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Micronutrition today

In developed countries, eating has become one of the day’s most routine activities. However, eating well has become much more complicated. 

Despite the abundance of food, paradoxically, studies have found nutritional deficiencies in many sub-sections of the population.

As a result of the mass-production of food and the overuse of ready-cooked meals our diets are now badly out-of-balance. They are rich in some nutrients, such as fats and sugars, but do not provide enough of other essential nutrients, such as micronutrients.

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Eat fruit, they’re full of vitamins!
Have some chocolate, it’s rich in magnesium!

Everyone knows that vitamins and minerals are important. They form part of the micronutrient family, and rightly so. 
Even at healthy levels you only require very small quantities of these micronutrients. They are not visible to the naked eye and are not a source of calories, so they do not stop you feeling hungry and do not have any immediately perceptible effects. However, they are essential for all our cells which need them in order to perform optimally their biological and metabolic functions.

Micronutrition is the discipline which is concerned with micronutrients and with how the body uses them. Its objective is to identify any micronutritional deficiencies or imbalances and then correct them by recommending changes to a diet and, if necessary, appropriate supplementation 

The concept of Micronutrition is based on a individualised approach. This is because every individual needs different amounts of the various micronutrients. This variation is due to the fact that everyone has a different constitution, is exposed to a different set of environmental factors (pollution, tobacco, alcohol, etc.), has a specific health status and may be going through a particular physiological stage of their life (such as pregnancy).

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Sources

  • Didier Chos (2014) En bonne santé grâce à la micronutrition. Published by Albin Michel.
  • Bertrand Guérineau (2010) Les secrets de la micronutrition. Published by Albin Michel.
  • Website (French only) of the European Institute of Dietetics and Micronutrition (IEDM)  (http://www.iedm.asso.fr/Qu-est-ce-que-la-Micronutrition)