VITAMIN GUIDE

VITAMIN GUIDE

Vitamin A

Chemical Name:RetinolFat / Water Soluble:Fat SolubleFunction:Required for normal functioning of the retina, bone growth, reproductive functioning, normal hair growth, healthy skin, mucous membranes, and proper immune functioning.RDA:5000 IUSources:Liver, Milk, Cream and Butter, Carrots, Apricots, Brocolli, Cantalope, Eggs, Endive, Lettuce ( Darker is better ), Spinach, Pumpkin, Mango, FishSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:Dry skin, Night blindness, Increased respiratory tract infections, Dry eyes, Acne, InsomniaTherapeutic Benefits:

  • Antioxidant: protects cell against oxidative damage.
  • Children that are vitamin A deficient encounter more severe complications from measles and it is therefore believed to be helpful for that condition as well as with respiratory infections.
  • Lab animals deficient in Vitamin A get cancer more often.
  • Decreased consumption of vegetable rich in vitamin A encounter more cancer of the lung and bladder.
  • Possibly helpful with glaucoma, wound healing and hypothyroidism.

Thinks You Need to Know:Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.TOP ^

Vitamin B1/Thiamin

Chemical Name:ThiaminFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Thiamin is essential for proper sugar metabolism. There are two main stages in sugar metabolism. The first is glycolysis, which produces the substance pyruvate that begins the second process known as the Krebs cycle.
  • Thiamin acts as a coenzyme or catalyst for the metabolic process known as glycolysis. Coenzymes or catalysts are used to speed up chemical reactions. Without thiamin as a catalyst, we could not effectively burn sugar in the body.
  • After glycolysis, thiamin is also involved as a catalyst/coenzyme within the Krebs cycle.
  • Thiamin also functions as a coenzyme/catalyst in the manufacturing of nucleic acids. Nucleic acids are the functional components for genetic information.
  • Thiamin is also believed to play a role in the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body

RDA:Men: 1.2-1.5 mg.
Women: 1-1.1 mg.Sources:Beans, Beef, Brazil Nuts, Brewers Yeast, Oats, Peas, Peanuts, Pecans, Pork, Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Soybeans, Sunflower Seeds, Wheat Germ, Whole Wheat FlowerSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Severe deficiency results in the disease beriberi which manifests in the form of muscle weakness, decreased reflexes, edema or fluid build up in the arms and legs, enlargement of the heart. Beriberi can effect heart, nerve and digestive function.
  • While Beriberi is rarely seen today, the one population group that it is occasionally seen in is with alcoholics since alcoholism is commonly associated with a poor diet. In addition, alcohol is believed to interfere with the function of thiamin.
  • Diabetics may also be at risk for thiamin deficiency because they already have impaired glucose metabolism. If insulin is taken in a diabetic that is already thiamin deficient, the deficiency can be exacerbated.
  • Both alcoholics and diabetics can develop a neurologic disease called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Psychosis, confusion and memory loss are seen with this condition.
  • More mild deficiencies may result in a loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, fatigue, depression, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, nausea and vomiting

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • For treatment of Beriberi
  • For treatment of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Believed to be helpful with herpes zoster.
  • May be helpful with fatigue and depression.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Supplementation is especially helpful in senior citizens, diabetics and with alcoholics.
  • Overcooking foods may destroy thiamin
  • Tobacco decreases the absorption of thiamin

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Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin

Chemical Name:RiboflavinFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Aids in converting food into energy by producing two coenzymes that involve the oxygen utilization and the release of energy.
  • Riboflavin activates vitamin B6/pyridoxine.
  • Plays an important role in the health of the nervous system, skin and eyes.
  • Helps maintain healthy mucous membranes

RDA:1.2 mg.Sources:Almonds, Beans, Bee Pollen, Brewers Yeast, Cheese, Chicken, Cottage Cheese, Liver, Mustard Greens, Wheat GermSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Cracks and sores along the corners of the mouth, loss of facial color, sore throat and red/raw lips.
  • Insomnia is sometimes seen.
  • Riboflavin deficiency can result in blood vessel growth into the cornea of the eye causing the eye to appear reddish.
  • Seen in diets that are either very high in carbohydrates or very low in protein or both.
  • As a rule, severe riboflavin deficiencies are rare.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Given in the event of a riboflavin deficiency.
  • Can be helpful for senior citizens, diabetics and people who are under stress for long periods of time.
  • Helpful with pregnant and breast-feeding women due to their increased energy demands.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Supplementation gives the urine a bright yellow color.
  • Alcohol and tobacco decrease the absorption of riboflavin.
  • Sunlight destroys riboflavin.
  • Oral contraceptives and prescription thyroid hormone may deplete riboflavin.

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Vitamin B3 / Niacin

Chemical Name:Nicotinic Acid also called Niacin
Nicotinic Acid Amide also called Nicotinamide or NiacinamideFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Niacin is converted to the coenzymes/catalysts NAD and NADP, which are involved in over 150 different cellular reactions for the purpose of generating energy and contributing to normal cellular functions.
  • Niacin is also involved in the manufacturing of fatty acids and with the detoxification of various drugs and chemicals from the body.
  • Niacin helps in the process of synthesizing DNA.

RDA:6.6 mg. For every 1000 caloriesSources:Almonds, Beef, Brewers Yeast, Halibut, Liver, Peanuts, Pork, Rice, Salmon, Sardines, Swordfish, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna, Turkey, Veal, WheatSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Niacin deficiency is called pellagra. Characterized by the “three D’s” which are dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia. Dermatitis appears as scaling, flaking and cracking usually along areas such as elbows feet and hands. These areas are found to be notably darker that unaffected areas. Diarrhea related to pellagra can be severe and can also be seen with nausea, vomiting, enlraged salivary glands producing excessive saliva and a red, sore tongue with sores. Dementia can develop if the deficiency is severe enough and can eventually progress to a catatonic state, subsequent coma and finally death.
  • More mild deficiencies on niacin are considered sub-clinical pellagra than manifest with diarrhea, headaches nervousness and a swollen red tongue
  • Conditions that may contribute to niacin deficiency are poor gastrointestinal absorption, infection, overactive thyroid, high stress lifestyle.
  • Cultures where the basic dietary staple is corn has a greater potential to produce deficiencies within the population since the body does not easily assimilate the niacin in corn. However, in societies such as thee U.S., foods such as wheat have been enriched with niacin making deficiencies of this nutrient unlikely.
  • Niacin deficiency can also be seen in conditions such as carcinoid syndrome. This would occur where tumors sequester tryptophan leaving little left to be converted to niacin. Another condition although rare known as Hartnup’s disease also results in niacin deficiency since tryptophan can not be absorbed from the gut.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • For the treatment of pellagra.
  • Has the tendency to lower cholesterol and triglycerides while elevating the good cholesterol/HDL’s.
  • Niacin has been shown to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and reduce overall mortality with long term use.
  • May be helpful with dizziness (vertigo) and ringing in the ears (tinnitis).
  • May be helpful with migraine headaches and depression.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Alcoholics, pregnant and breast feeding women, people who are hyperthyroid, people under increased stress and women taking oral contraceptives should consider supplementation.
  • Supplementation with niacin can result in flushing of the face and hands with the feeling of warmth or burning. Large doses of niacin can result in liver damage that is most likely reversible. Notwithstanding, high doses of niacin are not recommended without the monitoring and counsel of a qualified medical professional.

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Vitamin B5 / Pantothenic Acid

Chemical Name:Pantothenic AcidFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Pantothenic acid is converted within the body to Coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, the breakdown and synthesis of fatty acids, the conversion of glucose to glycogen and is involved in the production of steroid hormones.
  • Pantothenic acid is essential for life since without it food could not be converted into energy or be used to synthesize tissues

RDA:Pantothenic acid is not included in the RDA tables however, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences has established that 4-7 mg as appropriate for safe and adequate daily adult intake.Sources:Almonds, Avocadoes, Blue Cheese, Brewers Yeast, Broccoli, Cashew Nuts, Chicken, Chick Peas, Com, Eggs, Egg Yolk, Lentils, Lobster, Peanuts, Peas, Soybeans, Sunflower Seeds, Turkey, Wheat GermSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:Nausea, occasional vomiting, numbness in the extremities, sleep disturbances, muscle spasms, headache, fatigue, stomach pain, gas and diarrhea and a weakened immune system.Therapeutic Benefits:

  • When sold in a cream for topical use it can be used for the purpose of relieving itching and speeding the wound healing process of superficial and minor wounds.
  • Pantothenic acid may be helpful in helping the body cope with stress. It may also be helpful as part of a nutritional program for the treatment of acne and for weight loss programs.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing
  • Because pantothenic acid in so many foods, deficiencies are extremely uncommon except under exceptional circumstances such as starvation
  • Do not supplement with pantothenic acid if you are taking levodopa for Parkinson’s disease without first consulting your doctor.
  • Tobacco decreases the absorption of pantothenic acid.

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Vitamin B6 / Pyridoxine

Chemical Name:PyridoxineFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Pyridoxine is essential in the function of at least a hundred different enzymes including the formation of amino acids.
  • Pyridoxine is necessary for proper function of the brain and spinal cord since many neurotransmitters used within the brain depend upon pyridoxine in their conversion from amino acids. This is because B6 acts as a coenzyme/catalyst.
  • Pyridoxine also plays an important role in the formation of hemoglobin and with normal red blood cell formation. ·
  • Pyridoxine is essential in the conversion process of serotonin and niacin from tryptophan.

RDA:Men 2mg
Women 1.6 mgSources:Avocadoes, Bananas, Beef, Bran, Brewers Yeast, Calf's Liver, Cashew Nuts, Eggs, Fish, Hazelnuts, Lentils, Peanuts, Pork, Potatoes, Rice, Salmon, Soybeans, Shrimp, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna Turkey, WheatSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Deficiency is rarely seen in the U.S.
  • Use of the anti-tuberculosis drug isoniazid can deplete B6.
  • Deficiency of B6 results in irritability, confusion, nervousness as well as numbness in the hands and feet. Magenta coloration of the tongue and skin lesions similar to those found with pellagra can be seen.
  • In more serious deficiency states, seizures may develop.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Pyridoxine is believed to be of some help in reversing depression related to the use of oral contraceptives since the birth control pill may lower blood pyridoxine levels to at least some degree.
  • Pyridoxine is believed to be helpful as part of a nutritional regimen for premenstrual syndrome.
  • Some research suggests that pyridoxine may be helpful in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome but this condition should not be treated without the oversight of a qualified medical professional.
  • Research suggests that B6 is involved in lowering homocysteine levels along with folic acid and B12. High homocysteine levels are seen in people with increased incidence of heart disease. Therefore nutrients known to lower homocysteine levels may prove helpful in preventing heart disease.
  • B6 may have a tranquilizing effect as it is involved in converting tryptophan into serotonin

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing
  • Cooking may lower B6 levels by 25%.
  • Megadoses of B6 can result in reversible but nevertheless disturbing neurological disorders such as numbness in the hands, altered gait and loss of sensory perception around the mouth.
  • Megadoses may also increase the risk for kidney stones·
  • Tobacco decreases the absorption of B6

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Vitamin B9 / Folic Acid

Chemical Name:Folic AcidFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Folic acid works in conjunction with vitamin B12 as coenzymes for reactions related to normal cell division.
  • Folic acid and B12 are also required for the synthesis of RNA and DNA. For cells to divide they need to replicate DNA and RNA for which ample folic acid is needed.
  • Bone marrow cells, which form red blood cells are the most rapidly dividing cells within the body. This process of red blood cell formation requires folic acid and without it, anemia will ensue.
  • Because B12 plays a role in regenerating folic acid within the body, a deficiency of B12 can result in a folic acid deficiency and subsequent anemia.
  • Both folic acid and B12 reduce homocysteine levels by converting homocysteine to the amino acid methionine. High levels of homocysteine are implicated with heart disease and stroke and therefore ample levels of folic acid and B12 play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

RDA:Men: 200 mcg
Women: 180mcg
Pregnant women 400mcgsSources:Almonds, Asparagas, Beans, Bran, Brazil Nuts, Brewers Yeast, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Chickpeas, Collard Greens, Corn, Eggs, Hazelnuts, Lentils, Liver, Orange Juice, Peanuts, Peas, Soybeans, Spinach, Sunflower Seeds, Wheat, Wheat GermSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Anemia will result from folic acid deficiency. This will manifest with profound fatigue, depression, confusion, irritability, weakness, loss of energy, difficulty sleeping and a pale appearance.
  • A diet deficient in folic acid will usually take 3-5 months to manifest symptoms due to the amount of time needed to deplete folic acid stores within the body.
  • A lack of folic acid in pregnant women can result in various types of birth defects but most commonly are neural tube defects.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • A minimum of 400mcg of folic acid is needed in pregnant women and folic acid is considered an extremely important nutrient during pregnancy.
  • A prenatal vitamin with adequate amounts of folic acid is recommended and is believed to prevent neural tube defects. It should however be noted that all sexually active females of childbearing age should consider supplementation of 400-800mcg of folic acid. This is because defects involving the neural tube occur within the first month of pregnancy. This is often within a couple of weeks after a woman finds out that she is pregnant. Therefore it is wise to discuss supplementation with your doctor even if you are only planning on becoming pregnant.
  • People with a family history of heart disease should especially consider supplementation.
  • Because folic acid is involved with the synthesis of DNA and RNA as well as with cell division, it is believed to play a role in cancer prevention, especially cervical cancer and possibly colon cancer as well.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • When supplementing with folic acid, it is wise to also supplement with Vitamin B12 since folic acid can mask a B12 deficiency. People who have had a history of stomach ulcers, gastritis or who have had stomach surgery may have a more difficult time absorbing B12 and therefore should talk with their doctor prior to beginning supplementation.
  • Infants fed goats milk may need additional folic acid since it does not have as much folic acid as cow’s milk or human milk.
  • Folic acid absorption is dependent upon adequate amounts of vitamin C and it is therefore recommended that folic acid be taken along with B12 as previously mentioned and vitamin C; perhaps all in the form of a good quality multivitamin
  • Folic acid is easily dissolved in water and easily destroyed with cooking. Therefore, supplementation and/or the consumption of raw vegetables is advised.
  • Oral contraceptives tend to deplete folic acid levels in the body. Women who use this form of contraception are advised to talk with their healthcare professional about supplementation.
  • Renal dialysis, tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption also deplete folic acid levels and a sound supplementation program including folic acid is advised under the oversight of a qualified professional.

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Vitamin B12 / Cyanocobalamin

Chemical Name:CyanocobalaminFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • B12 works in conjunction with folic acid as coenzymes for reactions related to normal cell division.
  • B12 and folic acid are also required for the synthesis of RNA and DNA. For cells to divide they need to replicate DNA and RNA for which B12 is needed.
  • Bone marrow cells, which form red blood cells are the most rapidly dividing cells within the body. This process of red blood cell formation requires B12 and without it, anemia will ensue.
  • Because B12 plays a role in regenerating folic acid within the body, a deficiency of B12 can result in a folic acid deficiency and subsequent anemia.
  • B12 is involved in the breakdown of certain fatty acids and is also involved in the synthesis of the amino acid leucine.
  • B12 participates in the production of myelin which is a fatty sheath that insulates and peotects nerve fibers.
  • Both folic acid and B12 reduce homocysteine levels by converting homocysteine to the amino acid methionine. High levels of homocysteine are implicated with heart disease and stroke and therefore ample levels of folic acid and B12 play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

RDA:2-3 mgSources:* B12 is not found in plan sources
Bass, Beef, Blue Cheese, Clams, Eggs, Flounder, Gorgonzola Cheese, Herring, Liver, Lobster, Mackerel, SardinesSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Pernicious anemia will result from B12 deficiency rather than just anemia as seen with folic acid deficiency. However B12 deficiency is usually the result of the body not being able to absorb B12 rather than there being a lack of it in the diet. People who have had ulcers, gastritis, stomach or intestinal surgery as well as people who produce little or no stomach acid are the most likely to have problems with B12 absorption. B12 absorption is dependent upon a substance known as “intrinsic factor” that is produced in the stomach. Thus, any illness or damage to the stomach can effect the production and therefore can result in the depletion of B12.
  • Pernicious anemia produces a gradual and potentially permanent loss of deep tendon reflexes and sensation due to a lack of myelin production that is dependent upon B12 for production. The patient may experience tingling and numbness in the extremities, mood swings, memory loss or other neurological symptoms. Anemia symptoms are the same as those with folic acid and include profound fatigue, depression, confusion, irritability, weakness, loss of energy, difficulty sleeping and a pale appearance.·
  • A diet deficient in B12 will usually take 3 years to manifest symptoms due to the amount of B12 that is stored in the liver.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • B12 is used to treat and correct pernicious anemia although there is no guarantee that neurological signs resulting from this disease will resolve once treatment is implemented.
  • If B12 deficiency is the result of poor absorption rather than a poor diet, monthly injections of B12 are administered. Treatment is for life because absorption problems are not normally expected to resolve.
  • B12 plays and important role in cardiovascular health by lowering levels of homocysteine.
  • Homocysteine has been implicated with heart disease.
  • People with a family history of heart disease should especially consider supplementation. Because folic acid is involved with the synthesis of DNA and RNA as well as with cell division, it is believed to play a role in cancer prevention, especially cervical cancer and possibly colon cancer as well.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • There are several types of anemia and as a result it is extremely important to consult you physician for the diagnosis and treatment of your condition rather than administer one’s own therapy regimen which can occasionally result in serious consequences.
  • Taking folic acid can mask the anemia related to B12 deficiency while the neurological manifestations of pernicious anemia continue to progress. Therefore, if a problem related to the absorption of B12 is suspected, one should consult their physician and let him/her know about any supplementation with folic acid. This is because pernicious anemia is more difficult to diagnose if the anemia portion of the disease is masked allowing the neurological portion of the disease to progress to a more serious and many times irreversible level.
  • Vegetarians should remember that B12 is found in animal products and not in plant sources. Thus, if they do not consume milk or eggs supplementation is essential.
  • Senior citizens who develop psychosis should be evaluated for their B12 status.
  • Antacids can block B12 absorption and those who use them regularly should consider B12 supplementation.·.
  • People who may benefit from B12 supplementation include those who have recently had surgery or a serious injury, senior citizens, pregnant or breast feeding women and those who smoke or abuse alcohol.

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Vitamin C

Chemical Name:Absorbic AcidFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Antioxidant and free radical scavinger
  • Involved with the building of collagen and connective tissues
  • Helps us to cope with stress by aiding the adrenal glands to produce cortisone
  • Helps with the absorption of iron and calcium
  • Converts folic acid into its active form
  • Aids in immune function

RDA:60 mg.Sources:Rose Hips, Black Currants, Brocolli, Brussels Sprouts, Citrus Fruits, Watercress, Spinach, Strawberries, Tomatoes, GuavaSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Scurvy: characterized by muscle weakness, bleeding and swollen gums, weakening of ligaments and other collagen tissues, fatigue and depression.
  • Additional less severe signs of deficiency are:

* Fatigue
* Shortness of breath
* Bleeding gums
* Swollen or painful joints
* Easy bruising
* Frequent infections
* Slow wound healingAnemiaTherapeutic Benefits:

  • Antioxidant and free radical scavenger
  • Some research suggests that diets low in vitamin C are related to increased risk of stomach throat and lung cancer as well as cataracts and heart disease. Supplementation therefore may aid in the prevention of these conditions at least to some degree
  • Helps speed wound healing because of its relationship with the formation of connective tissue.
  • Believed to lessen the severity and shorten the duration of various types of infections

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • People with a history or tendency toward gout or kidney stones should not supplement with large doses of vitamin C
  • People with iron overload conditions such as hemochromatosis or hemosiderosis should avoid large doses of vitamin C as it increases the absorption of iron and can potentially speed up the Fenton Reaction resulting in increased free radical formation.
  • People who are planning to go under anesthesia should avoid large doses of Vitamin C

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Vitamin D

Chemical Name:Vitamin D2: Ergocalciferol
Vitamin D3: CholecalciferolFat / Water Soluble:Fat SolubleFunction:

  • Maintains normal calcium levels in the blood by increasing absorption in the intestines, decreasing loss through the kidneys and can also pull calcium from the bones
  • Vitamin D may inhibit the development of various types of cancers to some degree.
  • Regulates growth and repair of bone.
  • Aids in the development of strong bones and teeth

RDA:400 IUSources:Sunlight, Butter, Cheese, Cod Liver Oil, Fortified Milk, Salmon, Sardines, TunaSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:Rickets/Osteomalacia

Rickets: Bowed legs, late tooth development, muscle weakness and listlessness

Osteomalacia: Generalized loss of calcium from the bones throughout the body resulting in weakened bones, pain in the ribs, low back pelvis and legs. Muscle weakness is also seen.Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Cancer rates are lower in tropical and subtropical areas than in temperate and colder climates. One explanation that has been offered is that warmer climates provide the corresponding populations with more sunlight and thus more vitamin D.
  • For the treatment of rickets and osteomalacia.
  • For treatment of Fanconi’s Syndrome which involves low levels of phosphate. Vitamin D increases the absorption of phosphate from the intestine.
  • Given at menopause, Vitamin D will slow the rate of bone loss and decrease the risk of fractures later in life.
  • There is some encouraging but unsubstantiated evidence that vitamin D may be helpful with psoriasis and cystic fibrosis

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Those who drink alcoholic beverages excessively or who consume products with the fat substitute “Olestra” are more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency.

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Vitamin E

Chemical Name:Consists of six different tocopherols. Alpha tocopherol is the most common one used in supplements although many supplements now consist of mixed tocopherols such as gamma and delta tocopherols.Fat / Water Soluble:Fat SolubleFunction:

  • Vitamin E is found in cell membranes and functions to protect cell membranes.
  • Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant. When unsaturated fatty acids are exposed to oxygen they form substances known as peroxides which are toxic and even carcinogenic. As an antioxidant, vitamin E prevents this reaction and thereby protects the cell and thereby slows down the aging process.
  • In the absence of vitamin E, peroxides are formed that increase the process of inflammation and also cause damage to the cell nucleus. These two processes increase the rate of atherosclerosis, heart disease and cancer.

RDA:Men 15 IU
Women 12 IUSources:Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cabbage, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Hazel Nuts, Peanuts/Oil, Safflower Nuts/Oil, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Wheat GermSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Subclinical deficiency is more common than the true deficiency state which is considered rare. Because the nervous system is largely made up of fatty tissue, damage such tissues will result when vitamin E is absent. This will result in various neurological deficits. Some of these deficits can include decreased reflexes as well as damage to the vestibular system, which is responsible for proper balance and normal eye movements.
  • Because a lack of Vitamin E results in the damage of cell membranes, red blood cells do not last for their normal span of 120 days and are more likely to rupture sooner leading to a condition known as hemolytic anemia. This condition decreases the red blood cell’s ability to carry oxygen and if severe enough will result in jaundice.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Vitamin E lowers the overall risk for heart disease and cancer.
  • Vitamin E is effective in absorbing free radicals from air pollution and it is recommended that people who live in such areas supplement with vitamin E.
  • Vitamin E may be part of a supplementation program that can be helpful in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome.
  • Vitamin E has been shown to be helpful with wound healing. Patients who are planning any type of surgery may want to talk with their doctor about supplementing with this vitamin.
  • Vitamin E is helpful in preventing the formation of blood clots. People who plan on traveling on an aircraft for several may benefit from taking vitamin E before traveling as well as performing exercises involving the stretching and contracting of the calf muscles
  • Vitamin E may be helpful with cystic fibrosis since they do not absorb fats well.
  • Vitamin E may be helpful in preventing cataracts.
  • Vitamin E may aid in slowing and even delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
  • May be helpful with fibrocystic breast disease.
  • Vitamin E is one of many nutrients that can slow the aging process.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • People with conditions related to the storage of iron such as hemochromatosis or hemosiderosis may benefit from vitamin E supplementation.
  • People who are diabetic should consult their doctor before supplementing with vitamin E.
  • People who are on blood thinners such as coumadin or warfarin should first consult their doctor before supplementing with vitamin E

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Vitamin H / Biotin

Chemical Name:BiotinFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Biotin is involved in the process known as “carbon dioxide fixation” which simply involves attaching carbon dioxide to other molecules.
  • This plays an important role in the Krebs cycle, in carbohydrate metabolism and in amino acid metabolism.
  • Biotin is also involved in the synthesis of fats from carbohydrate.

RDA:The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences recommends 30-100mcg/daySources:Almonds, Beans, Brewers Yeast, Butter, Cashew Nuts, Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Clams, Eggs, Liver, Mackerel, Peanuts, Pecans, Rice, Sardines, Soybeans, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna, Walnuts

Intestinal bacteria also produce biotinSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • While deficiency is rare, it is seen in people who consume a large number of raw eggs, which contain the substance avidin within the egg whites that prevents biotin from being absorbed. Cooking destroys this substance.
  • Deficiency is also seen in people who lack the naturally occurring enzyme biotinidase that breaks down proteins and releases free biotin. If biotin is not released from the protein sources, it cannot function as a coenzyme/catalyst.
  • Deficiency will result in nausea, loss of appetite, numbness, muscle pains, rashes, depression, anemia and elevated cholesterol levels. Deficiency is also said to result in a loss of body hair and can produce a “waxy” appearance.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Used for people who have inborn metabolic errors that prevent them from obtaining biotin from their food.
  • Biotin is necessary for normal growth, development and health.
  • Biotin may help play a role in alleviating muscle pain and may also be helpful with depression.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • A good majority of biotin remains active after processing and cooking.

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Vitamin K

Chemical Name:Vitamin K1: Phytonadione. Come from plant sources
Vitamin K2: A group of compounds known as menaquinones. Come from intestinal bacteria.
Vitamin K3: MenadioneFat / Water Soluble:Fat SolubleFunction:

  • Vitamin K is involved in the process of blood clotting. There are believed to be eleven factors involved in the process of forming a clot and all factors are essential if a clot is to form.
  • Vitamin K is needed to make the active forms of factors II, VII, IX and X.
  • Without vitamin K the normal process of clotting could not occur.

RDA:Men: 80mcg/day
Women: 65mcg/daySources:Alfalfa, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Camembert Cheese, Cauliflower, Cheddar Cheese, Green Tea, Lettuce, Oats, Soybeans, Spinach, Turnip Greens

Intestinal bacteria also produce Vitamin KSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Deficiency is seen in infants who do not consume Vitamin K since they do not have bacteria within their GI tracts to make Vitamin K. As a result, many nations give newborns an injection of Vitamin K after birth.
  • Deficiency can also be seen in people who do not produce sufficient bile to absorb vitamin K as well as those who are on long-term antibiotic therapy, which kills intestinal bacteria and will subsequently decrease vitamin K absorption.
  • Deficiency will result in possible nosebleeds, blood in the urine, stomach bleeding and small black and blue marks on the skin.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Vitamin K can be used to treat bleeding disorders related to its deficiency.
  • Vitamin K can be used as an antidote for anticoagulant drugs.
  • Vitamin K is also used in cases of prolonged intravenous feeding and with long-term antibiotic use or when antibiotics are used to kill all micro-organisms within the intestines.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Vitamin K can interact with anticoagulant medications and decrease their effectiveness.
  • People who frequently use mineral oil for constipation will absorb less vitamin K.
  • Vitamin K is generally stable with processing and cooking.

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Vitamin Quick Search

 

Vitamin A

Chemical Name:RetinolFat / Water Soluble:Fat SolubleFunction:Required for normal functioning of the retina, bone growth, reproductive functioning, normal hair growth, healthy skin, mucous membranes, and proper immune functioning.RDA:5000 IUSources:Liver, Milk, Cream and Butter, Carrots, Apricots, Brocolli, Cantalope, Eggs, Endive, Lettuce ( Darker is better ), Spinach, Pumpkin, Mango, FishSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:Dry skin, Night blindness, Increased respiratory tract infections, Dry eyes, Acne, InsomniaTherapeutic Benefits:

  • Antioxidant: protects cell against oxidative damage.
  • Children that are vitamin A deficient encounter more severe complications from measles and it is therefore believed to be helpful for that condition as well as with respiratory infections.
  • Lab animals deficient in Vitamin A get cancer more often.
  • Decreased consumption of vegetable rich in vitamin A encounter more cancer of the lung and bladder.
  • Possibly helpful with glaucoma, wound healing and hypothyroidism.

Thinks You Need to Know:Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.TOP ^

Vitamin B1/Thiamin

Chemical Name:ThiaminFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Thiamin is essential for proper sugar metabolism. There are two main stages in sugar metabolism. The first is glycolysis, which produces the substance pyruvate that begins the second process known as the Krebs cycle.
  • Thiamin acts as a coenzyme or catalyst for the metabolic process known as glycolysis. Coenzymes or catalysts are used to speed up chemical reactions. Without thiamin as a catalyst, we could not effectively burn sugar in the body.
  • After glycolysis, thiamin is also involved as a catalyst/coenzyme within the Krebs cycle.
  • Thiamin also functions as a coenzyme/catalyst in the manufacturing of nucleic acids. Nucleic acids are the functional components for genetic information.
  • Thiamin is also believed to play a role in the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body

RDA:Men: 1.2-1.5 mg.
Women: 1-1.1 mg.Sources:Beans, Beef, Brazil Nuts, Brewers Yeast, Oats, Peas, Peanuts, Pecans, Pork, Brown Rice, Rice Bran, Soybeans, Sunflower Seeds, Wheat Germ, Whole Wheat FlowerSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Severe deficiency results in the disease beriberi which manifests in the form of muscle weakness, decreased reflexes, edema or fluid build up in the arms and legs, enlargement of the heart. Beriberi can effect heart, nerve and digestive function.
  • While Beriberi is rarely seen today, the one population group that it is occasionally seen in is with alcoholics since alcoholism is commonly associated with a poor diet. In addition, alcohol is believed to interfere with the function of thiamin.
  • Diabetics may also be at risk for thiamin deficiency because they already have impaired glucose metabolism. If insulin is taken in a diabetic that is already thiamin deficient, the deficiency can be exacerbated.
  • Both alcoholics and diabetics can develop a neurologic disease called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Psychosis, confusion and memory loss are seen with this condition.
  • More mild deficiencies may result in a loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, fatigue, depression, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, nausea and vomiting

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • For treatment of Beriberi
  • For treatment of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Believed to be helpful with herpes zoster.
  • May be helpful with fatigue and depression.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Supplementation is especially helpful in senior citizens, diabetics and with alcoholics.
  • Overcooking foods may destroy thiamin
  • Tobacco decreases the absorption of thiamin

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Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin

Chemical Name:RiboflavinFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Aids in converting food into energy by producing two coenzymes that involve the oxygen utilization and the release of energy.
  • Riboflavin activates vitamin B6/pyridoxine.
  • Plays an important role in the health of the nervous system, skin and eyes.
  • Helps maintain healthy mucous membranes

RDA:1.2 mg.Sources:Almonds, Beans, Bee Pollen, Brewers Yeast, Cheese, Chicken, Cottage Cheese, Liver, Mustard Greens, Wheat GermSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Cracks and sores along the corners of the mouth, loss of facial color, sore throat and red/raw lips.
  • Insomnia is sometimes seen.
  • Riboflavin deficiency can result in blood vessel growth into the cornea of the eye causing the eye to appear reddish.
  • Seen in diets that are either very high in carbohydrates or very low in protein or both.
  • As a rule, severe riboflavin deficiencies are rare.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Given in the event of a riboflavin deficiency.
  • Can be helpful for senior citizens, diabetics and people who are under stress for long periods of time.
  • Helpful with pregnant and breast-feeding women due to their increased energy demands.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Supplementation gives the urine a bright yellow color.
  • Alcohol and tobacco decrease the absorption of riboflavin.
  • Sunlight destroys riboflavin.
  • Oral contraceptives and prescription thyroid hormone may deplete riboflavin.

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Vitamin B3 / Niacin

Chemical Name:Nicotinic Acid also called Niacin
Nicotinic Acid Amide also called Nicotinamide or NiacinamideFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Niacin is converted to the coenzymes/catalysts NAD and NADP, which are involved in over 150 different cellular reactions for the purpose of generating energy and contributing to normal cellular functions.
  • Niacin is also involved in the manufacturing of fatty acids and with the detoxification of various drugs and chemicals from the body.
  • Niacin helps in the process of synthesizing DNA.

RDA:6.6 mg. For every 1000 caloriesSources:Almonds, Beef, Brewers Yeast, Halibut, Liver, Peanuts, Pork, Rice, Salmon, Sardines, Swordfish, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna, Turkey, Veal, WheatSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Niacin deficiency is called pellagra. Characterized by the “three D’s” which are dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia. Dermatitis appears as scaling, flaking and cracking usually along areas such as elbows feet and hands. These areas are found to be notably darker that unaffected areas. Diarrhea related to pellagra can be severe and can also be seen with nausea, vomiting, enlraged salivary glands producing excessive saliva and a red, sore tongue with sores. Dementia can develop if the deficiency is severe enough and can eventually progress to a catatonic state, subsequent coma and finally death.
  • More mild deficiencies on niacin are considered sub-clinical pellagra than manifest with diarrhea, headaches nervousness and a swollen red tongue
  • Conditions that may contribute to niacin deficiency are poor gastrointestinal absorption, infection, overactive thyroid, high stress lifestyle.
  • Cultures where the basic dietary staple is corn has a greater potential to produce deficiencies within the population since the body does not easily assimilate the niacin in corn. However, in societies such as thee U.S., foods such as wheat have been enriched with niacin making deficiencies of this nutrient unlikely.
  • Niacin deficiency can also be seen in conditions such as carcinoid syndrome. This would occur where tumors sequester tryptophan leaving little left to be converted to niacin. Another condition although rare known as Hartnup’s disease also results in niacin deficiency since tryptophan can not be absorbed from the gut.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • For the treatment of pellagra.
  • Has the tendency to lower cholesterol and triglycerides while elevating the good cholesterol/HDL’s.
  • Niacin has been shown to reduce the incidence of heart attacks and reduce overall mortality with long term use.
  • May be helpful with dizziness (vertigo) and ringing in the ears (tinnitis).
  • May be helpful with migraine headaches and depression.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Alcoholics, pregnant and breast feeding women, people who are hyperthyroid, people under increased stress and women taking oral contraceptives should consider supplementation.
  • Supplementation with niacin can result in flushing of the face and hands with the feeling of warmth or burning. Large doses of niacin can result in liver damage that is most likely reversible. Notwithstanding, high doses of niacin are not recommended without the monitoring and counsel of a qualified medical professional.

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Vitamin B5 / Pantothenic Acid

Chemical Name:Pantothenic AcidFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Pantothenic acid is converted within the body to Coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, the breakdown and synthesis of fatty acids, the conversion of glucose to glycogen and is involved in the production of steroid hormones.
  • Pantothenic acid is essential for life since without it food could not be converted into energy or be used to synthesize tissues

RDA:Pantothenic acid is not included in the RDA tables however, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences has established that 4-7 mg as appropriate for safe and adequate daily adult intake.Sources:Almonds, Avocadoes, Blue Cheese, Brewers Yeast, Broccoli, Cashew Nuts, Chicken, Chick Peas, Com, Eggs, Egg Yolk, Lentils, Lobster, Peanuts, Peas, Soybeans, Sunflower Seeds, Turkey, Wheat GermSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:Nausea, occasional vomiting, numbness in the extremities, sleep disturbances, muscle spasms, headache, fatigue, stomach pain, gas and diarrhea and a weakened immune system.Therapeutic Benefits:

  • When sold in a cream for topical use it can be used for the purpose of relieving itching and speeding the wound healing process of superficial and minor wounds.
  • Pantothenic acid may be helpful in helping the body cope with stress. It may also be helpful as part of a nutritional program for the treatment of acne and for weight loss programs.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing
  • Because pantothenic acid in so many foods, deficiencies are extremely uncommon except under exceptional circumstances such as starvation
  • Do not supplement with pantothenic acid if you are taking levodopa for Parkinson’s disease without first consulting your doctor.
  • Tobacco decreases the absorption of pantothenic acid.

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Vitamin B6 / Pyridoxine

Chemical Name:PyridoxineFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Pyridoxine is essential in the function of at least a hundred different enzymes including the formation of amino acids.
  • Pyridoxine is necessary for proper function of the brain and spinal cord since many neurotransmitters used within the brain depend upon pyridoxine in their conversion from amino acids. This is because B6 acts as a coenzyme/catalyst.
  • Pyridoxine also plays an important role in the formation of hemoglobin and with normal red blood cell formation. ·
  • Pyridoxine is essential in the conversion process of serotonin and niacin from tryptophan.

RDA:Men 2mg
Women 1.6 mgSources:Avocadoes, Bananas, Beef, Bran, Brewers Yeast, Calf's Liver, Cashew Nuts, Eggs, Fish, Hazelnuts, Lentils, Peanuts, Pork, Potatoes, Rice, Salmon, Soybeans, Shrimp, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna Turkey, WheatSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Deficiency is rarely seen in the U.S.
  • Use of the anti-tuberculosis drug isoniazid can deplete B6.
  • Deficiency of B6 results in irritability, confusion, nervousness as well as numbness in the hands and feet. Magenta coloration of the tongue and skin lesions similar to those found with pellagra can be seen.
  • In more serious deficiency states, seizures may develop.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Pyridoxine is believed to be of some help in reversing depression related to the use of oral contraceptives since the birth control pill may lower blood pyridoxine levels to at least some degree.
  • Pyridoxine is believed to be helpful as part of a nutritional regimen for premenstrual syndrome.
  • Some research suggests that pyridoxine may be helpful in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome but this condition should not be treated without the oversight of a qualified medical professional.
  • Research suggests that B6 is involved in lowering homocysteine levels along with folic acid and B12. High homocysteine levels are seen in people with increased incidence of heart disease. Therefore nutrients known to lower homocysteine levels may prove helpful in preventing heart disease.
  • B6 may have a tranquilizing effect as it is involved in converting tryptophan into serotonin

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing
  • Cooking may lower B6 levels by 25%.
  • Megadoses of B6 can result in reversible but nevertheless disturbing neurological disorders such as numbness in the hands, altered gait and loss of sensory perception around the mouth.
  • Megadoses may also increase the risk for kidney stones·
  • Tobacco decreases the absorption of B6

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Vitamin B9 / Folic Acid

Chemical Name:Folic AcidFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Folic acid works in conjunction with vitamin B12 as coenzymes for reactions related to normal cell division.
  • Folic acid and B12 are also required for the synthesis of RNA and DNA. For cells to divide they need to replicate DNA and RNA for which ample folic acid is needed.
  • Bone marrow cells, which form red blood cells are the most rapidly dividing cells within the body. This process of red blood cell formation requires folic acid and without it, anemia will ensue.
  • Because B12 plays a role in regenerating folic acid within the body, a deficiency of B12 can result in a folic acid deficiency and subsequent anemia.
  • Both folic acid and B12 reduce homocysteine levels by converting homocysteine to the amino acid methionine. High levels of homocysteine are implicated with heart disease and stroke and therefore ample levels of folic acid and B12 play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

RDA:Men: 200 mcg
Women: 180mcg
Pregnant women 400mcgsSources:Almonds, Asparagas, Beans, Bran, Brazil Nuts, Brewers Yeast, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Chickpeas, Collard Greens, Corn, Eggs, Hazelnuts, Lentils, Liver, Orange Juice, Peanuts, Peas, Soybeans, Spinach, Sunflower Seeds, Wheat, Wheat GermSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Anemia will result from folic acid deficiency. This will manifest with profound fatigue, depression, confusion, irritability, weakness, loss of energy, difficulty sleeping and a pale appearance.
  • A diet deficient in folic acid will usually take 3-5 months to manifest symptoms due to the amount of time needed to deplete folic acid stores within the body.
  • A lack of folic acid in pregnant women can result in various types of birth defects but most commonly are neural tube defects.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • A minimum of 400mcg of folic acid is needed in pregnant women and folic acid is considered an extremely important nutrient during pregnancy.
  • A prenatal vitamin with adequate amounts of folic acid is recommended and is believed to prevent neural tube defects. It should however be noted that all sexually active females of childbearing age should consider supplementation of 400-800mcg of folic acid. This is because defects involving the neural tube occur within the first month of pregnancy. This is often within a couple of weeks after a woman finds out that she is pregnant. Therefore it is wise to discuss supplementation with your doctor even if you are only planning on becoming pregnant.
  • People with a family history of heart disease should especially consider supplementation.
  • Because folic acid is involved with the synthesis of DNA and RNA as well as with cell division, it is believed to play a role in cancer prevention, especially cervical cancer and possibly colon cancer as well.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • When supplementing with folic acid, it is wise to also supplement with Vitamin B12 since folic acid can mask a B12 deficiency. People who have had a history of stomach ulcers, gastritis or who have had stomach surgery may have a more difficult time absorbing B12 and therefore should talk with their doctor prior to beginning supplementation.
  • Infants fed goats milk may need additional folic acid since it does not have as much folic acid as cow’s milk or human milk.
  • Folic acid absorption is dependent upon adequate amounts of vitamin C and it is therefore recommended that folic acid be taken along with B12 as previously mentioned and vitamin C; perhaps all in the form of a good quality multivitamin
  • Folic acid is easily dissolved in water and easily destroyed with cooking. Therefore, supplementation and/or the consumption of raw vegetables is advised.
  • Oral contraceptives tend to deplete folic acid levels in the body. Women who use this form of contraception are advised to talk with their healthcare professional about supplementation.
  • Renal dialysis, tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption also deplete folic acid levels and a sound supplementation program including folic acid is advised under the oversight of a qualified professional.

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Vitamin B12 / Cyanocobalamin

Chemical Name:CyanocobalaminFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • B12 works in conjunction with folic acid as coenzymes for reactions related to normal cell division.
  • B12 and folic acid are also required for the synthesis of RNA and DNA. For cells to divide they need to replicate DNA and RNA for which B12 is needed.
  • Bone marrow cells, which form red blood cells are the most rapidly dividing cells within the body. This process of red blood cell formation requires B12 and without it, anemia will ensue.
  • Because B12 plays a role in regenerating folic acid within the body, a deficiency of B12 can result in a folic acid deficiency and subsequent anemia.
  • B12 is involved in the breakdown of certain fatty acids and is also involved in the synthesis of the amino acid leucine.
  • B12 participates in the production of myelin which is a fatty sheath that insulates and peotects nerve fibers.
  • Both folic acid and B12 reduce homocysteine levels by converting homocysteine to the amino acid methionine. High levels of homocysteine are implicated with heart disease and stroke and therefore ample levels of folic acid and B12 play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

RDA:2-3 mgSources:* B12 is not found in plan sources
Bass, Beef, Blue Cheese, Clams, Eggs, Flounder, Gorgonzola Cheese, Herring, Liver, Lobster, Mackerel, SardinesSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Pernicious anemia will result from B12 deficiency rather than just anemia as seen with folic acid deficiency. However B12 deficiency is usually the result of the body not being able to absorb B12 rather than there being a lack of it in the diet. People who have had ulcers, gastritis, stomach or intestinal surgery as well as people who produce little or no stomach acid are the most likely to have problems with B12 absorption. B12 absorption is dependent upon a substance known as “intrinsic factor” that is produced in the stomach. Thus, any illness or damage to the stomach can effect the production and therefore can result in the depletion of B12.
  • Pernicious anemia produces a gradual and potentially permanent loss of deep tendon reflexes and sensation due to a lack of myelin production that is dependent upon B12 for production. The patient may experience tingling and numbness in the extremities, mood swings, memory loss or other neurological symptoms. Anemia symptoms are the same as those with folic acid and include profound fatigue, depression, confusion, irritability, weakness, loss of energy, difficulty sleeping and a pale appearance.·
  • A diet deficient in B12 will usually take 3 years to manifest symptoms due to the amount of B12 that is stored in the liver.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • B12 is used to treat and correct pernicious anemia although there is no guarantee that neurological signs resulting from this disease will resolve once treatment is implemented.
  • If B12 deficiency is the result of poor absorption rather than a poor diet, monthly injections of B12 are administered. Treatment is for life because absorption problems are not normally expected to resolve.
  • B12 plays and important role in cardiovascular health by lowering levels of homocysteine.
  • Homocysteine has been implicated with heart disease.
  • People with a family history of heart disease should especially consider supplementation. Because folic acid is involved with the synthesis of DNA and RNA as well as with cell division, it is believed to play a role in cancer prevention, especially cervical cancer and possibly colon cancer as well.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • There are several types of anemia and as a result it is extremely important to consult you physician for the diagnosis and treatment of your condition rather than administer one’s own therapy regimen which can occasionally result in serious consequences.
  • Taking folic acid can mask the anemia related to B12 deficiency while the neurological manifestations of pernicious anemia continue to progress. Therefore, if a problem related to the absorption of B12 is suspected, one should consult their physician and let him/her know about any supplementation with folic acid. This is because pernicious anemia is more difficult to diagnose if the anemia portion of the disease is masked allowing the neurological portion of the disease to progress to a more serious and many times irreversible level.
  • Vegetarians should remember that B12 is found in animal products and not in plant sources. Thus, if they do not consume milk or eggs supplementation is essential.
  • Senior citizens who develop psychosis should be evaluated for their B12 status.
  • Antacids can block B12 absorption and those who use them regularly should consider B12 supplementation.·.
  • People who may benefit from B12 supplementation include those who have recently had surgery or a serious injury, senior citizens, pregnant or breast feeding women and those who smoke or abuse alcohol.

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Vitamin C

Chemical Name:Absorbic AcidFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Antioxidant and free radical scavinger
  • Involved with the building of collagen and connective tissues
  • Helps us to cope with stress by aiding the adrenal glands to produce cortisone
  • Helps with the absorption of iron and calcium
  • Converts folic acid into its active form
  • Aids in immune function

RDA:60 mg.Sources:Rose Hips, Black Currants, Brocolli, Brussels Sprouts, Citrus Fruits, Watercress, Spinach, Strawberries, Tomatoes, GuavaSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Scurvy: characterized by muscle weakness, bleeding and swollen gums, weakening of ligaments and other collagen tissues, fatigue and depression.
  • Additional less severe signs of deficiency are:

* Fatigue
* Shortness of breath
* Bleeding gums
* Swollen or painful joints
* Easy bruising
* Frequent infections
* Slow wound healingAnemiaTherapeutic Benefits:

  • Antioxidant and free radical scavenger
  • Some research suggests that diets low in vitamin C are related to increased risk of stomach throat and lung cancer as well as cataracts and heart disease. Supplementation therefore may aid in the prevention of these conditions at least to some degree
  • Helps speed wound healing because of its relationship with the formation of connective tissue.
  • Believed to lessen the severity and shorten the duration of various types of infections

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • People with a history or tendency toward gout or kidney stones should not supplement with large doses of vitamin C
  • People with iron overload conditions such as hemochromatosis or hemosiderosis should avoid large doses of vitamin C as it increases the absorption of iron and can potentially speed up the Fenton Reaction resulting in increased free radical formation.
  • People who are planning to go under anesthesia should avoid large doses of Vitamin C

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Vitamin D

Chemical Name:Vitamin D2: Ergocalciferol
Vitamin D3: CholecalciferolFat / Water Soluble:Fat SolubleFunction:

  • Maintains normal calcium levels in the blood by increasing absorption in the intestines, decreasing loss through the kidneys and can also pull calcium from the bones
  • Vitamin D may inhibit the development of various types of cancers to some degree.
  • Regulates growth and repair of bone.
  • Aids in the development of strong bones and teeth

RDA:400 IUSources:Sunlight, Butter, Cheese, Cod Liver Oil, Fortified Milk, Salmon, Sardines, TunaSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:Rickets/Osteomalacia

Rickets: Bowed legs, late tooth development, muscle weakness and listlessness

Osteomalacia: Generalized loss of calcium from the bones throughout the body resulting in weakened bones, pain in the ribs, low back pelvis and legs. Muscle weakness is also seen.Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Cancer rates are lower in tropical and subtropical areas than in temperate and colder climates. One explanation that has been offered is that warmer climates provide the corresponding populations with more sunlight and thus more vitamin D.
  • For the treatment of rickets and osteomalacia.
  • For treatment of Fanconi’s Syndrome which involves low levels of phosphate. Vitamin D increases the absorption of phosphate from the intestine.
  • Given at menopause, Vitamin D will slow the rate of bone loss and decrease the risk of fractures later in life.
  • There is some encouraging but unsubstantiated evidence that vitamin D may be helpful with psoriasis and cystic fibrosis

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Those who drink alcoholic beverages excessively or who consume products with the fat substitute “Olestra” are more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency.

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Vitamin E

Chemical Name:Consists of six different tocopherols. Alpha tocopherol is the most common one used in supplements although many supplements now consist of mixed tocopherols such as gamma and delta tocopherols.Fat / Water Soluble:Fat SolubleFunction:

  • Vitamin E is found in cell membranes and functions to protect cell membranes.
  • Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant. When unsaturated fatty acids are exposed to oxygen they form substances known as peroxides which are toxic and even carcinogenic. As an antioxidant, vitamin E prevents this reaction and thereby protects the cell and thereby slows down the aging process.
  • In the absence of vitamin E, peroxides are formed that increase the process of inflammation and also cause damage to the cell nucleus. These two processes increase the rate of atherosclerosis, heart disease and cancer.

RDA:Men 15 IU
Women 12 IUSources:Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cabbage, Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Hazel Nuts, Peanuts/Oil, Safflower Nuts/Oil, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Wheat GermSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Subclinical deficiency is more common than the true deficiency state which is considered rare. Because the nervous system is largely made up of fatty tissue, damage such tissues will result when vitamin E is absent. This will result in various neurological deficits. Some of these deficits can include decreased reflexes as well as damage to the vestibular system, which is responsible for proper balance and normal eye movements.
  • Because a lack of Vitamin E results in the damage of cell membranes, red blood cells do not last for their normal span of 120 days and are more likely to rupture sooner leading to a condition known as hemolytic anemia. This condition decreases the red blood cell’s ability to carry oxygen and if severe enough will result in jaundice.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Vitamin E lowers the overall risk for heart disease and cancer.
  • Vitamin E is effective in absorbing free radicals from air pollution and it is recommended that people who live in such areas supplement with vitamin E.
  • Vitamin E may be part of a supplementation program that can be helpful in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome.
  • Vitamin E has been shown to be helpful with wound healing. Patients who are planning any type of surgery may want to talk with their doctor about supplementing with this vitamin.
  • Vitamin E is helpful in preventing the formation of blood clots. People who plan on traveling on an aircraft for several may benefit from taking vitamin E before traveling as well as performing exercises involving the stretching and contracting of the calf muscles
  • Vitamin E may be helpful with cystic fibrosis since they do not absorb fats well.
  • Vitamin E may be helpful in preventing cataracts.
  • Vitamin E may aid in slowing and even delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
  • May be helpful with fibrocystic breast disease.
  • Vitamin E is one of many nutrients that can slow the aging process.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • People with conditions related to the storage of iron such as hemochromatosis or hemosiderosis may benefit from vitamin E supplementation.
  • People who are diabetic should consult their doctor before supplementing with vitamin E.
  • People who are on blood thinners such as coumadin or warfarin should first consult their doctor before supplementing with vitamin E

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Vitamin H / Biotin

Chemical Name:BiotinFat / Water Soluble:Water SolubleFunction:

  • Biotin is involved in the process known as “carbon dioxide fixation” which simply involves attaching carbon dioxide to other molecules.
  • This plays an important role in the Krebs cycle, in carbohydrate metabolism and in amino acid metabolism.
  • Biotin is also involved in the synthesis of fats from carbohydrate.

RDA:The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences recommends 30-100mcg/daySources:Almonds, Beans, Brewers Yeast, Butter, Cashew Nuts, Cauliflower, Chickpeas, Clams, Eggs, Liver, Mackerel, Peanuts, Pecans, Rice, Sardines, Soybeans, Sunflower Seeds, Tuna, Walnuts

Intestinal bacteria also produce biotinSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • While deficiency is rare, it is seen in people who consume a large number of raw eggs, which contain the substance avidin within the egg whites that prevents biotin from being absorbed. Cooking destroys this substance.
  • Deficiency is also seen in people who lack the naturally occurring enzyme biotinidase that breaks down proteins and releases free biotin. If biotin is not released from the protein sources, it cannot function as a coenzyme/catalyst.
  • Deficiency will result in nausea, loss of appetite, numbness, muscle pains, rashes, depression, anemia and elevated cholesterol levels. Deficiency is also said to result in a loss of body hair and can produce a “waxy” appearance.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Used for people who have inborn metabolic errors that prevent them from obtaining biotin from their food.
  • Biotin is necessary for normal growth, development and health.
  • Biotin may help play a role in alleviating muscle pain and may also be helpful with depression.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • A good majority of biotin remains active after processing and cooking.

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Vitamin K

Chemical Name:Vitamin K1: Phytonadione. Come from plant sources
Vitamin K2: A group of compounds known as menaquinones. Come from intestinal bacteria.
Vitamin K3: MenadioneFat / Water Soluble:Fat SolubleFunction:

  • Vitamin K is involved in the process of blood clotting. There are believed to be eleven factors involved in the process of forming a clot and all factors are essential if a clot is to form.
  • Vitamin K is needed to make the active forms of factors II, VII, IX and X.
  • Without vitamin K the normal process of clotting could not occur.

RDA:Men: 80mcg/day
Women: 65mcg/daySources:Alfalfa, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Camembert Cheese, Cauliflower, Cheddar Cheese, Green Tea, Lettuce, Oats, Soybeans, Spinach, Turnip Greens

Intestinal bacteria also produce Vitamin KSign & Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Deficiency is seen in infants who do not consume Vitamin K since they do not have bacteria within their GI tracts to make Vitamin K. As a result, many nations give newborns an injection of Vitamin K after birth.
  • Deficiency can also be seen in people who do not produce sufficient bile to absorb vitamin K as well as those who are on long-term antibiotic therapy, which kills intestinal bacteria and will subsequently decrease vitamin K absorption.
  • Deficiency will result in possible nosebleeds, blood in the urine, stomach bleeding and small black and blue marks on the skin.

Therapeutic Benefits:

  • Vitamin K can be used to treat bleeding disorders related to its deficiency.
  • Vitamin K can be used as an antidote for anticoagulant drugs.
  • Vitamin K is also used in cases of prolonged intravenous feeding and with long-term antibiotic use or when antibiotics are used to kill all micro-organisms within the intestines.

Thinks You Need to Know:

  • Contact your doctor before taking this or any other supplement especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • Vitamin K can interact with anticoagulant medications and decrease their effectiveness.
  • People who frequently use mineral oil for constipation will absorb less vitamin K.
  • Vitamin K is generally stable with processing and cooking.

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