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The Vitamin Guide
Multivitamin Product Comparisons Are you cutting yourself (and your health) short with a low quality single pill "once a day" vitamin? Get the facts about multivitamins, what you need to be taking and what common critical things you are probably missing from your vitamins.
Vitamin D: The Latest Research Information on all the benefits of Vitamin D, how it helps maintain vital organs and the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency.
The Benefits of Vitamin E Vitamin E is particularly important for the protection of our cell membranes as well as keeping your skin, heart and circulation, nerves, muscles and red blood cells healthy. Antioxidants such as vitamin E protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, potentially damaging by-products of your body's metabolism. Free radicals can cause cell damage that may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Different Types of Vitamin E Believe it or not, there are many different kinds of Vitamin E, and they all have different potencies and different costs. Most commonly, you will see dl-alpha tocopherol, the l in the dl meaning it is the synthetic, or cheaper form. Cheaper does not always mean better though, as the synthetic form has one of the least bioactivity of them all, so taking this form will do virtually nothing for you.
Can Vitamins Help You Resist Diseases? Having a healthy immune system is important for anybody, and simply ensuring a low level of basic vitamin intake can help bolster your immune system and better allow you to resist diseases and fight infections.
Why Can't Your Body Just Make Vitamins? Why do we have to find vitamins from other sources? Why can some other animals manufacture their own vitamins? Humans are extraordinarily complex and we have advanced dietary needs that are simply unmet by today's diets. Quite simply, the typical human diet has "evolved" far quicker than our bodies have been able to keep up.
Can Vitamins Prevent Disease? Vitamins act as powerful preventative measures against disease and the aging process, not to mention their critical role in healthy living. Learn what vitamins can help you live longer and help stave off disease.
Illicit Drugs and Vitamins Illicit drugs (as well as alcohol and tobacco) severely disrupt vitamin intake, absorption and use. Vitamin supplementation is essential to replace the lost vitamins and minerals when you smoke, drink or use illicit drugs. Here's why.
CoQ10 For A Healthy Heart CoQ10 a vital component of the mitochondria, the cell's energy powerhouses. CoQ10 helps prevent heart disease, boosts cellular energy production thereby improving heart function, and prevents the formation of free radicals to help protect your body cells. Research about CoQ10 is just now coming to the United States, although it has been a staple in european countries for years.
Vitamin C : The Super Vitamin Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin capable of neutralizing potentially damaging free radicals. Vitamin C helps the white blood cells combat infection and is essential for wound healing. It is also required for the formation of collagen, for healthy skin, and for the formation of other structural materials in bones, teeth and capillaries. Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron from plant (non-animal) sources. Insufficient amounts of vitamin c result in poor wound healing, dry skin, broken thread veins, scalp dryness, irritability, and general weakness.
The B Vitamins The B Vitamins are known as the "energy vitamins" because of their energy creating traits. These vitamins are essential for the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, which provides us energy. They are also essential for the breakdown of fats and proteins, which aids the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscle tone in the stomach and intestinal tract, and healthy hair, skin and eyes.
Beta Carotene: Vitamin A Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system, which helps prevent and combats infections by producing white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses and helping lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell that help us fight infections) function more vigorously. Vitamin A also plays a significant role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division and cell differentiation. It helps to maintain the membranous linings of the eyes and the respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts. Those linings protect the organs from being invaded by bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin D: The Healthy Bone Vitamin The main biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. It promotes bone mineralization along with a number of other vitamins, minerals, and hormones. Without vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, soft, or misshapen. Vitamin D prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, skeletal diseases that result in defects that cause weak bones and muscles.
Daily Multivitamin The benefits of a daily multivitamin are far too numerious to mention. Entire college level courses could be taught on this subject and only scratch the surface, but let's take a look at some of the common benefits to meeting your basic nutritional needs.
Calcium for Strong Bones Calcium is the mineral most likely to be deficient in the average diet. Calcium deficiency is a condition in which we fail to receive or to metabolize an adequate supply of Calcium. Calcium salts make up about 70 percent of bone by weight and give your bone its strength and rigidity. Calcium is the chief supportive element in bones and teeth and inadequate levels can lead to osteoporosis.
Calcium and Osteoporosis Fighting osteoporosis should not start when you actually have osteoporosis, it should start in childhood. Even if you started late, ensuring the correct amount of calcium intake is critical to preventing osteoporosis.
Vitamin E and Free Radicals Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidant vitamins known to man. Antioxidants reduce free radicals, allowing the body to live longer and healthier. Vitamin E can slow or stop the chain reactions caused by free radicals and therefore protect your cells from the harm of free radicals.
Specific Vitamin Needs for Children Growing children have critical vitamin needs as they grow up and age, and today's junk and fast food frequently leaves their vitamin needs completely unmet. Find out what vitamins are important for growing kids to have so their bodies have the raw materialsneeded to let them grow to their fullest and best potential.
Vitamins for Your Pets Pets have special dietary needs just like we do and each pet is a little bit different. Let's explore the various vitamins and nutrients that pets need to stay healthy.
Vitamins for Your Cat Cats have dietary needs that are often not met by "one size fits all" wet and dry foods, many of which are formulated to provide the bare minimums needed for an average cat. Nobody wants their cat to just get by, when they can be thriving.
Vitamins for Your Dog Dogs have nutritional needs too, and most wet and dry dog foods are simply not up to par when it comes to vitamin content. Let's explore specific vitamins for dogs that are not commonly provided in everyday, common "filler" dog foods.
Vitamin A (retinol) Information Studies have shown that vitamin A can prevent LDL (bad cholesterol) from harming the heart and coronary blood vessels, and it may also protect against cancer of the lung, breast, bladder, prostate and digestive tract. It inhibits abnormal cell growth, strengthens the immune system, and aids and fortifies cellular functions.
General Information on Vitamin B1 (thiamine) Thiamine is essential for the transmission of certain types of nerve signal between the brain and the spinal cord. Depression, poor memory, muscle weakness and stiffness, nerve tingling, burning sensation and numbness, tiredness, headache, loss of appetite and nausea are some of the symptoms and signs of its deficiency.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) Migraines and Cataracts Vitamin B2 can help with migraines, cataract prevention and to supplement athletic performance. Vitamin B2 works as with the body's systems concerned carbohydrates and amino acids, the constituents of proteins.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) Information Vitamin B3 is essential for normal growth and for healthy skin, and a lack of it can cause depression. Vitamin B3 is required for the proper function of more than 50 enzymes. Without niacin, your body would not be able to release energy or make fats from carbohydrates. Vitamin B3 is also used to make sex hormones and other important signal chemicals.
What is Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) Pantothenic Acid is essential to produce, transport, and release energy from fats. It is also critical to the synthesis of cholesterol, and is needed to manufacture vitamin D and steroid hormones. Pantothenic acid also activates the adrenal glands and may lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Learn About Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) There is a connection between heart disease and low levels of vitamin B6. People with the high vitamin B6 levels are about 30% less likely to develop heart disease than those with the low vitamin B6 levels. Vitamin B6 may help the heart in several ways. Preliminary studies suggest that it can reduce the tendency of platelets in the blood to form clots, and also lower blood pressure to some extent. Vitamin B6 is also widely suggested for PMS symptoms and asthma.
Vitamin B9 - AKA: Folic Acid Vitamin B9, or more commonly, folic acid is proven to help the developing fetus by significantly reducing the chance of neural tube defects. Pregnant women with an insufficient intake of folic acid are more likely to give birth prematurely or to deliver babies with low birth weight. It is highly suggested to supplement with this vitamin prior to conception.
Vitamin B12 - Energy, Energy, Energy! Vitamin B12 cures pernicious anemia, and generally alleviates tiredness,a sluggish memory, and lack of concentration. Interestingly, 10 to 20% of the elderly are deficient in B12, which may explain some of their mental and physical decline. Preliminary evidence suggests that B12 supplements may improve sperm activity and sperm count and perhaps treat male infertility.
Vitamin K Information New-born infants are routinely given vitamin K injections or supplements. In adults and babies, vitamin K helps to regulate blood clotting, maintain healthy bones and teeth and aids the biosynthesis of helpful bacteria of the gut. Serious problems with blood clotting may arise if you don't take enough of vitamin K as our blood takes a long time to clot, which may prolong bleeding after injury. Vitamin K also helps regulate blood calcium levels.
Antioxidant Properties of Vitamins Antioxidant vitamins help to prevent cellular oxidation, which results in a breaking down of cells, premature cellular death and may result in diseases such as cancer. Not every vitamin is an antioxidant, but lets explore the ones that are and how greatly beneficial they are at warding off diseases and free radicals.
Antioxidant Vitamins for Seniors Seniors have special dietary needs, particularly because as we age our bodies produce and use vitamins much less efficiently. Antioxidants can help stave off cellular damage and help our cells live longer. Explore the various antioxidant properties of these vitamins.
Fat Soluble Vitamins Fat soluble vitamins are unique because they diffuse into the fatty tissues of the body, and are not eliminated as fast. Let's take a look at the basic fat soluble vitamins and learn a little bit more about them.
Folic Acid Pregnant women with an insufficient intake of folic acid are more likely to give birth prematurely or to deliver babies with low birth weight or with neural tube defects. Learn about this critical b vitamin and how it can help your developing baby.
Vitamins and Free Radicals What are free radicals and how detrimental are they to your health? You might be surprised to know that much of the body's aging processes are caused by oxidation of the body's cells, similarly to rust forming on exposed iron. Certain antioxidant vitamins can help reduce the formation of free radicals.
General Vitamin Information Vitamins are any of several organic substances that usually are separated into water-soluble (e.g., the B vitamins, vitamin C) and fat-soluble (e.g., vitamins A, D, E, K) groups. They are essential for our normal health and growth...
The History of Vitamins When were vitamins discovered, and how? Who discovered them? How did we determine they were essential for life and what diseases are cured by vitamins? Let's explore the common vitamins and where they came from.
Holistic Health and Vitamins Taking a proactive stance towards your health means more than just treating disease when it happens. You must take a total view of your health and implement steps to keep yourself healthy. Here's how.
How CoQ10 Works Technically a quinone, CoQ10, also known as Ubiquinone, is a well known "heart healthy" vitamin. Studies have shown that is helps combat various forms of cardiovascular disease, reduce the number and size of certain tumors and is useful in treating gum disease.
Liquid Multivitamins The benefits of liquid vitamins cannot be understated. For one, many capsule or tablet vitamins contain many wasteful fillers and binders or synthetic forms of the vitamins. Plus, you have to break the vitamins down. Liquid vitamins are absorbed far more completely and commonly provide the researched quantities of vitamins, rather than just the far lower RDA levels.
Natural vs Synthetic Vitamins Most foods that are "fortified" or contain vitamins that have been added back contain the cheap, synthetic vitamin forms. Natural vitamins, on the other hand, are slightly more expensive but offer in some cases work hundreds of times better.
Prenatal Vitamins: A Primer There are a handful of vitamins that are essential that you take prior to conception. Lets take a look at some of the common, well known ones.
Pregnancy: Vitamins for Baby Bringing a new baby into the world is a wonderful thing, but you should be preparing your body for two by supplementing with certain vitamins several weeks prior to conception. Over fifty percent of birth defects are caused by vitamin deficiency. As an example, folic acid is proven to prevent neural tube defects.
Role of Vitamins in Nutrition Vitamins play a critical role in nutrition, by providing catalysts for many of the body's reactions. Lets explore just how crucial a role vitamins have in your body's everyday workings.
Seniors: Special Vitamin Needs Seniors in particular are vulnerable to insurmountable levels of vitamin deficiency. As the human body ages, it processes vitamins slower, the production of basic nutrients stall and supplementation becomes even more critical, especially given the fact that the diets of seniors frequently lack basic vitamin levels in the first place.
Iron Overdose Iron is primarily lost through the body through bleeding, hair, nails and skin growth. Sometimes the problem is getting too much iron instead of not getting enough. Read about when you need to watch your iron intake, and symptoms of iron overdose.
B Vitamins: The Energy Vitamins If you have ever been run down, or feeling excessively tired, you may not be getting enough of the B vitamins. Getting proper levels of the B vitamins will ensure proper energy levels, and supply your body with the energy it needs to function properly.
Vitamin Deficiencies Check the label on many "fortified" foods. You may see some basic vitamins that have been added, but remember that processing, heat and light destroys many vitamins. Plus, you need to keep in mind that the actual level of vitamins you actually need in many cases can far exceed the basic US RDA requirements.
The Antioxidant Properties of Vitamin E Vitamin E is an amazingly powerful antioxidant that aids in skin and wound healing, protecting our bodies from pollution, cellular damage, free radicals and more. Learn about this amazing antioxidant and the critical role it plays in our body.
Different Forms of Vitamin E Vitamin E is an incredible vitamin, and it occurs in many different forms. As always, some are better than others. For example, the natural (the d- form) is utilized far more effectively by the body than the dl- (synthetic) form.
Can You Overdose on Vitamins? There are certain levels of vitamins that you may want to avoid. For example, you can overdose on iron, and children are especially susceptible. Most vitamins (with the exception of fat soluble ones) can be taken in relatively high doses, (and most multivitamins will limit those for you) but you may want to be aware of these vitamins in particular.
Vitamins and Acne Can vitamin A help clear up acne, or prevent it from occurring in the first place? You may be shocked to learn that this is not the only vitamin responsible for healthy, acne free skin.
Vitamins for Active Adults Athletes have a special need for certain vitamins, due to their increased elimination and stress they place on their bodies. Certain vitamins are best absorbed when you exercise, and exercise eliminates certain vitamins far faster than being sedentary. If you are an athlete, or just exercise on a regular basis, we suggest you explore these vitamins to maintain optimal health, endurance and recovery times while exercising.
Can Vitamins Provide You with Extra Energy? The B Vitamins are well known as the Energy vitamins. They can help provide you with extra energy and reduce your downtimes. But what forms should you take and what doses do you need?
Special Vitamins to Fortify Your Hair Believe it or not, your hair can benefit from vitamins, and shampoo manufacturers have known this for years. Find out which vitamins may in fact help you prevent further hair loss while enriching and fortifying the hair you do have. Vitamins for Alzheimer's Disease Recent evidence has linked certain antioxidant vitamins with decreased incidences of Alzheimer's disease. Which ones are effective and what combinations and dosages must be taken to induce this?
Can Vitamins Help You Live Longer? Is increased vitamin intake associated with living longer and healthier? Is there an association between certain cultures with increased vitamin intake and longevity? Actually, there is - and the reasons for this makes perfect sense.
Parkinson's Disease and Vitamins What can Vitamins do for Parkinsons Disease? Certain vitamins act as anti-inflammatories or antioxidants and may help prevent Parkinsons from even occurring in the first place. Let's take a look at some helpful vitamins.
Water Soluble Vitamins As opposed to fat soluble vitamins, water soluble vitamins flow right through your body, and are not stored as readily, which means you need to continue taking these on a regular basis. Find out which vitamins are water soluble here.
What You Should Look for in a Multivitamin There are thousands of multivitamins available. What makes one better than the rest? How about the purity, dosing, form, cost and most importantly the ingredients? Are you only getting the Daily ALlowance, or are you getting what science says you should get?
What is CoQ10? CoQ10, also known as Coenzyme Q10, has a broad list of healthy effects for the heart. It is one of the most intensely studied health protective nutrient, and rightfully so.
Why Take Vitamins? Why even bother taking a multivitamin at all? If you do not know by now, then thank goodness you came to this site. Even the American Medical Association strongly recommends that everybody take a daily multivitamin. Let's explore why vitamins are so beneficial to daily life.
Seniors and Vitamins: Special Needs Seniors above all others need to be aware of their vitamin needs. As we age, our body not only produces fewer vitamins but it also absorbs the essential (the ones the body cannot make) vitamins less. This means that seniors need to supplement with the correct vitamins daily for optimum health.
General Information on Minerals Minerals play a crucial role in our metabolic processes. They are central in helping the body produce energy, growth, and the reproduction and health of our cells. Lets explore some of the essential minerals your body needs in order to function properly. We will also look at how to get the proper dosages, and review the benefits and symptoms of mineral deficiency.
Symptoms of Mineral Deficiency Low levels of just one mineral, such as calcium can cause irregular muscle contractions, a loss of bone density, problems with blood clotting and improper brain functioning. There are a number of basic minerals that you should be aware of, and ensure proper levels of.
Chloride - Fluid Balance Chloride is one of the most important minerals in the blood, along with sodium, potassium, and calcium. Chloride helps keep the amount of fluid inside and outside of cells in balance. It also helps maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of body fluids.
Chromium - Weight Loss This mineral helps the hormone insulin work more efficiently, making it an especially important nutrient for people who have type 2 Diabetes or are at risk for it. Insulin usually helps lower blood sugar levels, but if you have type 2 diabetes, your insulin is less effective. In fact, some cases of type 2 diabetes are actually triggered by a chromium deficiency. Chromium's effect on insulin may also help you lose weight. Studies show that it can help you hold on to muscle while shedding fat but as with any healthy diet, don't expect immediate results. Chromium picolinate is thought to be the best form for weight loss purposes.
Copper - Tissues Copper is necessary for the growth, development, and maintenance of bone, connective tissue, brain, heart, and many other body organs. It is involved in the formation of red blood cells, the absorption and utilization of iron, and the synthesis and release of life-sustaining proteins and enzymes. Copper stimulates the immune system to fight infections, repair injured tissues, and promote healing. Copper also helps to neutralize "free-radicals" which can cause severe damage to cells.
Iodine for Proper Thyroid Function Despite its abundance, iodine deficiency is relatively common. Severe iodine deficiency often occurs in people that are afflicted with thyroid disease or a hyperthyroid disorder, or those who have developed a goiter. Symptoms of iodine deficiency may manifest as extreme fatigue, weight gain, facial puffiness, constipation, slowing of both physical and mental processes, and lethargy.
Magnesium - Potent Mineral Magnesium is vital for a healthy nervous system, muscle contraction, and for the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium can also help guard against cardiovascular disease and lower high blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency can adversely affect the immune system Lastly, magnesium may be useful in preventing type II diabetes and its complications, alleviating the symptoms of PMS and minimizing the severity of asthma attacks.
Phosphorus - Calcium's Helpful Partner New research shows calcium needs phosphorus to maximize its bone-strengthening benefits, and taking a lot of calcium supplements without enough phosphorus could be a waste of money. Phosphorus deficiency results in bone loss just as calcium deficiency does, so if you are taking calcium supplements, you should also check and see if you are getting enough phosphorus.
Potassium - Blood Pressure and a Healthy Heart Potassium is an essential mineral and electrolyte. Research shows that increasing your potassium intake can lower your blood pressure. Individuals with existing hypertension, as well as those just looking to keep their blood pressure in check, can benefit from potassium.
Selenium - Ally Against Cancer In recent years, laboratory experiments, clinical trials and epidemiological data have established the role of selenium in the prevention of a number of degenerative conditions including cancer, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, aging, and infections. Most of these effects are related to the function of selenium in the antioxidant enzyme systems.
Sodium: Electrical Conductivity Sodium works with chloride and bicarbonate to maintain the body's balance of positive and negative ions in our body fluids and tissues. Without this balance of ions, our bodies electrical systems would not communicate. Sodium holds water in body tissues. The average American diet provides far too much sodium than we need.
Information on Zinc Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in every cell in our body. It stimulates the activity of about 100 enzymes, substances that promote biochemical reactions in your body. Among its many functions, zinc maintains a healthy immune system, is needed for wound healing, helps maintain your sense of taste and smell, and is needed for DNA synthesis.