Everything in the universe works in harmony, nothing functions in isolation.
The body’s natural state is a sweet symphony.
Every day that I learn more about humans, our bodies and the world we live in the more I realize these concepts couldn’t be more true. The body and everything in it works in harmony and creates a masterful symphony. Just a couple weeks ago I wrote about my thoughts on vitamin D and one of the most important points I touched on was the importance of nutrient synergy. Bottom line: I think we can’t understand vitamin D’s role and optimal status in the body without taking into account vitamins A and K and a host of other nutrients. They work in harmony with vitamin D to allow each other to work and function properly. Each part of the orchestra contributes to the whole. Without the support of it’s fat soluble buddies, vitamin D is a rogue lone violin that may can’t create a complex, harmonious sound. The same applies to sodium, calcium, omega 3 and every other nutrient in the body. Everything works in harmony and relies upon a supporting cast to actualize the symphony of optimal function.
Today I came across an article on the Weston A. Price website by Chris Masterjohn titled Nutritional Adjuncts to The Fat Soluble Vitamins and it covered this concept beautifully. He has been studying nutrient synergy for quite some time and continues to bring to light the importance of this symphony of nutrient interactions.
What I love about this post, aside from its general coverage of the issue of nutrient synergy is 1) the detailed description of how some of these nutrients work together, 2) the focus on using nutrient dense real food to achieve balance, 3) the discussion of how macronutrients and thyroid impact this synergy, 4) his summary right off the top and 5) his closing thoughts…
The Big Picture
It is clearly time to move beyond viewing each vitamin in isolation. The fat-soluble but cooperate with many other nutrients and metabolic factors such as magnesium, zinc, fat, carbohydrate, carbon dioxide and thyroid hormone.
This paradigm has two important implications. At the level of scientific research, a study about one vitamin can easily come to false conclusions unless it takes into account its interactions with all the others. We should reverently and humbly bow before the complexity of these interactions, realizing how little we know and recognizing that we are always learning. At the level of personal health, these interactions emphasize the need to consume a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet. Supplementation with an individual vitamin runs the risk of throwing it out of balance with its synergistic partners. The fatsoluble vitamins work most safely and effectively when we obtain them from natural foods within the context of a diet rich in all their synergistic partners.
Check out his blog Mother Nature Obeyed for much more on the topic of nutrient synergy or The Daily Lipid for those posts and much more.
Thanks for reading, have a great synergy filled week!