Factors That Affect Your Nutritional Needs

Factors That Affect Your Nutritional Needs

Various factors affect our unique nutritional needs. Knowing these can help you optimise your diet and supplement routine to ensure your body’s getting everything it needs. We always recommend taking a ‘food first’ approach to nutrition. This means prioritising getting the majority of your nutrition from a nutrient dense, balanced diet. However, as you’ll learn in this article, various factors can increase our requirements for certain nutrients. In these cases, supplements can be invaluable.

High quality supplements play an important role in our clinical practice. They enable us to optimise our client’s health in a variety of different ways. But how do you know whether the supplements you’e taking are really benefitting you? There are a number of key factors we take into account when making recommendations to clients. Here are seven factors that affect your nutritional needs and how you can bear them in mind to ensure you pick the right diet and supplements for you.

If you’d like personalised nutrition, health and lifestyle advice that works for you, book in for a complimentary call today to find out how our expert team of qualified nutritionists can help you.


Several factors can affect your dietary needs, including allergies, intolerances, lifestyle needs, and genetic makeup. For instance, a vegan diet may lack key nutrients like B12 and iron, necessitating supplementation. Gut health and medications can also impact nutrient absorption and depletion. Additionally, stage of life, location, fitness level, and medications, such as proton pump inhibitors and oral contraceptives, can increase the need for certain nutrients. Therefore, it’s important to consider these factors when planning your diet. Let’s look at these in more detail.



Increasing numbers of us are avoiding certain foods due to allergies, intolerances or for religious or ethical reasons. However, in restricting our intake of certain foods, it can mean that we’re also limiting food sources of vital nutrients.

There are a number of key nutrients commonly lacking in a vegan diet. B12 and iron are two of the most important nutrients to consider – both playing a key role in energy production. If you are vegetarian or vegan, it is worth considering supplementing B12 and, particularly for women, iron.

Meat, fish, seafood and eggs are amongst the best sources of protein, essential for growth, healing and muscle development. Vegans and vegetarians can struggle to get enough good quality protein in their diets. A high quality protein powder, added to smoothies or taken as a shake, is a convenient way to increase protein intake. There are a wide variety of different brands available now. Look out for a complete protein providing all essential amino acids, while being free from synthetic additives. A variety of vegan proteins are available at naturaldispensary.co.uk.


Did you know that your genes play a significant role in your ability to synthesis or absorb different nutrients? Your unique genetic makeup is one of the factors that affect nutritional needs.

Some people’s genetics mean that they will struggle to convert plant sources of nutrients to the animal form that our body utilises. For example, some people effectively convert the plant form of vitamin A, beta carotene, to the active form our bodies use. Other people have genetic adaptions which makes it much harder for their bodies to make this conversion.

It’s a similar story for vitamin D. While some people’s skin is effectively able to synthesise vitamin D from the sun, other people have genetic polymorphisms that make them less able to produce vitamin D. Understanding your genes can be particularly helpful in understanding the nutrients you are most likely to be lacking in. Based on this, you can make sure you include more sources in your diet and supplement to cover the gaps.

As a team of nutritionists who specialise in weight loss, our Intelligent Weight Loss DNA Test is the most advanced weight loss DNA test available. It can help you understand your unique weight challenges and implement a diet and lifestyle strategy truly tailored to your unique make up. The test is available to purchase from our site here, or contact us for more information.


Compromised digestive health can prevent us from effectively digesting and absorbing vital nutrients. Your gut health is one of the factors that affect your nutritional needs.

IBS is a common issue and supplements be beneficial in helping to address the underlying causes of poor gut health. For example, we often see clients who are experiencing digestive issues following antibiotic use. In addition to killing the bad bacteria they’re designed to, antibiotics also kill off beneficial bacteria in the gut. Compromised levels of beneficial bacteria can result in a variety of digestive complaints. Levels of these bacteria can be replenished with the use of a quality protiobic supplement. We like Symprove, BioKult and Optibac who provide a specific supplement for those on antibiotics.

Prebiotics provide food to nourish and promote the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria. They can be supplemented in powder form, easily added to food. Inulin is a popular prebiotic supplement as it has a sweet taste and can be used to replace sugar.

We know that fibre plays a key role in digestive health but many of us don’t consume nearly enough. As well as increasing your vegetable intake, a fibre supplement such as FibreSmart from Renew Life can be a convenient way to up your intake.


It’s commonly known that pregnant women are advised to supplement folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects. (It’s worth pointing out here that we prefer the natural form of folic acid known as folate). Pregnancy is just one example of how our nutritional needs can vary throughout our lives.

Menopausal women experience a decline in oestrogen levels which is known to protect bones, therefore a focus on nutrients that supports bone health is key at this stage of life. Calcium is the most well known bone nutrient, but vitamins D and K as well as manganese and boron are also important. Try NutriAdvanced Collagen Forte Joints and Bones.

As we age our digestive function often deteriorates and therefore in older adults, compromised digestive function can call for supplementation. Elderly people can experience a decline in appetite so a high quality meal replacement shake with added vitamins and minerals, such as the Complete Meal Shakes from FreeSoul, can be a good option.


Where you live in the world is one of the factors that can affect your nutritional needs. Depending on your location, you could have a higher requirement for certain nutrients. In the Northern hemisphere, such as Europe, Canada and North America, vitamin D deficiency is a widespread problem. This is due to the fact that most Vitamin D produced by our skin when it’s exposed to the sun’s rays. Certain parts of the world do not have enough direct sunlight to maintain healthy Vitamin D levels; particularly when coupled with indoor working and a lack of outdoor exercise.

The UK government recommends that we all supplement vitamin D during autumn and winter months. We recommend Love Life Supplements Vitamin D3 + K2.


If you participate in intensive exercise it’s important to know that we lose certain nutrients through sweating when we work out. These nutrients are known as electrolytes which are vital in maintaining fluid balance in the body. Along with magnesium, calcium, potassium and chloride, sodium is an electrolyte and while too much isn’t good for us, salt is essential for health. To replace your salt levels, simply ensure you have enough salt in the food you eat. Many energy drinks provide electrolytes, but if you are attempting to lose weight, energy drinks also contain high levels of sugar and so we don’t typically recommend them. Instead, you can purchase a quality electrolyte supplement such as Designs for Health Electrolyte Synergy.

Free radicals are produced as a by product of energy metabolism, which is increased when we exercise. Antioxidants are a known way of counteracting free radicals and preventing their cell-damaging effects. In addition to consuming dietary sources of antioxidants from vegetables and low sugar fruits, antioxidant supplements are also worth considering. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant widely available in supplement form. We like YourZooki’s Liposomal Vitamin C.


A number of different medications can increase requirement for certain nutrients. For example, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) commonly prescribed for acid reflux are understood to lead to increased risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies impacting vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium.

It’s one of the most commonly prescribed medications but the oral contraceptive pill has been linked to reduction in a number of nutrients including magnesium, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin E and more.

Statin medications, prescribed for lowing cholesterol, have been shown to reduce levels of Coenzyme Q10 and some research has suggested that supplementing CoQ10 could help ease some of the side effects associated with these medications. If you’re taking statin medications, it’s worth considering a CoQ10 supplement such as Pharma Nord’s Bio-Quinone Active Q10.

These are just three examples of medications that compromise our nutritional status but there are many more. If you regularly take any medication, it’s worth looking into how it could be affecting your nutrient levels.

We always take a ‘food first’ approach to nutrition, focussing on acquiring the vast majority of the nutrients we need from our diet. However, for various reasons it’s not always possible to achieve optimal nutritional status through food alone. Well chosen dietary supplements can play an important role in supporting our health. All of the supplements mentioned in this article are available through The Natural Dispensary and can purchased at a discount using our code: PEARSON10.

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If you’re looking to optimise your health, lose weight and / or develop better nutrition and lifestyle habits, we can help. We are a team of qualified, experienced nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. Schedule a complimentary 25-minute call today to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.



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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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