With the cold and flu season in full swing, many people turn to vitamin C for a little bit of support. I often hear people say “if you have too much vitamin C, you just wee the excess out”. This is true – however before you wee it out it has interactions with every cell, organ or body part it comes into contact with.
Many of the minerals and vitamins in our body work together in pairs, these are important nutrient ratio’s. It means if one of the pairs is in excess compared to the other, then neither of the minerals are utilised properly. Many of the supplements you can buy over the counter take this into account and will have the pair as part of the supplement, for example many Magnesium supplements will have Calcium in them. However, when you get too much calcium your body will ‘beg, borrow and steal’ Magnesium from where ever it can get it – often depleting organs that require it to function optimally. So having a supplement with both in it is only going to make your Magnesium deficiency worse.
Vitamins are not produced in the body (with the exception of Vit D and a small amount of Vit K and B3). We need to eat food that contain these vitamins. Vit C’s pairs are Copper and Iron. We have all heard, if you want to increase your iron ‘eat some red meat and have a glass of orange juice with it’. This is why. If you end up with too much Vitamin C it can result in an Iron overload and the flow on effect is a Copper deficiency.
Your Copper and Zinc ratio is the key one to keep an eye on, in particular during winter. If you have too much Copper and not enough Zinc you will be susceptible to viral infections, if you have too much Zinc and not enough Copper you will be susceptible to bacterial infections.
It can be a tricky trying to work out what are the right levels of minerals and vitamins in your body. Having a hair tissue mineral analysis is a great way to assess what supplements will be beneficial to your health.