Category Archives: Vitamins

Vitamin B15

General Description.

  • called pangamic acid, or calcium pangamate

Actions:

  • increases body’s tolerance to hypoxia of tissues
  • helps to regulate fat metabolism
  • stimulates the glandular and nervous systems
  • treatment of heart disease, angina, elevated blood cholesterol, impaired circulation, and premature aging
  • can help prevent against hte damaging effects of CO poisoning
  • a good detoxifier

Deficiency:

  • symptoms: may cause diminished oxygenation of cells, hypoxia, heart disease, glandular and nervous disorders

Sources:

  • whole grains, seeds and nuts, whole brown rice

Vitamin B17

General Description:

  • called nitrilosides, amygdalin, and laetrile

Actions:

  • specific preventative and controlling anti-cancer effects

Deficiency:

  • may lead to diminished resistance to malignancies

Sources:

  • most whole seeds of fruits and many grains and vegetables including apricot, peach and plum pits, apple seeds, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries and blueberries, mung, lima and garbanzo beans, millet, buckwheat and flax seed, and almonds

Vitamin C

General Description:

  • water-soluble
  • most vitamin C is made from corn where corn is chemically converted to sugar (d-glucose) and crystallized and then the chemical is converted to pure, synthetic ascorbic acid
  • the best rosehip powder contains only a few milligrams of vitamin C/ounce and thus a 1000 mg. pill made of rosehip powder would be the size of a baseball
  • acerola powder, made from the acerola cherries, is the most expensive and most common source of natural vitamin C
  • acerola powder contains approximately 200 mg of natural vitamin C/gram of powder

Actions:

  • preventing and alleviating colds, but requires B6, B12, zinc, folic acid, and choline to do so
  • cancer prevention
  • absorption of iron
  • fighting infection – the vitamin C concentration in neutrophils and macrophages is approximately 150 times the plasma C concentration
  • essential for the hydroxylation of the amino acids proline and lysine necessary for the formation of collagen, a substance essential to the health of body tissues
  • formation of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin
  • metabolism of folate
  • metabolism of protein
  • wound healing
  • daily excretion of this water-soluble vitamin is a normal function that helps to protect the urinary tract
  • essential for the proper functioning of adrenal and thyroid glands
  • specific protector against the toxic effects of cadmium
  • specific against fever, all sorts of infections, and GI disorders

Deficiency:

  • early signs are loss of appetite, irritability, and weight loss
  • tooth decay, soft gums (pyorrhea), anemia, and slow healing of sores and wounds
  • premature aging
  • thyroid insufficiency
  • as deficiency progresses there is pain on movement and tenderness in the limbs, and bleeding in the tissues and certain types of anemia may follow
  • scurvy, noted by tissue disintegration, is the final stage of inadequate vitamin C intake
  • if you were to remove all the vitamin C from your diet, within 4 weeks the blood vitamin C level would equal zero, and in another 12 weeks the symptoms of scurvy would start

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • high doses of vitamin C can interfere with anti clotting drugs, cause kidney stones, and cause rebound scurvy when dosage is stopped
  • vitamin C may enhance the toxicity of certain metals, diminish your ability to adjust rapidly to changes in altitude, lower fertility, and accelerate the loss of calcium and other minerals from the bones due to it’s acidic nature
  • vitamin C breaks down to oxalic acid in the body
  • oxalic acid is often found in kidney stones which have formed due to high amounts of oxalic acid in the urine
  • it should be noted that although some people have a greater tendency to excrete oxalic acid in the urine that, regardless of one’s tendency to turn vitamin C into oxalate, major increases in urine oxalic levels occurred only at very high doses if viamin C (starting at 4000 mg./day)
  • in other words, those that are at a higher risk of kidney stones are there with or without vitamin C supplementation
  • in men high doses of vitamin C may push copper levels too low
  • people who already have serious kidney disease or kidney failure should avoid large doses of vitamin C
  • the effect of vitamin C on copper nutrition in females may differ because a woman’s estrogen hormones affect copper nutrition
  • symptoms of iron overload: odd bronze pigment or discoloration of the skin, cirrhosis of the liver, disease of the heart muscle, folic acid deficiency, leukemia, polycynthemia (an increase in the total cell mass of the blood), and thalassemia
  • rebound scurvy may occur after withdrawing from large doses of vitamin C because the body becomes dependent on the high intake of vitamin C
  • daily chewing of vitamin C tablets can lead to severe dental erosion because they are approximately three times more acidic than saliva
  • vitamin C has been shown to damage vitamin B12 but only large doses would put a healthy person, consuming enough B12, at risk of deficiency
  • vitamin C enhances iron absorption which is important for two reasons: 1) the body only absorbs a small fraction of the iron taken in and 2) some people take in too little iron
  • people with hemochromatosis, or simply iron overload, need to avoid both iron and vitamin C supplements
  • vitamin C seems to help with the mucus build-up of colds and so it may also decrease the cervical mucus needed for conception
  • pregnancy is not a good time to experiment with high doses of vitamin C
  • vitamin C reduces the effectiveness of the anti clotting drug warfarin, amphetamines and tricyclic antidepressants
  • drugs that increase the body’s need for vitamin C include: barbiturates, birth control pills, cortisone’s, L-dopa, phenacetin, salicyclates, sulfonamides and tetracycline
  • large doses of aspirin cause more vitamin C to be excreted
  • overdosing on vitamin C will cause urgent diarrhea in anyone

Sources:

  • rosehips, citrus fruits, black currants, strawberries, persimmons, guavas, acerola cherries, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, turnip greens, and green bell peppers

Vitamin B6

General Description:

  • vitamin B6 is not a single substance but a complex of three different ones that can all meet your body’s need for this vitamin
  • supplemental B6 is usually pyridoxine

Actions:

  • pyridoxine coenzymes function at all levels of protein and amino acid metabolism, and in making hemoglobin
  • activates many enzymes and enzyme systems
  • B6 is essential to the enzyme glycogen phosphorylase that breaks down muscle glycogen for fuel
  • doctors are experimenting with B6 for a variety of health problems, such as PMS and the nerve disorder carpal tunnel syndrome
  • the effects of vitamin B6 on the brain are also under study, with possible importance to conditions such as depression
  • involved in the production of antibodies which protect against bacterial invasion
  • essential for the synthesis and proper action of both DNA and RNA
  • helps maintain the healthy function of the brain and nervous system
  • important for normal reproductive processes and a healthy pregnancy
  • prevents nervous and skin disorders, such as acne
  • protects against degenerative diseases, such as elevated cholesterol, some types of heart disease and diabetes
  • prevents tooth decay
  • is a natural diuretic
  • can prevent or lessen epileptic seizures
  • helps prevent and relieve premenstrual edema
  • regulates the balance between Na and K
  • required for B12 absorption and for the production of sufficient HCl
  • helps to convert tryptophan to niacin and serotonin
  • assists in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
  • allows body to make heme, an important component of blood
  • protects skin from acne and stress

Deficiency:

  • RDA is 2.0 mg.
  • two groups of people give nutritionists concern regarding deficiency: 1) the elderly and 2) women who are pregnant and nursing
  • deficiency symptoms include: digestive problems, such as abdominal distress and bloating; nervous system complaints, such as depression, confusion, and irritablity; skin problems, such as flaking, irritation, and cracking; anemia; edema; inflammation of the colon; insomnia; tooth decay; migraine headaches, and weight loss
  • pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P-5-P) is an activated form of vitamin B6
  • most molecules of P-5-P are broken down in digestion to plain pyridoxine, and transported that way through the intestinal wall
  • the body then turns pyridoxine into P-5-P again

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • toxicity is low up to 2000 mg.
  • high doses (2000 – 6000 mg.) can cause a nerve disorder called sensory neuropathy where there is damage to the nerves resulting in loss of touch sensation
  • mega-doses cause the body to deplete glycogen stores very quickly
  • vitamin B6 can strip levodopa (L-dopa) of it’s healing properties with Parkinson’s disease
  • B6 can sharply reduce the amount of phenobarbitol of phenytoin (Dilantin) in the blood
  • B6 also interacts with the following drugs: birth control pills; cycloserine, an antibiotic; Hydralazine, to lower blood pressure; Isoniazid or INH, the anti-tuberculosis drug; Penicillamine, which is not penicillin, but a drug used in rare genetic disorders and in severe cases of rheumatoid arthritis
  • Nursing mothers should avoid high doses of vitamin B6 (eg. 2000mg.) as it may interfere with the secretion of breast milk.

Sources:

  • wheat germ, wheat bran, soybeans, walnuts, black strap molasses, cantaloupe, cabbage, milk, leafy green vegetables, green peppers, carrots, peanuts, pecans, brewer’s yeast, bananas, avocados, and eggs
  • raw foods contain more than cooked foods as heat and processing destroy B6

Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid

General Description:

Actions:

  • has the ability to prevent sunburn and skin damage by UVB rays, but offers little protection against UVA rays
  • a growth promoting factor
  • stimulates metabolism and all vital life processes
  • prevents skin changes due to aging
  • prevents graying of hair
  • essential for healthy skin
  • soothes the pain of burns and sunburns
  • helpful in a variety of skin disorders, including eczema and lupus erythematosus

Deficiency:

  • deficiency may cause extreme fatigue, eczema, anemia, gray hair, reproductive disorders, infertility, vitiligo, and loss of libido

Interactions and Toxicity:

Sources:

  • brewer’s yeast, whole grain products, milk, eggs, yogurt, wheat germ, molasses

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

General Description

  • water-soluble vitamin which has multiple roles in energy metabolism

Actions

  • involved in all vital functions of the body
  • important for the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates
  • part of coenzyme A, a part of one of the carrier proteins for the enzyme fatty acid synthetase, which means it is necessary for making glucose and fatty acids, the main fuels of the body
  • involved in the processing of a variety of important substances in the body, including steroid hormones and brain neurotransmitters
  • stimulates the adrenal glands and increases the production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones
  • primarily used as an anti-stress factor
  • protects against most mental and physical stresses and toxins
  • increases vitality
  • wards off infection and speeds recovery to good health
  • helps in maintaining normal growth and development of the CNS
  • helps prevent premature aging (wrinkles etc.)
  • can help prevent against damage caused by excessive radiation
  • restores colour and luster to the hair
  • combats wrinkles

Deficiency

  • deficiency is very rare but may be caused by malnutrition
  • average American intake is 6 mg./day
  • symptoms of deficiency include: headache, tiredness, insomnia, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, burning or tingling sensations of hands and feet, complaints of ”hot spots”, circles under the eyes, increased tendency of infections, dizziness, muscular weakness, stomach distress, constipation, adrenal exhaustion, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, allergies and asthma, and difficult coordination.

Interactions and Toxicity: Sources:

  • royal jelly is the richest natural source
  • other sources include: brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, wheat bran, whole grains, green vegetables, peas and beans, peanuts, crude molasses, egg yolk

Choline

General Description:

  • one of the body’s raw ingredients
  • every cell in the body contains components derived from choline

Actions:

  • essential for proper fat metabolism
  • a part of lecithin, which helps to digest, absorb, and carry fats and fat soluble vitamins in the blood
  • necessary for synthesis of nucleic acids
  • minimizes excessive deposits of fat and cholesterol in the liver and arteries
  • essential for the health of the myelin sheaths of the nerves
  • regulates and improves the function of the liver and gallbladder
  • necessary for the production of phospholipid, a substance in the blood
  • useful in the treatment of neuritis
  • can prevent the formation of gallstones
  • useful in the treatment of high blood pressure
  • has been used to treat atherosclerosis, kidney damage, glaucoma, and myasthenia gravis
  • a part of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter in the brain and nervous system that regulates a variety of body functions.
  • helps carry fats through the bloodstream and prevent their deposition on the blood vessel walls
  • sometimes termed a lipotropic factor
  • methyl donor in energy metabolism
  • a condition known as tardive dyskinesia may benefit from choline supplementation

Deficiency:

  • no deficiency syndrome exists
  • however, prolonged deficiency may cause high blood pressure, cirrhosis and fatty degeneration of the liver, atherosclerosis, and hardening of the arteries
  • average intake in America is 400-900 mg.

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • relatively non-toxic
  • high doses of choline may aggravate depression
  • mega-doses (15-25 g) may cause gas and diarrhea
  • a quartet of chemicals in the brain influence depression and one of these if acetylcholine for which choline is used to make
  • high doses of choline may stimulate Ach formation which could lead to an imbalance of chemicals in the brain which could then lead to depression or anxiety for that matter
  • choline and morphine and/or anti-depressant drugs are not advisable partnerships

Sources:

  • choline naturally occurs in lecithin
  • widely available, from foods like eggs, to soybeans, to many vegetables and legumes

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

General Description:

  • water-soluble
  • partly supplied by the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted to niacin by the body
  • ”niacin” is really a generic term referring to several substances.
  • only two of these substances are important: nicotinic acid and niacinamide or nicotinamide, both of which can perform the traditional functions of niacin

Actions:

  • niacin teams up with other substances in the body to form compounds that play a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
  • functions as a part of two enzymes, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), and with an additional phosphate as NADP, which work in the glycogen energy cycle, the oxidation of fatty acids for energy, and in tissue respiration
  • has been used for certain blood fat disorders that increase the chance of developing heart disease
  • shows promise in new treatments for psoriasis
  • only nicotinic acid combats high blood fats and dilates blood vessels
  • softens skin
  • for almost a quarter of a century, heart experts have been using nicotinic acid to treat high blood fat levels
  • important for proper circulation and for a healthy nervous system
  • maintains normal function of the GI tract
  • may prevent migraine headaches

Deficiency:

  • RDA is 19 mg.
  • a dose greater than 30 mg. causes vascular dilation with flushing, burning, and itching, the ”niacin flush”
  • no other nutrient deficiency disease claimed nearly as many American lives
  • nicknamed the ”plague of corn” the disease is called pellagra
  • the plague came to an end with the discovery that it was not caused by a germ, but rather a diet deficient in niacin
  • however, before pellagra occurs, B2, B6, and the amino acid tryptophan are also likely to be deficient, in addition to B3
  • some foods contain niacin in a form the body does not absorb (eg. corn)
  • therefore, pellagra occurs most commonly where corn and other grains are the basis of the diet
  • tryptophan, an amino acid, can be converted to niacin in the body.
  • niacin deficiency still does occur from time to time and most commonly the victims are alcoholics or those who have a poor diet
  • other possible causes include: chronic diarrhea, malabsorption diseases, cancer, prolonged fever, deficiency of vitamin B6 (impairs the body’s ability to convert tryptophan to niacin)
  • mild deficiency may cause: diarrhea, anxiety, depression, irritability, coated tongue, canker sores, nervousness, skin lesions, forgetfulness, insomnia, chronic headaches, digestive disorders, and anemia
  • first signs of deficiency usually show in the skin: ulcers, sores, and areas that appear sunburnt
  • more advanced symptoms: hallucinations, delerium, confusion, depression, mental dullness, disorientation and mental disease, pellagra, neurasthenia, and ultimately coma and death

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • toxicity is low up to 1000 mg./day
  • mega-doses (3-10 g.) cause glycogen to be used more quickly and also block the use of fatty acids as fuel
  • liver seems sensitive to excessive niacin and one symptom of objection is jaundice
  • if jaundice is not present at high doses of niacin it does not mean that all is well with the liver
  • toxicity seems to develop more quickly on time-released forms
  • chances are good for a full recovery from liver damage due to nicotinic acid
  • abnormal glucose tolerance has been found in both diabetic and normal patients taking high doses of nicotinic acid
  • blood levels of uric acid may also increase on large doses of nicotinic acid (Gout!)
  • hypothyroidism may also occur
  • nicotinic acid may enhance the pressure-lowering effects of some hgh blood pressure drugs
  • those with abnormal liver function, duodenal ulcers or active peptic ulcers, severe low blood pressure, hemorrhaging, or bleeding of the arteries should consider niacin off-limits
  • diabetics and those with gout, allergies (release of histamine) and pregnant women should take caution

Sources:

  • brewer’s yeast, torula yeast, wheat germ, rice bran and rice polishings, nuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, whole wheat products, brown rice, and green vegetables

Folic Acid

General Description:

  • folate is another name for folic acid
  • folate is a water soluble vitamin

Actions:

  • folate is absolutely essential for healthy bones, for a healthy pregnancy, and for the metabolism of proteins, as it forms part of the vital transport coenzymes that control amino acid metabolism
  • necessary for the growth and division of all cells in the body and for the production of RNA and DNA, the nucleic acids that carry hereditary patterns
  • folate helps to prevent breakage of DNA which is probably a key step in the cancer process
  • folate may be able to turn precancerous conditions of the lung and cervix around
  • essential for the formation of RBCs
  • folic acid must be present in adequate amounts for iron to initiate hemoglobin synthesis
  • aids in protein metabolism and contributes to normal growth
  • essential for the healing process
  • helps build antibodies to prevent and heal infections
  • essential for the health of hair and skin
  • helps prevent premature graying of hair
  • long been used in the treatment of atherosclerosis, circulation problems, anemia, radiation injuries and burns, in the treatment of sprue, a tropical nutritional disease, anemia and acute diarrhea

Deficiency:

  • RDA is 200 mcg.
  • a deficiency of folic acid inhibits the growth of new cells, especially the rapidly dividing ones (eg. blood and muscle cells)
  • a deficiency of folic acid can cause a type of anemia (megaloblastic), with early symptoms of fatigue, loss of appetite, pallor, and inflammation of the tongue, a tell-tale sign.
  • other symptoms include: serious skin disorders, loss of hair, impaired circulation, a grayish-brown skin pigmentation, depression, reproductive disorders (spontaneous abortions, difficult labor, and high infant death rate), and loss of libido in males
  • most frequently the victims of folate deficiency are alcoholics, those suffering form malabsorption syndromes, and the elderly
  • folate can mask the signs of pernicious anemia, caused by vitamin B12 deficiency and B12 deficiency, although quite rare, can lead to irreversible nerve damage if left unchecked
  • folate needs increase during pregnancy
  • alcohol causes the body to excrete more folate than normal
  • many drugs interfere with folic acid nutrition: antibacterial, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antituberculosis, barbiturates, birth control pills, cortisone, sulfa drugs etc.

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • large doses of folate can mask the symptoms of pernicious anemia, a disorder marked by an inablity to absorb vitamin B12.
  • toxicity is low, but the FDA has restricted the dose to 400 mcg./day, because of its possibility of masking signs of pernicious anemia
  • high doses may interfere with your body’s abliity to absorb and retain zinc
  • increased zinc has been found in the blood in cases of folic acid deficiency

Sources:

  • dark-green leafy vegetables, legumes, asparagus, lima beans, Irish potatoes, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, mushrooms, nuts, and egg yolk

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

General Description:

  • cobalamin or cyanocobalamin (the ”red” vitamin)
  • although many doctors, nutritionists, and books will say that B12 is only found in animal products this is false because it naturally occurs in a type of blue-green algae called Spirulina
  • you require only a few micrograms each day
  • blood contains only about 5 nanograms (billionths of a gram) per liter, which represents less than one part per trillion of bodyweight
  • if you lack that miniscule amount it leads to pernicious anemia, which gradually destroys the myelin sheath of the nerves, leading to blindness, insanity, and death
  • 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazolyl cobamide is a coenzyme and the form of B12 that the body uses
  • the dibencoside form of the vitamin is an expensive form of the vitamin, but the body efficiently converts 5,6-methylbenzidazolyl cobamide to dibencoside in the body, so there is no need to take the expensive form

Actions:

  • forms part of the coenzymes essential for all cells, particularily rapid turnover cells, the lining of the digestive tract, and bone marrow cells
  • guarded preciously by the body, B12 is called upon to do it’s work and then reabsorbed
  • has a role in treating pernicious anemia
  • versatile vitamin that serves as an ”ingredient” used to manufacture blood and other body cells, as well as covering nerve fibers, helping to metabolize carbohydrates and fats
  • improves memory, ability to reason and concentrate, dispels mental disturbances, prevents mental deterioration, and makes you feel younger
  • may help one recover faster from viral and/or bacterial diseases
  • promotes growth in children and is involved in many vital metabolic and enzymatic processes
  • essential for production and regeneration of RBCs

Deficiency:

  • RDA is only 2 mcg.
  • average intake in America is 8 mcg./day for men and 5 mcg. for women
  • 3 mcg./day is sufficient to offset B12 deficiency
  • B12 is absorbed principally in the stomach with the aid of what is called the intrinsic factor
  • without the intrinsic factor the body is unable to absorb B12 and this can lead to pernicious anemia
  • heavy use of alcohol can have serious effects on B12 nutrition
  • Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by B12 deficiency
  • deficiency of B12 may lower blood level of protein necessary for bone formation
  • deficiency is associated with an impaired ability to produce phagocytes to kill the tubercle bacillus (TB), HIV infection, and depression
  • symptoms: poor appetite and growth in children, chronic fatigue, sore mouth, feeling of numbness or stiffness, loss of mental energy, difficulty in concentrating, and osteoporosis

Interactions and Toxicity:

  • even at 10,000 times the RDA it appears non-toxic
  • vitamin B12 does not interfere with the action of any drugs but many drugs interfere with B12 nutrition: anticonvulsants, antituberculosis, cholesterol-lowering, anticancer, and antigout drugs to name a few.
  • B12 can also mask the signs of folate deficiency at higher doses (10mcg. or more)
  • B6 must be present in adequate amounts for the body to absorb B12

Sources:

  • nutritional yeast, milk, eggs, aged cheese, fortified brewer’s yeast, sunflower seeds, comfrey leaves, kelp, bananas, peanuts, concord grapes, raw wheat germ, pollen
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