Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene)
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes 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. Vitamin C
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, brussel 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 strengthening 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, 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
Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, 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. 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 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 the natural form performing far better in terms of absorption and retention by the body. Calcium
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. 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
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. Copper
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, grains, liver, kidneys, shellfish, oysters and crustaceans. There are experimental indications that suggest that copper supplementation support immune function for those with copper deficiency. Iodine
Iodine, a trace mineral, is primarily concentrated in the thyroid gland (where approximately 80% of the body’s supply is found). Iodine promotes the normal function of thyroid hormones, 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 affect 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. 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. 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
Manganese supports normal formation of connective tissue, bones, and blood-clotting factors. It supports fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption and help maintain normal blood sugar regulation. Manganese also promotes normal brain and nerve function. Manganese may promote the normal use of nutrients including biotin, thiamin, ascorbic acid and choline. Selenium
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, 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. 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
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. Our bodies use silicon, along with calcium, to grow and maintain strong bones. Silica is responsible for cross-linking collagen strands which contributes to the strength, integrity, and flexibility of connective tissues such as those found in skin, bones, nails, and arteries. Silicon is also important for the growth of hair, skin and fingernails. 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 (Bicarbonate)
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
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. Physiologically, zinc is essential for the support of growth and development, reproduction and sexual maturation, insulin storage and release, as well as other functions. Possibly its most popular claim is that zinc 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.