Vitamin and Mineral IQ test…the answers..

The answers follow each question. Good luck!

1. If I eat well, I can get all the nutrients I need from food?

a. True
b. False

1. B. This may have been true for early humans, who lived physically active lives, ate wild, fresh, whole foods, and breathed clean air. Today, we eat relatively few nutrient-dense fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Yet we are under physical and psychological stresses our ancestors never dreamed of, paradoxically raising our need for  many nutrients.  Even if we ate a “balanced” diet, our food has less nutrition to begin with because it is raised using synthetic chemicals, and then it is stored and processed to within an inch of it’s life.

2. Vitamin E has been shown to:

a. Improve your sex life
b. Help prevent cancer
c. Prevent baldness
d. all of the above

2. B. Many studies have shown that Vitamin e helps protect us against the harmful effects of a variety of carcinogens and toxins, including carbon tetrachloride,  mercury, lead, benzene, ozone and nitrous oxide.  It prevents the formation of potent carcinogens called nitrosamines from the nitrates found in air pollution, cigarette smoke, and some foods. Vitamin E also prevents vitamins A and C, two other vitamins that protect us from carcinogens, from losing their potency in the body.

3. Enriched white bread is just as nutritious as whole wheat bread.

a. True
b. False

3. B. the flour used to make white bread has been depleted of over twenty nutrients, including up to 40 percent of Vitamin c, 85 percent of vitamin B6, and 72 percent of zinc.  The manufacturers then put back a handful of theses nutrients (five to be exact), and call the results “enriched”.  Whole wheat bread and other whole grain breads are much higher in almost every vitamin and mineral, including trace minerals such as chromium, selenium, and manganese. They are also higher in protein and fiber.

4. Which drugs increase your need for certain vitamins or minerals?

a. Antibiotics
b. Aspirin
c. Birth control pills
d. Antidepressants
e. All of the above

4. E. It is widely recognized that many drugs interact with nutrients in the body, often causing nutrient depletion.  Antibiotics have been shown to interfere with the B vitamins, Vitamin C, and Calcium.  Antibiotics may also destroy useful bacteria in the colon, thus hindering vitamin k synthesis.  Estrogen-containing medications, such as birth control pills, deplete the body of  Vitamin B6, folic acid, and vitamin C. Even aspirin, if used over a long period of time, may deplete the body’s stores of vitamin C and folic acid. A number of tricyclic antidepressants have been shown to inhibit enzymes that require CoQ10, a nutrient that is needed for normal heart function.

5. Who generally requires a higher intake of vitamins and minerals?

a. Senior citizens
b. Body builders
c. Marathon runners
d. All of the above

5. D. Because of their exercise regimens, marathoners and body builders are under physical stress, which increases their need for many vitamins and minerals. In addition, people who exercise heavily tend to eat large amounts of carbohydrates, which increase need for Thiamin.  Finally, sweating has been shown to increase the excretion of certain essential nutrients. Many studies have shown that because of reduced absorption and poor eating habits, the elderly are also at great risk for having low levels of nutrients, especially calcium, Vitamins B6, B12 and D, folic acid and zinc.

6. Which nutrient (s) has been shown to protect against many forms of cancer?

a. Calcium
b. Magnesium
c. Selenium
d. Vitamin D
e. All of the above

6. A,C and D. There is a higher incidence of cancer among people who live in geographical areas where the soil is low in selenium. Studies have correlated many forms of cancer, but especially breast cancer, whith a low selenium intake. Vitamin D is associated with a lower risk of colon cancer, an effect that is especially strong when combined with calcium; and Vitamin D supplements have also been shown to cut the risk of pancreatic cancer nearly in half.

7. As long as you take supplements, you can eat whatever you want.

a. True
b. False

7. B. Supplements are just that…supplements. They should be taken in addition to an intelligent diet to make up for the nutrients lost in our food as a result of shipping, storage, processing, and other factors.  Supplements are not meant to overcome a diet that is too high in fat and sugar or too low in fiber. They are designed to be  apart of total health programs that include good fresh food, exercise, stress reduction, and avoidance of substances known to be harmful to the body.

8.Vitamin C has been shown to _________ colds?

a. Cure
b. Prevent
c. Shorten the duration of
d. All of the above

8. C. Vitamin C has been shown to shorten the duration of colds, and less the severity of the symptoms. Vitamin C is necessary for the optimum function of the immune system, but has never been conclusively proven to either prevent or cure the common cold.

9. Which nutrient(s) may be effective in preventing cardiovascular disease?

a. Calcium
b. Vitamin E
c. Niacin
d. All of the above

9. D. Many studies correlate a higher calcium intake with lower blood pressure. Vitamin e may reduce cholesterol in the blood and increase levels of HDL (high-density lipoproteins, the “good” type of cholesterol.  It may also help prevent platelets from clogging the arteries. Niacin has been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.  In fact, two studies recommend niacin as the treatment of choice for these conditions.

10. The more supplements you take, the better.

a. True
b. False

10.B. For each individual, there is an optimum amount of each nutrient beyond which the benefits are small or non existent. There is no reason to take, for example, 150 milligrams of B vitamins if 50 milligrams will do the job. Although even every high doses of vitamins and mineral supplements are generally not harmful, it makes no sense economically or healthwise to take more then you really need. .

Your score:
7-10 Correct: Excellent
4-6 Correct: Average
0-3 Correct: Poor
I hope you did well and if you have any questions regarding these answers email me at :

This quiz is from The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book by Shari Lieberman Ph.D.,CNS,FACN and Nancy Bruning, MPH.

2 thoughts on “Vitamin and Mineral IQ test…the answers..

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