Know Your Vitamins (continued)

Why Do We Need Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

If you eat large amounts of vitamin C such as fruits and juices there is less chance of you being at the risk of various diseases. It does no good to take it in large doses when you find yourself down with a cold, chill, ect. it just does not work like that. If you are looking for a cold/flu remedy vitamin C will help toward your cold, but only if you make sure to get recommended amounts daily it is a miss conception taking large amounts of vitamin C when you have a cold will help cure a cold. The only thing you will get from high doses of vitamin C is most likely to be diarrhoea.

Other areas it can help us is to protect our arteries by fighting against clogging, high blood pressure and cholesterol damage. It will also certainly boost the immune system. Vitamin C is most important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to our teeth and gums, bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels. This particular vitamin also gives us our resistance to fight infectious and immune related diseases as well as being necessary for normal immune responses to infection and wound healing. Vitamin C is also considered to be an important antioxidant protecting the body against cell damage.

Sodium Ascorbate (another name for vitamin c) can be given by injection. However, this would only be carried out under medical supervision.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Apple

Apple: one source of vitamin C

  • Infirm bones
  • Poor recovery from infection
  • Low resistance to infection
  • Slowed tissue regeneration
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Tender joints
  • Muscle degeneration
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Shortness of breath
  • Scurvy

Sources Of Vitamin C

Citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts, strawberries, blackcurrants, melon and kiwi fruit, rose hips (including rose-hip syrup), green vegetables, potatoes, chillies and peppers. Not forgetting the humble apple which not only contains Vitamin C it also contains a host of other vitamins and minerals. such as: Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 (thiamine) and Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) to name a few.

Water soluble vitamins C and B (B complex) need to be taken on a day to day basis this is because the body does not store this kind of vitamin and any excess is passed out in the urine. Caution when cooking water soluble vitamins is needed as they can easily be lost in the cooking. To avoid this happening leave vegetables a little hard after cooking.

Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI)

The RNI guide is part of the Dietary Reference Values (DRV) and is used to give an estimated value of the amount of protein, vitamins and minerals that should meet the needs of most of the groups to which they apply, ensuring that the needs of nearly all the group (97.5%) are being met to maintain a healthy life style. However, having said that there would be many individuals within their group who would need far less because of eating a variety of healthy foods that would provide their daily needs.

Those groups who may suffer from a deficiency, and may benefit from supplements, could be smokers, the elderly, sufferers of serious illness, those who have under gone major surgery, burns and extreme temperatures. Vitamin C would be given with other vitamins in pregnancy, mothers that intend to breast-feed and children under the age of 5 who are not good eaters may need to take a supplement containing vitamins A, D & C.

Children who have a good appetite and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruit and vegetables, may not need supplements. Women taking the contraception pill with the ingredient oestrogen may also benefit from this vitamin.

Daily Vitamin C RNI requirements for those who may be at risk are:

  • For children up to the age of 1 year would be 25mg.
  • For those between 1 – 10 years of age 30mg.
  • Children between 11 – 14 years of age 35mg
  • Teenagers 15 years and over 40mg.

If you become pregnant an estimated RNI would be 50mg; and breast-feeding mothers an estimate of 70mg is advised.

Excess Intake

Excessive daily doses of vitamin C have been known to cause diarrhoea, nausea and stomach pains in some people. In other cases it is possible to experience a slight case of jaundice and kidney stones may develop over a period of time. If you have any medical conditions always consult your doctor before taking any form of vitamins/mineral supplements.

Severe lack of vitamin C can cause scurvy. If left untreated it can prove fatal.

Why Do We Need Vitamin D (cholecalciferol)

Vitamin D is essential for development bone growth and density and for functioning of the nervous system. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in various forms and is usually obtained when cholesterol in the skin is exposed to sunlight. It needs bare skin and direct sunlight (not through a window). People with darker skins will need more sun to get the same amount of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is important for strong bones and muscles and for functioning of the nervous system. Possibly, it may also help to prevent other diseases such as diabetes, cancer, tuberculosis, as well as possible protection against heart disease, it also plays a role in calcium metabolism. Growing children, pregnant women, breastfeeding women and their babies, will all benefit from the D vitamin. The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies.

Do you take heart medication check with your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Vitamin D deficiency is common, particularly in children, pregnant women, breastfed babies, and anyone who stays indoors or covers their skin. It is important to treat and prevent a deficiency to ensure good health, growth and strong bones. Some symptoms include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Cramp
  • Muscle weakness

Other symptoms may show as muscle pains, or muscle weakness. In more severe cases of deficiency, this may cause difficulty standing up or climbing stairs. It is also possible to suffer rickets and osteomalacia (softening of the bones).

Sources Of Vitamin D

Liver, some fish (mainly oily fish such as herring, sardines, pilchards, trout, salmon, tuna and mackerel), egg yolk, and ‘fortified’ foods which have vitamin D added such as some margarine’s and breakfast cereals.

Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI)

The RNI guide is part of the Dietary Reference Values (DRV) and is used to give an estimated value of the amount of protein, vitamins and minerals that should meet the needs of most of the groups to which they apply, ensuring that the needs of nearly all the group (97.5%) are being met to maintain a healthy life style. However, having said that there would be many individuals within their group who would need far less because of eating a variety of healthy foods that would provide their daily needs.

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Daily Vitamin D RNI requirements for those who may be at risk are:

In the UK, the Food Standards Agency does not recommend a specific daily dose of vitamin D unless you are elderly, pregnant, Asian, get little sun exposure, night-shift workers, keep the body well covered in the sun, eat no meat or oily fish, in which case 10mcg is advised.

If you are on certain types of medication you may need more than the usual dose of vitamin D. Medication includes the likes of carbamezepine, phenytoin, primidone (anticonvulsant medication) and barbiturates (phenobarbital).

Sources Of Vitamin D

Liver, some fish (mainly oily fish such as herring, sardines, pilchards, trout, salmon, tuna and mackerel), egg yolk, and ‘fortified’ foods which have vitamin D added such as some margarine’s and breakfast cereals.

Excess Intake

Too much vitamin D can make the intestines absorb too much calcium. This may cause high levels of calcium to be present in the blood and can lead to calcium deposits in soft tissues such as the heart and lungs, reducing their ability to function. If you take heart mediction and vitamin D supplements you may make your situation worse. This is the reason why you shold speak with your doctor before you take vitamin D supplements. Excess symptoms would include: thirst, passing a lot of urine, dizziness and headaches, nausea or vomiting. However, It would be unusual to get side effects from a prescribed dosage.

Vitamin capsules/tablets should be kept in a cool dry place and preferably away from daylight. A kitchen cupboard is one place however, do not put them in a cupboard that is above an area where cooking, or boiling takes place especially during colder months where cooking/boiling may cause condensation.

Why Do We Need Vitamin E (tocopherol)

If there is one thing most all researchers agree with it is the taking of vitamin E ( fat soluble antioxidant ) This antioxidant vitamin is a super defense against the onset of ageing problems. It helps fight against the gradual clogging of the arteries (atherosclerosis). It is also reported to help unblock arteries clogged by high-fat diet, preventing heart attacks and strokes as well as boosting a weak immune system. In the elderly it can boost a weakened immune system. It can also help arthritis suffers and research shows it could help delay age related loss of mental faculties including that from Alzheimer’s. It does not stop there research shows vitamin E can protect against Parkinson’s disease and a possible plus for fertility. Cooking foods at high temperatures however destroys vitamin E.

Some scientists believe high doses of vitamin E supplements could shorten people’s lives.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Although a deficiency is very rare, there are three specific situations when a vitamin E deficiency is likely to occur. It is seen in persons who cannot absorb dietary fat, has been found in premature, very low birth weight infants (birth weights less than 1500 grams, or 3.5 pounds), and is seen in individuals with rare disorders of fat metabolism. if a lack of vitamin E was suspected then you may suffer from:

Avocado

Avocado one source of vitamin E: See below

  • Premature ageing
  • Poor healing of wounds
  • Easily fatigued
  • Dull hair
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Vulnerability to infection

There is also a chance you may suffer from an enlarged prostrate gland and possibly miscarriage. A diet of processed foods that’s very low in fat might also cause a deficiency.

Excess Intake

Harmful effects of overdose are rare. However, there is a risk of abdominal pain, weakness, blurred vision, headache, and flatulence (wind) and diarrhoea.

Prolonged use of over 250mg daily may lead to vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrheoa. High doses of Vitamin E (Hypervitaminosis E) may also act as an anticoagulant and may increase the risk of bleeding problems, in much the same way aspirin does when given to help prevent heart attacks, strokes, and blood clot formation in people at high risk of developing blood clots.

Hypervitaminosis (refers to a condition of high storage levels in the body of vitamins, which can lead to toxic symptoms.) E may also counteract vitamin K, leading to a vitamin K deficiency.

Although vitamin E is hailed as a wonder vitamin scientists now suggest high doses of vitamin E supplements could shorten people’s lives. If you want to know more, this article in the Guardian about Vitamin E supplements may be of interest to you.

If you are taking anticoagulant drugs, expecting to under-go surgery, or you have any form of bleeding complaint, then check with your GP before taking vitamin E.

Sources Of Vitamin E

Fresh and lightly processed foods. You can also find it in large concentrations in fatty foods; vegetable oils (corn, soya bean, and sunflower), sunflower seeds, avocados, berries, egg yolks, fortified cereals, wheat germ oil, some green leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach), nuts (almonds, hazelnuts), peanuts and peanut butter.

Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI)

The RNI guide is part of the Dietary Reference Values (DRV) and is used to give an estimated value of the amount of protein, vitamins and minerals that should meet the needs of most of the groups to which they apply, ensuring that the needs of nearly all the group (97.5%) are being met to maintain a healthy life style. However, having said that there would be many individuals within their group who would need far less because of eating a variety of healthy foods that would provide their daily needs.

As far as the information on this vitamin goes I do believe there are no UK guide lines as to the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI). Vitamin E requirement depends on the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acid, which varies widely.

For those of us here in the UK our National Health Service (NHS) do not give a detailed list like that of the USA, but do tell us that we should be able to get the amount of vitamin E we need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If some of us do take vitamin E supplements, then not to take too much.

Although There is not enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high doses of vitamin E supplements each day. they do suggest 4mg daily for men and 3mg daily for women.

Intake recommendations for vitamin E are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies (formerly National Academy of Sciences) USA.

Vitamin E is measured in milligrams of alpha-tocopherol (another name for Vitamin E) equivalents (mg alpha-TE)

Recommended Daily Allowance for individuals in the USA are referenced below:

  • For children under 6 months of age 3mg alpha-TE.
  • For those aged 7-12 months of age 4mg alpha-TE.
  • Children 1 – 6 years of age 6mg alpha-TE.
  • For children 4 – 10 years of age 10mg alpha-TE.
  • For male children aged 11 years and older 10mg alpha-TE.
  • For female children aged 11 years and older 8mg alpha-TE. If you become pregnant 10mg alpha-TE would be recommended.
  • If you choose to breast feed after giving birth to your baby then 12mg alpha-TE would be recommended in the first 6 months, and 11mg alpha-TE in the second 6 months of breast-feeding.

Why Do We Need Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

The body uses vitamin K, which is a fat-soluble vitamin, to control blood clotting and is also essential for producing the liver protein that controls the clotting. It is involved in creating a glycoprotein a precursor of thrombin that is produced in the liver and is necessary for the coagulation of blood, and is a very important factor in blood clotting. It is also involved in bone formation and repair, vitamin K is thought to decrease the severity of osteoporosis and slow bone loss. In the intestines it also assists in converting glucose to glycogen, this can then be stored in the liver. If you would like a more in-depth look at this vitamin then this link to Wikipedia will do just that.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Average diets are usually not lacking in vitamin K and primary vitamin K deficiency is rare in healthy adults. If a deficiency was present it may show as internal bleeding (haemorrhaging) such as a nose bleed, blood in the urine, or extremely heavy menstrual bleeding. Vitamin K is essential for the synthesis of prothrombin. Groups with an increased prevalence of vitamin K deficiency include individuals who suffer from liver damage, or disease (i.e. alcoholics), people with cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, or those who have recently had abdominal surgeries. Other groups which may suffer from secondary vitamin K deficiency include bulimics, those on stringent diets and those taking anticoagulants, barbiturates.

Excess Intake

Harmfull effects of excess dietary intake by mouth are rare. However, menadione also known as vitamin K3 (synthetic vitamin K) may cause a rupter of the red blood cells, this is known as haemolysis, in people who suffer glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. Adverse effects could be more likely when taken by injection such as; possible redness, itchiness, swelling and pain at the site of injection. It is also possible for hypo-tension (low blood pressure) to occur.

If you take medication you should always seek the advice of your doctor before taking supplements.

Sources Of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is found chiefly in cows milk and yougurt, root vegetables and leafy green vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, and Brassica (e.g. cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts); seeds, fruits such as avocado and kiwifruit are also high in Vitamin K. Some vegetable oils, notably soybean; and green tea contain vitamin K. Alfalfa (also known as lucerne) is also a rich source of this vitamin A. It is also a source of protein and calcium, plus vitamins in the B group, vitamin C, vitamin E.

Note:

Alfalfa should be avoided during pregnancy this also applies to women suffering from estrogen-sensitive cancers or when using blood thinning or anticoagulant medication (an example would be warfarin). It may also affect those who suffer from autoimmune disorders. Diabetics should also avoid the use of Alfalfa.

The bottom line for anyone taking medication would be not to include supplements in your daily diet with-out first speaking with your doctor or health care professional.

Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI)

The RNI guide is part of the Dietary Reference Values (DRV) and is used to give an estimated value of the amount of protein, vitamins and minerals that should meet the needs of most of the groups to which they apply, ensuring that the needs of nearly all the groups (97.5%) are being met to maintain a healthy life style. However, having said that there would be many individuals within their group who would need no supplements or far less because of eating a variety of healthy foods that would provide their daily needs.

Those groups who may suffer from a deficiency, and may benefit from supplements, could be those suffering from low levels of prothrombin (a clotting factor that is needed for the normal clotting of blood). and other clotting factors, leading to a delay in blood clotting causing prolonged bleeding. This may cause nosebleeds as well as bruising easily. Gums, intestine and urinary tract would also be at risk of bleeding.

Daily Vitamin K RNI Requirements for those who may be at risk are:

  • Apart from the need of newly born infants no RNI has been set for other age groups here in the UK.
  • The dosage for an individual suffering from a deficiency would be depended on the nature and severity of the disorder.

Recommended Daily Allowance for individuals in the USA are referenced below:

Vitamin K

  • For children aged 6 months – 1 year 10mcg.
  • For those between 1 – 3 years of age 15mcg.
  • Children between 4 – 6 years of age 20mcg.
  • for those between 7 – 10 years 30mcg.
  • for children 11 – 14 years 45mcg.
  • Male teenagers 15 – 18 years 65mcg.
  • Female teenagers 15 – 18 years 55mcg
  • Male adults 19 – 24 years 70mcg.
  • Female adults 19 – 24 years 60mcg.
  • Male adults 25 and older 80mcg
  • Female adults 25 years and older 65mcg.

Note:

Vitamin capsules/tablets should be kept in a cool dry place and preferably away from daylight. A kitchen cupboard is one place however, do not put them in a cupboard that is above an area where cooking, or boiling takes place especially during colder months where cooking/boiling may cause condensation.

Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct we make no assurances. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

Please read our terms and conditions. Updated June 2017

Apple a source of vitamin C: Andy Newson FreeDigitalPhotos.netAvocado a source of vitamin E: Admin FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Know When Vitamins Need To Be Taken

While we do need to maintain a healthy level of vitamins, we should be aware that the body will naturally store certain vitamin like A & E in the liver for weeks. This means that there is no need to take ALL vitamins on a daily basis. Although good for us, too much of certain vitamins can be damaging and this page is designed to give you all the information you’ll need to ensure that you are taking the right amount of vitamins.

Why Do We Need Vitamin A (retinol)

Unlike vitamins C & B which are water soluble and unable to be stored by the body, with any excess being passed out of the body through our urine, vitamin A is not passed out of the body so quickly and although we do need to maintain our levels of vitamin A just like with other vitamins, we should be aware that vitamin A is fat soluble and our bodies will store this vitamin in the liver for as long as a few weeks.

This means that while we need to maintain a healthy intake of vitamins, we have no need to take this particular vitamin on a daily basis like we may others. It is also worth remembering that the fresher the produce and the nearer to its natural state, the higher its vitamin content is. Fresh foods should be stored carefully.

Vitamin capsules/tablets should be kept in a cool dry place and preferably away from daylight. A kitchen cupboard is one place however, do not put them in a cupboard that is above an area where cooking or boiling takes place especially during colder months where cooking/boiling may cause high levels of condensation.

One of the benefits we receive from vitamin A is that it aids our vision. It is also responsible for healthy skin and keeps our mucus membranes working efficiently. The mucus membranes when clogged can cause ear infections, headaches and sore throats, as well as bronchial and lung infections. It also helps with the growth of our teeth, and bones especially in growing children. Vitamin A can also be used as a treatment for acne.

Although Vitamin A is an important anti-oxidant it is also fat soluble and can build up in the body to toxic levels and could cause death. If you take medication always consult your doctor before taking vitamins or supplements.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Boiled Egg

Eggs a great source of Vitamin A

  • Cornea damage leading to eventual blindness.
  • Dull dry rough skin.
  • Eye infections.
  • Growth problems.
  • Hair loss.
  • Night blindness.
  • Respiratory infections.
  • Weight loss.

Sources Of Vitamin A

Leafy green vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, Full fat dairy produce, fish liver oils, liver, kidney, eggs, apricots and peaches. Both apricots and peaches can be eaten fresh, or dried, with no loss to their vitamin content. Margarine’s similar to Flora Spread has Vitamin A added as well as containing Vitamin D and E. Their website comes with recipes, and a guide to keep track of the calories and nutrients in each recipe dish.

Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI)

The RNI guide is part of the Dietary Reference Values (DRV) and is used to give an estimated value of the amount of protein, vitamins and minerals that should meet the needs of most of the groups to which they apply, ensuring that the needs of nearly all the group (97.5%) are being met to maintain a healthy life style. However, having said that there would be many individuals within their group who would need far less because of eating a variety of healthy foods that would provide their daily needs.

In the early stages of pregnancy take only those recommended by your doctor. Do not take extra vitamin A. Excess can, rarely, cause problems for your baby.

Those groups who may suffer from a deficiency, and may benefit from supplements, could be those on strict diets, the infirm and the elderly on a poor diet. Those with prolonged ill-health such as over activity of the thyroid gland, cystic fibrosis those who rely on certain medication, to mention just a few groups most at risk.

Daily vitamin A RNI requirements for those who may be at risk are:

  • For children up to the age of 1 year would be 350mcg.
  • For those between 1 – 3 years of age 400mcg.
  • Children between 4 – 10 years of age 500mcg
  • Male adolescence between 11 – 14 years of age 600mcg.
  • Female adolescence 11 years and over 600mcg.
  • Male teenagers 15 years and over 700mcg.

If you become pregnant an estimated RNI would be 700mcg; and breast-feeding mothers an estimated of 950mcg is advised.

Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E & K) do not need to be taken daily as our body can store these particular vitamin in the liver, sometimes for weeks. However, we do need to eat or take them on a regular basis to keep our body topped up.

The B Vitamins

Consisting of eight water-soluble vitamins and all of them have an important roll to play. These are vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), Folic acid (B9). Biotin is also one of the B-complex, Cyanocobalamin (referred to as B12) is a man made vitamin, and is in fact just one of a class that make up B12 however, it is thought to be the vitamin most affected by aging, and the lack of it produces symptoms which match those associated with senility. What is worth remembering, as far as our health is concerned, is that the B vitamins work best when taken together.

Why Do We Need Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 (thiamin, aneurin) breaks down carbohydrates to provide us with energy. It also provides us with healthy muscles and a healthy nervous system. It is an essential vitamin for children to ensure normal growth, it may also help toward counteracting pain and a help toward memory and learning skills. Vitamin B1 is also thought to protect against the development of cataracts in older people

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Nuts

Nuts a source of vitamin B1: Maggie Smith

  • Irritability
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Fatique
  • Weakness and depression
  • Shortness of breath
  • If deficiency is severe it can lead to Beriberi (can be fatal)

Sources Of Vitamin B1

Red meat, fish, most cereals, rice, pulses (include all beans, peas and lentils), nuts, kidney beans, soya beans, yeast extract, dairy products.

People low in vitamin B1 may suffer from depression and have trouble with memory and learning abilities

Why Do We Need Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is essential as it helps the body to extract energy from carbohydrates, fats and protein,. It promotes healthy skin and nails, helps in keeping our hair healthy as well as being good for our vision. Vitamin B2 is also important for reproduction and it aids our immune system to fight disease.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Cheese

Cheese a source of vitamin B2: Suat Eman

  • Inflammation of the tongue and lips
  • Lip sores
  • Watery eyes
  • Scaly scalp
  • Hair loss
  • Greasy scaling skin on the face
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Weight loss
  • Formation of cataracts
  • Dizziness and Insomnia

The body can only store a small amount of vitamin B2, so foods that contain it should be eaten daily.

Sources Of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Liver, meat, fish, asparagus, green leafy vegetables, persimmons, okra, chard, cottage cheese, milk, yoghurt, eggs, and dairy products.

Why Do We Need Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 (niacin, nicotinic acid) contributes toward having efficient blood circulation, the control of blood cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugars, having healthy adrenal glands. It is also great for giving us healthy skin, a healthy nervous system and a good healthy appetite.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Asparagus

Asparagus a source of vitamin B3: Jason Webber

  • Loss of appetite
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dermatitis
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Generalized muscular weakness
  • Dementia with dermatitis & diarrhoea (severe deficiency)

Sources Of Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is found in a variety of foods, some with higher levels of niacin than others: Rice (not maize), whole milk, fortified white flour and products. Fish, chicken, eggs, red meat, liver, lamb and kidney. Yeast extract & brewer’s yeast. Beans & peas, asparagus, dried fruit, seeds, nuts, peanuts and pasta.

Why Do We Need Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) helps the body to extract and metabolize energy from carbohydrates, fats, and protein. It helps the body fight allergies and keeps our hair and skin healthy, along with a healthy nervous system, it also helps in the production of antibodies against infection. It also contributes to the production of red blood cells and hormones in our adrenal gland.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

Although a deficiency in humans is rare symptoms could include:

  • Increased susceptibility to allergy, infections & asthma
  • Cramp
  • Fatique
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Sources Of Vitamin B5

Beef, kidney, liver, pork, brewer’s yeast, eggs, fresh vegetables, legumes, royal jelly, salt-water fish, mushrooms, milk, nuts and whole-wheat foods.

Most people that eat an average diet get the recommended amounts of Vitamin B5.

Why Do We Need Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is needed by our bodies in small amounts to stay healthy. It plays an active roll in protecting our immune system and is responsible for the growth of new cells. It also helps to process fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It tirelessly produces antibodies to fight against infection and helps toward the formation of red blood cells. It is worth mentioning that this particular vitamin can help towards a healthy disposition and combat mood swings, and to top it all off, it is also looked upon favourably as an aid, to reduce colon rectal cancer. This particular cancer develops in parts of the colon.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • General weakness
  • Skin problems
  • Inflamed tongue
  • Unhealthy looking nails
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis

I did read reports a while ago that a human deficiency in this vitamin has never been reported, but as I say, that was some time ago.

Sources Of Vitamin B6

Liver, kidneys, fish, brewer’s yeast, yeast extracts, eggs, chicken, carrots, peas, prunes, pulses (include all beans, peas and lentils), raisins, soya beans, nuts, wheat germ, wholegrain cereals and milk.

Why Do We Need Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) allows for proper functioning of vitamin B12. Folic acid along with vitamin B12 helps to control the production of red blood cells as well as increasing the appetite and stimulating the formation of digestive acids, as well as being good for our nervous system. It reduces the levels of an amino acid (homocysteine) in the body, providing protection against heart disease. It also helps our body get rid of Homocysteine. Homocysteine is a blood toxin that affects the heart muscle and makes cholesterol deposit in the heart muscle. It is believed to be useful in preventing stroke and heart attack.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

lentils

lentils by Robert Cochrane

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatique and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Memory loss & forgetfulness
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Confusion

Sources Of Vitamin B9

Liver, kidney, meat, green vegetables, fresh fruit, brewer’s yeast, yeast extract, brown rice, wheat germ, pulses (include all beans, peas and lentils), and breakfast cereals.

Those people most at risk from the lack of this vitamin are the elderly, those with stomach problems, pregnant women and possibly those who are taking the contraceptive pill. If antibiotics are used for prolonged periods or antacids are taken frequently at meal times, the ability to absorb vitamin B9 (folic acid) drops considerably.

Why Do We Need Vitamin B12

Vitamins B12 (cyanocobalamin) helps to produce our DNA material or, genetic make up. It also works alongside vitamin B9 to create healthy red blood cells, and helps iron to function correctly in the body. It helps to provide us with a healthy nervous system, the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins, the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates and prevention of cell degeneration, so you have read how important it is to maintain a healthy diet. In a nut shell B12 is essential for life.>/p>

It is needed to make new cells in our body. The making of millions of red blood cells made in the bone marrow are especially dependent on this particular vitamin these cells are continually replaced as old cells break down. Our nervous system also realize the need of this vitamin to maintain a healthy nervous system.

A chemical called hemoglobin can be found in our red blood cells its job is as I have just said above, life. What it does is bind to oxygen, then from the lungs it carries it precious cargo of oxygen to all parts of the body. Our bone marrow needs to be kept in tip top condition this is essential if our body is going to replace those red blood cells and hemoglobin that breakdown.

This is achieved by the intake of nutrients such as iron and certain vitamins of which B12, which we get from food, plays an important part in the chain. Less vitamin B12 means less red blood cells carrying oxygen. Lack of B12 is known as Vitamin B12 Deficiency or Pernicious anemia. (loss of gastric parietal cells, and subsequent inability to absorb vitamin B12.)

A deficiency of Vitamin B12 usually develops over many months or even years. The reason behind this is because the liver can store it for as long as 6 years.

Below is listed the disorder you could suffer from to constitute a deficiency.

  • Your stomach cannot produce enough intrinsic factor (a substance secreted by the stomach which enables the body to absorb vitamin B12).
  • Your intestine cannot absorb enough vitamin B12.
  • You do not eat enough food containing vitamin B12. This could happen to you if you where following a vegan diet. It could also happen if you are someone who does not eat meat or dairy products, apart from certain sea foods B12 is found in abundance in meat and dairy products. Vitamin B12 is not present in fruit or vegetables.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

  • Anaemia.
  • Becoming breathless.
  • Depression.
  • Feeling faint.
  • Irritability.
  • Lethargy.
  • Memory loss.
  • Numbness & tingling of limbs.

Other not so common symptoms could include: headache, loss of appetite, altered taste, palpitations, and ringing in the ears.

As vitamin B12 works alongside vitamin B9, a deficiency in this vitamin would present very similar symptoms to those of vitamin B9.

Vitamin B12 deficiency contributes to the onset of anaemia. This affects blood and nerves. The body can’t make normal red blood cells to carry oxygen in the blood and the lack of oxygen makes people weak and tired. B12 is also needed to protect nerve cells from damage. Severe deficiency would lead to degeneration of the nervous system leading to moving and speaking difficulties.

Sources Of Vitamin B12

Liver, kidney, meat (beef and lamb), poultry, egg yolk, dairy products (especially cheese and fortified cereals), milk and other animal derived foods. Traces of B12 can also be found in brewer’s yeast and yeast extracts.

Why Do We Need Biotin

Biotin (one of the B-complex) is a water-soluble vitamin. Just like the other B vitamin biotin plays its part in keeping our body in good working order. As well as being needed for the formation of fatty acids and glucose, It is necessary for the conversion of proteins and carbohydrates into energy. It is also produced by bacteria in the intestines, and contributes to the growth of healthy skin and hair follicles. Just like the other B vitamin (water soluble) once the body has used what it needs, it is then passed out through our urine.

Recognised Deficiency Effects

  • Brittle nails
  • Hair loss
  • Dermatitis

Biotin deficiency is very rare; however, deficiencies can be caused by being on an inadequate diet. If for some medical reason you have under gone a surgical procedure to remove your stomach, tobacco and alcohol can also decrease the absorption of biotin. Severe deficiency can lead to high blood cholesterol levels and heart problems.

The B complex vitamins are water soluble and must be replenished on a daily basis, since any excess is excreted in the urine.

Sources Of Biotin

Egg yolk, milk, liver, kidney, beef, wheat germ, nuts, oats, yeast/yeast extract, bananas, tomatoes and potatoes.

It is also produced naturally by our body in the intestines.

Updated 15th May 2014

Know Your Vitamins Continued: Page 2.

Eggs: Rosevita morguefile.com Nuts: Maggie Smith freedigitalphotos.net Cheese: Suat Eman www.freedigitalphotos.net Asparagus: Jason Webber morguefile.com Fish: Suat Eman Free Digital Photos.net Lentils In A Scoop: Robert Cochrane FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Essential Minerals For Continued Good Health

Minerals are indeed essential to our body. If you are on a diet that restricts or obstruct the absorption of these essential minerals, you risk a deficiency which can lead to disease and eventual death.

On this page you will be able to find information about six major minerals our body can not do without, these are: Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, and Sodium. There are also 10 other minerals which our bodies need. These other minerals are known as Trace Elements: Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Fluorine, Iodine, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Sulphur and Zinc.

Why Do We Need Minerals

The amount of minerals our bodies need varies with age and circumstance. Generally, adults require more than children, however, having said those growing children (under 17yrs) would require more calcium than adults. Pregnant women and nursing mothers need more calcium and iron, than both groups, while women in general, need more iron than men.

Some minerals the likes of sodium (salt) can create more problems because we as humans consume too much of them. This lead to many doctors believing that too much sodium can cause high blood pressure. It would not be to much trouble to monitor your own salt intake, but beware of manufacture foods as salt is added to them, you would need to check the label of ingredients. At the end of the day if you eat a healthy balanced diet you will provide your body with the necessary minerals.

However, several things affect how our bodies absorb minerals. One example is the form the minerals take. Take iron as an example. We would absorb a lot more of the iron in meat than the iron that is contained in green vegetables. Another example would be the number of mineral sources at a single meal. Yet another example would be the vitamin C from fresh fruit and vegetables would help to enhance the uptake of iron, while the tanning in tea will reduce it. Another would be those lacking in vitamin D cannot absorb calcium properly, and Refined foods would lose many of their minerals including potassium and selenium. If you enjoy refined flours and cereals go for the fortified varieties as these have calcium and iron added to them.

Calcium (other names include: Calcium carbonate, Calcium Citrate, Calcium chloride, Calcium Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Calcium Gluceptate, Calcium Lactate, Calcium Phosphate).

Milk know your minerals calcium

Milk

Everyone knows (I hope) that calcium plays a massive part in keeping our bodies healthy. Most people are aware that children need calcium to make for strong growing bones and teeth, in fact, we all need calcium for our bodies to maintain the health of those bones and teeth, as well as maintaining proper muscle and nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting. Although milk is still recognized as the number one source of getting that calcium I know from personal experience, that some individuals have an allergy to milk.

Thankfully calcium is not just found in milk. There’s a variety of foods that contain calcium that can also help children, should there be a problem with dairy products to get sufficient levels of calcium in their daily diet. There is an important fact to be aware of if the levels of calcium are low our system will take that calcium from the bones to maintain blood levels. When this occurs, the bones become deficient and problems can start such as osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease that older individuals can suffer from. The bones get thin and brittle. It is important to know that calcium is an important mineral to have at any age.

It is possible in extreme cases to receive injectable forms of calcium. However, receiving the supplement this way can only be obtained on prescription and under medical supervision. Thankfully eating food to maintain a healthy calcium level is much more my idea of enjoyment. A pint of milk contains at least 600mg and an inadequate intake of dairy products could lead to a deficiency.

One area where a lack of calcium may happen would be breastfeeding. Breastfeeding expects the body to have and maintain a high calcium level making breastfeeding women vulnerable to calcium deficiency.

Calcium Deficiency

A calcium deficiency is very rare. If the body is lacking in vitamin D it would have problems absorbing calcium properly, having a deficiency in this vitamin may cause rickets in children and osteomalacia. (equivalent of rickets in children).

Sources Of Calcium

Foods that contain calcium include:

  • Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Hard tap water
  • Fish especially sardines, pilchards and other fish whose bones are eaten
  • Dark leafy green vegetables, watercress, broccoli, spinach
  • Fortified cereals
  • Fruits
  • Beans and peas
  • Tofu
  • Nuts, seeds
  • White flour and its products
Iron (other names include: Ferrous Fumarate, Ferrous Gluconate, Ferrous Sulphate, Iron Dextran, Iron-polysaccharide complex).

Iron is a mineral that is found in just about every cell in the body. Its main function is as a carrier of oxygen to and removal of carbon dioxide and other waste products from body tissues by haemoglobin. It is a help in keeping the immune system healthy and helps brain cells work normally.

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency leads to anaemia. This happens when our bodies have insufficient levels for it needs, which is usually due to a diet lacking in iron, or from a blood loss. Iron plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells and these cells contain two-thirds of the body’s iron as well as being a vital component of the oxygen-carrying pigment known as haemoglobin.

Muesli And Fruits In Bowl Isolated

Muesli And Fruits In Bowl Isolated

Most all of us get the iron we need from eating an adequate diet. However, there are individuals who will require a larger amount of iron. One such area would be pregnancy. Here it may be necessary to supply supplements through pregnancy and most probably for two or three months after the birth of the baby. This will help maintain and replenish the mother’s store of iron. Other areas where supplements of iron would help are premature babies, young vegetarians would also benefit, those women who suffer heavy menstrual periods and people who have suffered chronic blood loss due to disease. (one such example of chronic disease could be a peptic ulcer).

Anaemia

Anaemia means we have fewer red blood cells than normal, or we have less haemoglobin than normal in each red blood cell. Because iron plays an important part in regulating our body’s temperature individuals lacking iron may complain of always feeling cold. In extreme cases it may be responsible for depression of the immune system.

Sources Of Iron

There are certain foods that containing iron that are much easier for the body to absorb. These are: eggs, chicken, meat and fish these foods are all much more readily absorbed by the body than vegetables. Foods that also contain vitamin C in their make-up help the body’s absorption of iron.

Sources of iron can be found in many foods including:

  • Meat (especially organ offal), meat extracts, chicken, fish
  • Eggs
  • Pastas and bread and flour
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Leafy green vegetables, dried pulses
  • Nuts, dried fruit
  • Yeast extracts and fortified foods
Magnesium (other names include: Magnesium gluconate, Magnesium hydroxide, Magnesium oxide, Magnesium sulphate).

Magnesium is another mineral that is required by every cell in our body’s. It helps in the process of manufacturing proteins and fat, it is also used in building bones and teeth, and helps slow the process of ageing by reducing cell damage. It helps regulate body temperature and releasing energy from muscles. There is a small amount of magnesium to be found in our blood, but the greater amount almost half can be found inside cells and body tissue, what is left combines with calcium and phosphorus in bone. It plays a part in relaxing nerves and helps as a pick-me-up for our system. As well as regulating the heart and blood-pressure it also helps prevent the formation of blood clots that can block arteries and trigger heart attacks. Magnesium can help in preventing constipation and is also involved with muscle contraction.

There is evidence that suggests that taking magnesium helps to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and the many complications it brings. It has also been found to be lacking in women prone to the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis.

Magnesium Deficiency

A deficiency in this mineral can lead to problems such as: Loss of appetite, nausea and weakness. Other symptoms include migraine, a negative effect on the action of insulin and glucose take up, muscle cramp and tremors, insomnia, as well as rapid or irregular beating of the heart, hypoglycaemia and possible premenstrual tension.

Sources Of Magnesium

Foods that are high in magnesium include:

  • Oranges, grapefruit
  • Coconut
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Figs
  • Corn, wheat bran
  • Green vegetables such as spinach
  • Seeds, legumes, and some whole grains

Other sources include:

  • Almonds, cashew and pine nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts
  • Oats, tofu and soya beans

Phosphorus

Phosphorous, after calcium is the second most abundant mineral in the body and like calcium It helps to build strong bones and teeth. Phosphorous is also involved in the release of energy from fat, protein, and carbohydrates during metabolism, and in the formation of genetic material, (DNA) (RNA) cell membranes, and many enzymes. Phosphorus play an important role in the production of collagen.

Phosphorus Deficiency

Deficiencies of phosphorus are however rare, symptom include: loss of appetite, reduced sexual powers, bone pain and stiff joints.
Deficiency may affect nerve and brain function. Conditions associated with calcium deficiency may also occur due to phosphorus deficiency.

Sources Of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is found in a variety of foods, but especially high-protein foods such as:

  • Meat, chicken, fish
  • Dairy products such as: cheese, cheese spread, cottage cheese
  • Milk, yoghurt flavoured or fruit, made with whole, or low-fat milk
  • Nuts
  • Seeds, dry beans, peas, and lentils
  • Whole grain cereals as well as leafy vegetables
  • Bread, whole-wheat and wheat germ

Potassium

Potassium is necessary for normal cell respiration; a deficiency can cause decreased levels of oxygen, which will reduce the efficiency of cell function. Adequate supplies of potassium are also required to regulate heartbeat, facilitate normal muscle contraction.

Potassium Deficiency

Potassium deficiency causes weakness of the muscles and adversely affects the heart causing irregular heartbeats, muscular weakness, fatigue, confusion, paralysis, pins and needles, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, thirst. It is also possible for a deficiency to increase acid levels in the body. In extreme cases it may cause drowsiness, leading to coma. An excess of potassium may be dangerous for individuals suffering some forms of heart conditions.

Sources Of Potassium

Potassium is found in many foods including:

  • Chicken
  • Root vegetables, including beets, parsnips, a baked potato, turnips
  • Fresh fruit such as melons, avocados, peaches, bananas and tomatoes
  • Dairy products such as: whole milk, yoghurt, and buttermilk
  • Raw nuts are packed with potassium
Sodium (salt) (other names include:Sodium bicarbonate, Sodium chloride, Sodium lactate, Sodium phosphate ).

Sodium is an essential mineral for our health. It’s necessary for maintaining fluid balance in our body, as well as the function of nerve and muscle cells.

Sodium Deficiency

A low intake of sodium is a condition in which we fail to get an adequate amount of sodium. Heat leading to heavy perspiration reduces the body of sodium. Dehydration is also a problem which causes low blood pressure. A deficiency may include weakness, apathy, and nausea, as well as cramp in the extremities.

The other side of the coin is to much sodium. This can contribute to high blood pressure (hypertension) in certain people, and cause an increase in fluid retention. Heart disorders and some kidney complaints. This condition in babies can cause diarrhoea and dehydration.

Sources Of Sodium

Sodium can be found in foods including:

  • Most foods, but especially cured meats, smoked fish, tinned meats and vegetables
  • As well as tinned soups and tomato juice
  • processed meats such as ham, bacon, hot dogs
  • milk and bakery products.

Vitamins And Minerals: The Fountain Of Youth

We are all aware we need food and drink to give us the energy that our bodies need to sustain our daily lives. Some health experts say that if we eat a good range of foods, we will get enough of the essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. On the other hand, some say that we also need to top up our intake of these essential vitamins and minerals. Either way, vitamin and mineral supplements may well hold the key to the fountain of Youth.

Selenium

Selenium is a powerful trace mineral with many anti-aging properties. As we get older it is believed that the levels of our body’s store of selenium fall leaving us at risk of viruses, cancer, heart disease and other signs of rapid aging. It is also thought that selenium can help with depression.

Brazil nuts an excellent source of selenium can be purchased at most health food shops, or your local supermarket food store. It is suggested that one Brazil nut contains 100mg of selenium and will provide our bodies with approximately the correct nutritional value of selenium. Like the trace element zinc, selenium can help turn the clock back to our youth, and as far as our immune systems are concerned it is also a key ingredient in keeping viruses under control.

However, although Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium, the actual amount of selenium varies greatly from nut to nut, so that leaves me wondering if consuming a Brazil nut a day is enough? Although selenium is an essential trace element, you do need to watch your intake as it can prove to be toxic if taken in excess. The effects of taking too much selenium are called selenosis. This condition can lead to loss of hair, skin, and nails in its mildest form. Extreme cases of selenosis can result in cirrhosis of the liver.

Symptoms of selenosis include a garlic odour on the breath, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, irritability and neurological damage.

The Thymus Gland

Our Thymus gland, the engine that controls our immune system, is bigger than the heart at birth. After puberty, it starts to shrink so that by the time we reach our 40s it is highly doubtful that it would be visible on an X-ray. The shrinking of the Thymus is one of the most significant signs of aging. As it gets smaller we become more susceptible to disease. The thymus is the organ that produces T cells (T Lymphocytes), without them our immune system would be non-existent.

During puberty the Thymus is about the size of an apple. After puberty, the thymus gland starts to atrophy (waste away) and eventually reduces to about the size of a pea.

A Monash University researcher has found a way to return the body’s immune system back to it’s highest level of functionality, by regrowing the Thymus. It would appear that researchers have had some success with testing on mice and now trials are underway for cancer patients.

If you are interested in the thymus there is an interesting piece of reading by Owen Craig and Caroline Penry-Davey at abc.net.au It was researched back in 2002/2003 but it does give an idea of how research rated the outcome of this experiment.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Orange Slice Vitamin C

Image 2: See page footer

Vitamin C is well known for its help in fighting colds and is also known for its benefits in reducing the risk of serious illness. Experts believe boosting your daily intake is even more effective than cutting down on fat and lowering cholesterol. Yet amazingly, it is a fact that not every one gets enough vitamin C and it is believed a deficiency can rob you of youth, health and longevity.

Whether vitamin C is of help to reduce the common cold symptoms or not is debatable. There is research that agrees and there is also research that disagrees. A review paper of 2007 at the Cochrane Library suggests that there is more therapeutic trials needed to settle this question one way or the other.

Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen and is also important because it helps protect the fat-soluble vitamin A and vitamin E as well as fatty acids from oxidation.

Collagen has great tensile strength and is the main component of fascia, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bone, and skin. Along with soft keratin, it is responsible for skin strength and elasticity, and its degradation leads to wrinkles that accompany aging.

If the making of collagen becomes a problem the body would be left open to a variety of other problems, and simply curl up and die so to speak. Research studies suggest that the amino acid lysine is essential for collagen production. Vitamin C the pro’s and con’s.

Sources Of lysine

  • Good sources of lysine are foods rich in protein including meat (specifically red meat, pork, and poultry),
  • cheese (particularly parmesan)
  • certain fish such as cod and sardines
  • nuts
  • eggs
  • soyabeans, tofu, isolated soy protein, and defatted soybean flour, spirulina, (available in tablet, flake, and powder form) and fenugreek seed. (used both as a herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed)).

Vitamin E

It has been suggested by top researchers around the world to be necessary when it comes to fighting off the diseases of aging. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, it also helps to protect vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body cells and prevents the breakdown of body tissues. Research tells us it’s virtually impossible to get the recommended daily dosage. To do so would mean eating around 5,000 calories, mostly fat. E vitamin is covered in more depth in know your vitamins.

Bananas

Bananas are a wholesome, nutritious food and a good source of important vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients including vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber. Our heart and brain as we age can become an area of concern. Recent research into the three B vitamins – B6, folic acid, and B12 shows that these vitamins play an active role in keeping these organs healthy as well as helping to relieve, stress and anxiety.

It is also reported that bananas are high in fiber making them an excellent substitute for laxatives in restoring normal bowel action if you suffer from constipation.

Image 2: Pixel Perfect Stock / MorgueFile.com

Food Sources Of Vitamins And Minerals

Source of vitamin C

Oranges excellent Source of vitamin C

Since I last posted on Vitamin C and Selenium having positive or negative effects on the body (back in April 2008) it was said at the time more data on these two supplements needed to come from future trials. Patrick Holford, who had formulated some supplements for the firm Biocare, said at the time he felt the Cochrane review was a “stitch-up”.

Since then a study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, confirms important information about Vitamin C. Those given 2 grams of vitamin C a day for 30 days had a 10 point drop in systolic blood pressure. Being prescribed hypersensitive drugs would give the same systolic drop in blood pressure. High doses lower cholesterol when given to healthy people…reduce arterial thickening… If you wish to read the full story on Vitamin C pay Patrick Holford website a visit.

I have compiled below tables indicating the main source of foods for both vitamins and minerals. The links allow you to view each table. You can also print copies to your printer. To maybe stick to your fridge door for future use.

Food Sources Of Vitamins

Main Food Sources Of Vitamins and Minerals

Health Benefits From Various Foods

  • Reduce ALCOHOL It is believed that excessive drinking is also a main cause of high blood pressure.
  • ALMONDS An excellent source of vitamin E. containing antioxidants protecting our skin against free radicals. They also provide the fatty acids that help to lower cholesterol.
  • An APPLE a day keeps the doctor away. It not only keeps the doctor away researchers now know extracts from the fruit prevent the growth of mammary tumors (Breast cancer affects 46,000 British women every year).
  • A BANANA is high in vitamin B6. It can also ease those between-meals hunger pangs as they help to stabilize blood sugar levels. So instead of that dry cracker biscuit, do yourself a favor reach for a banana. Oh! did I mention having an attack of the Monday morning blues? No… well they’re good for that too as they help to relieve anxiety and stress.
  • More recently BEETROOT has been acclaimed as being good for reducing blood pressure. It is also a good source of iron and is an anti-oxidant.
  • A British research team is investigating the compounds in BLACKCURRANTS which they believe reduce the damage done to nerve cells that initiate the progression of Alzheimer’s. Because Blackberries are already known to be packed full of antioxidants this research claim is most probably true.
  • The BRAZIL NUT consuming a small handful 3 or 4 times a week can not only fight against heart disease, and a variety of other conditions it can also protect us against cancer.
  • The BRUSSEL SPROUT Love or hate this vegetable should be avoided if you take Warfarin which is given for heart conditions. This is because Brussel Sprouts are packed full of Vitamin K. The body uses Vitamin K to make clotting factors in the blood. Warfarin is given to thin the blood to avoid clotting. The exact opposite of Vitamin K which would compromise the effect of Warfarin. SPINACH should also be avoided for the same reasons.
  • Cutting down on the amount of CALORIES you eat amongst other things, will help make you less likely of developing high blood pressure.
  • Researchers at the University Hospital of Cologne have researched that eating 30 calories worth of DARK CHOCOLATE with at least 70% cocoa every day, could reduce blood pressure, cutting the risk of stroke. I have tried this one myself by eating two squares of dark chocolate each day and I can say, hand on heart, that it does work.
  • It is believed that EXCESSIVE DRINKING is also a main cause of high blood pressure.
  • FENNEL the aniseed flavour is not to everyone’s taste. This low-calorie vegetable (among other health benefits) is full of potassium which helps to regulate/normalise blood pressure and heart rate. It has a low-calorie count (30 to every 100g) and has a 0% cholesterol rating.
  • The headache remedy FEVERFEW can increase both blood pressure and heart rate when used with certain migraine drugs.
  • A friend of mine swears by FISH OIL CAPSULES She tells me that for many years now she has suffered from slightly raised blood pressure and the taking of these capsules has led to a significant drop in blood pressure.
  • View of a quantity of almond nuts

    A Quantity Of Almonds

  • It is best to take supplements with FOOD All vitamin and mineral supplements are better absorbed when taken with food. Digestive enzymes are released making absorption of vitamins that much easier.
  • FREE BASIC MEDICINE It is allegedly believed that free basic medication (for coughs, colds)is available for your children, under sixteen or under 18 years in full-time education, regardless of your income under an NHS scheme introduced some 8 plus years ago. Check out the National Health Service (HNS) for a detailed account of those people who would be eligible, or this News brief from the BBC News Team
  • If you suffer from diabetes and you take GARLIC CAPSULES then you should be made aware that it is possible for the capsules to interact with some diabetic medication causing a drop in blood sugar levels.
  • GINSENG should be avoided if you take medication for hypertension as it can cause an increase in blood pressure.
  • GLUCOSAMINE supplements are known to help arthritis sufferers, but did you know if it is taken with anti-clotting drugs (for example warfarin) they may thin the blood that much it could cause excessive bleeding.
  • High in nutrients and low in calories GRAPEFRUIT if you eat this fruit regularly it could be very beneficial for your immune system. It is also high in vitamin C which may help fight harmful bacteria and viruses. However, if you are taking medication for high cholesterol or high blood pressure the fruit can interact with some of these medicines (Amlodipine and Simvastatin to name just two) and it is advised to speak with your doctor before you enjoy a grapefruit.
  • PINEAPPLE Not only is it good for the digestive system it is also an excellent source of vitamin C. It has been linked to easing sinus problems, reducing mucus.
  • Eating PISTACHIO NUTS daily may help to reduce the risk of lung cancer as well as other forms of the disease. says Texas research dietician Ladia Hernandez.
  • According to new research out of the USA drinking PURPLE GRAPE JUICE can help prevent heart attacks, angina, and strokes. Apparently, the drink boosted the nightly dip in blood pressure, giving the heart and veins much needed rest.
  • PUMPKIN SEEDS contain calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, the B vitamins, potassium, omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids. These vitamin and minerals are excellent for a healthy prostrate they also help to remove intestinal parasites and are an added bonus to a vegetarian diet.
  • ROSEMARY a wonderful herb addition to your cooking… Why? Taken pre-pregnancy it can help to prevent Brain defects in a newborn infant. It also contains the C vitamin which helps to maintain healthy blood cells, skin and bones. As well as being an excellent source of much-needed minerals.
  • RHUBARB has no saturated fats, no cholesterol and contains only 21 calories per 100g.
  • ST. JOHN’S WORT Here in the UK there is a growing concern amongst the medical profession about the possible unwanted side effects of St John’s Wort when mixed with other foods or conventional medications.
  • Reduce your chances of having a STROKE by more than a third. Yes, that’s right. Dr. Jacob Sattlemair of a US study report reckons taking regular walks are better than other vigorous forms of exercise to reduce the risk of having a stroke, but it only applies to women.
  • Have a sweet tooth? Like a lot of SUGAR in your tea? This can also raise the old blood pressure.
  • TEA is a diuretic. The more you drink the more you will need to pee. So if you are a tea drinker never drink it before going to bed.
  • Drinking TEA and COFFEE may protect individuals against the most common form of Diabetes, and an extra cup of coffee each day could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7%.
  • VITAMIN A is essential for a healthy scalp. Vitamin A will keep your hair looking at its very best and free from scalp irritation and dandruff.
  • My wife and daughter swear by a regular intake of VITAMIN B6 (B complex) especially during menstruation. Apart from it bringing relief to the nervous system it appears to reduce the intensity of painful and uncomfortable cramps during this time of the month.
  • American researchers have found that those people taking more than 500 mg (10 times the recommended daily allowance) of VITAMIN C daily may be increasing their risk of hardening of the arteries.
  • VITAMIN D is the only vitamin that your body can manufacture by itself with the help of sunshine. It can help to improve heart function in people who have suffered heart failure. For all other vitamins, the body must rely upon outside sources for its intake.
  • If you regularly take an iron supplement, then VITAMIN E should not be taken at the same time. Iron seems to destroy the effects of vitamin E before it can get into the body’s system.
  • WHITE BREAD can boost our levels of serotonin the all singing, and dancing, the happy chemical released by our brain. If you don’t like white try wholemeal bread it does not produce as much serotonin as white but its effects last much longer. Plus wholemeal is packed full of the B vitamin.
  • YOGHURT can ease the symptoms of PMS like depression, anxiety, mood swings, and that bloated feeling, it is also rich in calcium and vitamin B. It can be a perfect pick-me-up if you sprinkle it with Brazil nuts.

Note:
This list is often updated 2015/2016. Last update November 2018.
The items on this page have been taken from various area’s, Friends, Family, News reports and information gathered for the various courses I have done and do still attend.