Vitamin K is an essential fat-soluble micronutrient which is needed for a unique posttranslational chemical modification in a small group of proteins with calcium-binding properties, collectively known as vitamin K – dependent proteins or Gla-proteins. Thus far, the only unequivocal role of vitamin K in health is in the maintenance of normal coagulation. Some studies suggest that it helps maintain strong bones in the elderly. Continue reading →
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects red blood cells and may play a role in immune function, DNA repair and other metabolic functions. It’s long been thought that diets rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin E, could help lower the risk of some cancers and other conditions, such as heart disease. However, recent studies suggest that vitamin E supplements don’t provide the same health benefits as dietary sources do, and may even be harmful to your health. In fact, some research indicates that vitamin E supplementation in high doses may increase the risk of heart failure or death. Continue reading →
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral that’s responsible for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. This vitamin also helps maintain proper blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin because your skin produces it after being exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Continue reading →
Vitamin A plays a role in healthy vision, bone and tissue growth, and reproduction. It also helps regulate your immune system, which prevents and fights infections.
Although your body can convert plant sources of beta carotene into vitamin A, animal sources of vitamin A are better absorbed. So, if you’re a vegetarian who relies on fruits and vegetables to meet your daily vitamin A requirements, you need to eat at least five daily servings of these foods. Continue reading →
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that maintains healthy tissue and helps the body absorb iron. It also plays a role in wound healing.
Studies have shown that eating foods high in vitamin C can lower rates of cancer and heart disease. It’s unclear whether vitamin C supplements can provide the same benefits. In fact, taking megadoses of vitamin C in supplement form is discouraged because there aren’t any established benefits. For instance, there’s still little evidence that vitamin C can prevent colds or lessen cold symptoms. Continue reading →
Vitamin B-12 plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism and nerve function.
If you’re over age 50 or don’t eat any animal foods, you’re likely to need supplements containing B-12 to prevent a deficiency in this vitamin. (Many older adults are at risk of deficiency because, with age, it can be harder to absorb B-12 from animal foods.) A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause permanent nerve damage, resulting in numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, and balance problems. Deficiency can also cause anemia, depression, confusion, poor memory and dementia. Continue reading →
Vitamin B-9, also called folate, is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. It’s also important for the developing fetus during pregnancy. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate.
Folic acid has been shown to work together with vitamins B-6 and B-12 to control elevated blood levels of homocysteine, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, there’s no clear evidence that folic acid can prevent or treat heart disease. Studies do indicate that folate or folic acid can help prevent anemia during pregnancy and reduce the risk of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Continue reading →
Biotin is a vital part of a healthy metabolism and creating important enzymes. Clinical signs of deficiency include dermatitis of an erythematous and seborrheic type; conjunctivitis; alopecia; and central nervous system abnormalities such as hypotonia, lethargy, and developmental delay in infants and depression, hallucinations, and paresthesia of the extremities in adults. Toxicity is not a problem because of limited intestinal absorption of biotin. Continue reading →
Physiologic roles: сonstituent of co-enzyme A and phosphopantetheine involved in fatty acid metabolism. Deficiency: fatigue, sleep disturbances, impaired coordination, and nausea. The widespread occurrence of releasable pantothenic acid in food makes a dietary deficiency unlikely. If a deficiency occurs, it is usually accompanied by deficits of other nutrients. Toxicity is not a problem with pantothenate. Continue reading →
Vitamin B-6 is needed to help your body use protein, form red blood cells and maintain brain function.
Serious deficiencies of vitamin B-6 are rare, but they can increase your level of homocysteine, and potentially boost your risk of heart disease and stroke. High doses of vitamin B-6 have been touted as a treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and premenstrual syndrome. But studies have generally not supported the effectiveness of this treatment in relieving these conditions. Continue reading →