In our DNA test food we provide information based on your genetic profile about folic acid, vitamin B6/B12/C/D, calcium and iron. These are the micronutrients. Find out now if you have an increased risk of a deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals. We’ll show you exactly your recommended daily allowance for all 26 essential micronutrients.
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for the functioning of every living organism. They are called micronutrients because they require a relatively small amount, unlike the macronutrients. Although the amounts we need are small, the micronutrients are essential for our health. We need micronutrients for physiological processes, including metabolism, reproduction, defense and growth, but also, for example, our mental health. When micronutrients are deficient, you may develop health problems, but too much can disrupt the balance and cause complaints.
How many micronutrients do we need?
The amounts of micronutrients we need depend on the physiological functions your body performs over a given period of time. For example, you need carbohydrates during an effort, while recovering from an effort requires proteins. Health authorities have set an official recommended daily allowance for each micronutrient. However, our individual needs can differ and depend on our dietary patterns, lifestyle (choices) and genes. For example, genes can influence the efficiency of absorption and transport, but also the amount that needs to be absorbed for optimal functioning of the body.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9 or B11, plays an important role in the copying and synthesis of DNA and is therefore essential for the formation of new cells. In addition, we need folic acid for the proper functioning of amino acids, vitamin B12 and the formation of blood cells and the immune system. Folic acid also lowers blood levels of homocysteine, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease.
There are several good dietary sources of folic acid, such as green leafy vegetables, eggs and avocado. Although these fit well into a healthy diet, folic acid deficiencies are relatively common.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, which has several roles in the human body. For example, vitamin B6 is needed to make amino acids, which are important for the optimal functioning of cells and are the building blocks of proteins. In addition, vitamin B6 is important for the regulation of blood sugar and the formation of hemoglobin, the carrier of oxygen in our body.
Products with vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is present in a variety of animal products, as well as grains, vegetables and seeds. Because these products are abundant in developed countries such as the Netherlands, vitamin B6 deficiencies are relatively rare.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin with many important functions. It has an essential role in, among other things, the formation of red blood cells, DNA synthesis and healthy brain and nerve functions. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin, which our body cannot make itself, so we must get it through our diet. Naturally, vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin, such as meat, eggs and dairy. Partly because of this, a deficiency of vitamin B12 is relatively common.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Especially for vegetarians and vegans it is a challenge to get enough vitamin B12. This is worrying, because even small deficiencies can have a noticeable impact on our (mental) health, due to the various essential functions of vitamin B12. Some possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include general fatigue, weakness, confusion, poor memory, depression, loss of appetite, constipation, loss of balance and coordination, numbness, tingling in fingers and toes, and more. Sometimes vitamin B12 is added to foods, for example to vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes.
Vitamin C is necessary for many important processes in the human body. For example, it is necessary for the synthesis (production) of collagen; an essential protein for the skin, blood vessels and tendons. Vitamin C also plays a role in tissue repair, wound healing and the maintenance of teeth and bones. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties and is necessary for the absorption of iron from the diet.
Vegetables and fruit
Although vitamin C is present in many fruits and vegetables, many people have an inadequate intake of vitamin C. This is because typical diets in developed countries do not contain enough fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin with an essential role in bone health, for example. Because vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium, sufficient vitamin D is important for the prevention of osteoporosis (weak bones). Vitamin D is also important for immune function, hormonal balance and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Vitamin D also affects our cognitive capacity (thinking ability), mood and general mental health.
Vitamin D is one of the few non-essential vitamins, because it is a vitamin that our body can make itself. Vitamin D is synthesized under the influence of sunlight (including daylight on cloudy days). Because this is our body’s main way of getting vitamin D, it is important to expose the skin to daylight every day. Vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, so fortification of staple foods is common. Natural sources are mainly fatty fish and to a lesser extent beef liver and egg yolks.
Deficiency of vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is relatively common in developed countries, despite the fact that our bodies can make it themselves. This is caused by the increasing amount of time spent indoors and the low consumption of dietary sources of vitamin D.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. It is the main component of bones and teeth, but calcium is also essential for muscle and nerve function, blood clotting, cardiovascular health and blood pH regulation. Calcium levels in the body are tightly regulated, allowing the blood to “borrow” calcium from the bones when needed.
Adequate calcium intake is therefore not only important for bone development during growth, but also for maintaining strong bones throughout life. It is important that calcium intake be accompanied by optimal vitamin D status, which is necessary for the absorption of calcium from the diet.
Calcium is present in large amounts in dairy products and some fish, as well as in many vegetables, legumes and seeds.
Iron is an essential trace element for the body, with several important functions. The best known is probably the transport of oxygen in the blood (as part of hemoglobin), but iron is also needed for the synthesis (production) of a variety of enzymes (proteins that cause chemical reactions inside or outside a cell) and has many cellular functions.
Oxygen to the tissues
Adequate iron intake is important, as it is necessary for the production of hemoglobin to ultimately transport oxygen to the tissues. So if you are deficient in iron, you are likely to experience one or more of these symptoms: fatigue, irritability, and weakness. Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency (deficiency) worldwide.
It is wise to combine plant sources of iron with the intake of foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, broccoli, kale, peas or green peppers, and to avoid combinations with coffee and tea. Iron absorption is strongly influenced by the interaction of iron with other nutrients. Another common reason for iron deficiency is the loss of iron with blood. Therefore, low levels of iron are especially common in premenopausal women, for whom the daily recommendation is also higher.
Your genetic profile
For example, your genetic profile may show that you run an (increased) risk of a deficiency in folic acid, iron or the various vitamins. For this we look at:
- rs1801131 : MTHFR – Associated with folic acid conversion
- rs1801133 : MTHFR – Associated with folic acid conversion
- rs1799945 : HFE – Affects iron levels in the blood
- rs7385804 : TFR2 – Affects blood iron levels
- rs4820268 : TMPRSS6 – Affects blood iron levels
- rs2228570 : VDR – Affects several vitamin D related processes
- rs4516035 : VDR – Affects several vitamin D related processes
- rs6053005 : SLC23A2 – Affects the absorption of vitamin C into the cells
- rs33972313 : SLC23A1 – Affects absorption and reabsorption of vitamin C from food
- rs4654748 : ALPL – Associated with vitamin B6 concentrations in the blood
- rs602662 : FUT2 – Associated with low vitamin B12 levels
- rs2228570 : VDR – Affects several vitamin D related processes
Your DNA report on nutrition
With this nutritional report you gain insight into your genetic predisposition for everything related to a healthy weight, Macronutrients, Micronutrients and your salt sensitivity. Based on your genetic profile, we can see:
- What daily energy needs you have
- Whether you have a genetic risk of being overweight
- How is your energy balance?
- What is your best diet
- What affects your weight loss and weight maintenance
- Whether you have an increased risk of a deficiency of vitamins and minerals
- The risk of increased blood pressure due to a higher salt intake