Vitamins & Minerals Overview
IMPORTANCE: A powerful
anti-oxidant which helps protect the cells against cancer by neutralizing “Free Radicals,” necessary for new cell growth; guards against heart disease and stroke; lowers cholesterol levels; slows the aging process; protects against colds, flu and infections of the kidneys, bladder, lungs and mucous membranes; promotes healthy wrinkle-free skin, and helps in the removal of age spots and acne; promotes healthy hair and nails; protects against air pollutants and counteracts night blindness and weak eye sight; builds resistance to
infections; slows the progression of osteoarthritis and cataracts; helps prevent macular degeneration of the eyes. BETA CAROTENE IS A SAFE NON-TOXIC FORM OF VITAMIN A.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in night blindness; increased susceptibility to infections; rough, dry, scaly skin; loss of smell & appetite; frequents fatigue; lack of tearing; defective teeth & gums’ retarded growth.
IMPORTANCE: Known as the “Morale Vitamin” because of its beneficial effects on the nervous system and mental attitude. It enhances circulation, assists in blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism and digestion; plays a key role in generating energy; promotes good muscle tone; acts as an anti-oxidant, protecting the body from degenerative effects of aging; helps prevent reoccurring canker sores; helps maintain a healthy nervous system; prevents depression, alleviates fatigue, optimizes brain function and mental alertness; has been used to treat numbness of the hands and feet, poor circulation, tingling sensations, weak or sore muscles, forgetfulness, heavy breathing, and irritability.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May lead to the loss of appetite ; weakness & feeling tired; paralysis & nervous irritability; insomnia; loss of weight; vague aches & pains; mental depression & constipation; heart & gastrointestinal problems.
IMPORTANCE: Necessary for red blood cell formation, anti-body production, cell respiration, and growth; alleviates eye fatigue, and is important in the prevention of cataracts; aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins; promotes the oxygenation of the skin, hair, and nails; eliminates dandruff; aids in the release of energy from food; reduces the occurrence of migraine headaches; helps eliminate cracked mouth, lips, and tongue; supports the production of adrenal hormones.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in itching and burning eyes; cracks and sores in the mouth & lips; bloodshot eyes; purplish tongue; dermatitis; retarded growth; digestive disturbances; trembling; sluggishness; oily skin.
IMPORTANCE: Can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease by inhibiting the formation of homocysteine, a toxic chemical that attacks the heart muscle and allows the deposition of cholesterol around the heart muscle; aids in maintaining the central nervous system and normal brain function; reduces muscle spasms, leg cramps and stiffness of the hands; relieves nausea and migraines, lowers cholesterol; improves vision, and aids in the prevention of PMS; promotes red blood cell formation; aids the immune system and antibody production; aids in cancer immunity and in the prevention of atherosclerosis; is destroyed by alcoholic beverages.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in nervousness, insomnia, skin eruptions, loss of muscular control, anemia, mouth disorders, muscular weakness, dermatitis, arm & leg cramps, loss of hair, slow learning, and water retention.
IMPORTANCE: Helps in the formation of red blood cells, thus helping prevent anemia; increases energy levels; promotes a healthy immune system, and nerve function; is required for the proper digestion of foods, the synthesis of protein, and the metabolism of
carbohydrates and fats; aids in cell formation and cellular longevity; prevents nerve damage; improves concentration, memory,
and balance; may protect against smoking-induced cancer.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: chronic fatigue, bone loss, constipation, depression, digestive disorders, dizziness, drowsiness, enlargement of the liver, eye disorders, hallucinations, headaches, labored breathing, memory loss, moodiness, nervousness, pernicious anemia, ringing in the ears, binge eating, and spinal cord degeneration.
IMPORTANCE: Dilates blood vessels, thus increasing circulation and reducing high blood pressure; significantly lowers blood cholesterol and triglycerides; improves resistance to stress; regulates blood sugar; treats dizziness and ringing in the ears;
helps prevent depression, mental illness, and migraine headaches; aids in the functioning of the nervous system; helps eliminate
canker sores and bad breath; protects against pollutants and toxins; gives you healthier looking skin and stimulates the sex drive.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in pellagra, gastrointestinal disturbance, nervousness, headaches, fatigue, mental depression,
vague aches & pains, irritability, loss of appetite, insomnia, skin disorders, muscular weakness, indigestion, bad breath, canker
IMPORTANCE: Is considered the “Anti-Stress” Vitamin because of its important role in the functioning of the adrenal glands, which produce hormones that help our bodies respond to stress; plays an important role in making hemoglobin, which transports oxygen throughout our bodies; helpful in detoxifying harmful chemicals such as herbicides and insecticides; along with anti-oxidants, zinc, copper, and vitamin D, will prevent accelerated joint degeneration, by encouraging your body’s ability to regenerate cartilage; fights infections by building antibodies; prevents fatigue, and used by athletes to boost performance; used to reduce the adverse and toxic effects of many antibiotics; stimulates the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein; promotes the production of red blood cells and sex hormones; helps with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and menopausal discomforts; lowers high cholesterol and triglycerides.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May lead to painful & burning feet, skin abnormalities, retarded growth, dizzy spells, digestive disturbances, vomiting, restlessness, stomach stress, muscle cramps.
IMPORTANCE: Aids in the utilization of protein and other nutrients; aids in cell growth and fatty acid production; promotes the health of sweat glands, nerve tissue, bone marrow, male sex glands, blood cells, skin and hair; cures some forms of baldness, and is used in preventative treatments for baldness; prevents the hair from turning prematurely gray; alleviates eczema and dermatitis; alleviates muscle pain; may help reduce blood sugar levels in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May lead to extreme exhaustion, drowsiness, muscle pain, loss of appetite, depression, grayish skin color.
IMPORTANCE: May reduce the risk of a heart attack by lowering homocysteine levels. In recent years, high levels of homocysteine have been found to be associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to the accumulation of fatty plaques). Protects against birth defects by helping regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation; protects against intestinal parasites and food poisoning; may delay graying hair when used in conjunction with pantothenic acid and PABA; promotes healthier looking skin, is considered a brain food; is needed for energy production, and the formation of red blood cells; strengthens the immune system by aiding the proper formation and functioning of white blood cells; important for healthy cell division and replication.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in gastrointestinal disorders, anemia, Vitamin B-12 deficiency, pre-mature gray hair.
IMPORTANCE: Is vital for hair growth; promotes strong healthy hair, and aids in preventing fallout; high levels of this nutrient is found in the heart and brain; creates a calming effect and reduces blood cholesterol; prevents hardening of the arteries, and is important in the formation of lecithin and the metabolism of fat and cholesterol; removes fat from the liver; aids in redistribution of body fat; helps prevent eczema; has been used for depression, panic attacks and diabetes.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in high blood cholesterol, constipation, eczema, hair loss.
IMPORTANCE: A “super nutrient” for the liver and brain; needed for the proper transmission of nerve impulse from the brain through the central nervous system; is able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and go directly into brain cells to produce acetylcholine, a
chemical that aids memory; aids in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other age-related memory loss; aids in hormone production; is
important in controlling fat and cholesterol build-up in the body; emulsifies (breaks down) cholesterol so that it doesn’t settle on
artery walls or in the gallbladder; used for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and the metabolism of homocysteine;
helps eliminate poisons and drugs from your system by aiding the liver; used to treat liver damage caused by alcoholism.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in cirrhosis and fatty degeneration of the liver, hardening of the arteries, heart problems, high blood pressure, hemorrhaging kidneys.
IMPORTANCE: An anti-oxidant which helps in the formation of red blood cells; aids in the maintenance of healthy intestinal flora; acts as a coenzyme in the breakdown and utilization of protein; may restore gray hair to its original color if the graying was caused by stress or a nutritional deficiency; protects against second hand smoke, ozone, and other air pollutants; reduces inflammation caused by arthritis; improves flexibility; helps keep skin smooth; has been used to prevent and reverse accumulation of abnormal fibrous tissue, as occurs in various connective tissue diseases.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May cause extreme fatigue, eczema, irritability, depressions, nervousness, constipation, headaches, digestive disorders, hair turning prematurely gray.
IMPORTANCE: A major and very potent anti-oxidant; plays a primary role in the formation of collagen, which is important for the growth and repair of body tissue cells, gums, blood vessels, bones and teeth; protects against the harmful effects of pollution; protects against infection, and enhances the immune system; helps protect against many forms of cancer by counteracting the formation of nitrosamines (cancer-causing substances); protects against abnormal blood clotting and bruising, and may reduce the risk of cataracts; aids in the treatment and prevention of the common cold; prevents scurvy; reduces the effects of many allergy producing substances; helps lower blood pressure; is vital for wound healing; strengthens the blood vessels; reduces cholesterol and protects against heart disease; aids in the production of “anti-stress” hormones; is needed for healthy adrenal function; helps expel heavy metals and other toxic substances from the body.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May lead to soft & bleeding gums, swollen or painful joints, slow-healing wounds & fractures, bruising, nosebleeds, tooth decay, loss of appetite, muscular weakness, skin hemorrhages, capillary weakness, anemia, impaired digestion.
Is essential for the proper absorption and use of Vitamin C; promotes vascular health; protects and preserves the structure of capillaries, which will help prevent bruising, varicose veins and hemorrhoids; helps prevent blood clotting and platelet clumping by making the blood less sticky; lowers cholesterol levels; treats and prevents cataracts, glaucoma, and other vision problems; when taken
with Vitamin C may reduce the symptoms of oral herpes.
A very potent bioflavonoid found in red wine, green tea, tomatoes, onions, and green beans. A natural anti-oxidant, which protects cells in the body from damage by “free radicals”. Heart disease and high cholesterol is partially caused by free radical damage to blood vessels. May protect against heart attacks and strokes; recommended as a treatment for allergies, hay fever, and asthma because it helps prevent immune cells from releasing histamine, the chemical that initiates the itching, sneezing, and swelling of an allergic reaction; helps prevent itchy eyes, runny noses, and scratchy throats; in animal studies has shown to protect against a variety of cancers; may help stop cancer at its earliest stage by preventing the damaging changes in the cells that initiate cancer.
IMPORTANCE: A deficiency plays a key role in the development of type 1 diabetes. Vitamin D is needed for islet cells to produce insulin, the hormone that allows cells to take up blood sugar. Without enough Vitamin D, islet cells don’t produce insulin. Helps
regulate white blood cells that make up the immune system; Vitamin D with calcium has shown to reduce osteoporosis and hip fractures; improves the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus; hardens and repairs bones; prevents rickets, treats hypocalcaemia, and promotes normal growth in children; supports the healthy function of the thyroid gland; may help prevent colon cancer.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May lead to rickets, tooth decay, softening of bones, improper healing of fractures, lack of vigor, muscular
weakness, inadequate absorption of calcium, retention of phosphorous in the kidneys.
IMPORTANCE: Is a “super” anti-oxidant, which protects cells against damage caused by “free radicals”. Is extremely important in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and is useful in treating premenstrual syndrome and fibrocystic disease of the
breast. Thus far, studies have shown, that Vitamin E protects against approximately eighty diseases. It prevents thick scar formation when applied topically, and accelerates the healing of burns. It reduces blood pressure, aids in preventing cataracts, relieves leg cramps, and enhances sperm production; promotes healthy skin and hair and prevents age spots; retards cellular aging due to
oxidation; prevents and dissolves blood clots; slows the progression of Alzheimer’s disease; significantly strengthens the immune system; supplies oxygen to the blood which is then carried to the heart and other organs thus alleviating fatigue; treats circulatory problems and prevents lung toxicity from air pollution; enhances sexual performance; improves muscle strength and stamina. Studies have shown that low levels of Vitamin E in the blood increases the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, breast, prostate, lung, and colon. Studies have shown that Vitamin E improves insulin action and it exerts a
number of beneficial effects that aids in preventing long-term complications of diabetes, especially cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that those who took Vitamin E on a regular basis had a 41 % lower risk of heart disease. Other studies have shown that people with existing heart disease, who started taking 400-800 IU of Vitamin E daily, had a 70% reduction in the number of heart attacks as compared to a placebo group.
There are three forms of Vitamin E on the market: (1) 100% Synthetic (2) Blended (contains 95% Synthetic and 5% Natural) (3) 100%
Natural. Synthetic E is much less effective (only 5 to 20% as much biological activity) as the 100% Natural form. Synthetic Vitamin E is usually made from petroleum, turpentine, sugar, and artificial preservatives. According to the New York Academy of Sciences, synthetic Vitamin E has been shown to block the absorption of natural Vitamin E from food. The FDA allows the blended form of Vitamin E to be labeled as “Natural E” even though it only contains 5% natural products. As a result, consumers are mislead into thinking it is a 100% Natural E, when it is not! It’s 95% synthetic. The 100% Natural form of Vitamin E is derived from soybeans and contains 5 times more biological activity than the synthetic form.
DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May lead to a rupture of red blood cells, loss of reproductive powers, lack of sexual vitality, abnormal fat deposits in muscles, degenerative changes in the changes in the heart and other muscles; dry skin.
A mineral important for strong teeth and bones and for muscle and nerve function. The major mineral constituent of bone.
Sources: milk and milk products, fish with bones that are eaten, turnip and mustard greens, tofu, almonds and broccoli.
A mineral that regulates body fluid volume, concentration and acid-base balance. Balance intertwined with that of sodium.
Sources: same as sodium
A mineral important in regulating blood glucose. Although chromium works with insulin to help your body use blood sugar, preliminary studies assessing the effect of chromium in the treatment of diabetes are controversial, and there’s no proof chromium can prevent the disease. There’s also no proof of the popular claims that taking chromium supplements can increase your muscle mass, help you lose weight, reduce cholesterol and prevent osteoporosis.
Sources: brewer’s yeast, whole grains and meats
A mineral that is important for nerve function, bone maintenance, growth, blood formation and utilization of glucose.
Sources: organ meats, sea foods, nuts and seeds.
A mineral that is important to dental and bone health. Greatly improves resistance to cavitites
Sources: fluoridated water, foods cooked in or containing fluoridated water, fish with bones that are eaten, and tea.
A mineral essential for the production of thyroid hormones.
Sources: seafoods, iodized salt and foods containing iodized salt.
A mineral that is an essential constituent of blood and muscle and important for the transport of oxygen. Certain groups can be at risk of having low iron levels. These include young children and early teens, women with heavy menses, women with multiple pregnancies, and people with conditions that cause internal bleeding, such as ulcers or intestinal diseases.
But for healthy men and postmenopausal women, iron deficiency is rare. In fact, one study suggested that high iron levels may increase risk of heart attack and atherosclerosis, although a link hasn’t been proven. In addition, if you have the uncommon — but not rare — genetic disease hemochromatosis, iron supplements could cause a hazardous iron buildup in your body.
Sources: liver, red meat, egg yolk, legumes, whole or enriched grains and dark green vegetables.
A mineral found mainly inside muscles, soft tissues and bone. It functions in many enzyme processes.
Sources: nuts, legumes, whole grains and green vegetables.
A mineral that is important for growth, reproduction, formation of bone, and carbohydrate metabolism.
Sources: whole grains, fruits, vegetables and tea.
A mineral involved in many enzyme processes, nerve function and protein metabolism.
Sources: milk, beans, breads and cereals.
A mineral essential to bone formation and maintenance, energy metabolism, nerve function and acid balance.
Sources: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and cereal products.
A mineral that is essential for nerve function, muscle contraction and maintenance of normal blood pressure.
Sources: fruits and vegetables.
A mineral associated with antioxidant properties and fat metabolism. It has been claimed to help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. One recent study did suggest that selenium supplements may decrease cancer risk. However, more research is needed. Taking excessive amounts of selenium may cause hair and nail loss.
Sources: seafoods and organ meats.
A mineral that regulates body fluid volume, concentration and acid-base
Sources: table salt (sodium chloride), foods processed with table salt, milk, milk products, eggs and seafoods.
A mineral involved in wound healing, taste sensation, growth and sexual maturation and part of many enzymes regulating metabolism.
Some studies have also shown that taking a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement containing zinc may increase immune response in older people. However, other studies have shown just the opposite — that zinc may weaken the immune status of older people.
What is known is that megadoses of zinc can interfere with the way your body uses other essential minerals, such as iron and copper.
And, excess zinc (more than 10 times the RDA) can lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
Sources: meat, liver, eggs and seafood (oysters).