If a person does not take in a certain vitamin or mineral, can it be harder to process other nutritients to assist in weight loss and/or body fat decrease (i.e., vitamin D processing protein)?
This is a great question considering that when we are talking about vitamins and minerals, we usually talk about them as if they function with little interaction. However, science knows that many interactions occur, and getting enough of one thing (e.g., calcium) does little good if you don't get enough of something else (e.g., vitamin D).
Some good examples of interaction are:
- Vitamin D and Calcium: Vitmain D is needed for the proper absorption of calcium.
- Chromium and Insulin: Chromium is needed for insulin to properly uptake glucose into cells (chromium is part of the glucose tolerance factor).
- B vitamins and Energy Transformation: B vitamins such as thiamin are needed at various points in the production of ATP from macronutrients (e.g., carbohydrates).
- Folate and amino acid metabolism: Folate is required for serine synthesis from glycine. Vitamin B6 is also strongly involved in amino acid metabolism.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) protects folate from oxidation.
Human metabolism is extremely complex, and science really only knows a small amount of what is going on. We do know that many items work together to produce a desired effect, so it would make sense that certain nutrients would need to work together for human metabolism to function properly. However, there is little scientific evidence to show that an inadequate intake of one nutrient would hinder another nutrient from helping with weight loss. One reason for this is that there is little evidence any one nutrient can greatly impact human metabolism. Although there is research to show that calcium from dairy products may help a little with fat loss, and it stands to reason that, without adequate vitamin D, this could not occur.