INTERACTION OF NUTRIENT IN
Dr. Uttara Singh
What is nutrient interaction?
Nutrient interaction means , the impact of the
nutrient on other nutrient’s bioavailability.
Nutrient bioavailability includes two important
components, absorption and utilization.
Absorption is the process by which a nutrient
moves from the intestinal lumen into the body
Utilization of the absorbed nutrients includes
transport to various parts of the body, assimilation
by cells, and conversion to biologically active
may affect –
-Bioavailability in either in positive or negative way.
-May either enhance or inhibit nutrient absorption or
-High or low levels of one or more nutrients may
affects bioavailability of other nutrient.
-Interaction can affect all the major categories of
nutrients; protein, carbohydrates,fats,vitamins and
-Interactions of nutrients with non-nutrient
components of foods can alter availability.
Interaction of protein with other
Various proteins bind and carry certain vitamins
including iron, copper, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin
Inadequate protein intake may impair the function
of these nutrients.
Interaction of Carbohydrate with other nutrient
Carbohydrates present in the body require
thiamine for their metabolism,
as thiamine pyrophosphate is a coenzyme for
the oxidative decarboxylation of
pyruvic acid, the main breakdown product of
Presence of excess carbohydrate in diet
increase thiamine requirement also helps in
functioning of fat and protein
Interaction of dietary fiber with other nutrient
It reduce the absorption and/or increase the
excretion of several
minerals, including calcium and iron.
Interaction of fat with other nutrient
The presence of excess fat in diet decreases thiamine requirement
addition of essential fatty acid to a low pyridoxine diet offers
protection against the development of deficiency sign due to
Interaction of Lipoic acid with other nutrient
Vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q, glutathione, and
NADH all require lipoic acid for their efficient recycling
in the body. Deficiency of these antioxidant nutrients
will reduce synthesis of lipoic acid in the body.
Lipoic acid gets its two sulfur atoms primarily from the
sulfur-containing amino acid methionine. For this
reason, methionine deficiency can reduce the body's
ability to make lipoic acid.
Deficiency of other sulfur-containing amino acids, like
cysteine and taurine, can also prevent lipoic acid
synthesis in our cells.
Interaction of Choline with other nutrient
SAM cycle (s-adenosyl-methionine cycle), choline adequacy is
closely related to the adequacy of many other nutrients.
These nutrients include vitamins B-6, B-12, and folate; the
amino acids serine and glycine; and the molecules betaine,
sarcosine, and ethanolamine.
Throughout the SAM cycle, all of these molecules are actively
exchanging chemical components - and especially chemical
structures called methyl groups - in order to keep the body
supplied with adequate amounts of SAM. In the context of the
SAM cycle, one of choline's jobs is to keep methyl groups cycling
around for eventual donation to SAM.
The movement of methyl groups around the SAM cycle is
particularly dependent on folic acid, which is particularly good at
accepting methyl groups from other molecules. For this reason,
folate deficiency is especially likely to disrupt SAM cycle balance,
and in the process, choline status as well.
Interaction of omega-3 fatty acid with other
Vitamin E, the primary fat-soluble
antioxidant, protects omega-3 fats from oxidation.
Oxidation is a chemical process that produces
Interaction of Vitamin A with other nutrient
The transport and utilization of vitamin A is dependent
upon several vitamin A binding proteins.
Sufficient dietary intake of protein is required for the
manufacture of these binding proteins, inadequate
protein intake may result in vitamin A deficiency.
Adequate intake of dietary fat and zinc is necessary
for the absorption and utilization of vitamin A.
Because vitamin A deficiency causes anemia, it is
believed that vitamin A impacts the metabolism
Excess vitamin A interferes with the absorption of
vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for blood
Interaction of Vitamin B2 with other nutrient
Vitamin B2 status is strongly affected by intake
of vitamin B1.
Adequate supplies of vitamin B1 can help
increase levels of vitamin B2.
However, very high levels of vitamin B1 intake
can increase the loss of vitamin B2 in the urine.
nutrients, especially iron, zinc, folate, vitamin
B3 and vitamin B12 are not fully available in the
body without adequate supplies of riboflavin
Interaction of vitamin B3 with other nutrient
B3 supply comes from conversion of the amino
Tryptophan deficiency can therefore increase risk of
vitamin B3 deficiency. (Tryptophan deficiency is likely
to occur in any individual with poor overall protein
Conversion also requires the presence of vitamins
B1 and B6, and when B1 and/or B6 are deficient, B3
can also become deficient.
Vitamin B3 deficiency also appears to be related
to vitamin B12 status, since even mild deficiencies in
vitamin B12 can increase loss of vitamin B3 in the
Pantothenic acid - B5
Interaction of pantothenic acid with other
In animal studies, vitamins B12, folate, and biotin
are required for proper use of vitamin B5 in the
body's biochemical pathways.
In addition, vitamin C appears to help prevent B5
Interaction of folate with other nutrient
Vitamins B1, B2, and B3 must be present in
adequate amounts to enable folic acid to undergo
metabolic recycling in the body.
Excessive amounts of folic acid, however, can
hide a vitamin B12 deficiency, by masking bloodrelated symptoms.
Interaction of vitamin B12 with other nutrient
Vitamin B6 is required for proper absorption of
vitamin B12, and deficiency of vitamin B6 has
been shown to impair B12 absorption in animal
Conversion of vitamin B12 from its non-active into
its biologically active form requires the presence
of vitamin E.
Vitamin E deficiency may show signs of vitamin
B12 deficiency as well.
Excessive intake of folic acid can mask B12
Interaction of Vitamin C with other nutrient
Vitamin C has significant interactions with several key
minerals in the body.
Supplemental intake of vitamin C at gram-level doses can
interfere with copper metabolism.
Conversely, vitamin C can significantly
enhance iron uptake and metabolism, even at food-level
Vitamin C also has important interactions with other
Excessive intake of vitamin A is less toxic to the body when
vitamin C is readily available.
Vitamin C is involved in the regeneration of vitamin E, and
these two vitamins appear to work together in their
Interaction of vitamin D with other nutrient
It plays a role in maintaining normal blood levels of
It impacts the absorption and storage of calcium.
It also stimulates the absorption of phosphorus.
Vitamin D is believed to regulate the production of
certain calcium-binding proteins that function in the
bones and kidneys. Because these binding proteins
are dependent on vitamin K.----------It has also been theorized that iron deficiency results
in decreased vitamin D absorption.
The recycling of vitamin E in the body is intricately connected to
four other nutrients: vitamin C, glutathione, selenium, and vitamin
Vitamin C is required to keep vitamin E in its metabolically active
glutathione (a very small protein molecule called a tripeptide and
consisting of three amino acid building blocks) is required to
keep vitamin C in its active form
and selenium (a micromineral) and vitamin B3 (in a special form
called NADPH) are required to keep glutathione in its active
At moderately high levels of 1,000 milligrams or more, vitamin E
can interfere with the bodily activities of vitamin K. The potential
injury to vitamin K metabolism was largely the reason why the
National Academy of Sciences, in the year 2000, set a Tolerable
Upper Limit (UL) of 1,000 milligrams per day for vitamin E.
Research on nutrient-nutrient interactions with vitamin K has traditionally focused
on the major fat-soluble vitamins-A, E, and D.
Persons undergoing treatment with anticoagulant drugs have clearly been
shown to have their anticoagulant therapy and their vitamin K status impacted by
high doses of vitamin E. For this reason, intake of both vitamin K and vitamin E
for persons undergoing treatment with anticoagulant medications needs to be
determined with the help of a healthcare provider.
In healthy persons, no food intake of vitamin E has been shown to compromise
vitamin K status. However, under some circumstances, higher supplement intake
of vitamin E (above 1,000 milligrams) has been shown to interfere with vitamin K
function and, in some cases, to promote hemorrhaging.
Since calcium metabolism can be greatly affected by both vitamin D and vitamin
K, researchers suspect some key interactions between these two fat-soluble
vitamins. However, the exact nature of this interaction has yet to be determined.
Similar to the research on vitamin E in food,
no food intake of vitamin A has been show to
compromise vitamin K status.
Excess supplemental intake of vitamin A (in its
retinol form) has been shown to interfere with
the vitamin K-related clotting ability of the
blood and cause hypothrombinemia.
The amount of vitamin A triggering this
potential problem with vitamin K status in
adults is typically 10,000 IU (3,000
micrograms) or higher.
Coenzyme Q plays a critical role in maintaining
our supply of vitamin E.
When vitamin E gets "used up" in the
performance of its duty as an antioxidant
protector of our cell membranes, coenzyme Q
can "recharge" it, and restore its antioxidant
The following nutrients impact the absorption, utilization and/or excretion of calcium:
Vitamin D accelerates the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract.
High consumption of potassium reduces the urinary excretion of calcium.
High intakes of sodium, caffeine, or protein cause an increase in the urinary excretion
Certain types of dietary fiber like the fiber found in wheat and oat bran, may interfere
with calcium absorption by decreasing transit time, limiting the amount of time during
digestion for calcium to be absorbed.
Dietary fiber also stimulates the proliferation of "friendly" bacteria in the gut, which
bind calcium and make it less available for absorption.
Phytic acid, found in whole grains, nuts, and legumes, can bind to calcium to form and
insoluble complex, decreasing the absorption of calcium.
Oxalic acid, found in spinach, beets, celery, pecans, peanuts, tea and cocoa, can bind
to calcium and form an insoluble complex that is excreted in the feces.
Calcium impacts the absorption of the following nutrients:
It decreases the absorption of heme and nonheme iron.
Magnesium and calcium compete with each other for intestinal absorption.
Consequently, calcium supplements should not be taken at the same time as
Copper is known to react with a variety of other
iron, zinc, molybdenum, sulfur, selenium, and vitamin
Iron and zinc—interfere with absorption of copper.
Zinc supplements, when taken at 50 milligrams or
more on a daily basis over an extended period of
time, can lower availability of copper.
High supplemental doses of vitamin C—in a range
approaching 1,000 milligrams or more—may
decrease copper availability. While not applicable to
There is also some evidence that in the formula
feeding of infants, too much iron in a formula can
lower absorption of copper from that formula.
The most advantageous nutrient for helping to increase the
absorption of plant-food iron is vitamin C, 25 milligrams of
vitamin C may as much as double the absorption of plant
food iron from that meal.
Copper is another key nutrient for supporting iron
metabolism. In this case, it is transport of iron around the
body that relies in many ways on the presence of copper.
So important is this relationship that iron-deficiency anemia
may sometimes reflect the more basic underlying problem
of copper deficiency. Vitamin A may also help improve iron
status, and perhaps because of their relationship to
stomach acidity levels, so might amino acids and organic
acids (like citric acid or malic acid). There might also be
better absorption of some plant iron from a meal when
animal foods containing heme iron (the primary form of
iron in animals) are present.
Research is less clear on the relationship between iron and
calcium, although most studies show problems with iron absorption
when too much calcium is present. Since too much calcium in this case
usually means 300 milligrams or more, this iron-calcium interaction is
not likely to cause practical problems in most food situations. But it
might come into play if a person had high iron requirements and was
drinking a full glass of cow's milk (containing about 300 milligrams of
calcium) along with an iron-rich meal. In this kind of circumstance, it
might make sense to cut meal-time consumption of the milk in half and
hold the other half for a between-meal snack. The ability of calcium to
block iron absorption has led some researchers to recommend that
individuals with high iron requirements avoid taking calcium
supplements alongside of meals. Other nutrients that can lower
absorption of plant iron include phytic acid (found in grains and
legumes), certain plant food polyphenols (like tannins), and soy
proteins. However, we are still able to absorb helpful amounts of iron
from plant foods that contain any or several of these nutrients, and
foods like whole wheat, whole grain rice, soybeans or other legumes are
still very much worth including in the diet, even when iron absorption
from these foods is moderate to lo
Use of certain diuretics
Interaction of potassium with other nutrient
Through a mechanism known as the "sodium-potassium" pump, sodium
and potassium work together closely to initiate muscle contraction and
nerve transmission, and to maintain the body's normal distribution of
fluid. Most of the potassium in body is stored inside of cells, while most
of the sodium in body is stored in the fluid that surrounds cells.
During muscle contraction and nerve transmission, potassium leaves
the cell and sodium enters the cell via the "sodium-potassium pump."
This transfer causes a change in electrical charge within the cell, which
initiates the muscle contraction or the nerve impulse. Because sodium
attracts water, once the muscle contraction or nerve impulse is initiated,
the sodium is immediately pumped out of the cell to prevent water from
entering the cell and causing the cell to swell or burst, and potassium is
pumped back into the cell.
Potassium is known to decrease the excretion of calcium. As a result,
increasing the amount of potassium-containing foods in diet may be
helpful in maintaining the density and strength
Interaction of zinc with other nutrient
A Tolerable Upper Limit (UL) for zinc of 40 milligrams per day was set by
the National Academy of Sciences in 2000 for all adults 19 years and
older. The establishment of this limit was largely related to the ability of
zinc - particularly supplemental zinc - to impair the status of other
The most important of these nutrients are copper and calcium. Even at
moderate doses of 18-20 milligrams that can easily be obtained from
food, zinc can compromise the body's supply of copper unless foods
rich in copper are also included in the diet. When few foods high in
calcium are included in the diet, high levels of zinc intake (usually
obtained from supplements) can also decrease absorption of calcium
from the intestine into the body.
Although zinc is associated with these potential detrimental effects on
copper and calcium, it is also supportive of other nutrients. The best
studied of these nutrients in vitamin A. Without zinc, vitamin A cannot be
effectively transported around the body, and cannot efficiently be
mobilized when it is needed.
Interaction of iodine with other nutrient
The conversion of thyroxine (T4) to triiodthyronine (T3)
requires the removal of an iodine molecule from T4. This
reaction requires the mineral selenium. The iodine
molecule that is removed gets returned to the body's pool
of iodine and can be reused to make additional thyroid
If body is deficient in selenium, the conversion of T4 to T3
is slowed, and less iodine is available for the thryoid to use
in making new hormones.
Animal studies have shown that arsenic interferes with the
uptake of iodine by the thyroid, leading to goiter. In
addition, dietary deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin
E, zinc and/or iron can exaggerate the effects of iodine
Interaction of selenium with other nutrient
Selenium is indirectly responsible for keeping the
body's supply of at least three other nutrients intact:
these three other nutrients are vitamin
C, glutathione, and vitamin E. Although the chemistry
of these relationships is complicated, it centers
around an enzyme (protein molecule in the body that
helps "jump start" a chemical reaction) called
glutathione peroxidase. This enzyme cannot function
without selenium. Both iron deficiency
and copper deficiency appear to increase the risk of
Interaction of manganese with other nutrient
High doses of manganese may inhibit the
absorption of iron, copper, and zinc.
Alternatively, high intakes
of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper
and zinc may inhibit the absorption of
Interaction of magnesium with other nutrient
The relationship between magnesium and calcium is one
of the most actively researched, and yet not fully
understood mineral-to-mineral relationships. On one
hand, magnesium is required in order for calcium to
maintain a balanced role in the body's metabolism. On the
other hand, magnesium can compete with calcium and
prevent calcium from trigger certain events, like the relay
of a nerve message or the contraction of a muscle.
Because of the complex relationship between calcium and
magnesium, healthy diets almost always need to contain
foods rich in both minerals. Magnesium also has an
important relationship with potassium, and helps regulate
the movement of potassium in and out of our cells.
Finally, because magnesium can be attached to certain
building blocks of protein (called amino acids), increased
intake of protein can sometimes help improve the body's
Interaction of chromium with other nutrient
Diets high in simple sugars increase the urinary excretion
of chromium and rob the body of some of the chromium it
needs. Diets rich in whole grains can also decrease
absorption of chromium, since whole grains contain a
compound called phytic acid, which can bind to
chromium, form an insoluble complex, and prevent it from
Whole grains, however, contain significant amounts of
chromium, and the activity of phytic acid in grains does not
prevent us from getting chromium from whole grain foods.
As a result, a diet rich in whole grains is still unlikely to
increase our risk of chromium deficiency.Ascorbic
acid (vitamin C) increases the absorption of chromium.