Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene)
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that promtes normal growth and repair of all body tissues. It is part of a group of compounds that include retinol, retinal and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene, also known as pro-vitamin A, is transformed by the body into vitamin A. It supports skin health (both topically and as an oral supplement), promotes healthy vision, reproduction and brain development, and promotes normal bone formation. Vitamin A can be found in foods like organ meats (liver and kidney), egg yolks, butter, milk and cod liver oil.
Vitamin B-Complex (Vitamins B1, 2, 3, 6, 5, 8, 12 and Biotin)
The potent combination of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, biotin and folic acid makes up the vitamin B-complex. Most B-vitamins play a critical role as cofactors or nutrients that assist in chemical reactions, in cellular-energy metabolism. Lack of B-vitamins can cause occasional fatigue, which is why vitamin B blends are often promoted as energy boosters.
Vitamin B1 functions in carbohydrate metabolism, where it supports the normal conversion ofpyruvate to acetyl CoA for entry to the Krebs cycle and subsequent steps to generate ATP. Vitamin B1 also helps in maintaining nervous system and heart muscle health. Vitamin B2 serves as a co-enzyme, working with other B-vitamins. It supports healthy red blood cell formation and supports the conversion of food into energy as a part of the electron transport chain, which drives cellular energy on the micro-level. Vitamin B3 supports many aspects of energy metabolism and nervous system function. Vitamin B5 promotes many biological reactions, including the production of energy, the catabolism of fatty acids and amino acids, the synthesis of fatty acids, phospholipids, sphingolipids, cholesterol and steroid hormones, and the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Vitamin B-6 is a cofactor that supports normal protein and amino acid metabolism, and it helps maintain proper fluid balance. It also assists in the maintenance of healthy red and white blood cells. It has been recommended as a nutrient to enhance mental function, specifically mood, and it supports nerve conduction. Vitamin B12 is responsible for maintaining optimum energy levels, as it supports Krebs energy cycle. Biotin supports the normal metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Biotin also functions as a critical component of several enzymes involved in energy metabolism. Folic acid boosts the benefits of B12 supplementation because they work together in maintaining normal red blood cells. Folic acid supports the normal utilization of amino acids and proteins, as well as the construction of the material for DNA and RNA synthesis.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient for humans and is needed for metabolic reactions in the body. Foods such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, peppers and cantaloupes are good sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is known for its function as one of the key nutritional antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals. Vitamin C promotes the strengthen of cells and is an essential cofactor for the enzymes involved in the synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C is more commonly known for its roles in immune support, wound healing, protecting against the effects of stress and promoting iron absorption. The antioxidant function of vitamin C is performed within the aqueous compartments of the blood and inside cells. Studies have shown that vitamin C protects plasma lipids from oxidation damage, and also protects DNA and protein from various oxidative processes.
Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is different from all other vitamins in human nutrition because vitamin D is the only vitamin that is conditional. Vitamin D3 is synthesized in the skin via photochemical reactions using ultraviolet B radiation from sunlight. Vitamin D3 is the principal regulator of calcium homeostasis in the body, which is particularly important in skeletal development and bone mineralization. It is also a prohormone since it has no hormone activity itself, but it is converted to a molecule, which does.
There are very few foods that are natural sources of vitamin D3. The foods that do contain the vitamin include fatty fish, fish liver oils, and eggs from hens that have been fed vitamin D. Almost all vitamin D intake from foods comes from fortified milk products and other foods that have been fortified with vitamin D, like breakfast cereals. Vitamin D deficiency is distinguished by inadequate mineralization or demineralization of the skeleton. This can lead to osteoporosis.
Vitamin E is one of the most powerful, fat-soluble antioxidants in the body, and it helps protect cell membranes from the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that supports the immune system function and topical healing. Vitamin E also helps support a healthy heart. The most valuable sources of dietary vitamin E include vegetable oils, margarine, nuts, seeds, avocados and wheat germ. Safflower oil contains large amount of vitamin E, and corn and soybean oil contain smaller amounts.
Vitamin E is actually a family of related compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols. Vitamin E is available in a natural or synthetic form. With vitamin E, the natural form is far more in terms of absorption and retention in the body. The natural form of alpha-tocopherol is known as d-alpha tocophero which is what we use in our Isotonix Might-A-Mins.
The most plentiful mineral in the human body is calcium. Only about one percent of the calcium in the body is found in the blood and within cells, which helps support different metabolic processes. It is important to maintain this one percent because otherwise the body will draw the calcium that is stored in the bones to keep blood and cellular calcium levels within the proper range. The bones constantly release calcium, along with other minerals into the circulation, where calcium may play a role in easing mild symptoms of PMS, maintaining normal blood pressure and promoting strong bones.
The most calcium-dense foods are milk products. Other dietary sources of calcium are vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, tofu and sardines with bones. Calcium is cheap, easily available and well tolerated as a supplement. Most people do not consume enough calcium in their diets on a daily basis, so calcium is a highly recommended nutrient supplement.
Chromium is a vital trace mineral that forms part of a compound in the body known as glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which is involved in supporting healthy insulin levels and maintaining blood sugar levels and, possibly, in helping to control appetite. Chromium also promotes normal glucose metabolism, and helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and other lipids in the blood. There are also claims that it supports weight loss and increases muscle mass. More than 90 percent of American diets do not provide the recommended amount of chromium.
Chromium is found in small amounts in many foods. Food sources of chromium include brewer's yeast, whole-grain cereals, broccoli, prunes, mushrooms, beer, spices, brown sugar, coffee, tea, wine and meat products.
An essential trace mineral in human nutrition, copper is important for a wide range of biochemical processes, which are necessary for the maintenance of good health. Copper promotes normal infant development, red and white blood cell maturation, iron transport, bone strength, cholesterol metabolism, myocardial contractility, glucose metabolism, brain development and immune function. Copper chaperones are proteins that protect the cells from copper toxicity and essentially keep the cells free of free copper ions. Foods that include the richest sources of copper are nuts, seeds, legumes, the bran and germ portions of grains, liver, kidneys, shellfish, oysters and crustaceans. There are experimental indications that suggest that copper supplementation support immune fnction for those with copper deficiency.
Iodine, a trace mineral, is primarily concentrated in the thyroid gland. About 80 percent of the body's iodine is found in the thyroid gland. Iodine promotes the normal function of thyroid hormones cannot function without iodine, which promote normal development and energy metabolism. A moderate deficiency in iodine decreases the production of the thyroid hormones. About 20 percent of the world is iodine deficient. Iodine deficiency can also effect brain health. Recent research has shown that those on vegetarian diets or salt-restricted diets may be at an increased risk of iodine deficiency.
Iodine also is present in the salivary glands, the gastric mucosa and in the lactating mammary gland. Along with iodized salt, fish and sea vegetables are rich sources of iodine. Iodine is also present in animal products, such as eggs, milk, meat and poultry, often because most animal feeds are enriched with iodine in industrialized countries.
Magnesium, an essential mineral, functions as a coenzyme to promote normal nerve and muscle function, regulation of body temperature, energy metabolism, DNA and RNA synthesis, and the formation of bones. It can be used as a laxative, to promote head comfort and to promote bone health. There is preliminary evidence that shows that magnesium may help with PMS symptoms and in maintaing normal blood sugar levels. The majority of the body's magnesium, about 60 percent, is found in the bones. Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions and is necessary for every major biological process. It is an alkaline earth metal and exists under physiological conditions in its divalent state. Magnesium is intimately interlocked, biologically with calcium, and they cooperate in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The mineral has been called "nature's physiological calcium channel blocker" because it appears to support the regulation of the intracellular flow of calcium ions.
Nearly 75 percent of the American population fails to consume enough magnesium in their diets; therefore, supplements may be warranted in some cases, particularly those concerned with bone metabolism. Dietary sources that include magnesium are artichokes, nuts, beans, whole grains and shellfish.
Manganese, an essential trace mineral, is the preferred metal cofactor for glycosyltransferases, which are important in the synthesis of glycoproteins and glycosaminoglycans. Glycoproteins promote the normal synthesis of myelin and clotting factors. Manganese is used in rare overt deficiency disorders, and also may have some efficacy in promoting bone health and aiding in the reduction of minor symptoms of PMS. The bran of whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables and teas are the richest dietary sources of manganese.
Selenium functions as an antioxidant enzyme, and is also promotes normal growth and use of iodine in thyroid function. It supports a healthy immune system. Selenium supports the antioxidant effect of vitamin E, promotes cardiovascular and skin health, supports male fertility and a healthy immune system. Selenium plays a direct role in the body's ability to protect cells from free radical damage. It promotes the defense against the toxicity of reactive oxygen species, regulation of the thyroid hormone metabolism and the regulation of the redox state of cells. Selenium also has the ability to detoxify some metals and xenobiotics.
The selenium content of the soil in which plants are grown determines the amount of selenium contained in the food. Good dietary sources of selenium include nuts, unrefined grains, brown rice, wheat germ and seafood.
Silicon is a non-metallic element that is, next to oxygen, the most abundant element in the earth's crust. It is found in plants, animals and most living organisms. Silicon, currently, is not considered a vital nutrient for humans. The dietary intake of silicon in the United States ranges from about 20 to 50 milligrams, daily. Foods that are rich in silicon are cereal products and unrefined grains of high fiber content.
Potassium, in the body, is classified as an electrolyte, and is involved in electrical and cellular functions in the body. It promotes the regulation of water balance and levels of acidity, helps maintain blood pressure, and supports normal transmission of nerve impulses, digestion, muscle contraction and heartbeat.
Potassium can be found in foods, which help to maintain the body's internal balance of fluids and chemicals. Some potassium-enriched foods are fruits, vegetables and legumes, which are all commonly recommended for optimal heart health.
Some symptoms of potassium deficiency include poor circulation, bluish tint to skin, head discomfort, sleeping problems, muscle weakness, and water retention.
Zinc, a trace mineral, functions as a part of 300 different enzymes in the human body. These enzymes promote normal nucleic acid and protein metabolism, the production of energy, as well as other things. It supports virtually all biochemical pathways and physiological processes. Zinc plays a structural role in the formation of zinc-fingers, which are exploited by transcription factors for interacting with DNA and regulating the activity of genes. The maintenance of the integrity of biological membranes, resulting in their protection against oxidation, is another structural role. Physiologically, zinc is essential for the support of growth and development, reproduction and sexual maturation, olfactory and gustatory activity, dark vision adaptation, insulin storage and release, and for a variety of host immune defenses. Possibly its most popular claim is that is supports the immune system.
Zinc is found in almost all body tissues, but about 60 percent of the body's zinc is stored in the muscles, and 30 percent in the bones. It has antioxidant activities. The antioxidant activity of zinc helps to protect membranes against oxidation by occupying sites that may otherwise contain redox active metals such as iron.