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The cause of the fatigue may be “malnutrition” !? ~ Risks hidden in corona ~

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With the epidemic of the new coronavirus infection, our daily lives have changed significantly. There should be many people who have less chance to go out for telework and more chance to eat at home. Do you have a simple meal such as rice bowl or noodles, or do you have an unbalanced diet? If these changes in life make you feel more tired … it may be due to “undernourishment.” This time, I will explain the nutrients that modern people tend to lack and how the lack of those nutrients affects the body. We will also introduce the points of diet that efficiently ingest nutrients, so please use it as a hint to overcome fatigue.

Supervision: Professor Katsumi Shibata (Professor, Department of Medical Nutrition, Faculty of Medical Nutrition, Konan Women’s University, Member of the Japanese Dietary Intake Standards 2020 Formulation Study Group, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)

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Relationship between fatigue and nutrition

Decreased energy production causes fatigue

The body synthesizes energy based on the ingredients taken from food. The basis for this is three nutrients: sugar, lipid, and protein. In addition, alcohol is also an energy source. Generating energy while decomposing and converting these is called energy production, and nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are deeply involved at this time. In other words, if you do not ingest not only the nutrients that are the energy source but also the vitamins and minerals that are essential for energy production, your body will not be able to obtain sufficient energy, and it will appear in the form of tiredness and tiredness (malaise). It is thought that it will be.
The amount of nutrients required depends on age, gender, life stage such as pregnancy, and health condition such as illness. These are likely to be satisfied if a well-balanced diet and amount of food can be achieved, but modern human life is a nutrient that is ingested by excessive dieting, unbalanced diet, or eating to relieve stress. It is thought that excess and deficiency have occurred, and as a result, the energy generated is also insufficient, making it easy to get tired.

What nutrients tend to be deficient?

What are the nutrients that Japanese people, who tend to get tired of today, lack? Based on the “Japanese Dietary Intake Standards” published by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, compare with the Japanese dietary habits found from the “National Health and Nutrition Survey” (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare) and “Household Survey” (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications). However, let’s look at the nutrients that tend to be deficient that affect fatigue.

Vitamin B 1

Vitamin B 1 , the first vitamin discovered in history , is an extremely important nutrient when talking about fatigue. The reason is that vitamin B 1 is involved in producing energy from sugars obtained from diet and the like. Without vitamin B 1 , no matter how much sugar you consume as an energy source, you cannot produce energy. In other words, you run out of energy and become tired easily.

According to the “Summary of National Health and Nutrition Survey Results” (2019), the average daily intake was 0.95 mg (1.03 mg for men and 0.87 mg for women).
For example, according to the “Japanese Dietary Intake Standards (2020 Edition)”, the recommended daily dose for men and women aged 30 to 49 is 1.4 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women, which is lower than the recommended amount for both men and women.

The possible causes for the shortage are as follows.

[Factor (1) Sugar-centered diet]

Many people who engage in social life, such as teleworking and refraining from going out, have more opportunities to eat at home due to the “with Corona” lifestyle. Furthermore, according to the “Household Survey,” the intake of rice, pasta, cup noodles, and instant noodles increased in 2020 compared to 2019. Due to the volume and ease of use, the diet is centered on sugar, and there is concern about vitamin B 1 deficiency.
Vitamin B 1 is needed in the process of breaking down sugars into energy sources for the body. The more sugar that is taken up by the body, the more it must be broken down, and the more vitamin B 1 in the body is needed, which can be deficient. In particular, grains such as rice and wheat lose a large amount of B vitamins such as vitamin B 1 and vitamin B 2 that should have been originally contained by being scraped during the rice milling and refining process, resulting in the loss of sugar and vitamins. It is a factor that causes imbalance.

[Factor (2) Increase in alcohol intake due to increased opportunities for “drinking at home”]

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Statistics Bureau’s “Household Income and Expenditure Survey (Household Income and Expenditure)”, the monthly consumption expenditure (annual average) for liquor in households with two or more people in 2020 was before the spread of the new coronavirus infection. It was up about 16% compared to one 2019. Due to the influence of the life of Corona, the number of people who drink alcohol at home is increasing.
In fact, consumption of alcohol also vitamin B 1 increases the required amount, you may inadvertently spurred the lack of results in. Alcohol taken into the body is mainly decomposed by the liver and becomes energy. Type 2 aldehyde dehydrogenase in this process(ALDH2)A.L.D.H.2.However, if the amount of alcohol to be decomposed is too large, ALDH2 alone cannot keep up with the decomposition, and the enzyme that requires vitamin B 1 will start to decompose. In addition, alcohol adversely affects the absorption of vitamin B 1 , so high alcohol intake can accelerate the body ‘s deficiency of vitamin B 1 .

[Factor ③ Characteristics of vitamin B 1 ]

Since vitamin B 1 is water-soluble, it often dissolves from the inside of the food to the outside water during cooking, and it is also lost in the washing process before cooking. In addition, vitamin B 1 is largely lost by cooking, so for example, “boiled” cooking has a significant effect on the amount of vitamin B 1 remaining in the food

Vitamin B 2

Like vitamin B 1 , vitamin B 2 is deeply involved in the mechanism (metabolism) of using sugar in the body to generate energy, and is also an essential nutrient for lipid metabolism. Insufficient energy may lead to mouth ulcer, angular cheilitis and dermatitis as well as fatigue due to lack of energy. According to the “Summary of National Health and Nutrition Survey Results” (2019), the average daily intake was 1.18 mg (1.24 mg for men and 1.12 mg for women). For example, according to the “Japanese Dietary Intake Standards (2020 Edition)”, the recommended daily dose for men and women is 1.6 mg for men and 1.2 mg for women aged 30 to 49, which is lower than the recommended amount for both men and women. The possible causes for the shortage are as follows.

[Factor (1) Chronic shortage]

Vitamin B 2 is thought to be deficient for the entire population for several years. The following graph is a graph of the average intake of vitamin B 2 from the “National Health and Nutrition Survey” for the last four years .

There are many possible reasons for a deficiency, such as reduced consumption of vitamin B 2 rich milk. According to the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the annual per capita consumption of milk has been declining since peaking in the first half of the 1990s, and although it fluctuates a little, it remains at about 70% of the peak. .. This is just one example, but these dietary changes may also contribute.

[Factor (2 ) Characteristics of vitamin B 2 ]

Vitamin B 2 is also classified as a water-soluble vitamin, like vitamin B 1 . Therefore, it has the property of flowing out into the water that comes into contact with the ingredients during cooking, such as when washed with water or boiled. On the other hand, there is a feature that the rate of loss by heating itself is smaller than that of vitamin B 1 , so it is reported that the total of vitamin B 2 remaining in the ingredients and the amount dissolved in the boiled juice has hardly decreased. I have.


Calcium is famous as an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy bones. In addition to bones, it helps to move muscles smoothly, and is also involved in promoting blood circulation and hormone release. Furthermore, it is involved in the communication between the brain / nerves and each part of the body. From these characteristics, it can be said that calcium is a nutrient widely related to the maintenance of physical function and physical and mental health.
According to the “Summary of National Health and Nutrition Survey Results” (2019), the average daily intake was 505 mg (517 mg for men and 494 mg for women).
For example, according to the “Japanese Dietary Intake Standards (2020 Edition)”, the recommended daily dose for men and women is 750 mg for men and 650 mg for women between the ages of 30 and 49, which is lower than the recommended dose for both men and women.

The possible causes for the shortage are as follows.

[Factor (1) Chronic shortage]

As mentioned earlier, calcium intake is below the recommended amount in the latest statistics. Furthermore, calcium intake is declining year by year.
The following graph summarizes calcium intake (male and female) since 1970, approximately every 10 years. As is clear from this graph, the Japanese have been continuously deficient in calcium for the last half century.

Effects on the body caused by malnutrition

[Vitamin B 1 ] Not only tiredness and tiredness, but also loss of concentration

Vitamin B 1 , an essential nutrient for the body to generate energy from the sugar it gains through food . At the same time, it also plays a role in maintaining normal functions of the central and peripheral nerves. If the vitamin B 1 is deficient, the brain and nerves that use sugar as an energy source will be affected, and you will feel tired and tired, and you will feel unwell. In addition, there are concerns about eye strain in today’s life where we have frequent online meetings and operate smartphones and PCs for a long time. Vitamin B 1 is also closely related to the normal functioning of the eye, so if it is deficient, it will interfere with the optic nerve and eye movements.

[Vitamin B 2 ] Not only energy shortage, but also skin and mucous membrane problems

Vitamin B 2, which is deeply involved in the mechanism by which the body produces energy from sugars, lipids, and proteins . Think from this role, vitamin B 2 deficiency of the body can not be obtained successfully energy, you will feel like tired.
Vitamin B 2 also protects the mucous membranes, and if it is deficient, it may cause stomatitis, angular cheilitis, glossitis, seborrheic dermatitis, etc.

[Calcium] Not only does bone weaken, but it also reduces athletic performance.

Calcium is an important nutrient involved in various regulation of human life, and its deficiency causes physical and mental disorders.
For example, when the amount of calcium in the blood is low, the body tries to maintain the calcium concentration in the blood by dissolving calcium from the bones into the blood. At this time, if the amount of calcium that dissolves from the bone increases, the bone becomes brittle, and if you try to supplement the weakened bone, you will unknowingly put a strain on your muscles and joints, and you will have back pain, back pain, and more. It may cause pain in joints in various places.

How to get good nutrients that tend to be deficient?

[Vitamin B 1 ] Take garlic and onions together to increase absorption rate

Vitamin B 1 is a nutrient involved in the energy production of the most ingested sugar. As a result, the amount of loss inevitably increases, and if you do not take it efficiently every day, you are likely to fall into a shortage.
Vitamin B 1 is abundant in meat, fish, legumes, grains, and nuts and seeds (hard shells and skins such as nuts and sesame seeds). Cereals, especially those before refining and rice polishing, are richer in B vitamins, so for example, for rice, brown rice should be used instead of polished rice.
There are two points to efficiently take vitamin B 1 . It is a combination of ingredients and a cooking method.
The first point is to eat the ingredients with garlic and onions. The substance called allicin contained in these substances is combined with vitamin B 1 ( the chemical name of vitamin B 1 is called thiamine) to make it more easily absorbed by the body. A diet combined with these ingredients is recommended to increase absorption.
The second point is that, as I introduced earlier, vitamin B 1 has the property of being easily dissolved in water from foodstuffs and weak against heat. Therefore, if the cooking method has a very short heating time that does not depend on water, such as baking in a frying pan for a short time or frying in oil, the amount of vitamin B 1 remaining in the food is larger than the cooking method in which it is boiled. I can think of it.
However, not all ingredients are suitable for this recipe. If you are worried about a shortage while devising a diet, it is a good idea to use vitamins.

[Vitamin B 2 ] Do not miss nutrition with a cooking method that can be eaten with juice

Vitamin B 2 is also abundant in meat, seafood, beans, nuts and seeds, as well as dairy products, algae (seaweed, etc.), and eggs, just like vitamin B 1 . Vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are also one of the foods rich in vitamin B 2 .
I mentioned earlier that vitamin B 2 is slightly more resistant to heating than vitamin B 1 . Like Vitamin B 1 , Vitamin B 2 is a nutrient that dissolves easily in water, so if you boil the ingredients, for example, a large amount of them will flow out in the boiled juice. However, vitamin B 2 can withstand heating to some extent more than vitamin B 1 , so it remains firmly in the boiled juice. Therefore, as a method of efficiently ingesting vitamin B 2 , it is conceivable to ingest it in a dish that can be eaten with soup, in addition to cooking such as baking and frying. Also, it is recommended that you can easily take vitamin B 2 without cooking cheese, yogurt, milk, etc.

[Calcium] Pay attention to the combination that affects the absorption rate. Perfect for dairy products

Calcium is abundant in fish and shellfish, algae, milk, legumes, and nuts and seeds. Especially milk such as milk and dairy products are recommended for efficient intake of calcium.
At this time, it is important to pay attention to the combination of calcium and other nutrients rather than the ingredients. For example, oxalic acid, which is abundant in spinach, and phytic acid, which is abundant in beans and grains, have the property of degrading the absorption efficiency of calcium. All of the ingredients contain a lot of calcium itself, but due to the influence of other ingredients that also contain it, the absorption rate from the ingredients is not higher than that of milk.
Vitamin D, on the other hand, is an essential nutrient for efficient absorption and is essential for calcium absorption. Vitamin D is abundant in milk and dairy products as well as seafood and eggs, and from this point of view, milk and dairy products can be said to be an excellent source of calcium.
In addition, calcium is lost in cooking at a relatively low rate, so if you are not good at milk or dairy products, you can mix it with your cooking and use it.

It is important to continue nutrition. Practice from what you can do without overdoing it!

So far, we have introduced the nutrients that modern people who tend to get tired tend to lack, their characteristics, and efficient intake methods. If you devise menus (ingredients and cooking methods) by utilizing such information, you can expect to realize a well-balanced diet and efficiently ingest nutrients that tend to be deficient.
However, life in the already busy “with Corona” era. It is quite difficult to calculate the amount of nutrients to be ingested every day, think about the ingredients, and change the cooking method.
For efficient nutrition, it is important to continue in a reasonable way. While using vitamins wisely, try to take in nutrients that are easy for you to continue.
Also, be careful if you are not getting tired or feeling well even though you should be getting enough nutrients. Don’t overdo it and talk to your local medical institution.

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