Vitamins and Supplements
Vitamin: An Organic nutrient (as opposed to a Mineral, which is inorganic) essential for normal physiological and Metabolic functions of the body. Most vitamins cannot be synthesized by the body and must be ingested in food or supplements.
Vitamin A: An important fat soluble Vitamin that helps in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin. It is also known as Retinol, as it generates the pigments that are necessary for the working of the retina. It promotes good vision, especially in dim light. It may also be required for reproduction and lactation. Beta-carotene, which has Antioxidant properties, is a precursor to vitamin A. Because it is fat-soluble, it can accumulate in the Liver, so overdosing is possible. a
Vitamin B12: Also known as Cyanocobalamin, is a water soluble Vitamin involved in protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, as well as blood formation and nerve function. Sources are liver, kidneys, fish and meats. Deficiency, commonly called megablastic anemia, can occur in strict vegetarians and also in those who have a problem absorbing B12 due to a lack of intrinsic factor, a substance secreted essential for absorption of vitamin B12. This can also occur as we age.
Vitamin B2: A water-soluble Vitamin (also known as Riboflavin) required by the body for health, growth and reproduction; part of the vitamin B complex. It is important for red cell production and helps release energy from Carbohydrates. Dietary sources include lean meats, eggs, Legumes, nuts, green leafy vegetables and dairy products. Breads and cereals are often fortified with Riboflavin. Oral contraceptives can reduce riboflavin levels.
Vitamin B3: Also known as Niacin or Nicotinic acid, it is used to treat various medical conditions such as high Cholesterol, peripheral vascular disease and Migraines. If supplementing with Niacin, be sure to get the flush-free variety. High doses can stress the Liver.
Vitamin B6: Also known as Pyridoxine, this water-soluble nutrient plays a role in the Immune System’s synthesis of Antibodies, helps maintain normal brain function and form red blood cells. It is also required for the chemical reactions of proteins. Vitamin B6 is found in beans, nuts, Legumes, eggs, meats, fish, Whole grains and fortified breads and cereals. The higher the protein intake, the greater the need for this nutrient. Deficiency of this Vitamin is not common in the United States. Excessive doses can cause neurological disorders and numbness.
Vitamin C: This water-soluble Vitamin, also known as Ascorbic acid, is an Antioxidant that has been shown to play a role in boosting the Immune System. The Recommended Daily Intake RDI) is 60-75mg per day, but Linus Pauling and other complementary practitioners recommend considerably higher doses for preventing the common cold. Sources of vitamin C include strawberries, peaches, plums, tomatoes, celery, onions and cabbage.
Vitamin K: A fat-soluble Vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting, vitamin K is found in vegetables, including cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and other leafy greens, as well as in cereals and soybeans. The bacteria lining of the gastrointestinal tract also makes vitamin K. Vitamin K counteracts the effects of oral anticoagulant drugs such as Coumadin.
VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol: The type of lipoprotein made primarily by the liver cells to transport Lipids to various tissues in the body.
Magnesium: A silver-white mineral, the element magnesium is involved in nearly every essential bodily function, from the healing of the heart to the creation of bone and the regulation of Blood sugar. It helps to burn Fat and produce energy and is also known as the “gatekeeper of cellular activity.” Magnesium is abundant in foods such as Wheat, bran, almonds and tofu.
Maltitol: This Sugar alcohol is used by food manufacturers as a replacement for Carbohydrates such as Sucrose. It contributes only 2.1 Calories per gram as compared to sucrose’s 4 calories per gram; nor does it raise blood glucose as sucrose does.
Maltodextrin: A type of Sugar, and therefore a Carbohydrate, found in packaged foods.
Manganese: A trace element, this Mineral is essential for growth, reproduction, wound healing, peak brain function and for the proper Metabolism of Sugars, Insulin and Cholesterol.
Melatonin: A hormone secreted by the brain’s pineal gland, a small gland in the center of the brain that regulates body rhythms and, thus, sleep. Studies have shown that those with low melatonin levels who suffer insomnia are best helped by supplemental melatonin. It has also proven useful for jet lag and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Mercury: A toxic metallic element found in old thermometers, some fireworks, paints, hair dyes, antiseptics and fungicides. The ingestion or inhalation of mercury-containing products or food such as fish contaminated by polluted water can cause mercury poisoning, which can lead to death.
Metabolic advantage: The benefit gained by switching the body from a glucose metabolism to a fat metabolism, thereby allowing the consumption of a greater number of Calories than is possible on other weight-control programs.
Metabolic resistance: A state in which it is extremely difficult to lose weight, despite restricted dietary consumption.
Metabolism: The process by which foods are transformed into basic elements that can be utilized by the body for energy or growth; the sum of all chemical reactions that go on in living cells. Metabolism includes all the reactions by which the body obtains and spends all the Calories it gets from food.
Milligram: A unit of weight used in the metric system (abbreviated as mg). One thousand micrograms equals one milligram. One ounce is equivalent to 28.4 mg.
Mineral: In nutrition, a compound nutrient that contains an inorganic substance, such as a metal or other trace element found in the earth’s crust. For example, sodium chloride (table salt) is a compound of Sodium and chlorine. Minerals play a vital role in regulating many of the body’s functions.
Molybdenum: A trace element that in supplemental form is known to cleanse the body of toxic compounds, generate energy, help manufacture hemoglobin and relieve symptoms of Arthritis and Asthma. This Mineral can be poisonous if ingested in large quantities.
Monosaccharides: Simple sugars, such as Glucose, Fructose and galactose.
Monounsaturated fat: A Fatty acid with only one double or triple bond per Molecule, it is found in such foods as fowl, almonds, pecans, cashew nuts, peanuts, avocado and olive and canola oil.