Many vitamins, minerals
and supplements are used by people daily. But do these people know the
effects of what they are taking?
Do they know if a specific supplement can become toxic in their body in a synthetic form?
Do they know the specific purpose of each vitamin once it is ingested?
We all know that vitimins are for helping our body with its nutritional needs, but why is this necessary?
I hope to be able to answer many of these questions here.
This information was put
together over a period of about 2 years and is updated as new information
I will put brackets around alternative names and around definitions for terms that I felt needed to be looked up to be made clearer. These definitions were taken from "The Family Medical Encyclopedia, A Nurses Drug Reference Book and The New American Webster Dictionary in order to find the clearest descriptions.
My goal is to help inform
you about what your body needs, why and what food sources these items come
I will try to cover as many vitamins as I can find.
I will give you many food sources that you can find these vitamins and minerals in for those who would rather balance their needs from food sources.
I will tell you if they need to be taken with other vitamins or supplements to be effective in the body, if this is a published finding.
I strongly recommend that
before taking any vitamins
or minerals or before changing your diet radically,
that you see your health care provider
and talk about these desired changes.
This is very important
especially if you have any disease such as diabetes,
high blood pressure or anything that will change or
limit your food intake.
Also if you are under treatment for any disorder
or are taking any medications now
you need to be aware that some medications can effect the vitamin and mineral balance in your body.
If you make any sudden changes in your diet by taking supplements,
you could counter the effectiveness of the treatments or medications that you are now taking.
Many medications can also effect your body's ability
to absorb vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. So if you discuss this information with your health care provider, you could end up with a much healthier balance for your body
and keep it that way.
I will start with the basic
and try to give you clear information on each one here.
I will tell you side effects, if any,
and then I will list what foods contain these vitamins.
I will also cover minerals.
I hope this information is beneficial to you
in your search for good health, in body mind and spirit.
VITAMIN'S AND THEIR FOOD SOURCES
(Also known as Retinol)
This is a fat-soluble vitamin, (which means your body can store it within its cells to be use at later times). This vitamin is turned into Beta-Carotene by your body. It is helpful in building up resistance to respiratory infections. It helps promote growth of strong bones, healthy skin, hair, teeth and gums. It also has been shown to reduce the risk of some cancers. If you live in a big city or an industrial area where toxins are common, it is a good source to help keep your body healthy. If you smoke or live with people who do your body is being depleted of this vitamin as well. Many processed foods can ruin the A-vitamin that was once in the unprocessed food source just as over cooking can deplete the nutritional value of many food sources. It is used in many skin treatment preparations and lotions, because it has been found to maintain a healthy condition of the outer layers of many body tissues. This vitamin also permits the formation of visual purple in the eye, which helps to counteract night blindness and weak eyesight.
*Symptoms of not enough Vitamin A are night blindness, dry rough skin and cornea thickening in the eyes.
*Symptoms of excess vitamin A "in synthetic form" are the yellowing of the skin and eye whites, painful joint swellings, nausea: dry skin and elevated spinal fluid pressure. This vitamin in natural food sources is not toxic.
Food sources: Apricots, beet greens, boc-choy, bran, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, buck wheat, cantaloupe, carrots, crab meat, fish liver-oils-liver, kale, nectarines, papaya, peaches, peas, pumpkin, romaine lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnip greens, winter squashes such as hubbard and butternut, watermelon, yellow corn. Many enriched cereals have A in them as well.
(Also known as Thiamin)
This is a water-soluble vitamin. Which means that the body purges it in fluids. (Sweat, urine and solid waste). This vitamin is not stored and can be depleted by physical activities and exertions. It needs to be replenished daily.
It has beneficial effects on the nervous system and mental attitude. If you smoke, drink, or are a heavy refined sugar consumer, pregnant, nursing, on the pill or in the habit of taking after dinner antacids, you should supplement B1. It helps promote growth. It aids in stopping air or seasickness. It is used to help to relieve postoperative dental pain. It keeps your nervous system, muscles and heart functioning properly. It also aids in digestion.
*Symptoms from not enough Vitamin B1 are fatigue, insomnia, irritability, loss of appetite, muscle tenderness, lassitude and beriberi which are inflammatory changes in the nerves "polyneuritis."
*Symptoms of excess in Vitamin B1 are to date, no side effects known from oral usage.
Food sources: whole grain bread, brewers yeast, buck wheat, corn bread, cow peas, crab meat, cream of wheat cereal, egg noodles, English muffin, lima beans, nuts, and organ meats (liver, heart etc.) oat meal, pork chops, soy beans, split peas, sunflower seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, veal, wheat germ products
(Also known as Riboflavin and Vitamin G)
This is a water-soluble vitamin. Like the other B-complex vitamins it needs to be increased in stress situations. This is the most common vitamin deficiency in the United States.
It aids in growth and reproduction, promoting healthy skin, nails and hair. If you eat little or no red meat you need to use vitamin replacement. It is good for those periods of high stress and can help lessen the symptoms of a cold or flu.
*Symptoms from a lack of Vitamin B2 are Mouth irritation, corner of the mouth and lips cracking, magenta-colored tongue, dermatitis, eye redness, exaggerated sensitivity to light.
*Symptoms from an excess of Vitamin B2 are none known to date.
Food sources: asparagus, broccoli, buck wheat, bran, collard greens cream of wheat, cottage cheese, custard, English muffins, lamb, mackerel, pork, poultry, pudding, shad (baked), spinach, winter squash, yogurt
(Also known as niacin or niacinimide)
This is a water-soluble vitamin. A lack of this vitamin can cause negative personality changes. It also helps to increase circulation and can reduce high blood pressure. It also helps aid in the function of a healthy nervous system and the brain. It can help your skin look healthier ease some attacks of diarrhea, increase energy through proper utilization of food and help eliminate canker sores and often help with bad breath. It can help lower some cases of high cholesterol.
*Symptoms from a lack of Vitamin-B3 are Loss of appetite, nervousness, mental depression, soreness and redness of the tongue, skin pigmentation, ulceration of the gums, diarrhea and pellagra. (Which literally means "painful skin")
*Symptoms from an excess of Vitamin B3 can be a temporary flushing of the skin, which is not known to be harmful and thought to be beneficial.
Food sources: ground beef
or ground round, chicken, most commercial cereals, cod, crab-meat, lamb,
oatmeal, mackerel, pork, salmon, sardines, tuna, turkey, veal
(Also known as pantothenic acid, panthenol or calcium-pantothenate)
Is another water-soluble vitamin, which helps in preventing fatigue, and in treating postoperative shock. It aids in wound healing and in fighting off infections. Regular intake of B5 can help provide a defense against stress situations that you foresee and are involved in. Its enemies are caffeine, food processing techniques and alcohol. B5 also helps convert fat and sugar into energy and is vital for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands.
*Symptoms from a lack of Vitamin B5 are headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps and lack of coordination.
*Symptoms from an excess Vitamin B5 are not known to date.
Food sources: beef, liver, pork, ham, soybeans, lima beans, bananas, whole grain cereals
(This is actually a group of substances: Pyridoxinal, Pyridoxine and Pyroxamine, that are closely related and function together.)
This is a water-soluble vitamin and it must be present in the body for the production of antibodies and red blood cells as well as the proper absorption of vitamin B 12 and the production of hydrochloric acid (stomach acids) and magnesium (a mineral).
It aids in the conversion of tryptophan, a naturally relaxing amino acid into niacin. It promotes proper synthesis of anti aging nucleic acids. If you are a heavy protein consumer you need extra amounts of B6. It can also reduce night muscle spasm, leg cramps, hand numbness and certain forms of neuritis in the extremities.
*Symptoms from a lack of Vitamin B6 are a loss of appetite, diarrhea, skin and mouth disorders
*Symptoms from an excess Vitamin B6 are not known to date.
Food sources: pearled barley, beef, brewers yeast, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, corn, crab meat, great northern beans, kidney beans, lamb, lentils, lima beans, peas, baked potato, poultry, brown rice, salmon, soybeans, spinach, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, tuna
(It is commonly known as the red vitamin or Cobalamin)
It is a water-soluble vitamin. It is effective in very small doses. This is the only vitamin that contains essential mineral elements. It forms and regenerates red blood cells, which prevents anemia and is used to increase energy. It is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. It can improve concentration, memory; balance can also relieve irritability. Alcohol is B12's enemy. If you are a Vegetarian and have excluded eggs from your diet, you need a B12 supplement. It is also helpful to woman just prior to menstruation.
*Symptoms of not enough Vitamin B12 are anemia, and degeneration of the nervous system
*Symptoms of excess Vitamin B6 are none known.
Food sources: chicken, cottage cheese, eggs, haddock fillet, halibut, lamb, lobster, milk, mozzarella cheese, pork, salmon, tuna, turkey, veal.
(Also known as Ascorbic Acid)
It is a water-soluble vitamin and the addition of rose hips helps aid in the assimilation of this vitamin into your body. Human bodies do not produce vitamin C so we must seek it from out side sources. It is necessary to everyone since it a primary player in the formation of collagen, which is important in growth, and repairs of body tissues such as gums, blood vessels bones and teeth. Stress uses up more Vitamin C. People who live in cities should increase their intake because carbon monoxide destroys C vitamins. C helps stop the formation of nitrosamines, which cause cancer. It helps accelerate healing after surgery and can preventing many types of bacterial and viral infections. (Colds and flu) It is used to heal burns, abrasions and bleeding gums as well as being a natural laxative and bowel regulator. It can decrease blood cholesterol. Vitamin C improve glucose tolerance and that is good news for diabetics, but discuss all dietary changes, with your doctor. If you are a smoker or are taking birth control pills, increase your vitamin C since they destroy C in the body.
*Symptoms from a lack of Vitamin C are bleeding and receding gum lines, unexplained bruises, slow healing and scurvy.
*Symptoms of excess in Vitamin C in synthetic form are diarrhea and sour stomach.
Food sources: apricots, artichoke, asparagus, banana, beets, beet greens, blackberries, blueberries, boc-choy, bran, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, buck wheat, carrots, sour cherries, cantaloupe, cauliflower, collard greens, yellow corn, grapefruit, green beans, hash brown potatoes, honeydew melon, lemons, limes, mango, mixed fruit, mixed vegetables, mustard greens, nectarines, oranges, papaya, parsnips, peaches, peas, pineapple, plantains, potatoes, raspberries, raw green cabbage, rhubarb, romaine lettuce, strawberries, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tangerines, tomatoes, turnips, turnip greens, vegetable juice, wax beans.
(Also known as the sunshine vitamin, Viosterol and Ergosterol)
This is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be acquired through sunshine but if you live in an area that has a lot of smog or is overcast a lot you need to consider a supplement. Also a little known fact is that when your skin is tanned, Vitamin D production through the skin stops.
Vitamin D, when taken with A and C, can aid in preventing colds. Vitamin D helps your body utilize calcium and phosphorous which are necessary for strong bones and teeth. This vitamin is important when pregnant and nursing.
*Symptoms from a lack of Vitamin D are a loss of appetite, cramps, poor bone formation and rickets.
*Symptoms of an excess Vitamin D are being unusually thirsty, urinary urgency, vomiting and diarrhea.
***This vitamin in a synthetic form can become the most toxic in doses only a few times over the recommended allowances. No toxicity was found in natural food forms.
Food sources: dry cereals, fish liver-oils, herring, mackerel, milk, salmon, sardines and tuna
(This vitamin is composed of compounds called tocopherols)
This is a fat-soluble vitamin and is one of the most complex vitamins of our time. Here we are going to get a little technical. Of the eight-alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, ETA, and theta, alpha tocopherol is the most effective and that is vitamin E. It is an active antioxidant. This means that it helps prevent oxidation. Which is a rapid dissipation of the vitamins A, selenium, two sulphur amino acids and some vitamin C, which is not good for your body. One of the benefits of this Vitamin is that it keeps you looking youthful by retarding cellular aging which comes from oxidation. It also protects your lungs from air pollution by working with vitamin A and supplies oxygen to the body to give you more endurance. It is helpful in dissolving blood clots, it is sometimes used to prevent miscarriages and the most commonly known usage is for helping to heal burns faster. Vitamin E can be beneficial to smokers because of it's helping to supply oxygen to the body. It is helpful to those with bronchial conditions. If you are taking hormone replacement therapy then you should be using E. If you ingest large amounts of saturated fats, including polyunsaturates, E will be beneficial to you. Vitamin E is the menopausal woman's friend.
*Symptoms of not enough Vitamin E are pigmentation, anemia, and no specific deficiency disease recognized
*Symptoms of excess Vitamin E in a synthetic form, in the higher doses, can be digestive upsets.
Food sources: almonds, corn oil, filberts, olive oil, peanut oil, peanuts, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ and wheat germ oil.
Since most sources of this vitamin are in oils it is recommended that a supplement be used to keep the fats low with in the diet.
(Also known as coenzyme R or Vitamin H)
This substance is water-soluble and is recent member of the B-Complex group. This vitamin has become popular because of its benefits to the hair, scalp and skin. Biotin can aid in keeping hair from turning gray and is a preventative treatment for baldness. It can also ease muscle pain as well as alleviate eczema and dermatitis. It helps regulate the use of carbohydrates and it assists the body in forming and using fatty acids.
*Symptoms of not enough Biotin are anemia, muscular pain and skin disorders.
*Symptoms of excess in Biotin are none known to date.
Food sources: liver and kidney meats, milk, eggs and most fresh vegetables.
(This is a member of the B-Complex family).
This vitamin is fat emulsifying lipotropic. (Which means it helps break down fat globules) It helps to regulate the functions of the liver by minimizing the fatty deposits that can build up in it. It works with Inositol to utilize fats and cholesterol in the body. It is one of the few substances able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and go directly to the brain cells to produce a chemical, which aids in memory. If are nervous or twitchy or you drink a lot or if you want to help your body eliminate poisons and drugs from your system, Choline is very useful.
*Symptoms of not enough
*Symptoms of excess in
FOLIC ACID (also known
as folacin or Vitamin M)
THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS..
AS TIME PERMITS,
I WILL UP LOAD MORE INFORMATION ON VITIMINS AND HERBAL SUPPLAMENTS..
PLEASE BE PATIENT.
IF YOU REALLY NEED INFORMATION ON SOMETHING I DONOT HAVE UP YET,
E MAIL ME AND ASK.
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