What is an Anti-Nutrient ?

The expressions anti-nutrient, antinutrient and anti nutrient tend to be used inter-changeably in books and articles about substances that adversely affect the uptake and use of nutrients by the human body.

Definition of anti-nutrient :

Anti-nutrients are substances that adversely affect the overall nutritional value of all foodstuffs consumed (including both food and drinks) by interfering with body processes such as*:

  • absorption of nutrients such as vitamin and minerals
  • the body's metabolic rate
  • toxic effects.

There are many anti-nutrients. Their individual effects on the body vary because different antinutrients affect the absorption, metabolism, utilization and / or excretion of different nutrients, including micro-nutrients.

Depending on which nutrients are affected, the severity of the effect, and the intake (i.e. how much) of the anti-nutrients and affected nutrients, various nutritional deficiencies and their effects can occur.

Examples of sources of anti-nutrients:

  • Coffee - contains caffeine
  • Tea (but not all fruit / herbal teas) - contains caffeine and tannin
  • Carbonated Soft Drinks - often contain acids and caffeine
  • Alcoholic Drinks - contain alcohols
  • Antibiotics - some kill even so-called 'friendly bacteria' in the gut
  • Tranquilizers - reduce metabolic rate and depress appetite
  • Contraceptive Pills - affect uptake and activity of some nutrients
  • Cigarettes - see chemicals in cigarettes
  • Medication - a huge category that includes many different types of drug. See ref. below for more about drugs as antinutrients.

See also common anti-nutrients and their effects

Examples of effects of anti-nutrients (in general):

Nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals, that can be affected by anti-nutrients in general include:

Vitamins, including:

Minerals, including:

  • calcium (Ca)
  • chlorine (Cl)
  • copper (Cu)
  • iron (Fe)
  • magnesium (Mg)
  • manganese (Mn)
  • nitrogen (N)
  • phosphorus (P)
  • potassium (K)
  • selenium (Se)
  • sodium (Na)
  • zinc (Zn)

Amino Acids:

Other:

For more about anti-nutrients, see which body systems are affected by anti-nutrient intake, which includes notes about how specific anti-nutrients affect body systems.

See also vitamins, minerals, amino acids, common anti-nutrients and dietary needs for different life stages.

In the News:

No significant benefit from routine use of antibiotics for malnourished children - 8 Feb '16

AMA endorses 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines (USA) - 8 Jan '16

Eating peanut during infancy can prevent development of peanut allergy - 24 Feb '15

Food products free of colourings associated with hyperactivity (UK) - 2 Apr '14

Humanitarian supplies reach remote areas of South Sudan - 28 Mar '14

Goats' milk formula not the answer for infants allergic to cows' milk - 27 Mar '14

Updated FDA rules for infant formula to maintain quality standards - 6 Feb '14

Mediterranean diet linked with lower risk of heart disease - 4 Feb '14

Archangel Zadkiel is associated with Memory and with Forgiveness.

This is not medical, First Aid or other advice and is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment. Consult an expert in person. Care has been taken when compiling this page but accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This material is copyright.

IvyRose Holistic Health 2003-2017.