Vitamins and Healthy Living
A generic term for a group of entities that include retinal compounds, and the pro-vitamin beta carotene. In its natural state it is found in foods of animal origin, such as liver and egg yolks. Vitamin A requires some fat to be present in the digestive tract in order to be absorbed, and goes into the system better (more readily) than carotenoids. It is used for growth and maintenance of epithelial tissues which include the cornea of the eye, all mucous membranes, and the linings of the GI tract, lungs, vagina, urinary system, and skin. Vitamin A is stored in the liver, therefore a daily intake is not essential.
Necessary for growth & repA Functional Life of body tissues; helps maintain smooth, soft disease-free skin; helps protect the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose , throat & lungs, thereby reducing susceptibility to infections; protects against A Functional Life pollutants; counteracts night-blindness & weak eyesight; aids in bone and teeth formation. Current medical research shows that foods rich in Beta Carotene will help reduce the risk of lung cancer & certain oral cancers. Unlike Vitamin A from fish liver oil, Beta Carotene is non-toxic. A deficiency 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.
A water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is found in green peppers, citrus fruits including kiwis, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. Most other fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C; fish and milk contain small amounts. Vitamin C promotes healthy teeth and gums, helps in the absorption of iron, aids in the maintenance of normal connective tissue, and promotes wound healing. It also helps the body’s immune system.
A fat-soluble vitamin that is used in the absorption of calcium. It is found in cheese, butter, margarine, cream, fortified milk (all milk in the United States is fortified with Vitamin D), fish, oysters, and fortified cereals. Vitamin D promotes the body’s absorption of calcium, which is essential for the normal development of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain adequate blood levels of the minerals calcium and phosphorus.
A major anti-oxidant nutrient; retards cellular aging due to oxidation; supplies oxygen to the blood which is then carried to the heart and other organs; thus alleviating fatigue; aids in bringing nourishment to cells; strengthens the capillary walls & prevents the red blood cells from destructive poisons; prevents & dissolves blood clots; has also been used by doctors in helping prevent sterility, muscular dystrophy, calcium deposits in blood walls and heart conditions. Deficiency 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 fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting. It is found in cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, other green leafy vegetables, cereals, soybean. It is also made by the bacteria lining the gastrointestinal tract. Newborn babies have to be given a vitamin K injection because they lack this bacteria. It is not found in breast milk. Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
Plays a key role in the body’s metabolic cycle for generating energy; aids in the digestion of carbohydrates; essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscles & heart; stabilizes the appetite; promotes growth & good muscle tone. Deficiency 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.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
A water-soluble vitamin required by the body for health, growth and reproduction; one of the B-complex vitamins. Lean meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, green leafy vegetables, dA Functional Lifey products, and milk provide riboflavin in the diet. Breads and cereals are often fortified with riboflavin. Because riboflavin is destroyed by exposure to light, foods with riboflavin should not be stored in glass containers that are exposed to light. It works with the other B vitamins. It is important for body growth and red cell production, and helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Improves circulation and reduces the cholesterol level in the blood; maintains the nervous system; helps metabolize protein, sugar & fat; reduces high blood pressure; increases energy through proper utilization of food; prevents pellagra; helps maintain a healthy skin, tongue & digestive system. Deficiency 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 sores.
A water-soluble vitamin; part of the vitamin B complex. Vitamin B-6 is found in beans, nuts, legumes, eggs, meats, fish, whole grains, and fortified breads and cereals. It plays a role in the synthesis of antibodies in the immune system. It helps maintain normal brain function, and acts in the formation of red blood cells. It is also required for the chemical reactions of proteins. The higher the protein intake, the more the need for vitamin B6.
A water-soluble vitamin; part of the vitamin B complex. It is found in eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products. Like the other B vitamins, it is important for metabolism. It helps in the formation of red blood cells, and in the maintenance of the central nervous system.
Very important in controlling fat & cholesterol buildup in the body; prevents fat from accumulating in the liver; facilitates the movement of fats in the cells; helps regulate the kidneys, liver & gallbladder; important for nerve transmission; helps improve memory. Deficiency may result in cirrhosis and fatty degeneration of the liver, hardening of the arteries, heart problems, high blood pressure, hemorrhaging kidneys.
Necessary for DNA & RNA synthesis, which is essential for the growth and reproduction of all body cells; essential to the formation of red blood cells by its action on the bone marrow; aids in amino acid metabolism. Deficiency may result in gastrointestinal disorders, anemia, Vitamin B-12 deficiency, pre-mature gray hA Functional Life.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
A water-soluble vitamin that is sometimes called an “anti-stress” supplement. It is converted to coenzyme A, which is a catalyst of acetylation reactions, and is involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Coenzyme A also plays an important role in the synthesis of phospholipids, cholesterol, and the numerous biochemicals that are made from cholesterol (steroid hormones, and vitamin D). Vitamin B-5 is also involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
Builds and maintains bones and teeth; regulates heart rhythm; eases insomnia; helps regulate the passage of nutrients in and out of the cell walls; assists in normal blood clotting; helps maintain proper nerve and muscle function; lowers blood pressure; important to normal kidney function, reduces the incidence of colon cancer, and reduces blood cholesterol levels. Deficiency may result in arm and leg muscles spasms, softening of bones, back and leg cramps, brittle bones, rickets, poor growth, osteoporosis ( a deterioration of the bones), tooth decay, depression.
An essential mineral that is not made by the body and must be obtained from the diet. The best source of chromium is brewer’s yeast, but a large percentage of individuals do not tolerate brewer’s yeast because it causes abdominal distention (a “bloated” feeling) and nausea. The other good sources of chromium are beef, liver, eggs, chicken, oysters, wheat germ, green peppers, apples, bananas, spinach, and butter. Black pepper and molasses are also good sources of chromium, but they are normally consumed only in small amounts. Chromium is important in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Chromium stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis and is an activator of several enzymes.
Its major function is to combine with protein and copper in making hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the tissues which need oxygen to maintain basic life functions. Iron builds up the quality of the blood and increases resistance to stress and disease. It is also necessary for the formation of myoglobin which is found only in muscle tissue. Myoglobin supplies oxygen to muscle cells for use in the chemical reaction that results in muscle contraction. Iron also prevent fatigue and promotes good skin tone. Deficiency may result in weakness, paleness of skin, constipation, anemia.
Plays an important role in regulating the neuromuscular activity of the heart; maintains normal heart rhythm; necessary for proper calcium & Vitamin C metabolism; converts blood sugar into energy. Deficiency may result in calcium depletion, heart spasms, nervousness, muscular excitability, confusion; kidney stones.
Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of the total body weight. It is present in every cell of the body, but 85% of the body’s phosphorus is found in the bones and teeth. The main food sources are the protein food groups of meat and milk. A meal plan that provides adequate amounts of calcium and protein also provides an adequate amount of phosphorus. Whole-grain breads and cereals contain more phosphorus than refined cereals and breads made from refined flour. However, the phosphorus in whole-grain products is in the form of phytin, a storage form of phosphorus that is not absorbed by humans. Fruits and vegetables contain only small amounts of phosphorus.
Works with sodium to regulate the body’s waste balance and normalize heart rhythms; aids in clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain; preserves proper alkalinity of body fluids; stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes; assists in reducing high blood pressure; promotes healthy skin. Deficiency may result in poor reflexes, nervous disorders, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, muscle damage.
An essential trace element. It is an integral part of enzymes. Fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, liver, and garlic are all good sources of selenium. The amount of selenium in vegetables is dependent on the selenium content of the soil. Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ, both considered “health foods,” are also good sources of selenium. Selenium has a variety of functions. The main one is its role as an antioxidant in the enzyme selenium-glutathione-peroxidase. Selenium also seems to stimulate antibody formation in response to vaccines. It also may provide protection from the toxic effects of heavy metals and other substances. It may assist in the synthesis of protein, in growth and development, and in fertility, especially in men. Selenium has been shown to improve the production of sperm and sperm motility.
An antioxidant nutrient; necessary for protein synthesis; wound healing; vital for the development of the reproductive organs, prostate functions and male hormone activity; it governs the contractility of muscles; important for blood stability; maintains the body’s alkaline balance; helps in normal tissue function; aids in the digestion and metabolism of phosphorus. Deficiency may result in delayed sexual maturity, prolonged healing wounds, white spots on finger nails, retarded growth, stretch marks, fatigue, decreased alertness, susceptibility to infections.