The Micronutrient Miracle: The 28-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Increase Your Energy, and Reverse Disease

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9781511337311: The Micronutrient Miracle: The 28-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Increase Your Energy, and Reverse Disease
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Our poor health and growing waistlines can be traced back to the hidden crisis of a micronutrient deficiency. More than 90 percent of all Americans are deficient in at least one of these health-promoting vitamins and minerals and don't even know it.

According to nutritionists Jayson and Mira Calton, micronutrients—vitamins and minerals essential for optimum health—are being stripped from our diet and depleted by our lifestyle habits. And these deficiencies cause today's most common illnesses. Mira herself developed advanced osteoporosis at the age of 30. But with Jayson's help, she reversed her disease through micronutrient therapy. The Caltons' created The Mircronutrient Miracle, an incredible cure-all program, to help you lose weight and prevent and reverse common disorders, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

The Micronutrient Miracle explains the truth about what you're really eating and how your habits may be depleting essential micronutrients. It also provides an easy-to-follow 28-day plan to reverse these effects by restoring your depleted micronutrients. And the best part? This book is tailor-made to work with your lifestyle, including gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, vegan, and Paleo recipes!

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About the Author:

Celebrity nutritionists Jayson B. Calton, PhD, and Mira Calton, CN, are among the world’s leading experts in micronutrients and dietary supplement science. Fellows of the American Association of Integrative Medicine (AAIM) and board certified in Integrative Health (BCIH), the Caltons operate Calton Nutrition and The Calton Institute of Lifestyle Medicine in Florida, offering training to health professionals and assisting clients with their groundbreaking Micronutrient Miracle plan. They are the authors of Naked Calories and Rich Food, Poor Food and have been featured in major media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox & Friends, PBS, and First for Women magazine.

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MICRONUTRIENT DEFICIENCY: The Hidden Pandemic Keeping Us Tired, Fat, and Sick

MICRONUTRIENT DEFICIENCY is the most widespread and dangerous health condition of the 21st century. This statement is the foundation of our nutritional philosophy. It's pretty shocking, right? It isn't just a theory, either. In this chapter, we will systematically prove this statement to be true. We will start by revealing published statistics that substantiate our claim that micronutrient deficiency is the most widespread health condition of the 21st century and should be considered a global pandemic. Then we will explore the factors that contributed to the world's population becoming so deficient. We will also show you just how far we have strayed from the diets and lifestyles of our ancestors and how this divergence has left us with a diet that no longer can sustain health. Finally, you will learn the dangerous ramifications of this widespread deficiency.

While this chapter may seem depressing as you read through it, stay with us and keep reading. It will be worth it. You can't fully understand the importance of this program and the scientifically proven health benefits you can achieve by becoming sufficient in micronutrients until you fully understand the micronutrient-depleted state you are likely in and how it may be negatively affecting your health.

The Most Widespread Condition of the 21st Century

We will begin proving the statement that micronutrient deficiency is the most widespread and dangerous health condition of the 21st century by taking a look at the facts that led us to conclude that it is the most widespread health condition. (We will cover the most dangerous part later in the chapter.) Let's start with this fact: According to USDA published statistics, more than 96 percent of Americans are not reaching adequate intakes of micronutrients from food alone, based on the government's average requirement standard.1 Put another way, less than 4 percent of all Americans ages 2 and over eat a diet that meets the minimum adequacy requirements for the essential vitamins and minerals needed to maintain basic health. With approximately 317 million people in the United States, this means that there are more than 304 million men, women, and children suffering from a micronutrient deficiency of some kind right now.

Let that number sink in for a minute: 304 million people. While this statistic alone is disturbing to say the least, believe it or not, it gets worse! Before we show you just how much worse, let's get a little perspective on the sheer magnitude of this number by comparing the 304 million people suffering from a micronutrient deficiency with the statistics on other serious health conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Surely these well-known diseases affect more people than micronutrient deficiency, a condition that most people don't even know exists.

Let's start with heart disease. It turns out that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, claiming a life every 33 seconds, and it is estimated that this deadly disease affects just over 80 million Americans.2 While we are in no way trying to downplay this devastating statistic, it does mean that nearly four times more people are affected by micronutrient deficiency than heart disease.

Cancer is another disease that is constantly in the news, and rightfully so. Statistics show that there are approximately 1.7 million new cancer cases each year in America and that we have a 40.8 percent chance of developing this horrifying disease over our lifetime. However, in total, according to the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute, fewer than 13.5 million Americans are living with cancer.3

Osteoporosis, the disease that ended Mira's PR career and could have crippled her for life, is on the rise in both women and men. However, the number of Americans that currently have osteoporosis or are at risk for it due to low bone mass is estimated at 40 million.4 Lastly, diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, is estimated by the American Diabetes Association to affect just over 29 million Americans.5

Most of us know at least one person who is affected by one of these debilitating and life-threatening diseases. Perhaps you have even donated to or joined an organization formed to help end one of these devastating conditions (we have). However, when you look at the number of people who currently have heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and diabetes--combined-- it totals up to 162.5 million people. To put that in perspective, when you combine the number of people who are currently diagnosed with today's most prevalent and deadly diseases--including all forms of heart disease, all types of cancer, osteoporosis (including those at risk for osteoporosis), and both classes of diabetes--the total is just more than half (53 percent) of the 304 million who are currently affected by micronutrient deficiency. This makes micronutrient deficiency the most widespread health condition of the 21st century.

From Bad News to Worse

Take a moment now to examine the US vitamin and mineral adequacy statistics in the table below.



Micronutrient Percentage Micronutrient Percentage

Vitamin A 46.0 Vitamin B12 79.7

Vitamin C 51.0 Phosphorus 87.2

Vitamin D 4.0* Magnesium 43

Vitamin E 13.6 Iron 89.5

Thiamine 81.6 Selenium 91.5

Riboflavin 89.1 Zinc 70.8

Niacin 87.2 Copper 84.2

Vitamin B6 73.9 Calcium 30.9

Folate 59.7 Potassium 7.6

Source: NHANES 1999-2004

*Vitamin D data from NHANES 2003-2006

So, what did you think? Perhaps, at first glance, the percentages were not as bad as you thought they were going to be. However, as you start to look closer, things go downhill fast. Do you remember that statistic we shared with you earlier in this chapter, the one about 96 percent of Americans not being able to get the essential micronutrients they need to maintain basic health from their food? Well, look at vitamin D: According to the USDA, the government agency responsible for reporting NHANES statistical findings, only 4 percent of the entire US population over the age of 2 has an adequate intake of vitamin D, an essential fat-soluble vitamin whose deficiency has been shown to greatly increase the risk of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and osteoporosis, to name but a few conditions. Additionally, the chart shows that only 7.6 percent of the population has an adequate intake of potassium, an essential mineral that, when deficient, has been shown to increase the risk for hypertension, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and stroke. And did you notice vitamin E? This essential vitamin and powerful antioxidant only has an adequacy rate of 13.6 percent. So, 96 percent of the US population is deficient in vitamin D, more than 92 percent is deficient in potassium, and nearly 9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in vitamin E. The USDA data also reveals that more than 7 out of 10 Americans are deficient in calcium, an important mineral essential for the maintenance of bones and teeth, blood clotting, muscle contraction, and nerve function. And it shows that approximately 5 out of 10 are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium, all of which are absolutely mandatory in adequate amounts to maintain basic health. Out of the 18 essential micronutrients on this chart, all of them were found to be deficient to some extent, meaning that there wasn't a single micronutrient for which all Americans met the government's minimum standards. Why? Could it be because the standards are set too high? Let's see.

While the fact that 96 percent of Americans (304 million) are not able to meet minimum adequacy requirements for the essential micronutrients already seems pretty bad, we are about to follow through on the promise that we made to you earlier: We will share with you now how the statistics are really far worse. It's about time to jump down the rabbit hole and see just how deep America's micronutrient deficiency really goes. In order to do so, we need to bring you up to speed on how micronutrients are measured by introducing you to the often-confusing dietary guideline reference intake acronyms and abbreviations. (Say that ten times fast.) The USDA based the adequacy rates shown in Table 1.1, page 3, on something it calls the Estimated Average Requirement, or EAR. The EAR is defined as the amount of a micronutrient that would be expected to satisfy the requirement needs of 50 percent of people age 2 and up.

Hmm. Why would the government want to use data that only showed the adequacy rates of half of the population? Wouldn't it make more sense to base the adequacy rates on the amount of each micronutrient that would satisfy the basic requirements for all of us? In fact, there is a government intake acronym that does just that. It's called the Reference Daily Intake, or RDI, and it's defined as the daily dietary intake level of a micronutrient designed to be sufficient to prevent micronutrient deficiency diseases by meeting the requirements of nearly all (97 to 98 percent) healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group. At first this may seem like an inconsequential detail, but let's look at how swapping the EAR with the RDI affects actual adequacy intake rates for a specific micronutrient.


To see how changing the EAR to the RDI really affects adequacy rates, we are going to do a small experiment. Take a look back at the USDA adequacy rate for B12 in Table 1.1, page 3. Let's round it up from 79.7 to 80 percent just to keep the math easy. You will also need three key pieces of information to conduct this experiment.

1.The EAR for B12 is 2 micrograms.

2.The RDI for B12 is 6 micrograms.

3.The mean, or average, level of B12 ingested by the NHANES participants was approximately 5.1 micrograms.

Notice that the amount to achieve EAR sufficiency is far lower than that for RDI sufficiency. If the adequacy rates were calculated using the RDIs as the baseline--the amount considered sufficient to meet the requirements of nearly all (97 to 98 percent) of healthy individuals--the rates would be much different. To see just how different, let's draw out the data.

Is this starting to make sense? It's shocking, right? The USDA statistics using the low EAR standard may have lulled us into a false sense of security by reporting that 80 percent of us are getting adequate amounts of B12 from our diets, but when we use the higher RDI requirements for B12 intake, which include nearly all Americans, the adequacy rate quickly falls to an unimpressive 40 percent. While our simple experiment can in no way determine actual sufficiency rates without more information, we believe these numbers are a fair estimate. In fact, because the RDI only covers 97 to 98 percent of the population, the adequacy rates could be a few percentage points worse. Even when a margin of error of 10 to 20 percent is taken into account, it still leaves more than 50 percent of the population who are not meeting minimum RDI intake, a level that many health care professionals consider the nutritional equivalent of minimum wage. Although RDI levels may be enough to prevent a micronutrient deficiency condition, they are a long way from the amount needed to achieve optimal health.



B12 adequacy rate using the EAR 80%

B12 adequacy rate using the RDI 40%

Adequacy rate accounting for a 10-20% margin of error using the RDI 32-48%

Additionally, while the USDA adequacy chart shows that 7.6 percent of us are sufficient in potassium, 46 percent of us are sufficient in vitamin A, and 79.7 percent are sufficient in B12, where does it show how many of us are sufficient in all three, or all 18, for that matter? This vital information is not there, and one would have to think the percentages go way down. The bottom line is, once you realize just how micronutrient deficient we really are, the desperate reality of our situation becomes disturbingly clear. We are in the middle of a micronutrient deficiency pandemic, and the vast majority of the general public is unaware of it. Now, just in case you are still not convinced, here are what some other health professionals have to say on the subject.

According to New York Times bestselling author Mark Hyman, MD, "A whopping 92 percent of us are deficient in one or more nutrients at the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) level.... The RDA [similar to RDI] standards do not necessarily outline the amount needed for optimal health."6

Additionally, Mehmet Oz, MD, of The Dr. Oz Show, reported these statistics concerning the prevalence of micronutrient deficiency: "A study of 3 million people revealed that less than 1 percent of the participants got enough essential vitamins from diet alone. That's why you must take a multivitamin; it also helps prevent heart disease, breast cancer, and colon cancer."7

So here is the take-home message: Regardless of which acronym you use, the EAR or the RDI, and according to today's most respected physicians, nearly everyone in America is now living with micronutrient deficiency, which is the root cause of nearly every major health condition and disease today.

Micronutrient Deficiency--A Global Issue

Micronutrient deficiency is not just a problem in the United States. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 2 billion people in both developing and developed countries suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.8 According to a 2010 study in the journal Public Health Reviews, "These are silent epidemics of vitamin and mineral deficiencies affecting people of all genders and ages, as well as certain risk groups. They not only cause specific diseases, but they act as exacerbating factors in infectious and chronic diseases, greatly impacting morbidity, mortality, and quality of life.... Micronutrient deficiency conditions relate to many chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia, thyroid deficiency, colorectal cancer, and cardiovascular diseases."9

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