Now what is a perfect or an adequate diet?
Well that varies greatly because people have different genetic variations (polymorphisms) which make their metabolism unique and sometimes imperfect. For example, if they carry a defective gene for the biochemical process of methylation, which is fundamental to metabolism, they will need extra and activated B vitamins. A regular adequate diet will not be enough for their optimal health.
Another example is an older person who does not make enough stomach acid will have difficulty absorbing minerals from the adequate diet that they try to eat. For sure they will need to take minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium. This also applies to people taking drugs to block the production of acid from their stomach. It is also well recognised that people taking stomach acid blocking drugs long term, often cannot absorb vitamin B 12 properly from their gut; in such cases vitamin B 12 injections are needed.
Some people have a genetic variation of the vitamin D receptors on their cells which necessitates higher requirements of vitamin D. In such cases they would need to spend a lot more time in direct sunlight or take vitamin D supplements, as they can never get enough vitamin D from their “adequate diet”. They would have to have an Eskimo diet of whale blubber!
The problem known as “leaky gut” is common and means that the lining of the gut is inflamed and excessively permeable to toxins. Gut inflammation can be caused by the wrong types of bacteria in the gut, some medications and food allergies. In people with a leaky inflamed gut, the absorption of nutrients is compromised, and deficiencies of vitamins and minerals are a big risk. It is vital to repair the gut inflammation and supplement with essential vitamins and minerals until the gut is working properly.
Infections of the gut with unhealthy bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), and the yeast Candida can reduce the availability and absorption of nutrients from the diet. These parasites steal our nutrients, make us crave sugar and can cause a leaky gut. It is not uncommon to see deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in such cases.