top of page

7 Key Nutrients That Can Change Your Life

Written by: Chris Chappel, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Chris Chappel

As a Functional Medicine Doctor, I’m constantly looking into the latest research, and trying new approaches with my patients to reverse disease and optimize wellbeing in all ways.

Woman in white shirt eating at restaurant

We use advanced lab testing before making specific recommendations and monitor levels over time. You should check with your holistic doctor if anything discussed in this article is right for you before you start any of them.

Improve your detox

1. Diindolylmethane (DIM): How to reduce tooth cavities by 90%

DIM is a compound created by digesting vegetables like broccoli or brussels sprouts. DIM seems to be one of the main reasons eating cruciferous vegetables is good for us, and reduces the risk of many cancers such as ovarian, prostate, and colon cancer.

Taking DIM has been shown to help weight loss in women. Adding DIM to progesterone medication can help endometriosis pelvic pain, and improve period heaviness and duration.

DIM significantly improves the ratio of two types of estrogen, 2-hydroxyestrone and 16-hydroxyestrone, essentially "detoxing" estrogen to better forms. In some studies, higher levels of 2-hydroxyestrone were associated with reduced risk of breast cancer.

New research has shown that a bacterium, Streptococcus mutans, grows in your mouth and is fed when you eat sugary foods. This bacterium then generates plaque, attacks enamel and causes cavities. DIM breaks the bacterial biofilm by 90% and therefore the bacterium is not given a chance to grow. Companies are now looking at adding DIM to toothpaste and mouthwashes.

2. Calcium-D-Glucarate (CDG)

CDG inhibits beta-glucuronidase, which is produced by bad intestinal microflora. CDG is found naturally in apples, grapefruits, oranges, and cruciferous vegetables. CDG helps you remove excess hormones, improves overall detoxification, lowers bad cholesterol, and shows promise against skin and lung cancer.

DIM works on phase I liver detoxification, while calcium D-glucarate works on phase II and elimination through the bowel. At Evergreen Doctors we use the combination with patients and find it can be very beneficial.

3. Selenium is low in many people and is essential for health. A study of 350,000 people found optimal blood levels of selenium were associated with a lower risk of breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancers.

Selenium is an essential component of several essential enzymes in the body and counteracts the toxicity of heavy metals such as cadmium, inorganic mercury, methylmercury, and thallium. See here.

Selenium supplements decrease levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) and are thought to be a way to reduce oxidative stress in the body. Research suggests that people who have certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s or asthma have lower blood levels of selenium.

The thyroid requires selenium to function properly, and low levels are associated with an increased risk of autoimmune thyroiditis and hypothyroidism. Too much selenium can be toxic so get a blood test and discuss your dosing with a doctor.

Improve your mental health

Serotonin (the happy brain chemical) is made in the body from tryptophan (found in protein) and the final step requires vitamin B6 but that process is activated by vitamin D.

4. Vitamin D can have a big impact on mental health. Studies have shown an optimal level significantly improves symptoms, and increases serotonin levels in people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It can also improve major depression.

Vitamin D is important to maintain bone health, muscle strength and to prevent osteoporosis. Having optimal levels of vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of Multiple Sclerosis.

Low vitamin D has been associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and more severe fibromyalgia symptoms.

A meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials including more than 11,000 people, found taking Vitamin D daily cut the risk of having a respiratory infection in half.

5. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) works with glutamine and glycine to make and replenish glutathione, the master antioxidant in the body. Emergency room doctors give intravenous NAC to people with a Paracetamol (acetaminophen) overdose to prevent or reduce organ damage. Taking 600 mg of NAC twice daily significantly decreases the frequency of influenza-like episodes, severity, and length of time confined to bed. All symptoms in studies were sharply and significantly reduced.

NAC also helps regulate glutamate levels and some research shows it can improve bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance use disorder.

Some studies suggest that taking NAC also improves COPD symptoms, exacerbations, and lung decline. NAC also shows promise in improving fertility in both men and women.

NAC may interact with medication. NAC should be taken with vitamin C as in excess, NAC may cause kidney stones however with vitamin C this doesn't occur.

6. Zinc can make a big difference to mental health. Studies have found the lower the zinc concentration the more severe the depression. Taking an SSRI medication plus zinc is more effective than the medication alone. GABA (the key calming brain chemical) requires adequate zinc and B6 for its synthesis and regulation. GABA plays a major role in controlling nerve cell hyperactivity associated with anxiety, stress, and fear.

Vitamin C: Far more than avoiding scurvy

7. Vitamin C deficiency is more common than is generally thought and is associated with a prolonged length of stay in hospital. In an Australian study, 77% of patients in hospitals had low levels! Giving Intravenous Vitamin C reduces the length of an ICU stay on average by 8%, and taking oral vitamin C (1–3 g/day) reduces the length of an ICU stay by 9%. Multiple trials have shown that vitamin C shortened the duration of required mechanical ventilation by 18%!

Vitamin C has also been shown to shorten wound healing time, lower blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease by 25%, reduce uric acid, and prevent gout attacks. See here.

The right nutrient, in the correct dose for you, given at the right time, and in a well-absorbed form, can make a major difference to your health. For a complete wellness plan, personalized for you, contact the Functional Medicine Doctors at Evergreen Doctors today.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and visit my website for more info!

Chris Chappel Brainz Magazine

Chris Chappel, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr Chris Chappel MBBS, FRACGP, IFMCP, FAAMM, ABAARM is Australia’s most credentialed Functional Medicine Doctor. He is the cofounder of Evergreen Doctors, the founder of the Metabolism Clinic and the IBS Institute. He helps patients prevent and reverse diseases, and optimise wellbeing in all ways. He is committed to transforming the world’s healthcare and food systems, and empowering patients to live their best lives.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page