• Nutrient interaction refers to the hinderance in the absorption and bioavailability due to the presence of another nutrient.
  • Nutrient bioavailability includes two important components – absorption and utilization.
  • Absorption is the process by which a nutrient moves from the intestinal lumen into the body.
  • Utilization of the absorbed nutrients includes transport to various parts of the body, assimilation by cells, and conversion to biologically active forms.

Things to know about nutrient interactions:

  • Increasing one nutrient by adding it to food is different than increasing that nutrient by eating more. The manner of increase may influence interaction between that nutrient and others.
  • Interactions can occur in many levels and many systems.
  • Not all interactions are negative.
  • Not all interactions are known.
  • Interactions may be short or long term. Interactions that are seen in the short term may not be seen in the long term and vice versa.
  • The extent of interaction may depend on the nutritional status.
  • Subgroups are important. Interactions may benefit one group and disadvantage other.

TYPES OF NUTRIENT INTERACTIONS:

  • Macronutrients with macronutrients
  • Macronutrients with vitamins
  • Macronutrient with minerals
  • Vitamins with vitamins
  • Minerals with vitamins
  • Nutrient and non-nutrient component

PROTEIN:

  • Various proteins bind and carry certain vitamins and minerals including iron, copper, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, Fat.
  • Inadequate intake may impair the function of these nutrients.

CARBOHYDRATES:

  • Carbohydrates present in the body require thiamine for their metabolism, as thiamine pyrophosphate is a coenzyme for the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvic acid, the main breakdown product of carbohydrate.
  • Presence of excess of carbohydrate in diet increases thiamine requirement, also helps in functioning of fat and protein.

FAT:

  • The presence of excess of fat in diet decreases thiamine requirement. Addition of essential fatty acid to a low pyridoxine diet offers protection against the development of deficiency due to pyridoxine deficiency.

DIETARY FIBER:

  • It reduces the absorption and/or increases the excretion of several minerals including calcium and iron.

LIPOIC ACID:

  • Vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q, glutathione, and NADH- all require lipoic acid for their efficient recycling in the body. Deficiency of these antioxidants will reduce synthesis of lipoic acid in the body.
  • Deficiency of other sulfur containing amino acids like cysteine and taurine, can also prevent lipoic acid synthesis in our cells.

CHOLINE:

  • Choline adequacy is closely related to the adequacy of many nutrients such as vitamin B6, B12 and folate, amino acids such as serine and glycine.

INTERACTION OF OMEGA-3 FATTY ACID WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Vitamin E, the primary fat soluble antioxidant, protects omega-3 fats from oxidation.
  • Oxidation is a chemical process that produces free radicals.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN A WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • The transport and utilization of vitamin A is dependent upon several binding proteins.
  • Sufficient dietary intake of protein is required for the manufacture of these binding proteins. Inadequate protein intake may result in vitamin A deficiency.
  • Adequate intake of dietary fat and zinc is necessary for the absorption and utilization of vitamin A.
  • Vitamin A deficiency causes anemia as it impacts the metabolism of iron.
  • Excess vitamin A interferes with the absorption of vitamin K, a fat soluble vitamin necessary for blood clotting.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN B2 WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Vitamin B2 status is strongly affected by intake of vitamin B1.
  • Adequate supplies of vitamin B1 can help increase level of vitamin B2.
  • However, very high levels of vitamin B1 intake can increase the loss of vitamin B2 in the urine.
  • Vitamin A deficiency causes anemia as it impacts the metabolism of iron.
  • Nutrients such as iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B3 and b12 are not fully available in the body without adequate supplies of riboflavin.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN) WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • B3 supply comes from conversion of the amino acid tryptophan.
  • Typtophan deficiency can therefore increase risk of vitamin B3 deficiency (deficiency likely to occur in individual with poor overall protein intake).
  • Conversion also requires the presence of vitamins B1 and B6, wherein the deficiency of those can cause B3 to become deficient.
  • Vitamin A deficiency causes anemia as it impacts the metabolism of iron.
  • Deficiency of B12 can increase loss of vitamin B3 in the urine.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN B5 (PANTOTHENIC ACID) WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Vitamin B12, folate, and biotin are required for proper use of vitamin B5 in the body’s chemical pathways.
  • Vitamin C appears to help prevent B5 deficiency.

INTERACTION OF FOLATE WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 must be present in adequate amounts to enable folic acid to undergo metabolic recycling in the body.
  • Excessive amounts of folic acid, however, can hide a vitamin B12 deficiency, by masking blood related symptoms.

INTERACTION OF FOLATE WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 must be present in adequate amounts to enable folic acid to undergo metabolic recycling in the body.
  • Excessive amounts of folic acid, however, can hide a vitamin B12 deficiency, by masking blood related symptoms.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN B12 WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Vitamin B6 is required for proper absorption of vitamin B12, deficiency of which causes impairment of absorption of B12.
  • Vitamin E is required to activate vitamin B12 from its inactive form to its biologically active form.
  • Excessive intake of folic acid can mask B12 deficiencies.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN C WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Supplemental intake of vitamin C at gram level doses can interfere with copper metabolism.
  • Vitamin C can enhance iron uptake and metabolism, even at food level amounts.
  • Excessive intake of vitamin A is less toxic to the body when vitamin C is readily available.
  • Vitamin C is involved in the regeneration of vitamin E, and these two work together in their antioxidant effect.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN D WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • It plays a role in maintaining normal blood levels of calcium.
  • It impacts the absorption and storage of calcium.
  • Stimulates the absorption of phosphorous.
  • Regulates the production of certain calcium-binding proteins that function in the bones and kidneys.
  • Iron deficiency results in decreased vitamin D absorption.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN E WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Vitamin C is required in keeping vitamin E in its metabolically active form.
  • Glutathione is required to keep Vitamin C in its active form.
  • Selenium and vitamin B3 are required to keep glutathione in its active form.
  • At moderately high levels of 1000 milligrams or more, vitamin E can interfere with bodily activities of vitamin K.

INTERACTION OF VITAMIN K WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Persons undergoing treatment with anticoagulant drugs have been shown to have their anticoagulant therapy and their vitamin K status impacted by high doses of vitamin E. For this reason, intake of both vitamin K and E for persons undergoing treatment with anticoagulant must be determined.
  • Higher supplement intake of vitamin E (above 1000 milligrams) has been shown to interfere with vitamin K function.
  • Nil intake of vitamin A has been shown to compromise vitamin K status.
  • Excess supplemental intake of vitamin A has been shown to interfere with the vitamin K related clotting ability of blood causing hypothrombinemia.

INTERACTION OF COENZYME Q WITH OTHER NUTRIENT:

  • Coenzyme Q plays a critical role in maintaining the supply of vitamin E.
  • Coenzyme Q restores the antioxidant capability of vitamin E.

By Ms. Chamapakamala.
Senior Clinical Nutritionist

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