Vitamin and Minerals

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

It is widely accepted in the natural health world that the best place to get Vitamins and Minerals is from raw foods. The food chain itself is responsible for most Vitamins and Minerals. There is more obviously so we will load up the page with information and edit or organise it later.Article Body:
The real facts about benefits of Vitamin C may surprise you. First of all what is Vitamin C? Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. Unlike the oil soluble vitamins such as A and E, Vitamin C cannot be stored by your body. Since Vitamin C is not stored by your body, we need to get it from our diet or from supplements.

But Can’t Our Bodies Just Make Vitamin C?

Great question! Most animals have the ability to make their own Vitamin C. And make it they do… lots of it. It is estimated that if we had the ability to make our own Vitamin C we would make between 3000 an 10,000 mg every day… and 3 to 4 times that amount if we were being stressed by infection.

Unfortunately, humans along with guinea pigs, fruit bats and gorillas are the only mammals that need to ingest our daily dose of Vitamin C. The only vitamin we humans have the ability to make is Vitamin D… and we need the sunshine to help us do that.

Some very exciting facts about Vitamin C have sprung up within the last few years. First off, Vitamin C along with Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), have been called the most essential of the “essential nutrients.” That is, without an adequate supply of these two, you die. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but certainly years sooner than the folks with optimal levels of both in their bodies.

If you’ve read the section of my site on the facts about Vitamin E, you’ve no doubt read about what an antioxidant does. If not we can review quickly.

The cells of your body are under a lot of stress… oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when highly unstable molecules called free radicals roam freely throughout your body.

Free radicals are a by-product of not only the normal metabolic processes of your cells but also your environment… things such as air pollution, sun exposure, industrial chemical exposure, ozone, nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust), cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption and so on.

Free radicals damage cell membranes and DNA and can result in changes to your cells that cause life threatening chronic diseases down the road. When your cells are being damaged by these free radicals, we say your cells are experiencing oxidative stress… and one of the facts about Vitamin C is that it is an antioxidant and can significantly neutralize the free radicals and the damage to your cells that cause oxidative stress.

One of the facts about Vitamin C that we feel is most significant is the role Vitamin C plays in the production of collagen.

Collagen is a protein. It is the connective tissue that holds our bodies together and keeps us from falling apart. Collagen is found in your skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, liver, cartilage, bone marrow and blood vessels.

Collagen is essential for the repair of our bodies. Without collagen our bodies don’t heal. And without Vitamin C we don’t make collagen.


What Does Collagen Production Have to Do With Heart Disease?

Remember the facts about Vitamin C above and the sailors with scurvy? They weren’t getting any Vitamin C. So when their blood vessels cracked, no collagen was being produced to repair the cracks.

Why do your blood vessels crack in the first place? Well consider this. Your heart beats about 4000 times every hour. That’s 96,000 times a day and 35,040,000 times every year (yes that’s million)! The blood vessels of your heart are being squeezed and released that many times as well.

Imagine you were to run over a garden hose laying in your driveway that many times. Do you think it might soon develop some cracks?

Although your body has a difficult time repairing those cracks in the complete absence of Vitamin C (and hence scurvy), most folks in the developed world get just enough Vitamin C to keep scurvy at bay… but not much more.

Problem is, as this sub-optimal amount of Vitamin C in their body is repairing with collagen, it’s not quite enough. Your liver then determines that the repairs are not being made quick enough and sets about to produce a special form of LDL called lipoprotein-a.

Lipoprotein-a is very sticky and acts as a putty to fill in the cracks that the lack of collagen left behind. Great right? Leak stopped.

Well the leak is stopped yes, but being as sticky as it is, lipoprotein-a catches and glues down all the other LDL (bad cholesterol) that floats by. This action results in plaque build-up inside the vessel walls and can eventually close off these blood vessels… and we all know what that means!

Facts about Vitamin C and Cholesterol

Can Vitamin C lower cholesterol? A relationship has been shown experimentally between high levels of Vitamin C and low levels of cholesterol. An article appearing in the National Library of Medicine shows that Vitamin C provides the same mechanism for inhibiting the production of cholesterol as do cholesterol lowering statin drugs.

The American Heart Association also reported that Vitamin C lowered LDL cholesterol in children who were predisposed to high cholesterol.

The facts about Vitamin C also show that Vitamin C lowers cholesterol without the dangerous side effects of these statin drugs. Statin drugs have been shown to inhibit the production of another essential nutrient called Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Decreased levels of CoQ10 result in significant muscle myopathy (wasting away). And since the heart is a muscle, statin drugs have been linked to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).

More Facts about Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s when taken with Vitamin E and cut your chances of having a stroke.

Why is that? Remember the facts about Vitamin C above as an antioxidant? Well, most researchers agree that Vitamin C’s powerful antioxidant properties are responsible. By neutralizing the cell damaging effects of those free radicals running around in your body, Vitamin C works to keep your cells healthy and free of damage. And if your cells are healthy, you are healthy!

Vitamin C is also known to protect the immune system. Vitamin C aids in the manufacture of white blood cells. White blood cells destroy viruses and bacteria.

Also remember the facts about Vitamin C as aiding in the manufacture of collagen? Well collagen being the connective tissue that holds our skin together, our skin is what keeps pathogens out in the first place.

Yeah, But I Drink My Glass of Orange Juice Everyday… Well Almost

What are the facts about Vitamin C concerning the amount you should take? Well who do you want to believe? The official U.S. Government RDA for Vitamin C is 60 to 90 mg. Some would argue that this level does nothing more than ward off scurvy. They would also argue that these levels do nothing to prevent chronic, long term, debilitating diseases.

One of the reasons that contribute to your hair loss problem may be insufficient nutrients. If our bodies lack the necessary vitamins, then it is not possible to expect that they will be functioning optimally and healthily. In fact, one of the major nutrients that prevents and treats hair loss is zinc. By understanding how this nutrient relates to hair loss, you can ensure a diet that is helpful in stopping hair loss.

It is known that zinc will add the extra proteins into your system that will then affect hair growth, as well as healthy skin and nails. If you do not have enough in your system, it will cause your hair to stop growing and fall out. Zinc works in relation to the several proteins that are located throughout your body in order to create a support system for your body. Zinc is needed for cell division, in the growth and maintenance of muscles, helps to control oil glands, and is also required for the synthesis of protein and collagen – which is great for wound healing and a healthy skin.

Zinc deficiency not only produces problems with hair loss, but also with changes in the scalp. The scalp may become too dry or flaky and may often times be irritated because of the lack of nutrients. Many have reported that zinc has been shown to be effective in stopping their hair from turning gray. Even when hair is already gray or becoming thinner and balding, zinc can reverse the effects when taken in proper amounts.

It is not surprising that many suffer from zinc deficiency since zinc is destroyed in the milling process and is also lost in cooking. In addition, a zinc deficiency can result in a poor immune system, heightened sensitivities and allergies, night blindness, loss of smell, white spots under finger nails, skin problems, sleep disturbances etc.

Men with zinc shortage may have a problem with fertility, while women may experience irregular periods. Children with too little zinc may have stunted growth and slow sexual maturity.

Thus, zinc deficiency is a problem that you do not wish to have. In your diet, include a variety of foods that contain this nutrient. Wheat germ, yeast, muscle meat, fish and egg yolks are all known for having a high amount of zinc in them. From here, the proteins will be stimulated in the several areas of your body. It is best to have zinc from natural sources.

If, however, you find that you are not able to consume zinc through natural sources, then you can always buy zinc supplements. Instances where consuming zinc from natural sources is not possible include if you have certain food allergies or intolerances. Zinc supplements are readily available in health stores. They can be effective when you take between fifty to one hundred milligrams a day.

Definitely whether you are having adequate sources of zinc in your diet, is an important factor to consider with regards to your hair loss. This is one vitamin supplement that may just work wonders for your receding hair line.

Our bodyís circulatory system is made up of the heart, arteries, veins and capillaries. This circulatory system transports oxygen, nutrients, water and blood throughout our bodies as well as assists in the removal of waste products. Obviously keeping this system in tip top shape is essential to its efficiency and to our health.

One of the things we can do to help keep our circulatory system healthy is to make sure that we are properly nourishing it with healthy diet filled with vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin C is responsible for strengthening the walls of the blood vessels throughout the body. This has to do with its role in the production of collagen, which is an essential connective tissue. Copper is a mineral that is necessary for the process of making the bodyís connective tissue. Biotin is critical to the health of the circulatory system, as well as to the circulatory systemís performance, as it has a function in a number of essential enzyme processes.

Vitamin E helps to promote the healthy functioning of the circulatory system in a couple of ways. It helps to dilate the veins and it has a role in the controlling of blood clotting. Another important aspect of Vitamin E is its antioxidant properties, something that it shares with Vitamin C. These vitamins, with the help of other antioxidants, serve in the essential capacity of bringing free radicals, which if left unchecked can damage body tissue, under control.

Potassium, long known as being beneficial to the heart also serves other parts of the circulatory system. One important function of potassium is to control blood pressure and fluid stability in the circulatory system. Sodium shares in these important functions of maintaining the bloodís balance and pressure. We hear so much about the negatives of sodium that itís easy to forget that sodium is, in reality, a mineral that is essential to the bodyís functioning, particularly in the circulatory system. The key to sodium is moderation, a little is necessary but too much could be dangerous.

Itís apparent that the circulatory system is essential to a healthy body. It makes sense to support its functions with a diet that meets the recommended daily levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Because the proper balance of nutrients is so vital to the functioning of our bodies and its supporting systems, choose your nutritional supplements carefully. Choosing top quality ingredients will insure that you are doing your body good and not spending money unwisely. Make your circulatory system happy, feed it!

In todayís world every time somebody comes down with a cold they turn to prescription drugs, this might not be the wisest choice, if we are concerned with living a long and healthy life. In this fast paste world we want a quick fix, being down with a cold or disease like cancer is unacceptable, thatís why most of us will turn to a prescription drug. Little did we know that as we take these prescription drugs they deplete our body of essential vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients our body needs to operate properly.
Safeguarding out bodies against vitamin and mineral deficiencies should be our number one priority. The following guidelines can help if you are on of the 20 million people out there using prescription drugs.

Calcium

Calcium is the first mineral that can be depleted by taking prescription drug. These drugs include diuretics such as Bumex, Demadex, Diuril, and Lasix, as well as, bone building drugs like Fosamax and anti-inflammation steroids Cortef and cortone can be deplete calcium in the body. You can help prevent calcium deficiency by eating foods rich in calcium. Foods rich in calcium are Kale, Cabbage, Dairy, and broccoli, if you do not consume several servings a day of these vegetables you might consider taking a calcium supplement.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is an enzyme vital to the crebís cycle (Energy production cycle in the body), if you are taking cholesterol medication Statins such as Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol, or Zocor you will be at risk of Coenzyme Q10 depletion. Also, Sulfonylureas drugs such as Amaryl, DiaBeta, and Glucotrol for diabetics, you can be at risk. Eating oods high in coenzyme Q10 can help prevent COQ10 deficiency. The foods containing CoQ10 are Mackerel, red beets, sardines and organ meats, if you do not consume several servings of these meats and vegetables you might consider taking additional Coenzyme Q10 supplements available at any health food store.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid is a B Vitamin vital to both men and women but especially women in child bearing ages. If you are taking cholesterol meds, pain relief medications or diabetic medication such as Questran, Welchol, Celebrex, and Glucophage you may be at risk of Folic Acid depletion. The following are Foods high in Folic Acid. Broccoli, peas, beans, leafy greens, oranges and whole grains all have a good amount of folic acid in them. Folic Acid is relatively inexpensive you can find it at any health food store in 400mcg and 800mcg doses.

Magnesium

Magnesium is vital for muscle relaxation and bone building, if your taking diuretics bone building or steroidal anti-inflammation drugs you might be at risk of magnesium depletion. Foods high in magnesium are leafy greens, lean meat, beans, nuts whole grains, and seafood. Recent studies have suggested that 40% of the population are low in magnesium already, taking prescription drugs that delete magnesium can put one at risk for disease related to magnesium deficiency.

Potassium

Potassium is needed for proper nerve and muscle function. Also, potassium is essential for proper heart function. Prescription drugs that reduce potassium in the body are diuretics that reduce excess fluid and reduce blood pressure, Levodopa that is for parkinsons disease, and Steroidal anti-inflammation drugs. The list of foods high in potassium are as follows: bananas, dates, brown rice, garlic, nuts, avocados, and spinach. You can also find potassium in your local vitamin store usually selling at 99mg per capsule.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is the next vitamin under attack, essential for proper eye development and immune system function, Vitamin A can be depleted by bile acid sequestrants, steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and Xenical. Xenical, a fat blocker, can also affect vitamin D and vitamin E. Foods high in vitamin A are as follows: Fish COD and SALMON, Liver and Dairy.

Thiamin (B-1)

Thiamin (B-1) is involved in numerous body functions, including: nervous system, muscle functioning and carbohydrate metabolism to name a few. Drugs that may reduce B-1 in the body are Antibiotics that help fight infections and diuretics. Foods high in B-1 and other B Vitamins are nuts and whole grains. You can find single B vitamins or B complexes at your local health food store. B vitamins are vital for proper stress management in the body as well they are essential keeping your body healthy and taken daily can help prevent drug related deficiencies.

Riboflavin (B-2)

Riboflavin (B-2) is required for cell growth and release of energy, formation of red blood cell, and synthesis of antibodies. Drugs that can delete riboflavin is Elavin for migraines. Foods high in Riboflavin are Dairy, lean meat, broccoli, and whole grains. B-2 can be found at your local Vitamin Store.

pyridoxine (B-6)

Vitamin B6 helps the body process protein and carbohydrates in food and helps produce hemoglobin (red blood cells). High cholesterol medications like bile acid sequestrants and steroid anti-inflammation drugs delete B-6 in the body. Foods high in Vitamin B-6 are Fish, leafy greens, bananas, and potatoes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a great antioxidant to protect your body from free radical damage, helps strengthen blood vessels and reduce the incident of bruising when you bump your arms and legs on something. Diuretics and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs deplete the body of Vitamin C, if you are taking these types of drugs make sure you consume lots of broccoli, citrus, potatoes, tomatoes and strawberries. Additional supplementation of vitamin C can help as well. Vitamin C can be found at any health food store.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for strong bones and teeth and recent studies suggest Vitamin D may even help fight some kinds of cancer. If youíre taking barbiturate sedatives like Butisol and Phenobarbital for anxiety or insomnia or blood pressure and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs you could be at risk for disease involving vitamin D depletion. Sunlight is the primary way our bodies produce vitamin D and with our fast life styles nobody has time to lay in the sun for 30min a day, if you live in the north you receive very little vitamin D from the sun. Supplementing Vitamin D is essential for optimal health, available in 400IU and 1000IU doses.

Zinc

Zinc is essential for proper immune system function, hair, skin and nail formation. Taking anti-acids like Pepcid, prilosec, tagamet and zantec, also diuretics, and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs will deplete your body of the essential mineral zinc. Zinc is found in lean meat and seafood, also can be purchased in 10mg ñ 100mg doses in your local vitamin store.

These are only a few of the essential vitamin and minerals that prescription drugs deplete from the body. It is important to eat your fruits and vegetables with every meal of the day. Most Americans do not eat the daily recommended fruits and vegetables required to stay healthy so alternative vitamin supplements are needed more and more every day. Biochemists have found that the nutritional values of fruits and vegetables have been steadily declining over the past 40 ñ 50 years due to the fast growing varieties the farmers are growing today. If you do not consume the recommended servings of Fruits and Vegetables consider taking a multivitamin supplement every day.