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Table of Contents
How to Read the Maps
We use colors to help emphasize the importance of nutrients.
With the B-Vitamins, the more yellow it is, the more likely it is very important, or urgent to address.
For B-vitamins, the font will also be more bold.
With Minerals, we denote partners by using the same color for both.
Minerals are also color-coded by tier. The 1st Tier minerals are most important, and have a green shade (dark or light).
The 2nd Tier minerals are shaded purple. They are less important than the 1st Tier.
You can see, too, which minerals are partners:
- Sodium & Potassium have darker green.
- Calcium & Magnesium are lighter green.
- Zinc & Copper are darker purple.
- Iodine & Selenium are lighter purple.
The fat-soluble vitamins colors reflect how they appear in nature to some extent, rather than color-coding. However, you can sort of imagine two tiers between them: D and A are more vibrant (orange and red) as they are more critical and foundational to healing. K and E are secondary to D and A for most people.
Mostly, though, the fat-soluble vitamins colors reflect their color as they often appear in nature.
Notes About Minerals
I’ve found it incredibly helpful to imagine the minerals grouped into three tiers. This thinking of the 3 “tiers” of minerals can help organize your thoughts, and guide you on where to focus your attention as you look for progress.
TIER 1: The top row — green — are so essential that we might need all four daily to feel our best. Sodium and potassium, in particular, can be a lifeline for people in desperate need of nutrition.
TIER 2: The middle row — purple — is less essential, but when deficient, just as powerful. Daily supplementation is less likely to be needed, but a deficiency in any of these can weaken the body very deeply.
TIER 3: The bottom row — red-orange — is usually much less important than the other two. That said, iron is a behemoth of a nutrient for many people — and they’re usually deficient. Poor diets, poor gut health, chronic inflammation, mineral & herbal supplementation, and periods can all work together to deplete iron. If you’re low in iron, taking iron (bisglycinate is a good form) along with cofactors (A and zinc, in particular) is usually essential.
Notes About B-Vitamins
B-vitamins need to be balanced just like all other groups of nutrients. The more inflammed your body, the more likely you’ll need to take this concept of balance seriously. Therefore, a low-dose, balanced B-complex — or what’s found in the Naturelo multivitamin — is the best place to start.
When it comes to supplementing individual B-vitamins, though, B1 and B2 represent the crucial foundation for all the rest of the B-vitamins. B6 is critical, too, but has the most side effects in excess.
The “lesser importance” B-vitamins (B3, B5, B7) are still incredibly important — they just aren’t the place to start for most people. B1 and B2 are much more critical to restore lost metabolic function.
The one exception might be B3 which, in the form of niacinamide, is extremely powerful for lowering blood sugar in diabetes. By the same token, niacinamide can lower blood sugar too quickly for someone with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
It cannot be overstated how important each nutrient is. Supplementing all nutrients — in relative balance — is the first step toward correcting deficiencies and imbalances.
After that first step — a low-dose, balanced multivitamin — is addressed, we can start thinking more about individual nutrients, and seeing if bringing up individual levels speeds our progress.
If a multivitamin isn’t tolerable (even a low-dose, balanced one), it usually means there’s at least one offending nutrient that the body just cannot tolerate (likely because it depletes its cofactors, or is just too high, itself).
In that case, skipping straight to experimenting with individual nutrients is likely the only option: Finding the nutrients so desperately needed can bring rapid progress, sometimes, and can hasten tolerance of the low-dose multivitamin. Jumping straight to individual nutrients is a bit like playing with fire: high-risk, high-reward. Proceed with wisdom.
1st Tier Minerals
Partner: Potassium | Co-factors: Magnesium, Calcium
Weaker Co-factors: B-vitamins, Vitamin C
Sodium is incredibly important throughout the body for hydration, immunity, and energy. Gastric motility often suffers without enough sodium. A healthy body retains and recycles sodium incredibly well, but a chronically-inflammed or hypothyroid body will waste sodium rapidly. If sodium is low, such as in hypothyroidism and gut dysbiosis, you may require high sodium intake with and even in between meals. When sodium is low, potassium can greatly deplete it. B-vitamins generally lower sodium (except for B1, which can raise sodium). When sodium is high, it can greatly deplete potassium.
SUMMARY: When the body is healthy, sodium is often of low importance, only needed in times of extreme stress. But when the body is chronically ill (hypothyroidism or gut dysbiosis), sodium can be rapidly wasted, requiring intentional, daily supplementation of extra sodium — sometimes throughout the day. When sodium is very low, potassium may need to be restricted.
Vitamin C will also deplete sodium.
Partner: Sodium | Co-factor: Vitamin D (fairly weak)
Potassium is incredibly important throughout the body for hydration, immunity, and energy. Gastric motility often suffers without enough potassium! Because a healthy body retains and recycles sodium incredibly well, most people respond very well to potassium supplementation — over and above what’s found in foods. If potassium is low, you may experience fatigue, cramps, insomnia and more. When potassium is low, sodium can greatly deplete it.
SUMMARY: Potassium is often of extremely high importance for everyone. But when the body is chronically ill (hypothyroidism or gut dysbiosis), and sodium is rapidly wasted, potassium could deplete sodium, and might therefore need to be supplemented in only low doses, or not at all.
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