Micronutrients and malnutrition - Global Issues II

By Heruvim78 | The longevity gene | 6 Jan 2021

How do we measure the deficiency level, you may ask?

There are few methods, let's see them for each of the main micronutrients that are involved into this:

  • Iron - you check for anaemia, low haemoglobin blood concentration or serum ferritin, but those two methods are not very accurate, and they depend on the inflammation level. The better one is to measure soluble transferrin receptor concentration on serum, as this is not affected by inflammation. When this test is not available, the other tests used are less specific. 
  • Vitamin A (Retinol) - serum retinol or RBP (retinol binding protein) are measured. Serum retinol concentration is reduced when you have an infection or inflammation and in this case the Vitamin A deficiency is overestimated. 
  • Iodine - clinical signs are present, like enlarged thyroid (goiter) and they can be found via palpation or ultrasound. As for blood testing, you can measure TSH ( thyroid stimulating hormone - which is usually high) and T4 (thyroxine - which is usually low), but they are not specific enough. For a better estimate you need a 24 hours urine sample, to measure the iodine status. 
  • Zinc - stunt growth is a proxy indicator, but you can also measure the zinc concentration in blood, knowing that this is only showing the zinc ingested in the previous day, so it is not reliable enough. Although, there is no better marker to be used yet.

Iron, Zinc and vitamin A values are affected by infection and inflammation, so measuring C reactive protein or Alpha-glycoproteins can provide further informations about somebody status. 

Having a deficiency can lead to short and long term consequences. Being deficient in a vitamin or mineral can have direct effects (anaemia for iron, blindness for vitamin A, mental retardation for Iodine) and long term effects (direct structural damage to the brain, impaired infant motor development and exploratory behaviour). Impaired cognition and schooling can be affected, and you need to know that one extra year of schooling means 12-15% extra income in lifetime earning in Central and South America. 

Next post will be about malnutrition analysis. This is a long one, so i hope i will work on it slowly and finish it this week as the material needed to cover is so vast. 

Yours truly, 



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The longevity gene
The longevity gene

And when i say longevity i mean a bigger health span, as opposed to the well known life span. It is not enough to live longer, if you are not healthy, so do not forget what our immortal James Dean said: 'It is important to die young, but as late as possible!'. I will explore many unorthodox ways, ranging from gut microbiota manipulation to ancient Ayurveda ritual, trying to combine them in an ample resource, from which you can get and apply whatever is better for you at the present moment.

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