Are You Getting Enough Micronutrients? - Dr. Connie Jeon

Hi, this is Dr. Connie.

Last week we discussed healthspan vs lifespan and all the implications of disease process.

I was fascinated with Dr. Bruce Ames and Dr. Rhonda Patrick in their efforts to bring nutrition to the core of health and wellness.

I have a degree in Nutrition with a minor in Health Promotion.

Throughout my 19 years of clinical work, I’ve found that we as humans are not really motivated by prevention.  We are more motivated by fear.

So today, I hope to bring some perspective on the area of nutrition because it seems that we are more “open” to understanding the nutritional implications when it comes to disease.

Many of you start to listen when you are diagnosed with a certain condition and/or suspect something may be terribly wrong with your health.  I am not faulting anyone, as I was the same way.

As many of you know, I have Lupus, but what most of you don’t know is how sick I’ve been in the past.

Almost on my deathbed and hospitalized, nurses were pumping toxic meds into my veins.

It’s an experience I want to prevent YOU from having.

Triage Theory

So with that being said, I want to review the Triage Theory by Dr. Bruce Ames.

He postulates that the body has a rationing response to shortages of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

This is evident throughout evolution.

When cells run out of a vitamin or mineral,  whatever it needs is shunted from proteins for immediate survival.

This is because mother nature intended our body to do two things: survive and reproduce.

This happens at a cost.  The proteins needed for long term health, including those that protect our DNA, take the blow and become disabled, which results in disease, especially as we age.

This is because this insidious, negative effect over time causes mutations in our DNA, resulting in the development of disease.

Complex Bio-Chemistry

There’s much more that goes on in your body than meets the eye.

There are so many metabolic reactions that are required to keep us alive.

All such reactions need micronutrients to convert or exchange carbon groups to make our complex biochemical engine run smoothly.

Mother nature doesn’t necessarily want you to live to 90 and be healthy, so we need to be vigilant and take care of our biochemical engine, in the same way that we do with our car engine, especially as we grow older.

So now that we have a background on Triage Theory, lets switch gears.

It’s important to note that nutrition is a muddy science.

Nutritional Research is Murky

This is because a majority of clinical research is done using randomized double blind trials.

But this is a problem, as applied to nutrition, because if 90% of the population has enough vitamins and/or minerals, and 10% does not have enough, then the data is diluted.

Remember, the funding for such studies are provided by the pharmaceutical industries. Their only motive is to validate use of a specific drug for a specific disease, never mind the secondary consequences.

This is because there is no money in nutrition.

Such studies conducted by doctors are diluting literature, so it’s important to know the facts.

The framework of such research studies needs to be redesigned because vitamins and minerals are NOT pharmaceuticals, they are an essential part of our biochemistry.

While going through school, doctors receive an hour, at most two hours, of lecture on nutrition.

It’s an area that is completely overlooked, as they are busy studying various diseases and their respective medications, along with surgical interventions for such disease process.

To clarify, we need doctors to know this information so they can treat disease, but when it comes to creating health, you need to make informed decisions for yourself.

I believe the medical-pharmaceutical “system” confounds our current situation; we are experiencing a growing epidemic in our country as we are getting sicker due to micronutrient deficiency.

What’s Considered Normal?

The criteria for defining required amounts for vitamins in research is based on if mice and/or people die if they have less than sufficient amounts.

The Institute of Medicine sets the RDA (Required Dietary Allowance) and ERA (Estimated Average Requirement).

Even though the ERA is set at 2 standard deviations lower than RDA, we know that most people in the U.S. are still not getting enough.

How Much Do We Need?

Again, research looks at the amounts required to “survive” but not “thrive”.

Currently, we need 30 different vitamins and minerals.  Minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium come mostly from soil.

Zinc is in over 2000 enzymes in the body and every DNA repair enzyme requires magnesium. It is a fact that in the U.S., over 70% of people are deficient in magnesium.

Research looks at specific nutrients to study what causes death, and not what keeps us optimally healthy.  This is the paradigm that I strongly feel needs to change.

For example, Vitamin K is needed for enzymes responsible for blood clotting.  This is important, or else if you cut yourself, you’ll bleed to death.

Blood clotting is the short term need to prevent dying from excessive bleeding.

Vitamin K is also a calcium binding protein, and if you don’t have that protein, you’ll slowly accumulate atherosclerotic tissue in your arteries, leading to heart disease.

But it takes 10 years or so to occur.  This is why a deficiency in your 20’s and 30’s may lead to heart disease and hypertension in your 40’s and 50’s.

It is also important to note that Vitamin K needs to be balanced with calcium and magnesium.

If you are deficient in one of them, then the shunting process occurs again, leading to imbalances that promote disease.


Let’s delve further into Vitamin K because I think it’s an example that most of you can understand.

Dark green leafy vegetables contain lots of Vitamin K and it’s used in photosynthesis for plants, in which it binds to calcium.

Vitamin K comes in two forms, Vitamin K1 and K2.

Vitamin K1 in plants is lipophilic, and this vitamin goes directly into the liver for blood clotting.

After you get the necessary amount required to clot, it continues its work to pull the calcium out of the blood and prevent plaque build up in your arteries.

Vitamin K2 is the active form and is not shunted to the liver.  This is because K1 is converted to K2 in the liver.

So Coumadin, aka Warfarin, is an anti-clotting medication, and over 30 million people are on it to prevent clotting.

The problem patients on this drug tend to get is calcification in the arteries and higher risk of bone fracture.

Such meds without proper supplementation of Vitamin K caused higher incidence of bone fracture in mice.

So the take home message is that balance of minerals is another important factor to consider, in this case Calcium and Vitamin K.

Are You Getting Enough?

Studies validate that Americans are not getting enough micronutrients today.

Even if you don’t have immediate symptoms today, due to the shunting of the necessary proteins for short term survival, are you safeguarding yourself for long term health and longevity?

I see many of you in this sensitive age group, between 45-60, who are beginning to feel the effects of aging.

Ask yourself: do you want to be full of life, or live long but have be homebound due to an inability to function?

Your future depends on prevention.

What Can You Do?

  1. Eat a diet dense in micronutrients:  Lots of green leafy veggies, nuts, and seeds.  Remember, a bad diet= accelerated aging.  Nutrient dense foods are key, not empty calories.
  2. Exercise: Walk 15 minutes a day and walk fast enough to get your hear rate up.
  3. Sleep:  Don’t push yourself too hard, making sure to wind down at the end of the day to prepare for a restful sleep.  Get at least 8 hours a night.
  4. Practice time restricted eating: Eat between 8 am- 6 pm and don’t eat after that. This will help your body focus on regeneration while you’re sleeping, rather than digesting your food.
  5. Take supplements: This will fill the gap where you may not be getting all your micronutrients.

Why Take Supplements and Which Ones Should You Take?

To me, taking supplements is health insurance for myself.

You should be taking:

  1. Fish Oil that is purity tested. DHA and EPA balance is important
  2. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone like estrogen. It binds to receptors on DNA and controls thousands of genes.  Most people are deficient
  3. Multivitamins:  The soil today is depleted and it’s hard to get optimal levels of micronutrients from diet alone because of toxins in the world.
  4. Magnesium
  5. Vitamin K
  6. Calcium
  7. Probioitic

Because the supplement industry is not regulated, you want to make sure that your supplier is NSF Certified and carries out the raw material and storage standards to ensure that the product is not contaminated.

If you’re interested in ordering quality supplements that I personally use and recommend, please e-mail us at and we can provide you with a code to gain access into our private portal.

Thanks for joining me today. Please, share, like, and follow us and help to spread the good news!

See you next time.

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