Minerals are needed for strong digestive function, because they act as cofactors, enabling enzymes to function.
Potassium is needed for the secretion of gastric acid.
Magnesium has an osmotic effect that draws water into the intestines, which helps to keep health bowel movements. Calcium reduces intestinal motility to aid nutrient absorption and reduces fluid secretion into the intestines.
Zinc maintains the integrity of intestinal junctions which prevents “leaky gut”.
Calcium, zinc and selenium are important in minimising intestinal inflammation and provide intestinal barrier function, antioxidant protection, and contribute to healthy immunity.
Adequate levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium are associated with an increased microbial diversity in the gut. Microbial diversity is one of the most important factors in strong gut health and optimal immune function.
So we can see that minerals are critical for healthy gastric acid secretion, intestinal motility, fluid balance within the GI tract, intestinal barrier integrity, and regulation of microbial balance within the intestinal tract. Ensuring sufficiency of minerals through dietary modification and/or supplementation is therefore an extremely important component of digestive health management.
Schedule time with your naturopath if your digestive function needs improvement, or if you suffer from digestive symptoms such as bloating, pain, constipation, or diarrhea. It may be that your mineral intake is inadequate and therefore contributing to digestive issues.
Yvette is a qualified Melbourne-based Naturopath and Nutritionist, MINDD Practitioner, member of the Naturopaths and Herbalists Association of Australia, and Complementary Medicine Association. Yvette specialises in the treatment of conditions commonly affecting women and children, with a key interest in children’s digestive and neurological conditions, as well as women’s hormonal concerns, digestive issues, fatigue, anxiety, and skin concerns. Yvette consults in South Yarra, Melbourne, as well as Australia-wide via skype/zoom/phone. Book here.