Your body may be ingesting the proper minerals through food and supplements, but not absorbing them well enough to improve or sustain your long-term health, especially your bone health.
Read on to learn why your body needs to properly absorb minerals, and how you can improve absorption.
Some Minerals Your Body Needs
Your body’s cells need nutrients to grow and work together. Essential nutrients are those your body can’t produce on its own — you need to get essential nutrients from outside sources. These essential nutrients include the inorganic substances you can find in fruits, veggies and whole grains. They’re called minerals.
The minerals your body needs to function properly include, but are not limited to:
- Calcium — Essential for bone health, healthy muscle function, nerve transmissions and hormone secretion. It is found in vegetables like broccoli, kale and Chinese cabbage as well as milk, cheese and yogurt. Also in canned sardines and salmon!
- Potassium —Responsible for the electrical activity of your heart, potassium is needed to sustain a normal heart rhythm. Your body also needs it to use carbohydrates, build proteins, promote proper growth and maintain the pH balance of your blood. Foods sources include a wide variety of proteins, vegetables and fruits.
- Sodium — While sodium has gotten a bad rap with its link to high blood pressure, sodium is necessary for your body. It helps maintain the right ratio of fluid in your cells, stimulate muscle and nerve function, as well as absorb other key nutrients, including glucose and amino acids. According to the FDA, over 75% of dietary sodium comes from eating packaged and restaurant foods. Eating natural whole foods is your best source!
- Magnesium — You can thank magnesium for over 300 biochemical reactions that occur in your body. From boosting your immune system, to keeping your heart beating at regular intervals, magnesium is a key player in your overall health. Again, a wide variety of healthy foods contain this essential mineral.
How Your Body Absorbs Minerals — And How You Can Improve Your Absorption
When you ingest whole foods or mineral supplements, your small intestine gets to work extracting the minerals your body needs. For calcium, there are two distinct ways your body absorbs this essential mineral:
- Active absorption — This form of absorption occurs in the duodenum — the first part of your small intestine right after the stomach — when your calcium intake is low. It starts when the cells that line your intestine import the calcium. Then they transport the mineral across the cells, finally exporting it into the fluid and blood outside of the cell. Active absorption needs calbindin, a carrier protein. You need vitamin D to create calbindin, which is why doctors often prescribe vitamin D along with calcium.
- Passive absorption — With passive absorption, the action takes place in the ileum — the third and lowest part of the small intestine — and the jejunum — the section of the small intestine that connects the duodenum and the ileum. Passive absorption also takes place in the colon, but it occurs at a much lower rate. Your body will do passive absorption when your calcium levels are on the higher side. It takes ionized calcium and scatters it by pushing it through the spaces around the cells in the intestinal lining and into your blood.
To enhance your small intestine’s ability to perform both active and passive absorption, you need to improve its good-to-bad bacteria balance. The beneficial bacteria in your gut produce short-chain fatty acids that decrease your pH balance within your gut. With a lower pH, you improve the mineral’s ability to be absorbed.
One of the easiest ways to grow more beneficial bacteria is by ingesting prebiotics. Prebiotin, the most studied prebiotic on the market today, offers a convenient way to get the bacteria-fertilizing action your gut and your bones need to improve and sustain your long-term health. Simply sprinkle it in your drink or on your food, and reap the many benefits of improved mineral absorption!
Prebiotin Bone Health gives your diet an extra dose of bone-healthy Calcium and Vitamin D3, while supporting health, immunity and calcium absorption by feeding your colon’s good bacteria.