food, antinutrients, and additives

Our diet today is not a whole food diet. Wholesome means that foods are not altered in their original form. This is because each food contains within itself all the nutrients needed for its own digestion, and then donates additional nutrients to the body on top of that. Unrefined sugar, for example, contains chromium and magnesium. Both are essential for the utilization of carbohydrates. If I now eat white or even “brown” sugar, I am adding carbohydrates to the body, but not the associated nutrients (empty calories). The body must now “contribute” the missing nutrients for digestion. The body’s own stores are thus emptied and usually not replenished. This is like driving with gasoline but without oil.

But even whole grain products contain antinutrients. These ensure that the nutrients in the food are not absorbed. One example is phytic acid. If grains are not sprouted, acidified for a sufficient length of time, or soaked in acid, the phytic acid in the intestines (especially in cases of leaky gut, disturbed intestinal flora, etc.) blocks the absorption of calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc. Again, the body must subsidize the nutrients that are important for digestion. Thus, whole grain products nowadays make a great contribution to hyperacidity. This is because many of the important alkaline minerals from the grain are simply not absorbed. Thus, with today’s treatment of grains, a diet rich in meat is often more alkaline in result than a vegetarian diet. This is because, in meat, nutrients are supplied “gross for net”. Antinutrients do not exist there.

Additives often contain phosphates. In this way, it can happen that the body gets an excess of some minerals. Since in the body, minerals work according to an “antagonist principle”, if there is a constant surplus, the antagonist is discharged (in this case that would be calcium). This can lead to deficiency symptoms of the antagonist. Excess copper can lead to zinc deficiency in this way. Potassium excess to sodium deficiency.

6. Practicality/nutritional habits

If you look at the eating habits of most Germans, it is clear that the daily minimum requirements of nutrients are not covered:

  • One would have to consume fresh food daily, because, unlike minerals, water-soluble vitamins are not only lost during cooking but also when “lying around” in the refrigerator for a longer period of time.
  • It is virtually impossible to meet the need for vitamin A (not beta carotene) through diet if organs are not eaten.
  • It is difficult to cover e.g. the daily requirement of zinc, if no meat is eaten.
  • The knowledge of antinutrient degradation has been practically lost. As a result, bread, granola and co become “acid bombs”, making us over-acidic.

Summary:

From the above factors, it is clear that the daily nutrient requirements set by the DGE are far too low to really maintain health.

However, these factors are still unfortunately not all when calculating the actual daily nutrient requirement….

Our soils are depleted and contain only a fraction of their original nutrients

In the U.S., nutrient content has decreased by 90% in the years between 1910 and 2015. This means that, on average, soils now contain only 10% of the minerals they contained in 1910.

mineral-depletion1

Source: USDA

In wheat, nutrient levels of minerals have declined over the past 160 years in the U.S. as follows:

Zinc 33-49%
Copper 25-39%
Magnesium 20-27

Source: researchgate, Fan et al., Evidence of decreasing mineral density in wheat grain over the last 160 years, 2008

A German study shows that many foods in Germany have also dramatically lost nutrients in just 14 years (1985-1999):

Minerals and vitamins in mg per 100g food Examined nutrients Result 1985 Result 1996 Result 2002 Nutrient loss 1985 -1996 Nutrient loss 1985 – 2002
Brokkolis Calcium
Folic acid
Magnesium
103
47
24
33
23
18
28
18
11
-68 %
-52 %
-25 %
-73 %
-62 %
-55 %
Beans Calcium
Folic acid
Magnesium
Vitamin B6
56
39
26
140
34
34
22
55
22
30
18
32
-38 %
-12 %
-15 %
-61 %
-51 %
-23 %
-31 %
-77 %
Potatoes Calcium
Magnesium
14
27
4
18
3
14
-70 %
-33 %
-78 %
-48 %
Carrots Calcium
Magnesium
37
21
31
9
28
6
-17 %
-57 %
-24 %
-75 %
Spinach Magnesium
Vitamin C
62
51
19
21
15
18
-68 %
-58 %
-76 %
-65 %
Apples Vitamin C 5 1 2 -80 % -60 %
Bananas Calcium
Folic acid
Magnesium
Vitamin B6
Potassium
8
23
31
330
420
7
3
27
22
327
7
5
24
18
-*
-12 %
-84 %
-13 %
-92 %
-24 %
-12 %
-79 %
-23 %
-95 %
Strawberries Calcium
Vitamin C
21
60
18
13
12
8
-14 %
-67 %
-43 %
-87 %

Source: 1985 Geigy pharmaceutical company. 1996 Food laboratory Karlsruhe/Sanatorium Oberthal.

Imagine, then, that you basically eat an average of 30% fewer nutrients every day than you should.

How much would you now have to eat of spinach to meet the minimum requirements (which are set too low anyway) of the DGE?

400 mg of magnesium:

Instead of 696 grams of cooked spinach, you would now have to eat 1023 grams of cooked spinach daily

If one is generous and uses only the average nutrient loss of 30% for vegetable products, this means for other nutrients:

1000 mg of calcium:

Instead of 1388 grams of cooked kale, 1982 grams of cooked kale daily

7 mg zinc:

Instead of 466 grams of cooked chickpeas, 665 grams of cooked chickpeas

1.5 mg copper:

Instead of 500 grams of cooked lentils, 714 grams of cooked lentils

Summary:

At this point at the latest, it should be clear that even the healthiest diet is far from being able to meet the DGE’s minimum daily requirements for nutrients.

But even that is not all with regard to the topic of nutritional supplementation…..

Maintaining health and becoming healthy – there is a big difference!

When you talk about a daily nutrient requirement, it means the number of nutrients we need to stay healthy. In the worst case, it is the minimum requirement of the “disease threshold” in the best case it is the requirement of the “health threshold”.

Thus, the daily nutrient requirement is calculated to prevent deficiency states. But what happens when deficiencies are already present?

Then you can’t expect to cover nutrient deficiencies with the amounts of nutrients suitable for maintaining health. If your rent is 1000 Euro per month, but you are already in debt with 3000 Euro, you cannot expect to pay your rental debts in the current month with another 1000 Euro. You now need 4000 Euro to get to “zero”, so to speak.

This explains the difference between a nutritional supplement in physiological doses and a nutritional supplement in pharmacological doses. A nutritional supplement in physiological doses is intended to prevent deficiencies, while a nutritional supplement in pharmacological doses is intended to eliminate deficiencies.

Accordingly, the nutritional supplementation in pharmacological doses works with much higher dosages than the physiological one.

Since it is virtually impossible to meet your daily nutrient needs with food alone, pharmacological dosing must “top up” your daily nutrient needs and additionally “plug the holes”.

Another role of supplementation with pharmacological doses is to replace isolated nutrients. This is because supplementation with physiological doses assumes that the body needs certain nutrients daily in a consistent ratio. But with a system in imbalance, it often happens that only certain nutrients are needed in pharmacological dosages. Here, supplementing with nutrients in physiological dosages is often a “malpractice”.

Examples: Cod liver oil is an excellent supplier of vitamin A and D. Here, vitamin D and A are present in a balanced ratio to each other, similar to how they should prevail in the body. However, if there is a pronounced vitamin A deficiency (as is the case in 90% of all patients tested), the administration of vitamin D is contraindicated. In this case, isolated vitamin A must be given. It is similar to the consumption of liver to cover the zinc requirement approximately. Liver additionally also contains a lot of copper. But many patients already have an excess of copper and should therefore take zinc in isolation.

That nutrient deficiencies exist is already compellingly clear from the above illustrations. Fortunately, however, these can also be objectified:

Acute supply gaps can be identified in the blood. Chronic supply gaps cannot be well detected in the blood, however, because the blood is always the last thing to be derailed (which is why a whole blood analysis does not provide any further information). The blood fetches supplies of nutrients from the tissues until there is not much left. Heavy metals and other toxins are then also deposited in the tissue, which is no longer visible in the blood. If nutrients are already missing in the blood, it is either an electrolyte imbalance caused by acute events (accident, shock) or advanced nutrient deficiencies.
In tissues, chronic nutrient deficiencies can be very well proven by hair mineral analysis, as hair is a good indicator of nutrient stocks in tissues in my opinion (which is not recognized by conventional medicine, however). This is one of the reasons why I use hair mineral analysis as the basis of my treatment. Because nutrition is the foundation of life. Without a foundation, other measures won’t do much.

How long do I need to take supplements?

If you have read the above, you will guess the answer to this question: Forever!

What changes is the dosage!

Nutrient deficiencies and metabolic stress are very closely related. Stress is the trigger point of ALL diseases and hormonal problems. Metabolism, which depends largely on a balance of the household of minerals, vitamins and trace elements (to balance toxins and heavy metals), is the underlying source of hormonal balance. Because without nutrients, repair processes and reproduction make no sense due to evolution, the hormones interconnect in the stress metabolism.

Accordingly, the patient must take nutritional supplements in large pharmacological doses until the nutrient gaps are closed (and the heavy metals are eliminated).

Unfortunately, I have to say that I have NOT seen a SINGLE person who has a completely balanced nutrient profile (which I determine by hair mineral analysis). Even people who eat a very good, full diet are affected by nutrient deficiencies. However, usually to a lesser extent than those who eat poorly.

So, on the one hand, the duration of pharmacological supplementation depends on the severity of nutrient deficiencies.

In addition, stress from within and without ensures that nutrients are used for the “day’s work” and not to correct nutrient deficiencies.

This is why it is so important to eliminate “stressors” in the patient’s life during treatment. This point cannot be stressed enough. Any stressor, whether it is anger at work, hunger, a faulty digestive system (intolerances), lack of sleep, viral illnesses, alcohol, heavy metals, etc. robs you of minerals and vitamins!

Here is a typical example of a profile with moderately severe nutrient deficiencies:

Beispiel Haarmineralanalyse Verisana

The following nutrient deficiencies are found in this hair mineral analysis:

Sodium
Potassium
Zinc
Phosphorus
Manganese
Boron
Molybdenum
Germanium

In addition, an excess/heavy metal load of:

Calcium
Copper
Iron
Cobalt
Bismuth
Nickel
Strontium
Tin
Zirconium

Through dietary supplementation in pharmacological doses (supplementing the daily requirement is simply not enough here), the goal now is to replenish the deficiencies in nutrients and eliminate the excesses.

Potassium and sodium can “move” up or down very quickly. Phosphorus and molybdenum rather slowly. This profile does not show a magnesium deficiency as most other profiles do. Zinc and magnesium are among the hardest minerals to replenish in most patients.

Now, with regard to calcium, there are some empirical values as to how quickly this can be cleared out. One says about 100 parts in 3 months. Now, this is a young woman, which may speed things up a little. With copper, the prognosis is more difficult. Because copper hides in the tissues especially with high calcium levels (the main culprit in the slow metabolism here), so we can’t see it yet. Cobalt can sometimes come down very quickly, in other cases it takes months. The heavy metals in the green zone usually lower after 3 months.

However, the above is valid only if the patient adheres to accompanying therapeutic measures and if other possible obstacles to healing are also taken into account and removed!

Typical healing obstacles on the way to a balanced nutrient budget are:

  • The patient cannot or will not take the nutritional supplement in the amount I recommend
  • There are infections in the body. With the slow metabolism, these are usually viral diseases and intracellular bacteria
  • The patient does not follow the dietary recommendations
  • The patient eats either too much or too little carbohydrate
  • The patient does not eat enough protein
  • The patient eats too few vegetables
  • The patient does not avoid dairy products, sugar and gluten
  • The patient does not abstain from alcohol
  • The patient takes nutritional supplements not agreed with me, e.g. vitamin D
  • The patient does not change his lifestyle habits, does too much exercise, does not take rest, etc.
  • The patient’s intestine does not absorb the nutritional supplement
  • The patient’s detoxification stalls due to an overload of the excretory organs (liver, kidney, lymph, skin).
  • The patient has more “hidden” heavy metals than previously thought
  • The patient suffers from developmental trauma keeping him in a state of permanent stress
  • The patient has a dysfunctional nervous system

Since all of the above usually play a part in patients’ history, the balancing of such a profile can take up to 3 years.

Because:

A disturbed metabolism is a non-specific response of the body to stress! Especially the hormonal system will act up with stress.

First of all, it is irrelevant whether someone with menstrual problems, for example, has 2 or 20 issues that are keeping the body in metabolic stress. Certainly, one can say that a person with multiple symptoms, in contrast to someone with “only” menstrual cramps, has more rather than fewer issues. But it is not always possible to estimate the number of issues at the beginning of the therapy.

The hormonal system only comes back into balance when ALL issues have been worked through. Healthy nutrition and nutritional supplements are an important but often not the only issue of a person with hormone disorders.

Accordingly, the first rule is that patients should take nutritional supplements in pharmacological doses until their profile is balanced (which can sometimes take years) or until they are satisfied with how they feel. Assuming that nutrient dependencies have been taken care of, there is still the matter of optimal functioning. Anti-aging requires an abundance of nutrients.

A few comments about the nutritional supplement and hair mineral analysis that I use:

I work with Trace Elements’s hair mineral analysis because it is unique. Through this test, I can not only detect nutrient deficiencies and heavy metal contamination (as with any other hair mineral analysis), but also determine the state of the metabolism (which again, the current medical paradigm will not agree with) such as:

  • Thyroid function
  • Adrenal function
  • Sex hormone function
  • Sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system relationship
  • Liver and kidney function
  • Energy level/energy sensation
  • Ability of the body to process carbohydrates
  • Mitochondriopathies
  • Oxygen transport
  • Inflammatory tendencies
  • and much more

Image: By Ragesoss – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia