According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, men taking beta-carotene supplements had significantly greater NK (key immune cells that have antitumor activity and help fight infections) cell activity compared with those taking placebo. In a study published in International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research, the inhibitory effects of beta-carotene and vitamin A on precancerous lesions in rats was compared when administered during early promotion of liver cancer. The incidence and total number of nodules in the liver were significantly decreased in the beta-carotene group compared to the untreated group. Vitamin A supplemented rats exhibited a lower number of liver nodules but incidence remained at 100 percent. A study published in contemporary international medicine concluded that women in the highest quintile of beta-carotene intakes had a 22 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, while men in the highest quintile were 25 percent less likely to suffer from a coronary heart problem
Although the water-soluble B vitamins each have their own unique, individual properties, they possess similar coenzyme functions and are commonly found together in foods. They are very important for the normal functioning of the nervous system and are often helpful in bringing relaxation or energy to individuals who are stressed or fatigued. Additionally, B vitamins help provide energy by acting with enzymes to convert carbohydrates to glucose and also are important in fact and protein/amino acid metabolism. They also influence the health of the skin, hair, eyes, and liver. However, because the B vitamin are easily digested and absorbed, deficiencies of one or more B vitamin is not uncommon, particularly during times of fasting or dieting. Because of these deficiencies, and no known toxicity associated with their use, modest excesses should not be cause for concern. When the amount of B vitamins taken exceeds the bodys needs, the excess is easily excreted in the urine. Click the next button to read about variety of B vitamins.
The first B vitamin to be discovered, vitamin B1 (thiamin) is part of an enzyme system essensational for nearly every cellular reaction in the body due to its involvement in energy production and carbohydrate and fatty acid metabolism. Foods rich in thiamin include organ meats, dried beans, peas, soybeans, peanuts, poultry, egg yolks and fish. Sources of moderate amounts include plums, raisins, asparagus, broccoli and oatmeal. However, foods lose their thiamin content if exposed to ultraviolet light, sulfites, nitrites or live yeast. Cooking also destroys a portion of the nutrients. It has been suggested that adequate thiamin levels may help prevent the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries and thereby reduce the progression of atherosclerosis. Thiamin also is important in the health of the nervous system, possibly because of its role in the synthesis ofacetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Thiamin deficiency is rare in developed countries because refined flours and cereals are often fortified with the nutrient. But there are some risks for young children and teenagers, stressed adults, heavy exercises, alcoholics and pregnant women. The classic deficiency disease is beriberi, which affects the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and peripheral nervous systems. One of the earthiest signs of thiamin deficiency is reduced stamina. Depression, irritability and reduced ability to concentrate are later followed by fatigue, muscle cramps and various pains. Advanced symptoms include indigestion, constipation, insomnia, and a heaviness in the legs. The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for thiamin is 1.5 mg for man and women, and 1.7 mg for pregnant and lactating women. The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book by Shari Liberman, Ph.D., and Nancy Bruning, however recommendes 25 to 300 mg for men and women with optimal general health.
The second B-complex to be discovered was vitamin B2, or riboflavin. A yellow-orange, water-soluble compound, riboflavin is part of two enzymes that are essential for tissue respiration and the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and fats. Many people may be marginally deficient in B2 as a result of taking antibiotics, oral contraceptives or alcohol, all of which depleted or interfere with the absorption or utilization of riboflavin. Symptoms of severe riboflavin deficiency include depression, loss of appetite and decreased sensitivity to touch, as well as red and swollen lips, mouth and tongue. Deficiency can also lead to vitamin B2 anemia, which is thought to occur either because the deficiency inhibits red blood cell production, or because it causes the cells to die too early. In a recent study conducted at the University of Liege, researchers found that a high daily dose of vitamin B2 may also be helpful in preventing migraine headaches. Researchers reported that the 55 patients receiving 400 mg of B2 daily for three months reported 37 percent fewer migraines. The RDI for vitamin B2 is 1.7 mg per day for men and women, and 2 mg for pregnant and lactating women, but optimal daily intake is 25 to 300 mg for men and women. Foods naturally high in riboflavin include cheese, yogurt, eggs, poultry, fish, spinach and beans. Other good sources include nuts, broccoli, currants and avocados. Although the vitamin is stable when heated, it is easily destroyed by light, making supplements a viable alternative, particularly for alcoholics or those with absorption difficulties.
Although the role of vitamin B3, or niacin, in metabolizing fats has made it a favored treatment for high levels of cholesterol, it has other cardiovascular functions, as well. It can be used in the treatment of anxiety, circulatory problems, and emotional or physical stress. One of the first signs of the pellagra, or niacin deficiency, is skin sensitivity to light. The skin then becomes rough, thick and dry. Other symptoms include weakness and general fatigue, anorexia, indigestion and skin eruptions. Niacin deficiency symptoms can be seen in people with a dietary intake of less than 7.5 mg per day. Vitamin B3 is found in beef, pork, fish, milk and cheese, whole wheat, potatoes, corn and carrots. Because only small to moderate amounts of vitamin B3 occur in foods as pure nice, it is advisable to steam, baked, or stir-fry vegetables to spare as much of this vitamin as possible. The RDI for vitamin B3 is 20 mg for men and women. Deficiencies are common in alcoholics and severely malnourished people, as well as in people with cancer, protein deficiencies or women who are taking oral contraceptives. On the average, many supplements provide at least 50 to 100 mg per day of niacin. For treatment of niacin deficiency symptoms, levels of up to 2 to 3 g per day are not uncommon.
Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, as a family of chemically related compounds including pyridoxamine and pyridoxal which are found in animal products, and pyridoxine, which is found in plants. The form most commonly found in foods and supplements is pyridoxine. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the proper functioning of more than 60 enzymes. It helps in the synthesis and breakdown of amino acids, in the conversion of amino acids to carbohydrates or fat and in the conversion of one type of fat to another. Chicken, fish, liver, kidney, pork, eggs, milk, wheat germ and brewers yeast all are good sources of the vitamin, but long storage, canning, roasting or stewing can destroy vitamin B6. The RDI is 2.0 mg for men and women and 2.5 mg for pregnant and lactating women. Although the Framingham Nutrition Studies published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association indicate that 51 percent of men and 49 percent of women meet the daily guideline, many people still require more than the RDI due to a number of outside influences such as exposure to radiation, tobacco use, air pollutants, stress and the use of oral contraceptives. Vitamin B6 is available in supplemental form as pyridoxine hydrochloride, the most commonly available form, and pyridoxine phosphate, which may be better absorbed. Supplements are used to treat a variety of health conditions including asthma, cardiovascular disease, mood disorders and premenstrual syndrome. Like vitamin B1, those at risk for a vitamin B6 deficiency are adolescents, the elderly, those on restricted diets and alcoholics. Deficiency is manifested as irritability, weakness, drowsiness, depression and poor appetite. It can cause convulsions in young children and can affect the development of a babys nervous system if the mother was deficient during pregnancy. Although B6 is relatively nontoxic, it should be used with caution by diabetics, as it may lower blood sugar
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is the only vitamin that contains an essential mineral cobalt. It is also unique in that it is required in much smaller amounts 3 to 4 mcg; however, levels of up to 1 mg are often used therapeutically. It is essential for the metabolism of the nerve tissue and necessary for the health of the entire nervous system. The body stores vitamin B12, so deficiencies may take several years to develop. The highest concentrations of B12 are found in the liver, heart, kidney, pancreas, brain, testes, blood and bone marrow all active metabolic tissues. Vitamin B12 is found in significant amounts in the animal proten foods. Primary food sources include most fish (specially the oily ones), crabs and oysters, eggs, milk products and meat. Three to 4 mcg of vitamin B12 is needed in most adults to prevent deficiency, but 10 to 20 mcg daily is a good insurance level. Vitamin B12 can also be consumed through oral supplementation, most widely found as cyanocobalamin. Hydroxycobalamin is a form of B12 used in injections which are recommended in cases of B12 malabsorption. Perhaps because of the small amount necessary to maintain recommended vitamin B12 levels, the Framingham Nutrition Studies reported that approximately 94 percent of men and 83% of women meet the RDI guidelines the highest percentage of all nutrients. The classic B12 deficiency disease is pernicious anemia, which is often accompanied by weight loss, weakness, pale skin and psychological disturbances. This type of anemia occurs frequently in alcoholics, the elderly and strict vegetarians. There have been no known toxic effects from megadoses of vitamin B12.
Spirulina is a blue-green microalgae, an immediate food resource, rich in B vitamins, iron, and other trace minerals. It produces 20 times as much protein as soybeans growing on an equal-sized area. It provides all 9 of the essential amino acids plus 10 of non-essential ones. Spirulina has no hard cellulose in its cell membrane; thus, its nutrients are easily digested and assimilated. It contains 60 to 70 percent protein, the nucleic acids RNA and DNA, chlorophyll, and 5% essential fatty acids. It is also one of the richest sources of beta carotene (10 times more than carrots). It contains more vitamins B12 than beef, liver, chlorella, or sea vegetables. Ten grams of spirulina supply 10% of the RDA of magnesium, 15% of calcium, 16% of manganese, and 17% of chromium. Phycocyanin is another important nutrient found only in blue-green algae. Research indicates that this pigment may stimulate the immune system, and thus, mat help prevent a host of degenerative organ diseases. Spirulina aids in cholestrol reduction, and in mineral absorption. It is also beneficial to people with hypoglycemia due to its high protein content and its ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.
It is rich in many basic nutrients, such as B vitamins (except for B12), 16 amino acids, and at least 14 different minerals. The protein content of yeast is responsible for 52% of its weight. Yeast is also high in phosphorus which aids in increasing the mental and physical efficiency. Brewer's yeast is a bitter herb that is also used as an ingredient in beer. It is a good energy booster between meals. Yeast helps in sugar metabolism and is good for eczema, heart disorders, gout, nervousness, and fatigue. By enhancing the immune system, yeast is useful for people undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer. Since yeast contains sinificant amount of phosphorus, people suffering from osteoporosis should avoid yeast products.
Our protein powder is a soy-based powder. It has all 9 essential amino acids, less than one gram of fat and is very low in calories. This is great for vegetarians. One serving contains 50% 0f the recommended daily requirement for protein, and 10% calcium requirement, and 20% of the daily iron requirement
Calcium is vital for the formation of strong bones and teeth and for the maintenance of healthy gums. It is also important in the maintenance of healthy gums. It is also important in the maintenance of a regular heartbeat and the transmission of nerve impulses. Calcium lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent cardivascular disease. It is needed for muscular growth and contraction , and for the prevention of muscle cramps. It may increase the rate of bone growth and bone mineral density in children. This important mineral is also essential in blood clotting and helps prevent cancer. It may lower blood pressure and prevent bone loss associated with osteoprosis as well. Calcium provides energy and participates in the protein structuring of RNA and DNA. It is also involved in the activation of several enzymes, including lipase, which breaks down fats utilization by the body. In addition, calcium maintains proper cell membrane permeability, aids in neuromuscular activity, helps to keep the skin heallthy, and protects against the development of preeclampsia during pregnancy, the number one cause of maternal death. Calcium protects the bones and teeth from lead by inhibiting absorption of this toxic metal. If there is a calcium deficiency, lead can be absorbed by the body and deposited in the teeth and bones. Calcium deficiency can lead to the following problems: aching joints, brittle nails, eczema, elevated blood cholestrol, heart palpitations, hypertension, insomnia, muscle cramps, nervousness, numbness in the arms and /or legs, a pasty complextion, rheumatoid arthritis, rickets, and tooth decay. Deficiencies of calcium are also associated with cognitive impairment, convulsions, depression, delusions, and hyperactivity. Calcium is found in milk and dairy foods, salmon (with bones), sardines, seafood, and green leafy vegetables. Foods sources include almonds, asparagus, brewer's yeast, broccoli, cabbage, carob, figs, kale, kelp, sesame seeds, tofu, turnip, watercress, whey, and yogurt. Herbs that contain calcium include alfalfa, burdock root, cayenne, chamomile, chickweed, chicory, dandelion, eyebright, fennel seed, fenugreek, flaxseed, hops, kelp, lemongrass, mullein, nettle, oat straw, paprika, parsley, peppermint, plantain, raspberry leaves, red clover, rose hips. Caution: Calcium supplements should not be taken by persons with a history of kidney stones or kidney disease. Calcium may also interfere with the effects of verapamil, a calcium, channel blocker sometimes prescribed for heart problems and high blood pressure.
Lecithin is a type of lipid that is needed by every living cell in the human body. Cell membranes, which regulate the passage of nutrients into and out of the cell, are largely composed of lecithin. The protective sheathes surrounding the brain are composed of lecithin, and the muscles and nerve cells also contain this essential fatty substance. Lecithin consists mostly of the B vitamin choline, and also contains linoleic acid and inositol. Although lecithin is a lipid, it is partly soluble in water and thus acts as an emulsifying agent. This nutrient helps to prevent arteriosclerosis, protects against cardiovascular disewase, improves brain function, and aids in the absorption of thiamine by the liver and vitamin A by the intestine. It is also known to promote energy and is needed to help repair damage to the liver caused by alcoholism. Lecithin enables fats, such as cholestrol and other lipids, to be dispersed in water and removed from the body. The vital organs and arteries are thus protected from fatty buildup. Lecithin is especially valuable for elderly people, any one who is taking niacin for high serum cholestrol and triglycerides
Wheat germ is the embryo of the wheat berry. It is a good source of vitamin E, most of the B vitamins, the minerals calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and several trace minerals. It is also a great source of vegetarian protein since it contains 29% pure protein.
Various foods have been hailed as "perfect." One that deserves this distinction but is rarely mentioned is bee pollen. Studies from all over the world indicate that this dust gathered by bees from the stamen of flowers is worth its weight in gold. Bee pollen contains 22 amino acids (and higher amounts of the eight essential ones than most high-protein foods), 27 mineral salts, the full range of vitamins, hormones, carbohydrates, and more than 5000 enzymes and coenzymes necessary for digestion and healing. Bee pollen is composed of 10 to 15% protein. It contains B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, amino acids, essential fatty acids, carotene, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, plant sterols, and simple sugars. Like other bee products, bee pollen has an antimicrobial effect. In addition, it is useful for combating fatigue, depression, cancer, and colon disorders. It is also helpful for people with allergies, since it strengthens the immune system. An estimated .05% of the population may be allergic to bee pollen itself. Pollen is the male element of the flowers and is necessary for the fertilization of the plant and continuation of the species. The honeybee is directly responsible for over 80% of all vital pollinization. The honey bee fills her pollen baskets, one on each rear leg, with these golden grains on every trip back and forth from the hive. Pollen is a microscopically-fine dust and is mixed with honey by the bee for transport. The bee passes thru a series of screens in the pollen trap as she enters the hive, resulting in approximately 60% of the pollen granules being brushed into the pollen-drawer for harvest by the beekeeper. The overall taste of most pollens is slightly bitter. A little-known fact is that bee pollen is also rich in the bioflavonoid rutin, important for capillary strength, and in vitamin B12. It is, in fact, one of the few vegetable sources of this vitamin. Bee pollen reportedly can keep the skin youthful looking. Lars Erik Essen, M.D., a dermetologist in Halsingborg, Sweden, said that pollen exerts a powerful bilogical influence in preventing premature aging of cells and in stimulating growth of new skin tissue. Dr. Essen said that bee pollen can help deliver more blood to the skin cells, guard against dehydration and smoothe away shallow wrinkles. An all-around nutritional supplement, bee pollen is ideal for daily use.
Ginseng reduces stress, restores energy, lowers blood pressure, increases stamina, strengthens the immune system, helps control cholestrol, and improves memory. The active ingredient, ginsenosides, are the components of ginseng that give it it's valuable properties. Ginseng is used throughout the Far East as a general tonic to combat weakness and give extra energy. Russian scientists claim that the ginseng root stimulates both physical and mental activity, improves endocrine gland function, and has a positive effect on the sex glands. Ginseng is beneficial for fatigue because it spares glycogen by increasing the use of fatty acids, as an energy source. It is used to enhance athletic performance, to rejuvenate and to increase longevity, and to detoxify and normalize the entire system. Ginseng is beneficial for people with diabetes because, it decreases the level of the hormone cortisol in the blood (cortisol interferes with the function of insulin). Ginseng is an exotic plant, very difficult to grow properly and bring to harvest. Once a ginseng garden is grown and harvested, ginseng can not be grown in the same soil for at least 20 to 25 years and possibly never. Ginseng is very costly to grow, taking up to six years to harvest, and is known as the most expensive legal agricultural crop in the world. Weary college students looking for mid-term energy and body builders will benefit from this root