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Vitamins: Organic Substances for Optimal Health

Vitamin A : This vitamin is one of the easiest to obtain in a well-rounded diet and is not lost to any great extent in cooking or storage. But it is possible to be marginallyshort of vitamin A, and its importance as an antioxidant makes this undesirable. It is obtainable in the diet from both plant and animal sources and is derived from plants in the form of carotenes which are changed into A in the body. It is important for the health of the eyes and skin, night blindness and certain skin and respiratory conditions being a sign that A is lacking in the body. Assists against cataracts and inflammation of the eyes. (Co-factors: B's, choline, D, C, E, F, calcium, phosphorus, zinc.)

Thiamine Hydrochloride (B1): This is the spark plug. It must be present before any organism can burn glucose (form of sugar necessary for oxidation in the body). It is the pep vitamin. Deficiency eventually appears as the disease beriberi - the "I can't" disease. The mineral manganese is essential for the use of thiamine in the body. Contains sulphur. (Co-factors: B's, B2, folic acid, niacin, E, C,manganese, sulphur.)

Riboflavin (B2): Related to skin defects, eyestrain, inflamed eyeballs as well as general health and vitality, since it is needed for enzyme action in breaking down starches and sugars to be transformed into energy. A lack is associated with skin difficulties. It also is essential in providing oxygen to cells and therefore a help in cancer prevention. Assists against cataracts and inflammation of the eyes. (Co-factors: Bs, B6 - should be equal potency to B2, niacin, C, phosphorus.)

Niacin (B3): The courage vitamin. A lack of this vitamin (pellagra) manifests even in early deficiency stage - personality change, tendency to suspiciousness, depressions, low morale, hostility, irritability and lack of concentration. Lack of niacin can cause lack of calcium. Causes blood vessels to dilate, allowing an increased blood flow. Niacin restores the red blood cells' electrical charge and so helps oxygen along the capillaries to the brain. Senility, dullness and irritablility helped by it. Helps lower the level of blood fats like cholesterol and triglycerides. People with elevated cholesterol and clinical vascular disease do well with niacin. (Co-factors: Bs, B1, B2, C, phosphorus.)
Note: Typically causes a prickly flush reaction which can last up to 30 minutes. Usually occurs only at levels of approx 100mg dosage and reduces as administration continues.

Pantothenic Acid (B5): Affects growth as well as condition of the skin and hair. Assists in the utilisation of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A longevity vitamin, essential to every cell, it protects against stress and adrenal exhaustion. Pantothenic acid stops dehydration, has an anti-histamine action, stimulates bacterial growth in the bowel, stimulates the thymus gland and assists in stopping nosebleeds. Useful in healing sore throats, canker sores and fever blisters because it helps build the body’s natural antibodies. Reduces stomach acid and helps with enzymes and intestinal movement. It melts uric acid. Uric acid crystals, uric acid knots in the joints, and kidney stones are collected through life as a by-product of undigested proteins. Uric acid crystallises in the joints and acts as a sandpaper which provokes inflammation, starts arthritis and wears out the joints in the body, especially the spine and pelvis. Researchers have found Pantothenic Acid can be taken hourly for weeks and that it may be taken after every meal to reabsorb uric acid in the digestive tract before it reaches the bloodstream. Carpel tunnel symptoms have been reportedly relieved within 24 hrs by taking 3 capsules every hour. To melt uric acid, research has used one every hour for at least a week for initial relief of pain. (Co-factors: Bs, B6, B12, Biotin, folic acid, C, sulphur.)

Pyridoxine (B6): The little magician - has a soothing, sedative effect on nerves. Prevents tooth decay, nausea, convulsions in the newborn, skin conditions, muscular impairment, liver damage. It can manifest its absence in skin disorders, poor muscle tone, dizziness, morning sickness and nausea connected with land, sea and air travel, as well as growth, colour and texture of hair. A prolonged deficiency of pyridoxine may lead to irreversible changes in the synthesis of haemoglobin, resulting in pyridoxine-responsive anaemia which is rarely curable. Assists in metabolism of zinc and iron. (Co-factors: Bs, B1, B2, B5, C, K, linoleic acid, cysteine.)

Para-Amino-Benzoic Acid: Microscopically small amounts are enough to maintain good health. Affects growth as well as condition of skin and hair. Greying of hair. (Co-factors: Bs, folic acid, C.)

Folic Acid: Needed in small amounts along with B12 and Vitamin C in production of red blood cells. Also seems to have connection with the brain. Brings about the proper growth and reproduction of red blood cells in the bone marrow, and has been used successfully in the treatment of some anaemias. (Co-factors: Bs, B12, biotin, B6, C.)
Note: An adequate intake of folic acid can mask vitamin B12 deficiency.

Biotin: The cheerful cherub vitamin. Affects mental health and skin tone. Contains sulphur. (Co-factors: Bs, B6, B12, folic acid, sulphur, C).

Choline: Aids in reducing fat in the liver and protects the kidneys. Used to manufacture acetylcholine in the nerve endings, but only in the presence of manganese. (Co-factors: Manganese, Bs, A, B12, folic acid, inositol, linoleic acid.)

Inositol: Affects growth as well as condition of skin and hair. (Co-factors: Bs, B12, choline, linoleic acid.)

Cyanocobalamin (B12): Works with iron and folic acid in preventing anaemia and a deficiency is associated with nerve disintegration. Inflammation of nerves. Progressive nervous disorder which may become permanent. Lack causes hormonal imbalance, anaemia, and imbalance of other vitamins. (Co-factors: Bs, B6, choline, folic acid, inositol, C, potassium, sodium.)
Note: An adequate intake of folic acid can mask vitamin B12 deficiency.

Pangamic acid (B15): Associated with B17.(Co-factors: Bs, C, E.)

Nitriloside (B17): This cyanide-containing substance releases cyanide only at a cancer site, thus destroying cancer cells while nourishing non-cancer tissue. Dr Krebs estimated minimum level of 50mg per day for healthy persons - more for cancer patients.

Vitamin C: Antioxidant. Essential to good health and functioning of the immune system and maintenance of healthy body cells through its role in collagen production and other important biochemical functions. Acts as a cement holding the cells together and if C is in short supply, minerals can seep away. In children the enamel of teeth becomes thin. Along with A, resists disease and infection. Deficiencies cause easily bruising skin, pyorrhoea, spongy bleeding gums, conditions like scurvy. Assists in cataracts and glaucoma. Calcium needs C and B3 for metabolim. Iron is better absorbed in the presence of C. Unlike most animals, humans do not manufacture or store Vitamin C in the body. An interferon-releasing agent. (Interferon is a natural substance produced by the lymphocytes to battle viruses and cancer.) Stimulates T and B cells and macrophages which gobble up and destroy bacteria, viruses and fungi and other disease-causing antigens. In illness, researchers have increased doses to 2000mg and 3000mg per day. (Co-factors: All vitamins and minerals, calcium, bioflavonoids, magnesium.)

Vitamin D (Calciferol): The sunshine vitamin. Indispensable member of the Calcium team. Calcium,phosphorus and iodine for bones, shape of faces and jaw, our skeleton outline and teeth. Works with the B complex and Vitamin F. Prevents bowlegs, rickets, all forms of bone deficiencies. Assists with cataracts and glaucoma. Calcium and phosphorus cannot be absorbed into the intestinal tract without sufficient Vitamin D present. Prevents fatigue and muscular spasms. Stored in the body. (Co-factors: A, choline, C, F, phosphorus, calcium.)

Vitamin E (Tocopherol): Antioxidant. Improves vitality and reduces fatigue by increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the haemoglobin in the red blood cells. Stored in the body - enables the body to use many other items. Is important for health of the prostate. Assists in cataracts and glaucoma. Is destroyed by inorganic iron, mineral oil, female sex hormones. (Co-factors: A, Bs, B1, inositol, C, F, manganese, selenium.)
Note: Sudden increases in dosage (above 500iu daily) may cause increase in blood pressure in susceptible individuals.

Vitamin F (Essential Fatty Acids): The body must have these fatty acids to survive, and it cannot manufacture them from other elements in the diet. (Compare the note on cholestrol, below). Essential Fatty Acids must be supplied daily in the foods we eat. They are important to production of prostaglandins which regulate such body functions as hormonal balance (menopause and PMT), skin conditions (eczema) and immune system function. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure and clotting. Helpful in some forms of heart disease, skin complaints, joint pains (arthritis). Health of the prostate. (Co-factors: A, C, D, E, phosphorus.)

There are two types of EFAs - Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Omega 3 FAs
(GLA: Linolenic Acid, EPA: Eicosapentaenoic Acid, DHA: Docosahexaenoic Acid):
Reduces thickness of the blood and reduces clotting. Prevents build-up of fatty tissue on artery walls. Research has shown that Omega 3 FAs suppress some cancer-promoting substances.
Note: Fish oils are a major source. Flax seed oil contains 58% (see Health Foods); evening primrose oil contains 10% - other vegetable oils 0%. See note to Omega 6 FAs about inadequate conversion of linoleic to linolenic acid by the body.

Omega 6 FAs
(Linoleic Acid):
The essential fatty acids from which the healthy body working at optimum efficiency should produce Omega 3 FAs.
Note: Safflower oil - 75%; sunflower oil - 65%; flax seed oil - 14%.
Note: The conversion of linoleic acid to linolenic acid in the body is likely to be inhibited by diabetes, viral infections, alcohol, cholestrol, saturated fats and highly processed vegetable oil, such as is found in margarine. It is probable that most individuals' production of EPA and DHA is less than adequate. For this reason, ensuring an adequate supply of Omega 6 FAs is not sufficient - there is a definite need to ensure Omega 3 FAs are supplied in the diet.

Note: Cholesterol is a different form of fat found in animal tissues only. It can accumulate in arteries, leading to progressive reduction in the diameter of blood vessels and hence to a reduction in blood flow. This gives rise to heart attacks, angina, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure, and may affect blood supply also to the brain, legs and kidneys. Cholesterol is dissolved and held in suspension in a free-flowing liquid state in the blood in the presence of adequate essential fatty acids. Because the melting point of cholesterol is 300 deg F, it is deposited on arterial walls as an insoluble substance at the normal body temperature of 98.6 deg F. In the presence of the fatty acid lecithin (see Health Foods), the melting point of cholesterol is reduced to 180 deg F, still insoluble at body temperature. But when the EFAs, linoleic and linolenic acid, are in sufficient supply, the melting point of cholesterol is reduced to 32 deg F, well below body temperature.In this liquid state, cholesterol cannot be deposited as harmful arterial plaque and does not promote the degenerative diseases.
The body can make all the cholesterol it requires to assist it to make cell walls, hormones, and bile acids. Cholesterol is therefore not an essential nutrient: avoid or trim animal fats as much as possible.

Vitamin K (Menadione): The blood clotting vitamin plentiful in bright green leaves, carrots, and wholemeal cereals. Promotes proper blood clotting, helps prevent internal bleeding, and helps liver function. Found in kelp, leafy gren vegetables, alfalfa, egg yolk, cod liver oil and molasses. (Co-factor: C.)

Vitamin P (Bioflavonoids): A group of plant-derived substances naturally occuring in conjunction with Vit C as the 'C complex'. They include hesperidin, rutin, flavones and others. Rutin is important in the formation of collagen, the structural protein that gives skin its contours and strength. Found in rose hips, berries, citrus fruit (especially white pith) and buckwheat.

Proanthocyanidins (OPC's): The most potent antioxidants known to man. Protection from uncontrolled free radical formation which has been linked to most non-germ diseases including cancer, heart disease and arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, diabetes, hardening of the arteries, strokes and cataracts. Strengthens the body defences by action on capillaries and with Vit C assists in stopping bleeding caused by weak capillaries. Lack causes nose bleeds or haemorrhages connected with high blood pressure and tuberculosis. Vital for blood vessels. (Co-factor: C.)

Coenzyme Q10: An antioxidant, vitamin-like substance which acts as the spark enabling cells to produce energy and maintain optimum cellular functions. Energy increase, health of heart, gum tissue and immune system, and high blood pressure are all improved by its use, and it has the ability to protect body functions and organs under adverse conditions such as surgery.

Note: The above information is offered not as a prescription or in place of proper medical care, but as a report on research findings which may be of interest. In cases of sickness, the attention and care of a nutritionally aware health professional are essential.


Resources:
"A Complete Guide to Vitamins" J I Rodale - Rodale Press, US.
"Ageless Ageing" L Kenton - Century Publishing, UK.
"How to Fight Cancer & Win" W L Fischer - Fischer Publishing Co, US.
"The Health Revolution" R Horne - Happy Landings Pty Ltd, Aust.
"Can You Remember What to Take?" J Priest - Healthy Options Ltd, NZ.
"The Miracle Nutrient Coenzyme Q10" E Bliznakov & G Hunt - Bantam Books, US.


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