Do you know the connection between micronutrients and the gut?

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Micronutrients and the Gut {Episode 54 with Bernadette Abraham}

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Micronutrients and the Gut {Episode 54 with Bernadette Abraham} #micronutrients #guthealth


  1. Vagus Nerve Home Remedy {11 Ways for Stimulation}
  2. 33 Ways to Tell if You Have Low Stomach Acid
  3. Bernadette on Instagram HERE
  4. The B Better Membership HERE
  5. Bernadette’s website HERE

The micronutrients are the keys to our car; without them, we don’t function.

Bernadette Abraham

Don’t Miss These Thoughts

  1. Who is Bernadette Abraham?
  2. What are micro + macronutrients?
  3. In her experiences, what is the most common micronutrient deficiency in those with gut problems? And why?
  4. Breaking down vitamins and why they are critical for optimal gut health
    1. B vitamins
    2. Vitamin A
    3. Vitamin C
    4. Vitamin D
  5. Information regarding the following as they relate to the gut:
    1. zinc
    2. calcium
    3. iron
  6. How does one know if they have the right levels of nutrients? Is it just the blood testing?
  7. What are some of Bernadette’s favorite nutrient-dense food sources?
  8. When it comes to micronutrients, what is something Bernadette thinks people get wrong?
Micronutrients and the Gut {Episode 54 with Bernadette Abraham} #micronutrients #gut

Micronutrients and Digestive Function

A micronutrient is a term used to describe the various vitamins and minerals that our body needs. They play a role in virtually every function of our body.

There are 4 different categories:

  1. Water soluble vitamins- vitamins that dissolve in water and can be easily flushed out
    • Less likely to reach toxic levels
    • B and C vitamins
  2. Fat soluble vitamins- vitamins that need to be absorbed and are stored in fat tissue or in the liver
    • Can be toxic to body if too much is absorbed
    • Vitamin A, D, E, K (ADEK- acronym to remember)
  3. Macro minerals- minerals needed in a large quantity
    • calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, potassium, sulfur
  4. Trace minerals- minerals needed in a smaller quantity but just as important!
    • zinc, copper, iron, manganese, iodine, selenium

All of these are crucial to the function of our overall body function and health. However, there are two common reasons for impaired absorption that Bernadette mentions.

  1. Lifestyle issues
    • Impaired digestion can result from eating in a “sympathetic” manner rather than “parasympathetic”
    • Our digestive system functions at its best when we are calmed and relaxed, which allows our parasympathetic system to be stimulated
    • When we eat too fast, on the go, or distracted (TV or cell phone) we prevent our system from releasing the proper hormones, stomach acid, and enzymes to absorb our food
    • The lack of stomach acid results in an inability to break down food and proper nutrients
  2. Physical issues
    • Inflammatory diseases such as Celiac or Inflammatory Bowel Disease alter the absorption that can take place along our intestines
    • These diseases damage the microvilli, or fingerlike projections, that line the intestines and allow for better absorption to occur
    • Since most of our absorption occurs in the stomach and small intestine, the location of the issue determines the micronutrients that are affected

Common micronutrients insufficiencies due to Gutsy issues are iron, magnesium, B12, and vitamin A.

For more information on stomach acid, check out this article.

Micronutrients In Depth

While all micronutrients play a vital role in overall health, here are a few that are critical to maintaining good gut health as well as the best ways to incorporate them into your diet.

  1. B vitamins
    • Contributes to better gut absorption and specific bacterial reproduction
    • Good sources- liver, animal products
    • Vegans may have to supplement
  2. Vitamin A
    • Immune response- most of it housed in the gut
    • Prevents immune system from overreacting
    • Good for autoimmune disorders or inflammatory conditions (Crohn’s, Colitis)
    • Good sources- liver, dairy, fish, carotenoids (orange food), spinach
  3. Vitamin C
    • Gut barrier function- better for absorption and prevention of toxins
    • Balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut
    • Good sources- veggies and fruit (broccoli, red bell pepper, oranges, kiwi, strawberries…)
  4. Vitamin D
    • Immune health and anti-inflammation
    • Protective effect on intestinal lining (leaky gut)
    • Good sources- sun exposure!!!
  5. Zinc
    • Helps make stomach acid
    • Necessary for proper enzymatic release
    • Good sources- meat, legumes, nuts
  6. Calcium
    • Activates the intrinsic factor, a protein required to absorb B12 in the intestine
    • Good sources- dairy products, soybeans, seeds

As you can see from the list above, Bernadette prefers incorporating micronutrients in the form of food rather than supplementation.

She recommends eating a “whole food diet” of minimally processed food to increase the amount of micronutrient absorption in your diet.

Added source: HERE and HERE

Micronutrients and the Gut {Episode 54 with Bernadette Abraham} #micronutrients #guthealth #nutrition

More on Vitamin D and Sun Exposure

Since Vitamin D is critical for the maintenance of the intestinal lining, it is important to be getting enough everyday. One of the easiest ways to get vitamin D is from direct sunlight which worries many people. The dangerous part of sun exposure is actually not the sun itself but the UV rays that causes damage to our cells.

Bernadette recommends consuming more foods high in antioxidants, which can help our body minimize the negative effects of the UV rays. Foods that contain a high level of antioxidants, such as fish and salmon, are helpful in protecting your skin and cells from damage.

Another helpful tip is to slowly work yourself up to more sun exposure a day. The goal is to eventually have at least 15 minutes a day, but allow your body time to slowly adjust.

Bernadette recommended an app called D-minder, which helps to track your vitamin D intake based on individual factors and needs.

Vitamin D, Sunlight, Supplementation #vitaminD #guthealth #immunesystem #healthyliving

Symptoms of Micronutrient Deficiencies

There are many different symptoms associated with micronutrient deficiencies, and many of them build off one another.

Symptoms are our body’s way of communicating with us”

Bernadette Abraham

Here are some common symptoms found with individual micronutrient deficiencies.

As always, do NOT supplement without the guidance of a professional or concrete bloodwork. Taking a single micronutrient in excess can be more harmful than good if not needed.

  1. Low B12- low energy, tingling in extremities
  2. Low magnesium- frequent headaches, muscle tightness and spasms, sleep issues, high blood pressure, GERD
  3. Low iron- fatigue, coldness, numbness, hypothyroid issues such as constipation, brittle nails, dry skin, infertility, hair loss
  4. Overall gut dysbiosis- mood swings, anxiety, skin issues, sleep issues, hormonal problems (often estrogen dominant)

Remember to get guidance from a health profession if any of these symptoms resinate with you BEFORE supplementing.

Here are some of the tests that Bernadette recommends and uses in her own practice.

  1. Vibrant Micronutrient Panel
  2. SpectraCell Labs Micronutrient Panel
  3. Genova Diagnostics
  4. Organic Acids Test
  5. Simple blood tests

More from A Gutsy Girl

Want to learn even more about the gut and ways to heal it?

Learn all the secrets via my signature book, A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut. Grab your copy on Amazon HERE.

  1. Welcome to A Gutsy Girl Podcast
  2. Hang out on Instagram
  3. BFF’s on YouTube
  4. Free resource: The Master Gutsy Spreadsheet
  5. Rated-G Email Club

Wrap Up

Time to wrap this up. As always, a huge goal for this show is to connect with even more people. Feel free to send an email to our team at We want to hear questions, comments, show ideas, etc.

Did you enjoy this episode? Please drop a comment below or leave a review on Apple Podcasts.

Bio: Bernadette Abraham

Bernadette Abraham is a highly engaging and sought-after health expert with over 25 years of experience in physical wellbeing in Canada, US, and the United Arab Emirates.

A busy mother of four, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, Master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and continues to accumulate credentials as a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and AFMC-certified Functional Medicine Coach.

She tackles root causes of ill health that mystify traditional medicine and unlocks the truth about the natural recovery of the body.

Bernadette’s mission is to lead people on a life-changing journey that brings them closer to healing through awareness and prevention.

If you liked this episode, you might also enjoy:

  1. Micronutrients and Macronutrients with SIBO
  2. Viome Gut Microbiome Test Reviews {2022}
  3. Best Place to Buy Grass Fed Beef {Online in 2023}


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