Archive for 'vitamin'

Vitamin K

Posted on 27. Dec, 2010 by .

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Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it is stored in the body’s fat tissue and liver. It is best known for its role in helping blood clot (coagulate) properly (the “K” comes from its German name, Koagulationsvitamin). Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot.Vitamin K also plays an important role in bone health.

It is rare to have a vitamin K deficiency, because in addition to being found in leafy green foods, the bacteria that are found in the intestines can make vitamin K. Sometimes taking antibiotics can kill the bacteria and lead to a mild deficiency. Vitamin K deficiency can lead to excessive bleeding (hemorrhage), which may begin as oozing from the gums or nose. Other circumstances that may lead to vitamin K deficiency include:

* Health problems that can prevent the absorption of vitamin K (such as gallbladder or biliary disease, which may alter the absorption of fat), cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease
* Liver disease
* Use of blood-thinning medications (such as warfarin)
* Continuing hemodialysis
* Serious burns

Other conditions that benefit from vitamin K include:

Excessive Bleeding

Vitamin K is used to reduce the risk of bleeding in liver disease, malabsorption syndromes, or in association with long-term use of antibiotics.

In the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and many other countries, all newborns receive vitamin K injections to prevent the possibility of hemorrhage (particularly in the brain) just after delivery. Babies are born without any bacteria in their intestines and do not get enough vitamin K from breast milk to tide them over until their bodies are able to make it. (However, if a mother eats lots of green vegetables on a daily basis, she can improve the amount of vitamin K in breast milk.) Even though vitamin K deficiency in newborns is very rare, it is dangerous enough to warrant these measures. Newborns at greatest risk for vitamin K deficiency are those who are born prematurely or whose mother had to take seizure medications during pregnancy. Mothers on seizure medications are often given oral vitamin K for 2 weeks prior to delivery.

Osteoporosis

Vitamin K is needed for proper use of calcium in bones. Higher vitamin K levels correspond to greater bone density, while low levels of vitamin K have been found in those with osteoporosis. There is increasing evidence that vitamin K improves bone health and reduces risk of bone fractures, particularly in postmenopausal women who are at risk for osteoporosis. In addition, studies of other groups (such as male and female athletes) have also shown bone enhancing benefits from vitamin K supplements.

Dietary Sources:

Foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin K include beef liver, green tea,soybeans, turnip greens, broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower,cabbage, asparagus, and dark green lettuce. Chlorophyll is the substance in plants that gives them their green color and provides vitamin K.Vitamin K is also made by the bacteria that line the gastrointestinal tract

Freezing foods may destroy vitamin K, but heating does not affect it.
Available Forms:

There are 3 forms of vitamin K:

* Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone, the natural version of K1 and phytonadione, the synthetic type of K1)
* Vitamin K2 (menaquinone)
* Vitamin K3 (menaphthone or menadione)

K1 and K3 are both available as part of multivitamin complexes or alone, in 5 mg tablets. These fat-soluble forms are an excellent source of vitamin K.

Water-soluble chlorophyll is the most common form of vitamin K found over the counter. It is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms.
How to Take It:

As with all supplements, check with a health care provider before taking vitamin K or giving it to a child.

People with vitamin K deficiencies related to malabsorption (such as gallbladder or biliary disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease) will benefit most from a multivitamin containing vitamin K, rather than an individual vitamin K supplement. In certain circumstances, your doctor may administer vitamin K by injection.

Daily intake for dietary vitamin K (according to the U.S. RDA) are listed below:

Pediatric

* Infants birth – 6 months: 2 mcg
* Infants 7 – 12 months: 2.5 mcg
* Children 1 – 3 years: 30 mcg
* Children 4 – 8 years: 55 mcg
* Children 9 – 13 years: 60 mcg
* Adolescents 14 – 18 years: 75 mcg

A single injection of vitamin K is also given at birth.

Adult

* Males 19 years and older: 120 mcg
* Females 19 years and older: 90 mcg
* Pregnant and breastfeeding females 14 – 18 years: 75 mcg
* Pregnant and breastfeeding females 19 years and older: 90 mcg

Precautions:

Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

At recommended doses, vitamin K has few side effects.

Vitamin K crosses the placenta and is also excreted in breast milk. Therefore, pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should talk to their doctor before taking vitamin K supplements.

People with an rare metabolic condition called Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency should avoid vitamin K.
Possible Interactions:

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not take vitamin K without first talking to your health care provider.

Antibiotics — Antibiotics, particularly a class known as cephalosporins, reduce the absorption of vitamin K in the body. Long-term use (more than 10 days) of antibiotics may result in vitamin K deficiency because these drugs kill not only harmful bacteria but also beneficial, vitamin K-activating bacteria. This is not likely to occur in people who already have low levels of vitamin K or are at risk for deficiency (such as those who are malnourished, elderly, or taking warfarin). Cephalosporins include:

* Cefamandole (Mandol)
* Cefoperazone (Cefobid)
* Cefmetazole (Zefazone)
* Cefotetan (Cefotan)

Phenytoin (Dilantin) — Phenytoin interferes with the body’s ability to use vitamin K. Taking anticonvulsants (such as phenytoin) during pregnancy or while breastfeeding may deplete vitamin K in newborns.

Warfarin (Coumadin) — Vitamin K reduces the effects of the blood thinning medication warfarin, rendering the medication ineffective. You should not take vitamin K, or eat foods containing high amounts of vitamin K, while you are taking warfarin.

Orlistat (Xenical, Alli) and Olestra — Orlistat, a medication used for weight loss, and olestra, a substance added to certain food products, prevent the absorption of fat and can reduce the body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. The Food and Drug Administration now requires that vitamin K and other fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) be added to food products containing olestra. In addition, physicians who prescribe orlistat add a multivitamin with fat soluble vitamins to the regimen.

The fact that vitamin K is now added to olestra-containing foods is important to know if you should not be taking vitamin K (if you are on the blood thinner warfarin, for example).

Bile acid sequestrants — These medications, used to reduce cholesterol, reduce the overall absorption of dietary fats and may also reduce absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. If you take one of these drugs, your doctor may recommend a vitamin K supplement:

* Cholestyramine (Questran)
* Colestipol (Colestid)
* Colsevelam (Welchol)

How Vitamin K Deficiencies Occur

Human intake of vitamin K comes from two main sources – our diets and synthesis from intestinal bacteria. Vitamin K deficiencies can be caused by a variety of factors. These include:

* Not consuming enough vitamin K from one’s diet can contribute to a deficiency. Dietary vitamin K is highest in leafy green vegetables such as lettuce, kale, broccoli and collard greens. These are foods that many people don’t eat frequently.

* A diet with high intakes of salicylates can block vitamin K. Salicylates are found in foods such as nuts, fruits, spices and mints. Aspirin is a salicylate. Blocking vitamin K is why aspirin can “thin” the blood – it basically keeps blood from coagulating. This is why too much aspirin may be a factor in bleding related health issues such as epistaxis (nose bleeds), as well as brain and intestinal bleeding.
* Antibiotics can cause bleeding problems from vitamin K deficiencies. Antibiotics destroy not only harmful digestive tract bacteria, but also the beneficial intestinal bacteria that is needed to create vitamin K. In order to replace the beneficial intestinal bacteria after a course of antibiotics it is often recommended to eat yogurt with active cultures or have to take probiotic supplements containing acidophilus. In the U.S. You can usually get the supplements at most drug stores or health food stores. The refrigerated kind is often best because the cultures last the longest when they have been kept cold.

Replacing beneficial bacteria after antibiotics is standard conventional medical advice in many European countries, but does not seem to be common medical advice in the United States.

*Candida (systemic yeast) infections have been linked to vitamin K deficiencies. An overgrowth of candida albicans or other kinds of yeast can crowd out the helpful bacteria in the digestive tract that make vitamin K. People who eat a lot of sugary foods, an unusually high proportion of alkaline foods and/or take antibiotics tend to be at high risk for Candida infections.

*Malabsorption syndromes that prevent the proper absorption of nutrients can cause vitamin K deficiencies. Celiac disease, an intolerance to gluten, can cause deficiencies of a wide variety of nutrients, especially vitamin K. Crohn’s disease can also cause vitamin K and other deficiencies.

*Anticoagulants like Warfarin block the action of vitamin K. In turn, vitamin K blocks the action of anticoagulants. This is why people taking these types of medications have to limit how much vitamin K they get in their diet.

*High amounts of vitamin A and/or vitamin E can also block vitamin K. I get nosebleeds whenever I take a multivitamin or eat one of the popular nutrition bars, even if I choose one with vitamin K. I think it may be at least in part because the multivitamins and nutrition bars always contain high amounts of vitamin A and E–probably too much for someone like me who bleeds easily.

*The bacteria that synthesize vitamin K thrive in an acidic digestive environment. Antacids, if taken in sufficient quantity, may cause a vitamin K deficiency, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and various nutritional deficiencies, because they neutralize the hydrochloric acid in a person’s stomach. Hydrochloric acid is needed to digest food and create the acidic environment in which the beneficial bacteria thrive.

(For more information on this topic, see my section on Acidic Foods – Alkaline Foods.

*One study found vitamin K deficiencies to be common in male alcoholics. (Perhaps not coincidentally, children born with fetal alcohol syndrome share many overlapping borth defects linked to vitamin K deficiencies.)

*In rats, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), a food preservative, was shown in tests to induce vitamin K deficiencies. BHT is a common preservative. Many commercial cereal boxes are sprayed with BHT to extend the shelf life of the product.

Regular aspirin use may raise the risk of bleeding strokes in healthy people. A study from Oxford University found that large numbers of older people suffered from bleeding in the brain when they took aspirin or other antithrombotic drugs. Another study from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London found that aspirin use caused a risk of serious bleeding in men with high blood pressure.

Alternative Names:

Menadione; Menaphthone; Menaquinone; Phylloquinone

thank you and references

http://www.umm.edu
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002407.htm
http://www.ctds.info/vitamink.html

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vitamin D

Posted on 09. Dec, 2010 by .

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Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s fatty tissue.
Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. 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. The term “vitamin D” refers to several different forms of this vitamin. Two forms are important in humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. Foods may be fortified with vitamin D2 or D3
The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Recently, research also suggests vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.
Rickets and osteomalacia are classic vitamin D deficiency diseases. In children, vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, which results in skeletal deformities. In adults, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia, which results in muscular weakness in addition to weak bones. Populations who may be at a high risk for vitamin D deficiencies include the elderly, obese individuals, exclusively breastfed infants, and those who have limited sun exposure. Also, individuals who have fat malabsorption syndromes (e.g., cystic fibrosis) or inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., Crohn’s disease) are at risk.
In addition to helping the body absorb calcium, vitamin D also helps the body keep the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood.
Vitamin D and nutrition
Over the last few hundred years human lifestyles have changed. The industrial revolution resulted in more indoor work and less exposure to sunlight. Many societies around the world wore more clothing over the centuries, further reducing skin exposure to sunlight. These changes have brought with them a significant reduction in the natural production of vitamin D and subsequent diseases.

Countries responded to these changes by fortifying some foods with vitamins D2 and D3, examples include breakfast cereals, bread, pastries, oil spreads, margarine, milk and other dairy products. Initially, some scientists complained that nutritional fortification and recommended supplementation doses were not making up for the shortfall. These people were ignored, and sometimes ridiculed – however, over the last few years studies indicate that they may have been right after all.

Not that many foods contain vitamin D. Some fish, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, as well as fish liver oils are considered to be the best sources. Some vitamin D is also present in beef liver, cheese and egg yolks. Most of these are Vitamin D3. Some mushrooms provide variable amounts of vitamin D2.

Most of the food sourced vitamin D in the western diet comes from fortified foods – where vitamin D is artificially added. Most US milk is fortified with 100 IU/cup of vitamin D. In the 1930s milk was fortified in many countries to combat rickets, which was a major health problem then.
Side Effects
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children.
Too much vitamin D can make the intestines absorb too much calcium. This may cause high levels of calcium in the blood. High blood calcium can lead to calcium deposits in soft tissues such as the heart and lungs. This can reduce their ability to function.
Kidney stones, vomiting, and muscle weakness may also occur if you have too much vitamin D.

Recommendations
How To Get Enough Vitamin D
There are 3 ways for adults to ensure adequate levels of vitamin D:
• regularly receive midday sun exposure in the late spring, summer, and early fall, exposing as much of the skin as possible for 20–30 minutes (being careful to never burn). (Those with dark skin will need longer exposure time — up to six times longer.)
• regularly use a sun bed (avoiding sunburn) during the colder months.
• take 5,000 IU per day for 2–3 months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round.
Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the body manufactures the vitamin after being exposed to sunshine. Ten to 15 minutes of sunshine 3 times weekly is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D. However, many people living in sunny climates still do not make enough vitamin D and need more from their diet or supplementation.
The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following dietary intake for vitamin D as cholecalciferol. (One microgram of cholecalciferol is the same as 40 IU of vitamin D.)
Infants
• 0 – 6 months: 5 micrograms per day (mcg/day)
• 7 – 12 months: 5 mcg/day
Children
• 1 – 13 years: 5 mcg/day
Adolescents and Adults
• Males and Females age 14 to 50: 5 mcg/day
• Males and Females age 51 to 70: 10 mcg/day
• Males and Females age over 70: 15 mcg/day
Specific recommendations for each vitamin depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). In general, those over age 50 need higher amounts of vitamin D than younger persons. Ask your health care provider which amount is best for you.
Vitamin D’s Co-factors
Vitamin D has co-factors that the body needs in order to utilize vitamin D properly. They are:
• magnesium
• zinc
• vitamin K2
• boron
• a tiny amount of vitamin A
Magnesium is the most important of these co-factors. In fact, it is common for rising vitamin D levels to exacerbate an underlying magnesium deficiency. If one is having problems supplementing with vitamin D, a magnesium deficiency could be the reason why.
Alternative Names
Cholecalciferol
Thank you and references
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002405.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com\

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vitamin E

Posted on 03. Dec, 2010 by .

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The term vitamin E describes a family of 8 antioxidants, 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. alpha-tocopherol (a-tocopherol) is the only form of vitamin E that is actively maintained in the human body and is therefore, the form of vitamin E found in the largest quantities in the blood and tissue.

Vitamin E is found naturally in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. “Vitamin E” is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities

Serum concentrations of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) depend on the liver, which takes up the nutrient after the various forms are absorbed from the small intestine. The liver preferentially resecretes only alpha-tocopherol via the hepatic alpha-tocopherol transfer protein; the liver metabolizes and excretes the other vitamin E forms . As a result, blood and cellular concentrations of other forms of vitamin E are lower than those of alpha-tocopherol and have been the subjects of less research

Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that contain an unshared electron. Free radicals damage cells and might contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer . Unshared electrons are highly energetic and react rapidly with oxygen to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). The body forms ROS endogenously when it converts food to energy, and antioxidants might protect cells from the damaging effects of ROS. The body is also exposed to free radicals from environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. ROS are part of signaling mechanisms among cells.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation. Scientists are investigating whether, by limiting free-radical production and possibly through other mechanisms, vitamin E might help prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals.

In addition to its activities as an antioxidant, vitamin E is involved in immune function and, as shown primarily by in vitro studies of cells, cell signaling, regulation of gene expression, and other metabolic processes . Alpha-tocopherol inhibits the activity of protein kinase C, an enzyme involved in cell proliferation and differentiation in smooth muscle cells, platelets, and monocytes . Vitamin-E–replete endothelial cells lining the interior surface of blood vessels are better able to resist blood-cell components adhering to this surface. Vitamin E also increases the expression of two enzymes that suppress arachidonic acid metabolism, thereby increasing the release of prostacyclin from the endothelium, which, in turn, dilates blood vessels and inhibits platelet aggregation

Recommended Intakes

Intake recommendations for vitamin E and other nutrients 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). DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and gender, include:

* Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.

* Adequate Intake (AI): established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA and is set at a level assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy.

* Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects “.

The FNB’s vitamin E recommendations are for alpha-tocopherol alone, the only form maintained in plasma. The FNB based these recommendations primarily on serum levels of the nutrient that provide adequate protection in a test measuring the survival of erythrocytes when exposed to hydrogen peroxide, a free radical . Acknowledging “great uncertainties” in these data, the FNB has called for research to identify other biomarkers for assessing vitamin E requirements.

RDAs for vitamin E are provided in milligrams (mg) and are listed in Table 1. Because insufficient data are available to develop RDAs for infants, AIs were developed based on the amount of vitamin E consumed by healthy breastfed babies.

At present, the vitamin E content of foods and dietary supplements is listed on labels in international units (IUs), a measure of biological activity rather than quantity. Naturally sourced vitamin E is called d-alpha-tocopherol; the synthetically produced form is dl-alpha-tocopherol. Conversion rules are as follows:

* To convert from mg to IU: 1 mg of alpha-tocopherol is equivalent to 1.49 IU of the natural form or 2.22 IU of the synthetic form.

* To convert from IU to mg: 1 IU of alpha-tocopherol is equivalent to 0.67 mg of the natural form or 0.45 mg of the synthetic form.

Table 1 lists the RDAs for alpha-tocopherol in both mg and IU of the natural form; for example, 15 mg x 1.49 IU/mg = 22.4 IU. The corresponding value for synthetic alpha-tocopherol would be 33.3 IU (15 mg x 2.22 IU/mg).

Sources of Vitamin E

Food

Numerous foods provide vitamin E. Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are among the best sources of alpha-tocopherol, and significant amounts are available in green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals (see Table 2 for a more detailed list).Most vitamin E in American diets is in the form of gamma-tocopherol from soybean, canola, corn, and other vegetable oils and food products

Dietary supplements

Supplements of vitamin E typically provide only alpha-tocopherol, although “mixed” products containing other tocopherols and even tocotrienols are available. Naturally occurring alpha-tocopherol exists in one stereoisomeric form. In contrast, synthetically produced alpha-tocopherol contains equal amounts of its eight possible stereoisomers; serum and tissues maintain only four of these stereoisomers . A given amount of synthetic alpha-tocopherol (listed on labels as “DL” or “dl”) is therefore only half as active as the same amount (by weight in mg) of the natural form (labeled as “D” or “d”). People need approximately 50% more IU of synthetic alpha tocopherol from dietary supplements and fortified foods to obtain the same amount of the nutrient as from the natural form.

Most vitamin-E-only supplements provide ≥100 IU of the nutrient. These amounts are substantially higher than the RDAs. The 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that 11.3% of adults took vitamin E supplements containing at least 400 IU.

Alpha-tocopherol in dietary supplements and fortified foods is often esterified to prolong its shelf life while protecting its antioxidant properties. The body hydrolyzes and absorbs these esters (alpha-tocopheryl acetate and succinate) as efficiently as alpha-tocopherol .

Vitamin E Intakes and Status

Three national surveys—the 2001-2002 NHANES , NHANES III (1988-1994) , and the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (1994-1996)—have found that the diets of most Americans provide less than the RDA levels of vitamin E. These intake estimates might be low, however, because the amounts and types of fat added during cooking are often unknown and not accounted for .

The FNB suggests that mean intakes of vitamin E among healthy adults are probably higher than the RDA but cautions that low-fat diets might provide insufficient amounts unless people make their food choices carefully by, for example, increasing their intakes of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables .

Vitamin E Deficiency

Frank vitamin E deficiency is rare and overt deficiency symptoms have not been found in healthy people who obtain little vitamin E from their diets. Premature babies of very low birth weight (<1,500 grams) might be deficient in vitamin E. Vitamin E supplementation in these infants might reduce the risk of some complications, such as those affecting the retina, but they can also increase the risk of infections.

Because the digestive tract requires fat to absorb vitamin E, people with fat-malabsorption disorders are more likely to become deficient than people without such disorders. Deficiency symptoms include peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune response . People with Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, or an inability to secrete bile from the liver into the digestive tract, for example, often pass greasy stools or have chronic diarrhea; as a result, they sometimes require water-soluble forms of vitamin E, such as tocopheryl polyethylene glycol-1000 succinate .

Some people with abetalipoproteinemia, a rare inherited disorder resulting in poor absorption of dietary fat, require enormous doses of supplemental vitamin E (approximately 100 mg/kg or 5-10 g/day). Vitamin E deficiency secondary to abetalipoproteinemia causes such problems as poor transmission of nerve impulses, muscle weakness, and retinal degeneration that leads to blindness . Ataxia and vitamin E deficiency (AVED) is another rare, inherited disorder in which the liver’s alpha-tocopherol transfer protein is defective or absent. People with AVED have such severe vitamin E deficiency that they develop nerve damage and lose the ability to walk unless they take large doses of supplemental vitamin E .

Vitamin E and Health

Many claims have been made about vitamin E’s potential to promote health and prevent and treat disease. The mechanisms by which vitamin E might provide this protection include its function as an antioxidant and its roles in anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and immune enhancement.

A primary barrier to characterizing the roles of vitamin E in health is the lack of validated biomarkers for vitamin E intake and status to help relate intakes to valid predictors of clinical outcomes . This section focuses on four diseases and disorders in which vitamin E might be involved: heart disease, cancer, eye disorders, and cognitive decline.

Coronary heart disease

Evidence that vitamin E could help prevent or delay coronary heart disease (CHD) comes from several sources. In vitro studies have found that the nutrient inhibits oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, thought to be a crucial initiating step for atherosclerosis . Vitamin E might also help prevent the formation of blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or venous thromboembolism .

Several observational studies have associated lower rates of heart disease with higher vitamin E intakes. One study of approximately 90,000 nurses found that the incidence of heart disease was 30% to 40% lower in those with the highest intakes of vitamin E, primarily from supplements . Among a group of 5,133 Finnish men and women followed for a mean of 14 years, higher vitamin E intakes from food were associated with decreased mortality from CHD .

However, randomized clinical trials cast doubt on the efficacy of vitamin E supplements to prevent CHD . For example, the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) study, which followed almost 10,000 patients at high risk of heart attack or stroke for 4.5 years ,und that participants taking 400 IU/day of natural vitamin E experienced no fewer cardiovascular events or hospitalizations for heart failure or chest pain than participants taking a placebo. In the HOPE-TOO followup study, almost 4,000 of the original participants continued to take vitamin E or placebo for an additional 2.5 years .OPE-TOO found that vitamin E provided no significant protection against heart attacks, strokes, unstable angina, or deaths from cardiovascular disease or other causes after 7 years of treatment. Participants taking vitamin E, however, were 13% more likely to experience, and 21% more likely to be hospitalized for, heart failure, a statistically significant but unexpected finding not reported in other large studies.

The HOPE and HOPE-TOO trials provide compelling evidence that moderately high doses of vitamin E supplements do not reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events among men and women >50 years of age with established heart disease or diabetes.hese findings are supported by evidence from the Women’s Angiographic Vitamin and Estrogen study, in which 423 postmenopausal women with some degree of coronary stenosis took supplements with 400 IU vitamin E (type not specified) and 500 mg vitamin C twice a day or placebo for >4 years [.Not only did the supplements provide no cardiovascular benefits, but all-cause mortality was significantly higher in the women taking the supplements.

The latest published clinical trial of vitamin E’s effects on the heart and blood vessels of women included almost 40,000 healthy women ≥45 years of age who were randomly assigned to receive either 600 IU of natural vitamin E on alternate days or placebo and who were followed for an average of 10 years .he investigators found no significant differences in rates of overall cardiovascular events (combined nonfatal heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths) or all-cause mortality between the groups. However, the study did find two positive and significant results for women taking vitamin E: they had a 24% reduction in cardiovascular death rates, and those ≥65 years of age had a 26% decrease in nonfatal heart attack and a 49% decrease in cardiovascular death rates.

The most recent published clinical trial of vitamin E and men’s cardiovascular health included almost 15,000 healthy physicians ≥50 years of age who were randomly assigned to receive 400 IU synthetic alpha-tocopherol every other day, 500 mg vitamin C daily, both vitamins, or placebo.uring a mean followup period of 8 years, intake of vitamin E (and/or vitamin C) had no effect on the incidence of major cardiovascular events, myocardial infarction, stroke, or cardiovascular morality. Furthermore, use of vitamin E was associated with a significantly increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

In general, clinical trials have not provided evidence that routine use of vitamin E supplements prevents cardiovascular disease or reduces its morbidity and mortality. However, participants in these studies have been largely middle-aged or elderly individuals with demonstrated heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. Some researchers have suggested that understanding the potential utility of vitamin E in preventing CHD might require longer studies in younger participants taking higher doses of the supplement.urther research is needed to determine whether supplemental vitamin E has any protective value for younger, healthier people at no obvious risk of CHD.

Cancer

Antioxidant nutrients like vitamin E protect cell constituents from the damaging effects of free radicals that, if unchecked, might contribute to cancer development .itamin E might also block the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines formed in the stomach from nitrites in foods and protect against cancer by enhancing immune function .Human trials and surveys that attempted to associate vitamin E intake with cancer incidence have generally been inconclusive.

Some research links higher intakes of vitamin E with a decreased incidence of breast and prostate cancers .ut the evidence is inconsistent. For example, an examination of the impact of dietary factors, including vitamin E, on the incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer in >18,000 women found no benefit from the vitamin .imilarly, a prospective cohort study of >29,000 men found no association between dietary or supplemental vitamin E intake and prostate cancer risk, with one exception: among current smokers and men who had quit, vitamin E intakes of more than 400 IU/day were associated with a statistically significant 71% reduction in the risk of advanced prostate cancer .A large randomized clinical trial began in 2001 to determine whether 7-12 years of daily supplementation with synthetic vitamin E (400 IU), with or without selenium (200 mcg), reduces the number of new prostate cancers in healthy men. The trial was discontinued in October 2008 when an analysis found that the supplements, taken alone or together for an average of 5 years, did not prevent prostate cancer .Study staff members will continue to monitor participants’ health for an additional 3 years.

One study of women in Iowa provides evidence that higher intakes of vitamin E from foods and supplements could decrease the risk of colon cancer, especially in women <65 years of .The overall relative risk for the highest quintile of intake (>35.7 IU/day) compared to the lowest quintile (<5.7 IU/day) was 0.32. However, prospective cohort studies of 87,998 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and 47,344 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study failed to replicate these results .

The American Cancer Society conducted an epidemiologic study examining the association between use of vitamin C and vitamin E supplements and bladder cancer mortality. Of the almost one million adults followed between 1982 and 1998, adults who took supplemental vitamin E for 10 years or longer had a reduced risk of death from bladder cancer .itamin C supplementation provided no protection.

Both the recently published HOPE-TOO Trial and Women’s Health Study evaluated whether vitamin E supplements might protect people from cancer. HOPE-TOO, which followed men and women ≥55 years of age with heart disease or diabetes for 7 years, found no significant differences in the number of new cancers or cancer deaths between the groups taking 400 IU/day vitamin E or a placebo .In the Women’s Health Study, in which healthy women ≥45 years of age received either 600 IU vitamin E every other day or a placebo for 10 years, the supplement did not reduce the risk of developing any form of cancer .

The inconsistent and limited evidence precludes any recommendations about using vitamin E supplements to prevent cancer.

Eye disorders

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are among the most common causes of significant vision loss in older people. Their etiologies are usually unknown, but the cumulative effects of oxidative stress have been postulated to play a role. If so, nutrients with antioxidant functions, such as vitamin E, could be used to prevent or treat these conditions.

Prospective cohort studies have found that people with relatively high dietary intakes of vitamin E (e.g., 30 .However, two randomized controlled trials in which participants took supplements of vitamin E (500 IU/day d-alpha-tocopherol in one study .nd 111 IU/day dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate combined with 20 mg/day beta-carotene in the other .or a placebo failed to show a protective effect for vitamin E on AMD. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), a large randomized clinical trial, revealed that participants with early-stage AMD could slow the progression of their disease by taking a daily supplement of vitamin E (400 IU dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate), vitamin C (500 mg), beta-carotene (15 mg), zinc (80 mg), and copper (2 mg) for an average of 6.3 years compared to participants taking a placebo.

Several observational studies have revealed a potential relationship between vitamin E supplements and the risk of cataract formation. One prospective cohort study found that lens clarity was superior in participants who took vitamin E supplements and those with higher blood levels of the vitamin.In another study, long-term use of vitamin E supplements was associated with slower progression of age-related lens opacification .parent effect on the development or progression of cataracts over 7 years .

Overall, the available evidence is inconsistent with respect to whether vitamin E supplements, taken alone or in combination with other antioxidants, can reduce the risk of developing AMD or cataracts. However, the formulation of vitamin E, other antioxidants, zinc, and copper used in AREDS holds promise for slowing the progression of AMD in people with early-stage disease. Cognitive decline

The brain has a high oxygen consumption rate and abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids in the neuronal cell membranes. Researchers hypothesize that if cumulative free-radical damage to neurons over time contributes to cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, then ingestion of sufficient or supplemental antioxidants (such as vitamin E) might provide some protection.his hypothesis was supported by the results of a clinical trial in 341 patients with Alzheimer’s disease of moderate severity who were randomly assigned to receive a placebo, vitamin E (2,000 IU/day dl-alpha-tocopherol), a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (selegiline), or vitamin E and selegiline.Over 2 years, treatment with vitamin E and selegiline, separately or together, significantly delayed functional deterioration and the need for institutionalization compared to placebo. However, participants taking vitamin E experienced significantly more falls.

Vitamin E consumption from foods or supplements was associated with less cognitive decline over 3 years in a prospective cohort study of elderly, free-living individuals aged 65-102 years.owever, a clinical trial in primarily healthy older women who were randomly assigned to receive 600 IU d-alpha-tocopherol every other day or a placebo for ≤4 years found that the supplements provided no apparent cognitive benefits.nother trial in which 769 men and women with mild cognitive impairment were randomly assigned to receive 2,000 IU/day vitamin E (type not specified), a cholinesterase inhibitor (donepezil), or placebo found no significant differences in the progression rate of Alzheimer’s disease between the vitamin E and placebo groups.

In summary, most research results do not support the use of vitamin E supplements by healthy or mildly impaired individuals to maintain cognitive performance or slow its decline with normal aging .More research is needed to identify the role of vitamin E, if any, in the management of cognitive impairment .

Health Risks from Excessive Vitamin E

Research has not found any adverse effects from consuming vitamin E in food .owever, high doses of alpha-tocopherol supplements can cause hemorrhage and interrupt blood coagulation in animals, and in vitro data suggest that high doses inhibit platelet aggregation. Two clinical trials have found an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke in participants taking alpha-tocopherol; one trial included Finnish male smokers who consumed 50 mg/day for an average of 6 years .he other trial involved a large group of male physicians in the United States who consumed 400 IU every other day for 8 years.ecause the majority of physicians in the latter study were also taking aspirin, this finding could indicate that vitamin E has a tendency to cause bleeding.

The FNB has established ULs for vitamin E based on the potential for hemorrhagic effects (see Table 3). The ULs apply to all forms of supplemental alpha-tocopherol, including the eight stereoisomers present in synthetic vitamin E. Doses of up to 1,000 mg/day (1,500 IU/day of the natural form or 1,100 IU/day of the synthetic form) in adults appear to be safe, although the data are limited and based on small groups of people taking at least 2,000 IU for a few weeks or months. Long-term intakes above the UL increase the risk of adverse health effects .itamin E ULs for infants have not been established.

Two meta-analyses of randomized trials have raised questions about the safety of large doses of vitamin E, including doses lower than the UL. These meta-analyses linked supplementation to small but statistically significant increases in all-cause mortality. One analysis found an increased risk of death at doses of ≥400 IU/day, although the risk began to increase at 150 IU .n the other analysis of studies of antioxidant supplements for disease prevention, the highest quality trials revealed that vitamin E, administered singly (dose range 10 IU-5,000 IU/day; mean 569 IU) or combined with up to four other antioxidants, significantly increased mortality risk.he implications of these analyses for the potential adverse effects of high-dose vitamin E supplements are unclear .articipants in the studies included in these analyses were typically middle-aged or older and had chronic diseases or related risk factors. These participants often consumed other supplements in addition to vitamin E. Some of the studies analyzed took place in developing countries in which nutritional deficiencies are common. A review of the subset of studies in which vitamin E supplements were given to healthy individuals for the primary prevention of chronic disease found no convincing evidence that the supplements increased mortality .

Interactions with Medications

Vitamin E supplements have the potential to interact with several types of medications. A few examples are provided below. People taking these and other medications on a regular basis should discuss their vitamin E intakes with their healthcare providers.

Anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications

Vitamin E can inhibit platelet aggregation and antagonize vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. As a result, taking large doses with anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin®), can increase the risk of bleeding, especially in conjunction with low vitamin K intake. The amounts of supplemental vitamin E needed to produce clinically significant effects are unknown but probably exceed 400 IU/day .imvastatin and niacin

Some people take vitamin E supplements with other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, selenium, and beta-carotene. This collection of antioxidant ingredients blunted the rise in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, especially levels of HDL2, the most cardioprotective HDL component, among people treated with a combination of simvastatin (brand name Zocor®) and niacin .hemotherapy and radiotherapy

Oncologists generally advise against the use of antioxidant supplements during cancer chemotherapy or radiotherapy because they might reduce the effectiveness of these therapies by inhibiting cellular oxidative damage in cancerous cells . Although a systematic review of randomized controlled trials has called this concern into question .urther research is needed to evaluate the potential risks and benefits of concurrent antioxidant supplementation with conventional therapies for cancer.

Food Sources

Vitamin E is found in the following foods:

*

Wheat germ

*Corn
*Nuts
*Seeds
*Olives
*Spinach and other green leafy vegetables
*Asparagus
*Vegetable oils — corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed

Products made from these foods, such as margarine, also contain vitamin E.

Side Effects

In November, 2004, the American Heart Association stated that high amounts of vitamin E can be harmful. Taking 400 IU per day, or higher, may increase the risk of death.

Taking smaller amounts, such as those found in a typical multivitamin, was not harmful.

Recommendations

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine report the following dietary reference intakes for vitamin E:

Infants

*0 to 6 months: 4 mg/day
*7 to 12 months: 5 mg/day

Children

*1 to 3 years: 6 mg/day
*4 to 8 years: 7 mg/day
*9 to 13 years: 11 mg/day

Adolescents and Adults

*14 and older: 15 mg/day

The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods from the food guide pyramid.

Specific recommendations depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). Women who are pregnant or producing breast milk (lactating) need higher amounts. Ask your health care provider which amount is best for you.

Alternative Names

Deficiency – vitamin E; Tocopherol

Vitamin E and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Some evidence on the role of vitamin E in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s was reported in 3 recent studies. The first study, conducted at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging of the Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke’s Medical Center found that an increased vitamin E intake from foods was associated with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The second study, conducted in the Netherlands, showed that vitamin E from food, but not other antioxidants, may be associated with a decreased risk. The third study, which was conducted in Italy, evaluated a high dose of 2,000 IU and found a substantial protective effect. It appears that the effect of vitamin E from supplements is detectable only with high doses.

Vitamin E and Healthful Diets

According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, “nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods. Foods provide an array of nutrients and other compounds that may have beneficial effects on health. In certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful sources of one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts. However, dietary supplements, while recommended in some cases, cannot replace a healthful diet.”

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans describes a healthy diet as one that:

*

Emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.

Vitamin E is found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and fortified cereals.

*Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.

Nuts are good sources of vitamin E.

*Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

Vitamin E is commonly found in vegetable oils.

*Stays within your daily calorie needs.

thank you and references

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamine/

http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/vitamin-e.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002406.htm

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vitamin C

Posted on 12. Nov, 2010 by .

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Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Vitamin C is important for your skin, bones, and connective tissue. It promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron.

Vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables. Good sources include citrus, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and greens. Some juices and cereals have added vitamin C.

Some people may need extra vitamin C:

* Pregnant/breastfeeding women
* Smokers
* People recovering from surgery
* Burn victims

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin, which is necessary in the body to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels and aids in the absorption of iron. Dietary sources of vitamin C include fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits such as oranges.

Severe deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy. Although rare, scurvy includes potentially severe consequences, and can cause sudden death. Patients with scurvy are treated with vitamin C and should be under medical supervision.

Many uses for vitamin C have been proposed, but few have been found to be beneficial in scientific studies. In particular, research in asthma, cancer, and diabetes remains inconclusive, and no benefits have been found in the prevention of cataracts or heart disease.

The use of vitamin C in the prevention/treatment of the common cold and respiratory infections remains controversial, with ongoing research. For cold prevention , more than 30 clinical trials including over 10,000 participants have examined the effects of taking daily vitamin C. Overall, no significant reduction in the risk of developing colds has been observed. In people who developed colds while taking vitamin C, no difference in severity of symptoms has been seen overall, although a very small significant reduction in the duration of colds has been reported (approximately 10% in adults and 15% in children). Notably, a subset of studies in people living in extreme circumstances, including soldiers in sub-arctic exercises, skiers, and marathon runners, have found a significant reduction in the risk of developing a cold by approximately 50%. This area merits additional study and may be of particular interest to elite athletes or military personnel.

For cold treatment , numerous studies have examined the effects of starting vitamin C after the onset of cold symptoms. So far, no significant benefits have been observed.

references and thank you

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-c/NS_patient-vitaminc
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vitaminc.html

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Vitamin C and cancer

Posted on 12. Nov, 2010 by .

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Vitamin C and cancer. For cancer resources, information about cancer treatment options and cancer patient support.. Cancer patients seeking links to cancer resources, information and support will find this site provides a general orientation designed to help you make your own choices and decisions concerning alternative cancer treatments or orthodox cancer treatments.

For decades the `dialogue’ – to use a polite word – between those advocating vitamin supplements and those attacking the taking of supplements seems as if it is finally coming to a conclusion. The pro-supplement side has won – perhaps not yet decisively (on a points count rather than a knockout). The US National Academy of Sciences believes that large sections of the community – especially the elderly – need to increase their B-12 (advice varies from 24-400 micrograms per day). Vitamin D deficiency is also widespread. A supplement of 800 iu of vitamin D has been linked conclusively to fewer fractures and to devreased incidence of breast cancer. Too much sun-avoidance is a bad thing (the body makes vitamin D from exposure to sunlight).

The US National Council for Responsible Nutrition has also weighed in with advice to take vitamin E (400-800 iu per day) and vitamin C (they suggest 500 mg per day).

On the vitamin C question, I go along with Linus Pauling and say that 6-18 grams a day is what we should be taking. The argument is simple: almost all mammals produce their own vitamin C. They produce large quantities of it. For example, a 70 kilo goat produces 13 grams a day on a good day. On a bad day when it is severely stressed, it will produce up to 100 grams a day. If other animals need so much, how is it that doctors are insisting we only need 500 mgs. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Vitamin C is important for cancer patients.

The reasons Ewan Cameron and Linus Pauling looked at vitamin C as a possible anti-cancer agent were two-fold.

A tumour progresses by invading cells. In order to invade cells it must break through the cell walls. The cell walls are strengthened if the `intercellular cement’ (Pauling’s term) was strengthened. This intercellular cement consists of long molecular chains themselves strengthened by fibrils of collagen. Cancer cells release an enzyme – hyaluronidase – that can break down the long molecular chains and another enzyme – collagenase – that can dissolve the collagen. This makes invasion easy as the cell wall essentially collapses.

It was then discovered that vitamin C helped cells to produce a substance that inhibits hyaluronidase. The more vitamin C in the system the more the inhibitor was released. Also vitamin C is neccessary for collagen production. So, for these two reasons, it was assumed that vitamin C would help protect cells against invading malignancies.

Anyone – not predisposed to rejecting the conclusions – reading the evidence in their book, Cancer & Vitamin C, will surely come away feeling they have proved their case.

In fact further studies suggested that patients did best when they took:

* Vitamin C: 10-25 grams a day
* Vitamin E: 400-1600 iu a day
* Vitamin B: several high dose (ie B-50) pills a day
* Vitamin A: a couple of glasses of fresh carrot juice a day
* Multi-mineral: several high dose pills a day

Pauling & Cameron gave their patients 10 grams a day – though some patients required more. Pauling himself recommends supplementation at 6-18 grams a day. Since vitamin C tends to leach minerals from the system it is important to add a multi-mineral supplement.

In addition, Vitamin C is of value for the following diseases and conditions:

* Asthma and other allergies
* Depression
* Diabetes
* Healing
* Heart Disease
* Strokes
* Thrombosis
* Liver disease
* Viral infections
* Problems of fertility and pregnancy

In fact, vitamin C is used in so many bio-chemical processes in the body that it is probably worth upping your intake no matter what the problem. You can’t overdose on vitamin C and it is not at all toxic.

Vitamin C comes in various forms. Pure ascorbic acid is not recommended, certainly not on an empty stomach – it is acidic! The salts of ascorbic acid are called ascorbates. These will not cause any unpleasantness. The usual mixes are sodium ascorbate (recommended by Linus Pauling and others), calcium ascorbate (which some say is useless for cancer patients – see discussion on calcium in New Facts page) and the combination that I prefer which is a combination of magnesium and potassium ascorbate.

Ascorbate induces autophagy in pancreatic cancer.

Ascorbate (ascorbic acid, vitamin C) is one of the early, unorthodox treatments for cancer. The evidence upon which people base the use of ascorbate in cancer treatment falls into two categories: clinical data on dose concentration relationships, and laboratory data describing potential cell toxicity with high concentrations of ascorbate in vitro. Clinical data show that when ascorbate is given orally, fasting plasma concentrations are tightly controlled by decreased absorption, increased urine excretion, and reduced ascorbate bioavailability. In contrast, when ascorbate is administered intravenously, concentrations in the millimolar level are achieved. Thus, it is clear that intravenous administration of ascorbate can yield very high plasma levels, while oral treatment does not.

references and thank you
http://www.fightingcancer.com/vitaminc.htm
www.vitamincfoundation.org
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20400857

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Vitamin C Content for Selected Fruits and Vegetables

Posted on 12. Nov, 2010 by .

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The data in this table is taken from the USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, which was at Release 11 at the time of this writing.

The serving sizes given below are approximate values for obtaining roughly 10mg of vitamin C. Note that not all fruits and vegetables are created equal, so your actual mileage may vary. Protein, calcium and phosphorus totals are also approximate values for the given serving sizes.

Food Approximate serving size for 10mg Vitamin C Protein (mg) Calcium (mg) Phosphorus (mg)
Apples (w/skin) 1-1/4 apples (3 per lb) 0.356 12.274 12.274
Baby Carrots 12 carrots 0.952 27.381 45.238
Bananas 1 banana 1.099 6.596 21.986
Broccoli Flower Clusters 1/8 cup 0.322 5.150 7.081
Carrots 1 cup 1.075 29.032 47.312
Celery 3-1/2 stalks 1.143 57.143 35.714
Cucumbers 2 cups 1.325 26.425 37.750
Dandelion Greens 1/2 cup 0.770 53.429 18.857
Green Bell Peppers 1/7 pepper 0.101 1.008 2.128
Kale 1/8 cup 0.275 11.250 4.667
Kiwis 1/8 cup 0.102 2.653 4.082
Looseleaf Lettuce 5-1/2 leaves 0.722 37.778 13.889
Mustard Greens 1/4 cup 0.385 14.714 6.143
Oranges (Florida) 1/7 fruit (2-5/8″ diameter fruit) 0.156 9.556 2.667
Parsley 1/8 cup 0.226 10.376 4.361
Raspberries 1/3 cup 0.361 8.800 4.800
Red Bell Peppers 1/14 pepper 0.048 0.474 1.000
Romain Lettuce 4 leaves 0.667 15.000 18.750
Spinach 2/3 cup 1.029 35.222 17.433
Tomatos (November through May, average) 1 fruit (2-3/5″ diameter) 0.902 5.0000 24.000
Tomatos (June through October, average) 1/3 fruit (2-3/5″ diameter) 1.409 1.9231 9.234

references and thank you
http://www.aracnet.com/~seagull/Guineas/VitaminC.html

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vitamin B12

Posted on 10. Nov, 2010 by .

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Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. After the body uses these vitamins, leftover amounts leave the body through the urine.

Typically, water-soluble vitamins can not be stored by the body. Vitamin B12 is special, because the body can store it for years in the liver.

Vitamin B12, like the other B vitamins, is important for metabolism. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system

Vitamin B12: A vitamin important for the normal formation of red blood cells and the health of the nerve tissues. Undetected and untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia and permanent nerve and brain damage.

Pernicious anemia is a blood disorder caused by inadequate vitamin B12 in the blood. Patients who have this disorder do not produce the protein substance in the stomach that allows the body to absorb vitamin B12. This substance is called intrinsic factor (IF).

Pernicious anemia is simply treated with injections of vitamin B12. The vitamin B12 has to be administered by injection because people with PA do not have IF (or an effective form of IF) and so cannot absorb vitamin B12 taken by mouth.

Pernicious anemia has also been called Addison’s anemia, addisonian anemia, Biermer’s anemia.

Why does vitamin B12 deficiency cause anaemia?

Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow and circulate in the blood. They only have a life expectancy of about four months.

The body needs iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid (one of the B group of vitamins) to produce more red blood cells. If there is a lack of one or more of these nutrients, anaemia will develop.

Anaemia due to a lack of vitamin B12 is also called pernicious anaemia.

Vitamin B12 is essential for the nervous system, which is why a deficiency can also cause inflammation of the nerves (neuritis) and dementia (mental deterioration).

Elderly people are particularly at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, although it may also be present in the young women.

What causes this type of anaemia?

* Not eating enough foods that contain vitamin B12. A vegetarian or vegan diet can cause deficiency because vitamin B12 is only found in foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, eggs and milk.
* Inability of the small intestine to absorb vitamin B12. The stomach produces a substance called intrinsic factor to absorb vitamin B12 from food. In the UK, the most common cause of B12 deficiency is a lack of intrinsic factor.

Patients with Crohn’s disease involving the small intestine (Crohn’s ileitis) or who have undergone small intestine resection may not be able to absorb vitamin B12.

Strict vegetarians who consume no animal products can develop B12 deficiency since there is a lack of B12 in vegetables.

The recommended daily allowances of vitamin B12 in the United States are 2mcg for infants, 3 mcg for children under 4 years old, 6mcg for children over 4 years old and adults, and 8 mcg for pregnant women.

It is recommended for adults to take one multivitamin daily. One multivitamin a day is safe and inexpensive. The multivitamin should contain 400 micrograms of folic acid, approximately 2-3 mg of vitamin B6, 6-9 micrograms of vitamin of B12, and 400 IU of vitamin D. The folic acid and the other B vitamins can help lower homocysteine. The vitamin D is one of the important factors in preventing osteoporosis.

High blood homocysteine levels have been found to be a risk factor for atherosclerosis and heart disease. Most doctors will treat homocysteine levels higher than 9-10umol/liter. A doctor experienced in treating coronary heart disease should supervise the treatment of hyperhomocysteinemia. Treatment involves high doses of the B vitamins (1-5 mg/day of folic acid, 10mg/day of B6, and 0.4 mg/day of B12).

ALL vitamin supplements, with the exception of vitamin B12 supplement, are chemically synthesized. This means that they are produced by combining separate chemical elements in a factory. Vitamin B12 is biosynthesized, which means that it is made by using bacterial enzymes.

Food Sources

Vitamin B12 is found in eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products.

Side Effects

Vitamin B12 deficiencies occur when the body is unable to properly use the vitamin. Pernicious anemia can make the body unable to absorb vitamin B12 from the intestinal tract.

Because vitamin B12 comes primarily from animal products, people who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet and do not consume eggs or dairy products may require vitamin B12 supplements. (Non-animal sources of vitamin B12 exist but are highly variable in their B12 content. They are considered unreliable sources of the vitamin.)

Those who had surgery on specific parts of the small intestine or stomach are also prone to a deficiency if they do not take B12 supplements.

Low levels of B12 can cause anemia, numbness or tingling in the arms and legs, weakness, and loss of balance.

Recommendations

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following dietary intake for vitamin B 12:

Infants

* 0 – 6 months: 0.4 micrograms per day (mcg/day)
* 7 – 12 months: 0.5 mcg/day

Children

* 1 – 3 years: 0.9 mcg/day
* 4 – 8 years: 1.2 mcg/day
* 9 – 13 years: 1.8 mcg/day

Adolescents and Adults

* Males and females age 14 and older: 2.4 mcg/day

references and thank you
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=12865
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/anaemiab12.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002403.htm

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Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid

Posted on 09. Nov, 2010 by .

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Folic acid, also called folate or vitamin B9, is critical to many body processes, including the health of your nervous system, blood, and cells. It protects against heart disease, birth defects, osteoporosis, and certain cancers.

Uses

Folic acid protects the body against, and helps treat, many disorders, including the following.

  • Birth defects. Low levels of folic acid have been linked with birth defects. Half of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida) are believed to be preventable if women of childbearing age supplement their diets with folic acid. Studies suggest that the amount of folic acid needed to prevent neural tube defects is more easily reached with supplements than from dietary sources alone.
  • Heart attacks and stroke. Folic acid is essential to a process that clears a substance called homocysteine from the blood. High homocysteine levels have been linked with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Cancers. Low levels of folic acid may play a role in cancer development, particularly cancers of the cervix, lung, and colon.
  • Osteoporosis. Lack of folic acid, and the resulting increase in homocysteine levels, weakens bones, making them more likely to fracture.
  • Depression and other mental problems. Folic acid is important for brain function. It helps regulate mood, sleep, and appetite. Increasing levels of folic acid has reversed negative mental or psychological symptoms in some people, particularly older people. Folic acid has a mild antidepressant effect, and taking folic acid supplements has been shown to improve the effect of the drug Prozac.

Folic acid is also beneficial in the following ways: prevents anemia, which can decrease the function and number of red blood cells, helps treat headaches, may relieve rheumatoid arthritis, can help with infertility treatment, may help acne, and may be useful for people with AIDS.

Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and RNA, the body’s genetic material, and is especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly, such as in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy. Folic acid also works closely with vitamin B12 to regulate the formation of red blood cells and help iron function properly in the body.

Vitamin B9 works with vitamins B6 and B12 and other nutrients to control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with certain chronic conditions, such as heart disease and, possibly, depression and Alzheimer’s disease, although the link isn’t clear.

Mild folic acid deficiency is fairly common. Alcoholism, irritable bowel syndrome, and celiac disease can cause folic acid deficiency. Also, certain medications may lower levels of folic acid in the body. Folic acid deficiency can cause poor growth, tongue inflammation, gingivitis, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, diarrhea, irritability, forgetfulness, and mental sluggishness.

Pregnant women require more folic acid. Lower levels of folic acid during pregnancy are associated with low birth weight and increased risk of neural tube defects, including cleft palate, spina bifida, and brain damage. Neural tube defects are birth defects caused by abnormal development of the neural tube, a structure that eventually gives rise to the brain and spinal cord. Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the addition of folic acid to many grain foods (such as bread and cereal), neural tube defects in the United States have decreased dramatically.

Birth Defects

As mentioned, pregnant women who are deficient in folic acid are more likely to have children with birth defects. Pregnant women should get 600 mcg of folic acid per day. Women who plan to become pregnant should make sure to get the recommended 400 mcg per day, since many neural tube defects can occur shortly after conception (before a woman may even know she is pregnant). Prenatal vitamins contain the necessary amount of folic acid for pregnant women.

Studies show that women who take folic acid supplements before conception and during the first trimester may reduce their risk of having children with neural tube defects by 72 – 100%.

Folic acid may also help prevent miscarriage, although the evidence isn’t clear.

Heart Disease

Folate may help protect the heart through several methods. First, there is some evidence that getting enough folic acid in your diet can reduce your risk of heart disease, although this evidence is based on population studies and not more definitive clinical trials.

In addition, because folic acid helps control levels of homocysteine in the body, and because homocysteine levels tend to be high in people with heart disease, some researchers theorize that lowering levels of homocysteine may help prevent heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Collectively, many studies indicate that patients with elevated levels of the amino acid homocysteine are roughly 1.7 times more likely to develop coronary artery disease (which can lead to a heart attack) and 2.5 times more likely to suffer from a stroke than those with normal levels. However, researchers don’t yet know whether high levels of homocysteine actually cause heart disease, or whether something else causes heart disease as well as high homocysteine levels. Until more is known, researchers aren’t sure whether lowering homocysteine levels has any effect on heart disease.

The American Heart Association recommends that, for most people, an adequate amount of folate and these other B vitamins be obtained from the diet, rather than taking extra supplements. However, if you have high levels of homocysteine or a history (or family history) of heart disease, ask your doctor whether folic acid supplements are right for you.

Age-related Hearing Loss

One study suggests that folic acid supplements help slow the progression of age-related hearing loss in elderly people with high homocysteine levels and low folate in their diet. It isn’t known whether healthy seniors would benefit.

Depression

Some studies show that 15 – 38% of people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies, and those with very low levels tend to be the most depressed. Low levels of folic acid have also been associated with a poor response to antidepressants. However, more research is needed to understand the link; it appears that folic acid may help enhance the effect of antidepressants, at least in some people, but folic acid itself is not a replacement for antidepressants.

Cancer

Folic acid appears to protect against the development of some forms of cancer, particularly cancer of the colon, as well as breast, cervical, pancreatic, and stomach. However, this evidence is based on population studies that show people who get enough folate in their diet have lower rates of these cancers. It is not clear exactly how folate might help prevent cancer. Some researchers speculate that folic acid keeps DNA (the genetic material in cells) healthy and prevents mutations that can lead to cancer. There is no evidence that taking folic acid supplements helps prevent cancer. The best course of action is to make sure you eat a balanced diet with enough folate, which will help protect you against a number of diseases.

Low dietary intake of folate may increase the risk of developing breast cancer, particularly for women who drink alcohol. Regular use of alcohol (more than 1 ½ to 2 glasses per day) is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. One large study, involving over 50,000 women who were followed over time, suggests that adequate intake of folate may lessen the risk of breast cancer associated with alcohol.

Dietary Sources:

Rich sources of folate include spinach, dark leafy greens, asparagus, turnip, beets, and mustard greens, Brussels sprouts, lima beans, soybeans, beef liver, brewer’s yeast, root vegetables, whole grains, wheat germ, bulgur wheat, kidney beans, white beans, lima beans, mung beans, salmon, orange juice, avocado, and milk. In addition, all grain and cereal products in the U.S. are fortified with folic acid.

Available Forms:

Vitamin B9 is found in multivitamins (including children’s chewable and liquid drops) and B complex vitamins, or is sold individually. It is a good idea to take folic acid as part of or along with a multivitamin because other B vitamins are needed for its activation. It is available in a variety of forms, including tablets, softgels, and lozenges.

How to Take It:

Most people (except pregnant women) should be able to get adequate folic acid from their diet.

It is important to check with a knowledgeable health care provider before taking folic acid supplements or giving them to a child.

Daily recommendations for dietary folic acid are listed below:

Pediatric

  • Infants under 6 months: 65 mcg (adequate intake)
  • Infants 7 – 12 months: 80 mcg (adequate intake)
  • Children 1 – 3 years: 150 mcg (RDA)
  • Children 4 – 8 years: 200 mcg (RDA)
  • Children 9 – 13 years: 300 mcg (RDA)
  • Adolescents 14 – 18 years: 400 mcg (RDA)

Adult

  • 19 years and older: 400 mcg (RDA)
  • Pregnant women: 600 mcg (RDA)
  • Breastfeeding women: 500 mcg (RDA)

Amounts recommended for heart disease range from 400 – 1,200 mcg. However, high levels of folate can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, and should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision.

Sources of Folic Acid

  • Leafy greens such as spinach and turnip greens
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Liver
  • Dry beans and peas
  • Fortified cereals and grain products
  • Fortified juices

Can You Have Too Much or Too Little?
Folate deficiency can cause diarrhea, anemia, loss of appetite, weight loss, sore tongue and a variety of other symptoms. In a developing fetus, folic acid deficiency may cause birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.

People who drink large amounts of alcohol may need extra folic acid to prevent a deficiency. Sometimes, treatment of anemia with folic acid will mask an anemia caused by a vitamin B2 deficiency. Always consult with your doctor before taking a large amount of any vitamin supplement.

Vitamin Storage
If you want to get the most vitamins possible from your food, refrigerate fresh produce and keep milk and grains away from strong light. Vitamins are easily destroyed and washed out during food preparation and storage. If you take vitamin supplements, store them at room temperature in a dry place that’s free of moisture.

references and thank you

http://www.oralchelation.com/ingred/folicacid.htm

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b9-000338.htm

http://www.healthvitaminsguide.com/vitamins/vitamin-b9.htm

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Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine

Posted on 09. Nov, 2010 by .

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Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is required for the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine and for myelin formation. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. The body cannot store them. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet.

Vitamin B6 is an important nutrient that supports more vital bodily functions than any other vitamin. This is due to its role as a coenzyme involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Vitamin B6 is also responsible for the manufacture of hormones, red blood cells, neurotransmitters, enzymes and prostaglandins. Vitamin B6 is required for the production of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that controls our moods, appetite, sleep patterns, and sensitivity to pain. A deficiency of vitamin B6 can quickly lead to insomnia and a profound malfunctioning of the central nervous system.

Among its many benefits, vitamin B6 is recognized for helping to maintain healthy immune system functions, for protecting the heart from cholesterol deposits, and for preventing kidney stone formation. B6 is also effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, night leg cramps, allergies, asthma and arthritis.

Common symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency can include depression, vomiting, anemia, kidney stones, dermatitis, lethargy and increased susceptibility to diseases due to a weakened immune system. Infants suffering from vitamin B6 deficiency can be anxious and irritable, and in extreme cases may develop convulsions.

Vitamin B6 helps the immune system produce antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. The body uses it to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.

Supplemental B6 is a commonly used as a treatment for nausea, morning sickness and depression. Pregnant women have an increased need for supplemental vitamin B6, as do patients suffering from heart disease or those undergoing radiation treatment. Persons on high protein diets require extra vitamin B6, as do those taking antidepressants, amphetamines, oral contraceptives, and estrogen.

Natural foods highest in vitamin B6 include brewers yeast, carrots, chicken, eggs, fish, avocados, bananas, brown rice, and whole grains. The RDA for vitamin B6 is 2 mg per day. Most B-complex formulas contain between 10 to 75 mg. of vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 is one of the few vitamins that can be toxic. Doses up to 500 mg per day are uncommon but safe, but doses above 2 grams per day can lead to irreversible neurological damage unless under the treatment of a physician. Vitamin B6 supplements should not be taken by Parkinson’s disease patients being treated with L-dopa as vitamin B6 can diminish the effects of L-dopa in the brain

Recommendations

Infants

  • 0 – 6 months: 0.1 milligrams per day (mg/day)
  • 7 – 12 months: 0.3 mg/day

Children

  • 1 – 3 years: 0.5 mg/day
  • 4 – 8 years: 0.6 mg/day
  • 9 – 13 years: 1.0 mg/day

Adolescents and Adults

  • Males age 14 to 50 years: 1.3 mg/day
  • Males over 50 years: 1.7 mg/day
  • Females age 14 to 18 years: 1.2 mg/day
  • Females age 19 to 50 years: 1.3 mg/day
  • Females over 50 years: 1.5 mg/day

references and thank you

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002402.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-b6/NS_patient-b6

http://www.oralchelation.com/technical/vitaminb6.htm

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b6-000337.htm

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Vitamin B5 or Panththenic Acid

Posted on 09. Nov, 2010 by .

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Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, as well as the “anti-stress vitamin” is part of the B group vitamins and classified as a water-soluble vitamin. This nutrient can be manufactured in the body by the intestinal flora.

It is widely found in both plants and animals including meat, vegetables, cereal grains, legumes, eggs, and milk.

The body uses pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats for energy.

Some claims have been made that pantothenic acid is effective for treatment of nerve damage, breathing problems, itching and other skin problems, but these claims have not been proven in clinical trials.

Vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid – is required for

Vitamin B5 plays an important role in the secretion of hormones, such as cortisone because of the role it plays in supporting the adrenal gland. These hormones assist the metabolism, help to fight allergies and are beneficial in the maintenance of healthy skin, muscles and nerves.

Pantothenic acid is also used in the release of energy as well as the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. It is used in the creation of lipids, neurotransmitters, steroid hormones and hemoglobin.

Some are of the opinion that pantothenic acid is also helpful to fight wrinkles as well as graying of the hair

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for

  • Skin problems.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Allergies.
  • Hair loss.
  • Asthma.
  • Heart problems.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Lung disorders.
  • Colitis.
  • Eye infections (conjunctivitis).
  • Convulsions.
  • Kidney disorders.
  • Dandruff.
  • Depression.
  • Diabetic problems.
  • Enhancing immune function.
  • Headache.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Inability to sleep (insomnia).
  • Irritability.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Muscular dystrophy.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Other conditions.

Deficiency of vitamin B5

With Vitamin B5 in short supply symptoms like fatigue, headaches, nausea, tingling in the hands, depression, personality changes and cardiac instability have been reported.

Frequent infection, fatigue, abdominal pains, sleep disturbances and neurological disorders including numbness, paresthesia (abnormal sensation such as “burning feet” syndrome), muscle weakness and cramps are also possible indications that this nutrient is in short supply.

Biochemical changes include increased insulin sensitivity, lowered blood cholesterol, decreased serum potassium, and failure of adrenocorticotropin to induce eosinopenia.

How to Take It:

Recommended daily intakes of dietary vitamin B5 are listed below:

Pediatric

  • Infants birth – 6 months: 1.7 mg
  • Infants 6 months – 1 year: 1.8 mg
  • Children 1 – 3 years: 2 mg
  • Children 4 – 8 years: 3 mg
  • Children 9 – 13 years: 4 mg
  • Adolescents 14 – 18 years: 5 mg

Adult

  • 19 years and older: 5 mg
  • Pregnant females: 6 mg
  • Breastfeeding women: 7 mg

Higher doses may be recommended by a health care provider for the treatment of specific conditions.

  • Rheumatoid arthritis: 2,000 mg/day
  • High cholesterol/triglycerides: 300 mg pantethine, 3 times daily (900 mg/day)

references and thank you

http://www.lifeclinic.com/focus/nutrition/vitamin-b5.asp

http://www.anyvitamins.com/vitamin-b5-pantothenic-info.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/853.html

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b5-000336.htm

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