From a nutritional perspective, synergism is the way certain nutrients within a food are interlinked and work together as a team. The fact that iron is absorbed better in the presence of vitamin C is a very simple example of synergism, but if I pick up my Nutrition Bible, the synergistic nutrients listed for iron are Vit B2, B12, citrate, copper, clic acid, histidine, lysine, molybdenum, and selenium.

In this, one of my favourite textbooks by Henry Osieki, Henry describes synergistic nutrients as those who “work together in particular metabolic pathways as well as cofactors that activate the nutrient in question.” He says that “supplementing a synergistic combination of nutrients with the nutrient in question will result in better health outcomes at (a)lower dose of the star nutrient for a condition.” Continue reading

Biocomplexity, Apples and Vitamin C

Last year, exasperated by the strange obsession I was hearing from the world around me about the ‘correct’ fat, carbohydrate and protein ratios, I posted the following on my Facebook page:

“APPLES have fat in them- quite a high amount actually, for a fruit. They also have a little protein, not much- but it is there, and nutrition isn’t all about quantity, it’s about diversity and quality and the way plant chemicals combine together. Do you want to hear which proteins (amino acids) are in apples?

Asparagine, Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lycine, Methionine, Cysteine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Tyrosine, Valine, Argenine, Histidine, Alanine, Aspartic Acid.

There are many, many other nutrients in Apples, like Vitamin A, B1, B2, and B6, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Folic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Pottassium, Selenium, Sodium, and Zinc.

Then there are some other ones you might not have heard about, like Alpha-Linolenic-Acid, D-Categin, Isoqurctrin, Hyperoside, Ferulic-Acid, Farnesene, Neoxathin, Phosphatidyl-Choline, Reynoutrin, Sinapic-Acid, Caffeic-Acid, Chlorogenic-Acid, P-Hydroxy-Benzoic-Acid, P-Coumaric-Acid, Avicularin, Lutein, Quercitin, Rutin, Ursolic-Acid, Protocatechuic-Acid, and Silver.

Then there are the ones that we haven’t discovered yet….
Diet is about more than just segregating foods into broad food groups, like carbs, fat and protein.” Continue reading