by Randal J. Watkins
Understanding Assimilation of Nutrients
It's easy for us to swallow vitamins, minerals and herbs. However, we have no assurance we will assimilate the nutrients once they are swallowed. For example, we can have a car that needs gasoline. We can have the gasoline sitting next to the car or in the car. However, until we put the gasoline into the place where it's needed, we are not going to receive the benefits of the gasoline. In the same manner, the human body can take nutrients and have them inside of us (the blood stream) but until they go to the cellular level (just like the gasoline tank) we won't get any benefit.
Sometimes, poor assimilation can be related to the ingredients of the products you are taking, or the necessary co-factors are not present. There are now many different materials that are used for vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. I encourage you to buy a quality product that others you know have used and noticed a difference with.
If you take supplements and don't notice a difference or a change in symptoms, then you may want to consider changing brands. So many folks that I talk to take nutrients on a regular basis but when asked if they can tell they are helping they often reply, "I hope so." We can know for sure if something is helping if we will begin to evaluate their effectiveness against the symptoms they
The basic requirements to aid in sleep is to feed the body calcium and magnesium. Herbs that help with sleep are high in these minerals. Personally, I suggest you take an actual calcium and magnesium supplement as a very minimum of your nutritional supplement program. I would take the calcium at bedtime 1200 - 1500 mg and the magnesium at breakfast and lunch. Definitely, stay away from oyster shell calcium.
In working with individuals with insomnia I have found often taking calcium and magnesium is not enough. In studying the body I have found it is important to support the Glandular system. The hypothalamus and parathyroid gland play a key role in whether we assimilate calcium and magnesium properly. Feeding each of these glands the nutrients they were deficient in proved to increase the mineral assimilation needed to bring the much needed rest to the body.
The hypothalamus is the "5-Star General" of the entire glandular system.
Regarding those co-factors, the hypothalamus performs a big role in assimilation. The story below illustrates the importance of this gland. Imagine a lot of soldiers in war getting ready to formulate a different attack because charging the enemy hasn't worked. A drunken 5-Star General walks in and tells them to do the same thing that hasn't worked. The soldiers will have to obey . As an observer, we might think the soldiers are not very smart. The fact "orders" caused the problem.
The hypothalamus is the 5-Star General of your glandular system and if it gets weak it begins to send out the wrong "orders." These orders tell the pituitary to do the wrong things. For example, your adrenals are providing adequate energy, but if the hypothalamus says to the pituitary to secrete hormones that control hormone secretion of the adrenals, and this message is in error, all of a sudden you may become fatigued and want more energy. I realized how important this organ was with me when I kept feeding my adrenals herbs to get energy and didn't make much progress. Feeding my hypothalamus caused my energy to take off. Now at 57 years young I have energy.
Nutrition for the Hypothalamus
The hypothalamus is fed by essential fatty acids (EFA's) and other nutrients. If you have chronic dry skin this may be due to a lack of EFA's. The glandular system uses fatty acids to make hormones. If you are deficient, the body doesn't have the building blocks to make the proper hormones. These hormones play a role in calcium assimilation with the parathyroid gland. Black Currant Oil is what I suggest to our clients that have trouble sleeping. Providing the nutrition the body is lacking alllows insomnia to be a thing of the past.
Other sources of EFA's are Flax Seed Oil, Omega-3 EPA, and Evening Primrose Oil. Other nutrients that feed the hypothalamus and Glandular system are Target TS II and Red Raspberry. If you have taken essential fatty acids, and you don't notice any changes in the dry skin condition or the other benefits of fatty acids, you may need to improve your assimilation of fats. The liver is the organ that may need some work or support in breaking down fats. LIV-J is an herbal combination used to feed the liver.
If this doesn't answer your questions or your assimilation isn't where you want it to be then consider the material on Why Must I Take More.