Nutrition

They Block Everything! 8 Factors That Reduce Vitamin Absorption

Evidence Based Article 📄
This article has been based on relevant and up-to-date scientific studies. Our writers are unbiased and objective and present the facts as they are known. Numbers in brackets within the article refer to sources included in the reference list at the end of the article.

We need vitamins and minerals for our bodies to function optimally. Unfortunately, we can “eat well” but still not get all the vitamins we need. There are several factors that can inhibit their absorption, and thus reduce the effectiveness of vitamins and minerals. Scroll down to read.

1.Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol can interfere with the absorption of nutrients by damaging the stomach and intestinal lining, impairing the enzymes responsible for digestion, and impacting the transport of nutritional components.

Solution: Limit alcohol consumption and maintain moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

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2.Overuse of Acid Blockers

Regular use of acid blockers can reduce stomach acid levels, interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and B12.

Solution: Use acid blockers moderately and under your doctor’s guidance. Where possible, address reflux and heartburn through lifestyle changes and dietary adjustments.

3.Lack of Dietary Fat

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K require dietary fats for absorption. A diet too low in healthy fats may limit the assimilation of these vitamins.

Solution: Include sources of healthy fats in your diet such as avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish to aid the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

4.Consuming Tea and Coffee with Meals

Tannins found in tea and coffee can bind to iron, reducing its absorption. Consuming them with meals can significantly impair the body’s ability to absorb this essential mineral.

Solution: Drink tea and coffee between meals, not with them, and consider consuming vitamin C-rich foods with iron-rich foods to improve iron absorption.

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5.High Dosages of Vitamin Supplements

Consuming high dosages of one mineral can inhibit the absorption of another. For example, excessive intake of zinc can interfere with copper absorption.

Solution: Adhere to the recommended daily amounts when taking supplements.

6.Low Stomach Acid

Low levels of stomach acid can hinder the absorption of several vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and B12.

Solution: People with reduced stomach acid (usually older individuals) may benefit from digestive enzyme supplements or consuming probiotic-rich foods to assist in nutrient absorption.

7.Foods High in Phytic and Oxalic Acid

Certain foods are rich in compounds like phytic acid (found in grains and legumes) and oxalic acid (found in spinach and vegetables like beetroot), which can bind to minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc, reducing their absorption.

Solution: Use preparation methods like soaking, sprouting, and fermenting, which can reduce the levels of these acids, and combine these foods with vitamin C-rich foods to enhance mineral absorption.

8.Chronic Stress

Chronic stress may impair the body’s ability to absorb nutrients due to changes in the secretion of digestive enzymes and alterations in the digestive system’s lining.

Solution: Develop stress-management strategies such as regular physical activity, adequate sleep, relaxation techniques, and balanced nutrition to mitigate the impact of stress on nutrient absorption.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to be aware of these factors and manage them effectively to ensure optimal nutrient absorption and overall health. Balancing intake of varied nutrients and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can aid in avoiding deficiencies and promote well-being.