It is considered an amino acid that is needed to keep the keep the liver, skin, joints, and muscles healthy. Arginine helps strengthen the body’s immune system by increasing the output of T lymphocytes (T- cells) from the thymus gland, regulates hormones and blood sugar, and promotes male fertility. In addition, research has shown that this amino acid may improve circulation and treat impotence and heart disease. Arginine is involved in a variety of hormonal processes in the body. It stimulates the pancreas to release insulin, is used to make the pituitary hormone vasopressin, and regulates the production of growth hormone.
This is a non-essential amino acid involved in the metabolic control of cell functions in the nerve and brain function. It helps maintain equilibrium of the central nervous system. Low levels of asparagine may indicate poor metabolism or synthesis of aspartic acid, which can result in the inability to properly synthesize and excrete urea, which is the major waste product of excess dietary protein. The inability to excrete urea can result in buildup of nitrogen-containing toxic metabolites that can lead to confusion, headaches, depression, irritability, or, in extreme cases, psychosis.
Aspartic acid (L-aspartate)
This is thought to help promote a robust metabolism, and is sometimes used to treat fatigue and depression. This amino acid helps transport minerals needed to form healthy RNA and DNA to the cells, and strengthens the immune system by promoting increased production of immunoglobulins and antibodies (immune system proteins). Aspartic acid keeps your mind sharp by increasing concentrations of NADH in the brain, which is thought to boost the production of neurotransmitters and chemicals needed for normal mental functioning.
This is found in beta-keratin, the main protein in nails, skin and hair. It helps maintain a healthy, youthful appearance by encouraging collagen production and skin elasticity. N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a form of the amino acid cysteine that is most easily absorbed from supplements. NAC may be effective in the prevention and/or treatment of cancer, heavy metal poisoning, smoker’s cough, bronchitis, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, acetaminophen poisoning, and septic shock. Its detoxifying effects may also help enhance the benefits of regular exercise by protecting the body from oxidative stress.
Glutamic acid (glutamate)
This is an excitatory neurotransmitter that increases the firing of neurons in the central nervous system. It is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and spinal cord. It is converted into either glutamine or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), two other amino acids that help pass messages to the brain. Glutamic Acid is important in the metabolism of sugars and fats, and aids in the transportation of potassium into the spinal fluid and across blood-brain barrier. It is found at high levels in the blood and may infiltrate the brain in small amounts. The brain can use glutamic acid as fuel.
This is an amino acid that helps build and maintain the muscles of the body. It also helps remove toxic ammonia from the liver and helps maintain a healthy central nervous system. Glutamine easily passes through the blood-brain barrier. Glutamine is also an important source of energy for the nervous system. If the brain is not receiving enough glucose, it compensates by increasing glutamine metabolism for energy. Glutamine promotes a healthy digestive tract by helping to balance acid/alkaline levels in the body. Glutamine also protects the liver from the effects of alcohol and acetaminophen overdose.
This is one of the non-essential amino acids and is used to help create muscle tissue and convert glucose into energy. It is also essential to maintaining healthy central nervous and digestive systems. Glycine is used in the body to help construct normal DNA and RNA strands-the genetic material needed for proper cellular function and formation. It helps prevent the breakdown of muscle by boosting the body’s levels of creatine, a compound that helps build muscle mass.
This is an amino acid that is used to develop and maintain healthy tissues in all parts of the body, particularly the myelin sheaths that coat nerve cells and ensure the transmission of messages from the brain to various parts of the body. Acts as a natural detoxifier in the body. People with bipolar disorder should not take histidine.
This is a branched-chain essential amino acid that is best known for its ability to increase endurance and help heal and repair muscle tissue and encourage clotting at the site of injury. Is also keeps energy levels stable by helping to regulate blood sugar; a deficiency of isoleucine produces symptoms similar to those of hypoglycemia, and may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, depression, confusion, and irritability.
This works with the amino acids isoleucine and valine to repair muscles, regulate blood sugar, and provide the body with energy. It also increases production of growth hormones, and helps burn visceral fat, which is located in the deepest layers of the body and the least responsive to dieting and exercise.
This is an essential amino acid known for its antiviral properties. It helps prevent outbreaks of herpes and cold sores, and is needed for hormone production and the growth and maintenance of bones in both children and adults. Lysine is involved in the production off antibodies for a strong, healthy immune system, which may be part of the reason it is so effective at fighting herpes viruses. This amino acid promotes the formation of both collagen and muscle protein, and may help speed recovery from surgery and sports injuries as well.
This is an essential amino acid that helps the body process and eliminate fat. It contains sulfur, a substance that is required for the production of the body’s most abundant natural antioxidant, glutathione. Methionine is essential for the formation of healthy collagen used to form skin, nails, and connective tissue, and helps reduce the level of inflammatory histamines in the body.
This is an essential amino acid that is needed for normal functioning of the central nervous system. The body needs phenylalanine to make epinephrine, dopamine, and norepinephrine, three neurotransmitters that basically control the way you perceive and interact with your environment. Phenylalanine supplementation may help you feel happier, less hungry and more alert; it has also to treat chronic pain and improve memory and concentration. Phenylalanine, which aids in melatonin production, may be effective for treatment of vitiligo, a condition that causes white patches on the skin.
This helps the body break down proteins for use in creating healthy cells in the body. It is absolutely essential to the development and maintenance of healthy skin and connective tissues, especially at the site of traumatic tissue injury. It helps to keep muscles and joints flexible and helps reduce sagging and wrinkling that accompany UV exposure and normal aging of the skin. People with pain caused by insufficient cartilage or collagen formation could benefit from extra proline in their diet.
This helps form the phospholipids needed to make every cell in your body. It is also involved in the function of RNA and DNA, fat and fatty acid metabolism, muscle formation, and the maintenance of a healthy immune system. The proteins used to form the brain, as well as the protective myelin sheaths that cover the nerves, contain serine. Without serine, the myelin sheaths could fray and become less efficient at delivering messages between the brain and nerve endings in the body, essentially short circuiting mental function. Serine is also needed to produce tryptophan, an amino acid that is used to make serotonin, a mood-determining brain chemical. Both serotonin and tryptophan shortages have been linked to depression, insomnia, confusion, and anxiety. Research suggests that low levels of serine may contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM). Serine helps produce immunoglobulins and antibodies for a strong immune system, and also aids in the absorption of creatine, a substance made from amino acids that helps build and maintain all the muscles in the body, including the heart.
This is an essential amino acid that promotes normal growth by helping to maintain the proper protein balance in the body. Threonine also supports cardiovascular, liver, central nervous, and immune system function. Threonine is needed to create glycine and serine, two amino acids that are necessary for the production of collagen, elastin, and muscle tissue. Threonine helps keep connective tissues and muscles throughout the body strong and elastic, including the heart, where it is found in significant Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid that helps regulate mood and stimulates the nervous system. It can also help speed up the metabolism and treat conditions characterized by chronic fatigue.
This is an essential amino acid. Your body uses tryptophan to make proteins, the B-vitamin niacin and the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. However, in order to make niacin and serotonin, you also need to have sufficient iron, riboflavin and vitamin B6. L-tryptophan is used for insomnia, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, facial pain, a severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), smoking cessation, grindingteeth during sleep (bruxism), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette’s syndrome, and to improve athletic performance.
This is a non-essential amino acid that helps regulate mood and stimulates the nervous system. It can also help speed up the metabolism and treat conditions characterized by chronic fatigue. The body needs adequate supplies of tyrosine to make many important brain chemicals that help regulate appetite, pain sensitivity, and the body’s response to stress. It is also needed for normal functioning of the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands-low levels of tyrosine may lead to hypothyroidism, low blood pressure, chronic fatigue, and sluggish metabolism. It also helps build strong bones and tooth enamel, and may speed wound healing or recovery from injury. Without adequate amounts of phenylalanine, the body can’t manufacture its own supply of tyrosine; without adequate amounts of tyrosine, the body cannot metabolize phenylalanine. A shortage of either of these amino acids could leave you vulnerable to a host of mental disorders, including anxiety, depression, low libido, and chronic fatigue.
This is a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) that works with the other two BCAAs, isoleucine and leucine, to promote normal growth, repair tissues, regulate blood sugar, and provide the body with energy. Valine helps stimulate the central nervous system, and is needed for proper mental functioning. Valine helps prevent the breakdown of muscle by supplying the muscles with extra glucose for energy production during intense physical activity. Valine also helps remove potentially toxic excess nitrogen from the liver, and is able to transport nitrogen to other tissues in the body as needed. Valine may help treat liver and gallbladder disease, as well as damage to these organs caused by alcoholism and drug abuse. Valine may help treat or even reverse hepatic encephalopathy, or alcohol-related brain damage.
Digestive Acids / Enzymes
This is an enzyme that helps digest carbohydrates. It is made in the pancreas and the glands that make saliva. When the pancreas is diseased or inflamed, amylase releases into the blood. Increased blood amylase levels may occur due to:
Cancer of the pancreas, ovaries, or lungs
Gallbladder attack caused by disease
Infection of the salivary glands (such as mumps) or a blockage
Pancreatic or bile duct blockage
Tubal pregnancy (may have burst open)
Decreased amylase levels may occur due to:
Cancer of the pancreas
Damage to the pancreas
Toxemia of pregnancy
They have a detergent action on particles of dietary fat which causes fat globules to break down or be emulsified into minute, microscopic droplets. Emulsification is not digestion per se, but is of importance because it greatly increases the surface area of fat, making it available for digestion by lipases, which cannot access the inside of lipid droplets. Bile acids are lipid carriers and are able to solubilize many lipids by forming micelles – aggregates of lipids such as fatty acids, cholesterol and monoglycerides – that remain suspended in water. Bile acids are also critical for transport and absorption of the fat soluble vitamins.
Cellulase; humans do not produce cellulase, it must be ingested or created in the large intestine.
Cellulases break down the cellulose molecule into monosaccharides (“simple sugars”) such as beta-glucose, or shorter polysaccharides and oligosaccharides. Cellulose breakdown is of considerable economic importance, because it makes a major constituent of plants available for consumption and use in chemical reactions. The specific reaction involved is the hydrolysis of the 1,4-beta-D-glycosidic linkages in cellulose, hemicellulose, lichenin, and cereal beta-D-glucans. Because cellulose molecules bind strongly to each other, cellulolysis is relatively difficult compared to the breakdown of other polysaccharides such as starch. Source
Chymotrypsin is a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins (i.e., it is a proteolytic enzyme; it can also be referred to as a protease). It is naturally produced by the pancreas in the human body. Chymotrypsin, as a hydrolase type of enzyme (which means it adds a water molecule during the breakdown process) acts by catalyzing the hydrolysis of peptide bonds of proteins in the small intestine. It is selective for peptide bonds with aromatic or large hydrophobic side chains on the carboxyl side of this bond. Chymotrypsin also catalyzes the hydrolysis of ester bonds. the primary uses of chymotrypsin are as a digestive aid and as an anti-inflammatory agent. The presence and amount of chymotrypsin in a person’s stool is sometimes measured for diagnostic purposes as a test of pancreatic function. Chymotrypsin, along with the other pancreatic enzymes, is most often used in the treatment of pancreatic insufficiency. Pancreatic insufficiency is characterized by impaired digestion, malabsorption and passing of undigested food into the stool, nutrient deficiencies, gas, and abdominal bloating and discomfort. Pancreatic deficiency also occurs in persons with cystic fibrosis, a rare inherited disorder. It may also occur in those with chronic pancreatitis, as well as in the elderly. Other conditions that could result in chymotrypsin deficiency include physical injuries, chemotherapy, and chronic stress.
Pancreatic Elastase (PE) is a simple, noninvasive fecal marker for assessing exocrine pancreatic function, allowing the clinician to establish a prompt and reliable diagnosis with high degrees of sensitivity (90%-100%) and specificity (93%-98%) in suspected cases of pancreatic insufficiency. Sensitivity is lower in milder cases of pancreatic insufficiency, but is quite high (95%-100%) in moderate to severe cases. PE is a digestive enzyme secreted exclusively by the human pancreas. Its unique qualities provide the following clinical advantages:
• PE has a strong correlation with the gold standard test for pancreatic insufficiency.
• PE results are not affected by pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy; therefore, patients are not required to stop supplementation prior to stool collection.
• PE is not degraded during intestinal transit, nor is it affected greatly by increases or decreases in intestinal transit times.
• PE levels are 5-fold to 6-fold higher in feces than in duodenal juice, reflecting the extraordinary stability of PE in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
• PE is produced exclusively in the pancreas and as such has almost absolute pancreatic specificity, There is little or no interference by other enzymes in the GI tract.
PE can be used to diagnose enzyme need. PE is also useful in monitoring exocrine pancreatic function caused by: – Chronic pancreatitis – Autoimmunopathies and connective tissue diseases – Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
HCl’s important functions include:
1) Breaking down proteins into the essential amino acids and nutrients your body needs in order to stay healthy.
2) Stimulating your pancreas and small intestines to produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary to further breakdown the carbohydrates, proteins and fats you eat.
3)Preventing disease by killing pathogenic bacteria and yeast normally present in food. As you age, your stomach acid tends to decrease anyway. Add a poor diet of processed foods and you may find that you have both digestive and immune problems.
There are two main consequences of low stomach acid:
You become protein malnourished. When your stomach acid is low, you are not able to digest protein.
1. Improper digestion of protien creates toxins in your intestines that can set the stage for illness and disease.
2. Improper digestion of protein also creates acidic blood, since protein is by nature acidic.
You become mineral deficient. As your blood becomes more acidic, it will look for minerals from anywhere in your body, in order to get your blood to its more ideal alkaline state. Acidic blood robs your body of minerals, even taking minerals from your bones (which is important to know if you want to prevent osteoporosis).
Low stomach acid eventually creates a vicious cycle: low stomach acid = low minerals = acidic blood. This cycle continues because acidic blood further creates low minerals and low stomach acid.
Once this vicious cycle has started, there is a cascade of consequences:
You could eat plenty of protein and still be protein malnourished. This raises cortisol levels (stress or death hormone), thereby raising your blood glucose (blood sugar levels). Elevated cortisol adversely affects your behavior and temperament.
Eventually, your adrenals become depleted (adrenal fatigue), and DHEA, the youth hormone, is suppressed, leading to premature aging.
Low DHEA and high cortisol affect your brain and behavior, but that’s not all. The vicious cycle of low stomach acid affects your inner ecosystem too. Low stomach acid can lead to more bad guys (pathogenic bacteria, candida and viruses) than good guys (healthy microflora), thus lowering your immunity.
Here are some of the common symptoms and disorders caused by low stomach acid:
Bloating, belching, and flatulence immediately after meals
Heartburn (often thought to be caused by too much stomach acid)
Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation
Undigested food in stools
Hair loss in women
Multiple food allergies
Weak, peeling, or cracked fingernails
Various autoimmune diseases
Here are the 3 key ways to increase your stomach acid:
1) Reduce or eliminate sugar.
2) Add fermented foods and drinks to your diet.
3) Eliminate processed foods.
The following are some of the causes that are responsible for higher stomach acid production:
• Diet, increased consumption of spicy foods and oily foods increases the extent of acid production.
• If you consume foods that are very rich in fiber content, it takes a long time for the food to pass through the stomach. As a result, the acid production continues until the stomach is emptied, resulting in increased amount of acid in the stomach.
• Stomach ulcer or cancers that increase the production of gastrin automatically increase the acid production.
• Stress is the major cause for a great number of ailments in the body. It is found that individuals who are severely stressed produce increased amounts of acid in the stomach.
• Bacterial infection by the bacterium H. pylori is also found to increase the acid production.
•Irregular meals like not having meals regularly at a particular time. Existence of a long gap between meals results in accumulation of the secreted acid in the stomach.
• In some people, lack of sufficient sleep also increases the acid production.
In majority of the cases, increased acid production is mainly due to dietary habits. To know if foods are responsible for increased acidity, cultivate the habit of noting down the foods you have taken and the time you have developed acidity. Correlation of both the details shows the presence of any existing relation between foods consumed and the cause of increased stomach acid. If having certain foods is repeatedly associated with acidity, quit the food to obtain relief from the problem.
If the daily routine is keeping you busy and preventing you from having timely meals, try to nibble something in the middle. This helps to keep the acid levels in the stomach under control.
Lactase is essential to the complete digestion of whole milk; it breaks down lactose, a sugar which gives milk its sweetness. Source
Lipases perform essential roles in the digestion, transport and processing of dietary lipids. Source
Maltase breaks down the disaccharide maltose in to two glucose molecules, which are easily oxidized by the body for energy. In simple words, maltase is an important part of the enzymatic process that our bodies use to effectively digest starches and sugars present in grains and other plant-based foods we eat daily.
This enzyme is synthesized in the lining of the intestinal wall and used with the cells inside our mucous membranes. Beginning in the oral cavity, maltase works with other carbohydrate-digesting enzymes to break down starches and complex sugars into simpler, more-digestible pieces. Maltase is one of the most important enzymes in our digestive process, as it is a key enzyme in the mouth and the saliva. The enzyme maltase helps to relieve the burden of digestion on the pancreas and the small intestine. Without this important enzyme, the small intestine has a much harder time breaking down sugars and starches. In this way, maltase helps the entire digestive system function smoothly. Similarly, having enough maltase present in the gut may lower irritation and support multiple health benefits beyond digestion.
This enzyme produced in the mucosal lining of the stomach that acts to degrade protein. Pepsin is one of three principal protein-degrading, or proteolytic, enzymes in the digestive system, the other two being chymotrypsin and trypsin. During the process of digestion, these enzymes, each of which is particularly effective in severing links between particular types of amino acids, collaborate to break down dietary proteins to their components, i.e.,peptides and amino acids, which can be readily absorbed by the intestinal lining. In the laboratory studies pepsin is most efficient in cleaving bonds involving the aromatic amino acids, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and tyrosine. Pepsin is synthesized in an inactive form by the stomach lining; hydrochloric acid, also produced by the gastric mucosa, is necessary to convert the inactive enzyme and to maintain the optimum acidity ( p H 1-3) for pepsin function.
Protease (Proteolytic Enzyme)
Peptidase or proteinase, is a type of enzyme that functions mainly to help us digest different kinds of proteins. They break down the bonds by a process known as hydrolysis and convert proteins into smaller chains called peptides or even smaller units called amino acids.
Commonly found in plant sources like papaya and pineapple, proteases also play a key role in many physiological processes. Proteins have a complex folded structure requiring these types of enzymes to disassemble the molecule in very specific ways. Without proteases the intestinal lining would not be able to digest proteins, causing serious consequences to your health.
Proteolytic enzymes are extremely important for the digestion of many foods. But their intestinal duties are not solely limited to digesting food. They also digest the cell walls of unwanted harmful organisms in the body and break down unwanted wastes such as toxins, cellular debris, and undigested proteins. In this way, protease helps digest the small stuff, so that our immune system can work hard to avoid toxin overload.
Secretin is a hormone that controls parts of the digestive system and maintains water balance in the body. It’s released by the duodenum, the upper part of the small intestine. Secretin is responsible for controlling pH in the stomach. pH refers to the concentration of acid. If the pH is too low, there is too much acid, and the organs can become damaged. If the pH is too high, there is not enough acid and the digestive system may not be able to break down food. So, it’s important that there is the right amount of acid in the digestive system.
As food passes through your digestive system, secretin is released into the pancreas, stimulating this organ to release the acidic digestive fluids that break down your food. When too much acid is produced, secretin stimulates different cells in the pancreas that produce bicarbonate, a substance that neutralizes acid, thereby balancing the pH and ensuring that acid doesn’t damage the organs. Secretin can also stop the production of acidic chemicals in the stomach, and it can cause the pancreas and gall bladder to release other chemicals that help with digestion.
The secretin stimulation test is done to check the digestive function of the pancreas. The following diseases may prevent the pancreas from working properly:
In these conditions, there may be a lack of digestive enzymes or other chemicals in the fluid that comes from the pancreas. This can reduce the body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.
This is a digestive enzyme secreted in the small intestine. Sucrase enzymes are located on the brush border of the small intestine. The enzymes catalyse the hydrolysis of sucrose to fructose and glucose. Sucrosen intolerance (also known as congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID), genetic sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (GSID), or sucrase-isomaltase deficiency) occurs when sucrase is not secreted in the small intestine. With sucrose intolerance, the result of consuming sucrose is excess gas production and often diarrhea and malabsorption. Sucrase is secreted by the tips of the villi of the epithelium in the small intestine. Its levels are reduced in response to villi-blunting events such as celiac sprue and the inflammation associated with the disorder.
This is an enzyme of the hydrolase class, secreted as trypsinogen by the pancreas andconverted to the active form in the small intestine, that catalyzes the cleavage of peptide linkages involving the carboxylgroup of either lysine or arginine; a purified preparation derived from ox pancreas is used for its proteolytic effect indébridement and in the treatment of empyema.tryp´tic
Calcium; is a mineral found in many foods. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness and to carry out many important functions. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and to carry out many important functions. The body also needs calcium for muscles to move and for nerves to carry messages between the brain and everybody part. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.
Insufficient intakes of calcium do not produce obvious symptoms in the short term because the body maintains calcium levels in the blood by taking it from bone. Over the long term, intakes of calcium below recommended levels have health consequences, such as causing low bone mass (osteopenia) and increasing the risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones in older adults (especially women) in which the bones become porous, fragile, and more prone to fracture.
Chloride; is one of the most important electrolytes in the blood. It helps keep the amount of fluid inside and outside of your cells in balance. It also helps maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of your body fluids.
Magnesium; Magnesium is the central element in chlorophyll and the basis of early life on the planet. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heart beat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein. It plays an important role in the reactions that generate and use ATP, the fundamental unit of energy within the body’s cells. Magnesium is a macro-mineral, which, unlike trace minerals, is needed by the body in large amounts. Calcium, sodium, and potassium are also macro-minerals. The average human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, one of the six essential minerals that must be supplied in the diet. Once magnesium enters the body through food, supplements, or topical applications, it is broken down and released to form independent magnesium atoms, or “ions”. In its ionic form, magnesium has a positive charge, commonly noted as Mg2+. Magnesium cations function as a part of the structure of the body through their presence in bone. But arguably more important is their function as cell regulators in hundreds of chemical reactions throughout the body.
Magnesium is crucial to more than 300 enzyme-driven biochemical reactions occurring in the body on a near constant basis. All nutrients used by the human body function as either: sources of energy, building blocks for body structures, elements needed to regulate and control the body’s many functions. Like most vitamins, magnesium’s role is primarily regulatory. It allows enzymes to function properly, which in turn enable a vast majority of the body’s chemical reactions. Enzymes are the basis of the body’s ability to function while supporting life. Many of the necessary chemical reactions that the body carries out, such as the breakdown of sugars in the digestive system, can only normally be performed under extreme heat or acidity. Enzymes, however, allow these reactions to occur without damaging the body’s fragile tissues and organs. Yet enzymes do not function alone. Substances known as enzyme co-factors must regulate the functions of enzymes to control the rate of reactions within the body. These co-factors act as “keys” to switches within each enzyme, instructing it to start or stop activity.
Magnesium is one of the most common co-factors in the body. Its presence is crucial to: Glucose and fat breakdown, production of proteins, enzymes and antioxidants such as glutathione, creation of DNA and RNA, Regulation of cholesterol production.
Without enzyme co-factors-including both hormones and vital minerals such as magnesium-reactions could easily spiral out of control. In fact, even slight imbalances can chronically impact the body’s level of performance and health.
Phosphorus; Next to calcium, phosphorus is the most abundant mineral in the body. These 2 important nutrients work closely together to build strong bones and teeth. About 85% of the body’s phosphorus is in bones and teeth. Phosphorous is also present in smaller amounts in cells and tissues throughout the body. Phosphorus helps filter out waste in the kidneys and plays an essential role in how the body stores and uses energy. It also helps reduce muscle pain after a workout. Phosphorus is needed for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells, and to produce the genetic building blocks, DNA and RNA. Phosphorus is also needed to help balance and use other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, and zinc.
Potassium; Potassium is a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body. It is also an electrolyte, a substance that conducts electricity in the body, along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium is crucial to heart function and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it important for normal digestive and muscular function. potassium may play a role in preventing osteoporosis. studies suggest that increasing potassium intake also reduces the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, possibly because of potassium’s blood pressure lowering effects. And Studies show that people with a higher sodium-potassium ratio have a higher risk of heart disease and all-cause mortality. People who have a lot of potassium I their diet have a lower risk of stroke.
Sodium; is an element that the body needs to work properly. Salt contains sodium. The body uses sodium to control blood pressure and blood volume. Your body also needs sodium for your muscles and nerves to work properly. Too much sodium in the diet may lead to High blood pressure in some people and A serious buildup of fluid in people with heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver, or kidney disease.
Sulfur; is the third most abundant mineral in the body, about half concentrated in your muscles, skin and bones, and is essential for life. Sulfur makes up vital amino acids used to create protein for cells and tissues and for hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. The body uses up its store daily so it must be continually replenished for optimal health and nutrition. Sulfur is needed for insulin production. Insulin controls carbohydrate metabolism, but insufficient sulfur makes it harder for the pancreas to produce enough insulin, and makes cells less able to absorb things from the blood, contributing to blood sugar problems.
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It works with iron to help the body form red blood cells. It also helps keep the blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones healthy. Copper also aids in iron absorption. Copper combines with certain proteins to produce enzymes that act as catalysts to help several body functions. Some help provide energy required by biochemical reactions. Others are involved in the transformation of melanin for pigmentation of the skin and still others help to form cross-links in collagen and elastin and thereby maintain and repair connective tissues. This is especially important for the heart and arteries. Copper is an essential trace element that is vital to the health of all living things (humans, plants, animals, and microorganisms). In humans, copper is essential to the proper functioning of organs and metabolic processes. The human body has complex homeostatic mechanisms which attempt to ensure a constant supply of available copper, while eliminating excess copper whenever this occurs. Copper is one of a relatively small group of metallic elements which are essential to human health. These elements, along with amino and fatty acids as well as vitamins, are required for normal metabolic processes.
Chromium is a metallic element that humans require in very small amounts for normal body functions, such as digesting food. Chromium exists in many natural foods including brewer’s yeast, meats, potatoes (especially the skins), cheeses, molasses, spices, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables. It is an essential part of metabolic processes that regulate blood sugar, and helps insulin transport glucose into cells, where it can be used for energy. Chromium also appears to be involved in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
Fluorine is critical to mammals in trace amounts. It strengthens the crystalline structure of bones and teeth, making them far less prone to breakage or decay. Most municipalities add fluorine salts to their water supply for this purpose.
A versatile, health-giving substance that is found in high concentration in numerous medicinal plants. This remarkable nutrient is an oxygen catalyst, antioxidant, electro-stimulant and immune enhancer. Nutritionally, the natural element germanium has been known to aid in the prevention of cancer and AIDS. Certain compounds of germanium have toxic effects against certain bacteria. In its organic form, germanium is being hailed as one of the greatest new developments in the nutritional treatment of cancer.
The estimated daily intake for germanium is 1 mg. Germanium has been reported to improve the immune system, boost the body’s oxygen supply, make a person feel more energetic, and destroy damaging free radicals. Germanium also protects against radiation.
Organic germanium is a biological-response modifier. This means it enables the body to change its response to tumors, which has therapeutic benefits. Germanium does not directly attack cancer cells, but stimulates the body’s immune system, making it effective in the treatment of cancer as well as other degenerative diseases.
Germanium facilitates the movement of oxygen across cellular membranes to deliver oxygen into the cells. Dr. Otto Warburg, Nobel prize-winning cancer researcher, discovered that cancer cells do not metabolize oxygen properly. Flooding cells with oxygen may retard the growth of cancer cells or even help return them to normal.
A study published in the Journal of Interferon Research, concluded “…organic germanium restores the normal function of T-cells, B-lymphocytes, natural killer cell activity, and the numbers of antibody-forming cells…. Organic germanium has unique physiological activities without any significant side effects.”
Germanium has been used to treat depression, arthritis, vision problems, elevated blood pressure, heavy metal poisoning, and cancer.
Iodine is a non-metallic mineral which humans require in trace amounts for proper development and growth. It exists in most soils, and is taken up by plants which are in turn ingested by humans and animals. Most of the body’s stores of iodine are in the thyroid gland. The body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. These hormones control the body’s metabolism and many other important functions. The body needs thyroid hormones for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy. Getting enough iodine is important for everyone, especially infants and women who are pregnant. Iodine also regulates all key metabolic functions including blood cell production and nerve and muscle function. Because our body heat is primarily derived from muscle metabolism, these hormones also regulate body temperature. Iodine is also extremely important for breast and prostate health.
Iron is a relatively common element in the universe, being found in stars and meteorites. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body’s iron. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency anemia. Without healthy red blood cells, your body can’t get enough oxygen. “If you’re not getting sufficient oxygen in the body, you’re going to become fatigued.”
The symptoms of moderate to severe iron deficiency anemia include:
shortness of breath
strange cravings to eat items that aren’t food, such as dirt, ice, or clay
a tingling or crawling feeling in the legs
tongue swelling or soreness
cold hands and feet
fast or irregular heartbeat
The mineral known for its efficacy against bipolar disorder, has become one of the most effective go-to for mental health. What many do not know, however, is that lithium offers a host of other lesser-known benefits, many of which go far beyond brain health.
1) Promotes Normal Brain Health; Studies have shown that lithium may increase grey matter volume in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain, most likely through the generation of new stem cells. This process is called neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells.
2) Supports Bone Health; The effects of calcium and phosphorus, two minerals integral to bone formation, may be enhanced through lithium supplementation. Some research indicates lithium’s potential to support bone strength.
3) Promotes Focus and Attention; it was found that lithium was comparable at addressing the most common symptoms of short attention span and even secondary symptoms like mood imbalance.
4) Supports Immune Health; lithium may have potent immune-bolstering effects, simultaneously exerting immune stimulating properties along with activity against harmful organisms. One major mechanism is by decreasing the level of prostaglandin activity. Prostaglandins are tiny signalers in every cell of the body, modulating a variety of metabolic actions. Excessive prostaglandin activity can depress immune function; however, lithium may play a role in preventing its overproduction and immune-suppressing effects.
5) Encourages Longevity; Exciting research from Japan has demonstrated a strong correlation between lithium consumption and longevity. The study involved analyzing 18 water municipalities that consisted of over 1.2 million citizens. Results showed lower mortality rates from all causes in the population groups receiving higher levels of lithium in the water supply. Research suggests that lithium may act as an antioxidant, possibly providing anti-aging, life-extension benefits.
Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function. Manganese is a component of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), which helps fight free radicals. Free radicals occur naturally in the body but can damage cell membranes and DNA. They may play a role in aging, as well as the development of several health conditions, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, such as SOD, can help neutralize free radicals and reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Low levels of manganese in the body can contribute to infertility, bone malformation, weakness, and seizures. It is easy to get enough manganese in your diet — this nutrient is found in whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Molybdenum is classified as a metallic element and found widely in nature in nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Molybdenum is essential in trace amounts. In humans and animals, molybdenum serves mainly as an essential cofactor of enzymes and aids in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Humans need only very small amounts of molybdenum, which are easily attained through a healthy diet. Molybdenum in humans is to act as a catalyst for enzymes and to help facilitate the breakdown of certain amino acids in the body. Molybdenum combines with sulfite oxidase to catalyze sulfur-containing amino acids that are crucial for human health. Also, molybdenum is abundant in human tooth enamel and may have a role in lowering the risk of tooth decay.
Selenium can play a protective role in the body because it increases antioxidant capabilities and the quality of blood flow, therefore enhancing the body’s resistance against diseases and stress. Selenium is often praised for its role in antioxidant activity which lowers free radical damage and inflammation. This means that selenium benefits your body by helping to prevent common forms of cancer, to fight off viruses, defend against heart disease, and to slow down symptoms correlated with other serious conditions like asthma.
Selenium is also an essential trace mineral important for cognitive function, a healthy immune system and fertility for both men and women.
A study out of the Netherlands has linked selenium intake to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Silicon is known as a beautifying mineral and there are also many health benefits associated with it. It not only causes the strengthening of connective tissues and bones, but is also useful in taking care of nails, hair and skin. The health benefits of silicon also play a vital role in the prevention of atherosclerosis, insomnia, skin disorders and tuberculosis.
Silicon is the second most available element found in the earth’s crust, and it is one of the most important elements used in high tech devices and semiconductors. Silicon is a vital trace mineral required by the body for strong and flexible joints, glowing skin and stronger bones.
Zinc is a metal. It is called an “essential trace element” because very small amounts of zinc are necessary for human health. Zinc is used for treatment and prevention of zinc deficiency and its consequences, including stunted growth and acute diarrhea in children, and slow wound healing. Zinc is needed in small amounts every day to maintain health and perform important functions each day. Zinc helps with hormone production, growth and repairment; improves immunity and facilitates digestion. Zinc benefits also include its ability to act as an anti-inflammatory agent, therefore zinc may have significant therapeutic benefits for several common, chronic diseases like fighting cancer or reversing heart disease. Zinc is present within all bodily tissue and needed for healthy cell division. It acts like an antioxidant within the body, fighting free-radical damage and slow the aging process. Zinc also has a big impact on hormonal balance, so for this reason, even a small zinc deficiency can result in an increased risk for infertility or diabetes.
Vitamins / Coenzymes
This is an essential nutrient that all tissues of the body need to function properly. Like the other B vitamins, thiamine is water-soluble and helps the body turn food into energy. The body needs thiamine to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is a molecule that transports energy within cells.
A thiamine deficiency can impact many different functions of your body, including those of the nervous system, heart and brain. Conditions that can impair thiamine levels include alcoholism, Crohn’s disease, and anorexia.
People who are undergoing dialysis for their kidneys or taking loop diuretics are also at risk for thiamine deficiency. Loop diuretics are prescribed for people with congestive heart failure. They can flush thiamine out of the body, possibly canceling out any health benefits. The heart relies on thiamine to function properly.
Thiamine deficiency can lead to two major health problems: beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Beriberi affects breathing, eye movements, heart function, and alertness. It’s caused by a buildup of pyruvic acid in the bloodstream, which is a side effect of your body not being able to turn food into fuel. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is technically two different disorders. Wernicke’s disease affects the nervous system and causes visual impairments, a lack of muscle coordination, and mental decline. If Wernicke’s disease is left untreated, it can lead to Korsakoff syndrome. Korsakoff syndrome permanently impairs memory functions in the brain.
This is a water-soluble vitamin present in most animal and plant tissues. Riboflavin is one of the essential B vitamins, known to help support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and facilitate key metabolic processes, including helping to turn food into energy. Riboflavin is involved in vital metabolic processes in the body, and is necessary for energy production and normal cell function and growth.
VItamin B2 is also crucial in helping other B vitamins undergo the chemical changes that make them useful. Emerging research shows that riboflavin/vitamin B2 can act as an antioxidant, potentially helping to prevent cancer and prohibit cholesterol buildup by controlling the proliferation of harmful molecules known as free radicals.
Dietary sources of riboflavin include: dairy products (such as milk, cheese and yogurt), eggs, enriched or fortified cereals and grains, meats, liver, dark greens (such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach and turnip greens), fish, poultry, and buckwheat. Keep in mind that riboflavin is easily destroyed by exposure to light, so buy milk and yogurt in paper cartons or containers.
Too little riboflavin can cause weakness, throat swelling/soreness, a swollen tongue, skin cracking (including cracked corners of the mouth), dermatitis, and anemia. Riboflavin/vitamin B2 deficiency can also affect vision, including blurred vision and itching, watering, sore, or bloodshot eyes, as well eyes becoming light-sensitive and easily fatigued.
This is one of the eight B-complex water-soluble vitamins. Niacin has a wide range of uses in the body, helping functions in the digestive system, skin and nervous system. Niacin comes in several forms, including niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate. Each of these forms has various uses as well.
Food sources of niacin include yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, nuts, green vegetables, beans and enriched breads and cereals. The human body can also make niacin from the amino acid tryptophan.niacin helps the body break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy. it plays a role in gland and liver function. Niacin has a role in producing certain hormones in the adrenal glands and helps remove harmful chemicals from the liver. It also can play a part in improving health.
According to NIH, it is also used for treating migraine headaches, circulation problems and dizziness, and to reduce the diarrhea associated with cholera. It is also used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. B3 was found to improve the ability to maintain an erection in men with moderate to severe erectile dysfunction. More severe niacin deficiency can cause a condition called pellagra. The symptoms of pellagra include digestive problems, inflamed or flakey skin, diarrhea and mental impairment. There is also a correlation between niacin deficiency and schizophrenia.
One side effect of taking niacin supplements is mild flushing. Ross described it as a feeling of warmth, itching, redness or a tingly feeling under the skin. The flushing is harmless and usually subsides within one or two hours.
B3, Nicotinamide (niacinamide)
This is the water-soluble, active form of vitamin B3. The broad clinical effects of nicotinamide may be explained by its role as a cellular energy precursor, a modulator of inflammatory cytokines, an inhibitor of the nuclear enzyme poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose [ADP]) polymerase [PARP], which plays a significant role in DNA repair, maintenance of genomic stability, and cellular response to injury including inflammation and apoptosis (cell death).
B3 may repair damage to the brain caused by strokes. B3 may also be helpful to cancer patients. A recent study found that nicotinamide significantly reduces the incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancers in those with a history of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.
Oral nicotinamide is generally well tolerated in doses under 3 g/day. It does not cause flushing or gastrointestinal upset, unlike its precursor nicotinic acid. It has been reported to increase sweating and raise blood sugar.
B5, Pantothenic Acid
This is a component of coenzyme A (CoA), an essential coenzyme in a variety of reactions that sustain life. CoA is required for chemical reactions that generate energy from food (fat, carbohydrates, and proteins). The synthesis of essential fats, cholesterol, and steroid hormones requires CoA, as does the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, and the hormone, melatonin. Heme, a component of hemoglobin, requires a CoA-containing compound for its synthesis. Metabolism of many drugs and toxins by the liver requires CoA. Coenzyme A was named for its role in acetylation reactions. Both CoA and the acyl-carrier protein are required for the synthesis of fatty acids.
Administration of pantothenic acid orally and application of pantothenol ointment to the skin have been shown to accelerate the closure of skin wounds and increase the strength of scar tissue. A pantothenic acid derivative called pantethine has been reported to have a cholesterol lowering effect.
B5 helps create red blood cells, create stress related and sex hormones, maintain a healthy digestive tract, process other B vitamins (especially riboflavin), and synthesize cholesterol.
This is involved in no less than 100 different chemical reactions in your body per minute.
It functions mostly as a co-enzyme – which is exactly what it sounds like. Vitamin B6 works with other enzymes to regulate all sorts of processes in your body.
Studies have shown the benefits of vitamin B6 in relieving edema and reducing water retention, improving magnesium deficiency, peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, rheumatism, cardiovascular occlusions and myocardial infarcts, learning and developmental disorders, and autism.
Technically, vitamin B6 is an umbrella term given to three different vitamins, pyridoxine, pridoxal, and pyridoxamine. The three B6 vitamins work together with other enzymes to speed up chemical reactions in cells.
Those processes include making amino acids, creating neurotransmitters like serotonin and metabolizing energy released in creating red blood cells. Vitamin B6 benefits also include helping to balance hormones and strengthen the immune system.
The activated form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal-5-phosphate or P-5-P, is the form of vitamin B6 that the body utilizes best. Because many people can’t convert vitamin B6 to P-5-P, doctors recommend that at least 20% of the daily intake of vitamin B6 be in the form of a supplement containing P-5-P, the activated form of vitamin B6 in order to derive the maximum vitamin B6 benefits.
Vitamin B6 deficiency has been linked to depression, schizophrenia, autism and irritability. Studies have shown a deficiency of vitamin B6 in people diagnosed with epilepsy, acne, arthritis and sebhorheic dermatitis.
Because the body requires vitamin B6 to properly metabolize so many different other enzymes and proteins, a vitamin B6 deficiency can potentially be at the root of many different disorders, including yeast infections, water retention, premenstrual syndrome, an impaired immune system, Parkinson’s disease and arthritis.
Specifically, clinical studies have shown the benefits of vitamin B6 in treating:
· carpal tunnel syndrome
· premenstrual syndrome
· attention deficit disorder
· clinical depression
In most cases, scientists believe that supplementing the diet with vitamin B6 allows the body to better utilize other supplements and medications, and improves the effectiveness of other treatments for those conditions.
Because your body uses vitamin B6 to help metabolize and use other enzymes and vitamins, it’s important that you match your intake of B6 with equal doses of vitamins B12 and other vitamins in the B complex family. If those guidelines aren’t followed, then long term doses of as little as 500 mg daily can result in the toxicity of vitamin B6. To avoid vitamin B6 overdose, nutrition experts suggest that vitamin B6 be taken with equal doses of other B vitamins and magnesium supplements.
The health benefits of Vitamin B7 or Biotin include improved metabolism, tissue maintenance, healthy skin, weight loss, relief from heart problems, alopecia, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome and vaginal candidiasis. It also aids in the synthesis of vital components and helps in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Biotin, along with the other B-complex vitamins, has the main functions of helping your body to process energy, and of carrying carbon dioxide through your body. Your sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow also function at their peak efficiency when you have proper Biotin levels.
Biotin may have an important role in the growth and maintenance of your hair and nails. If you suffer from a Biotin deficiency, you will typically experience hair loss and brittle nails, and taking supplements of this vitamin may help to halt this process. In many cases, taking a Biotin supplement may even help you to stimulate new hair and nail growth. Even though hair loss is rarely caused by a Biotin deficiency in your body, this problem can quite often be helped if you take Biotin supplements regularly.
Vitamin B9: (Folate)
All the B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning the body does not store them. Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. Vitamin B9, also called folate or folic acid, is one of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy needed for a healthy liver, and healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Folic acid (Vitamin B9), also known as folate, functions as a coenzyme during the synthesis of genetic material (DNA). It is also a vital component for cellular division, and the normal growth, development, function, and reproduction of all cells. Folic acid plays a role in all processes that depend on cell division. Folic acid is necessary to help regulate the formation of both red and white blood cells. It also aids in the elimination of homocysteine from the body, a blood toxin which can negatively impact the heart muscle and contribute to the deposit of cholesterol in the heart. Folate helps to promote a healthy pregnancy by acting to regulate the development of the fetus’ central nervous system. Folic acid is vital for all growth phases of human life.
The MTHFR gene instructs the body to make an enzyme necessary to convert Vitamin B9 into a usable form. This enzyme is also important in the process of converting homocysteine into methionine – an amino acid the body needs for growth and metabolism. Methylation, a process involving a methyl group activating an enzyme, is also associated with the MTHFR gene. Proper methylation enables the body to detoxify toxic metals, toxins, and other wastes more efficiently. In the case of an MTHFR mutation, an inability to process folic acid (vitamin B9) can have serious effects. For one, a developing fetus can suffer brain defects like spina bifida or anencephaly if the mother has a severe defect in the gene. Folate deficiency can also result in lethargy, impaired cognitive function, and mood disorders.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
This plays a role in making DNA and also helps keep nerve cells and red blood cells healthy. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes. Vitamin B-12 has been looked at as a treatment for many diseases and conditions. These include fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, breast cancer, high cholesterol, and sickle cell disease. The body needs B12 to convert homocysteine to methionine, protect DNA and RNA, support energy, protect nerve and brain cells, stimulate serotonin production, contribute to red blood cell formation, support immune function, and maintain a positive mood.
Many individuals cannot convert cobalamin into the active form called methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin is the only form of B12 that can cross the blood-brain barrier without assistance or conversion. Its methyl group stimulates serotonin creation, a neurotransmitter responsible for mood support. It also works directly on brain cells to protect against damage from excitotoxins. Researchers have found large doses of methylcobalamin may offer therapeutic value for those suffering from ALS and multiple sclerosis. This is the only form of B12 that acts on the nervous system. A deficiency in B12 can lead to pernicious anemia. The most common cause of pernicious anemia is the loss of stomach cells that make intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor helps the body absorb vitamin B12 in the intestine. The loss of parietal cells may be due to destruction by the body’s own immune system.
This is an antioxidant which protects cells against oxidation damage that can lead to cancer. Beta carotene is converted, as needed, to vitamin A. Excessive carotene in the diet can temporarily yellow the skin, a condition called carotenemia.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance that helps convert food into energy. CoQ10 is found in almost every cell in the body, and is a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants fight damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Scientists believe free radicals contribute to the aging process, as well as a number of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants, such as CoQ10, can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
Some researchers believe that CoQ10 may help with heart-related conditions, because it can improve energy production in cells, prevent blood clot formation, and act as an antioxidant.
Some studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 supplements, either by themselves or in with other drug therapies, may help prevent or treat the following conditions:
After Heart Attack
High Blood Pressure
Heart Damage caused by chemotherapy
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Preliminary clinical studies also suggest that CoQ10 may:
Improve immune function in people with HIV or AIDS
Increase sperm motility, improving male fertility
Be used as part of the treatment for Parkinson disease
Improve exercise ability in people with angina
Help prevent migraines
Scientific studies are needed to see whether CoQ10 can be safely and effectively used for these health problems and needs.
Vitamin A (Retinoid)
This is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly. Vitamin A is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth. There are two types of vitamin A. This entry is primarily about the active form of vitamin A — retinoids — that comes from animal products. Beta-carotene is among the second type of vitamin A, which comes from plants.However, getting too much preformed vitamin A (usually from supplements or certain medicines) can cause dizziness, nausea, headaches, coma, and even death. High intakes of preformed vitamin A in pregnant women can also cause birth defects in their babies. Women who might be pregnant should not take high doses of vitamin A supplements.
This is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. Vitamin C is important in the synthesis of collagen, the framework protein for tissues of the body. Deficiency leads to scurvy, characterized by fragile capillaries, poor wound healing, and bone deformity in children.
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy
This is a steroid vitamin which promotes absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus which helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, and is suggested to supply a protective effect against multiple diseases and conditions such as cancer, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Under normal conditions of sunlight exposure, no dietary supplementation is necessary because sunlight promotes adequate vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Vitamin D must go through several processes in your body before your body can use it. The first transformation occurs in the liver. Here, your body converts vitamin D to a chemical known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D, also called calcidiol. The 25-hydroxy vitamin D test is the best way to monitor vitamin D levels. The test can determine if your vitamin D levels are too high or too low. D3 is up to 87% more effective than D2.
It is estimated that up to 85 percent of people have insufficient levels of vitamin D and are unaware of their deficient state. While conventional media and medicine promote sun avoidance, doing so can actually put your health in grave danger and cause vitamin D deficiency.
The Role of Vitamin D in Disease Prevention
A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. There are about 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D affects nearly 3,000 of them, as well as vitamin D receptors located throughout your body.
According to one large-scale study, optimal vitamin D levels can slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent. Keeping your levels optimized can help prevent at least 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancers. Moreover, vitamin D can build your defenses against cancer by:
· Enhancing the self-destruction of mutated cells (which can replicate and cause cancer)
· Slowing down the production and spread of cancer cells
· Helping in the differentiation of cells (cancer cells are not differentiated)
· Preventing the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones (this can help stop the progress of benign tumors into cancerous ones)
Vitamin D can also help reduce the risk of other conditions as well, including type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness), and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin D also exhibits its infection-fighting abilities in the treatment of tuberculosis, pneumonia, colds, and flu. It can also improve seizure control in epileptics. (Mercola.com)
This is a fat-soluble nutrient found in many foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is most well-known for the important role it plays in blood clotting. However, vitamin K is also absolutely essential to building strong bones, preventing heart disease, and a crucial part of other bodily processes. Deficiency can lead to abnormal bleeding. Vitamin K2 should be used in conjunction with D3 for achieving the most optimal levels of Vitamin D without toxicity.
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Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is one of the most important enzymes in human physiology. this gene provides your body with instructions to make a protein responsible for folate metabolism. This helps to assess your risk for coronary artery disease and stroke and which medication may be best for you.
Deficiencies in production or function of this enzyme have been associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, venous thrombosis, several types of cancer, congenital defects, inflammatory bowel disease, and several neuropsychiatric conditions. In practice, MTHFR function is an important predictor of predispositions to chronic disease states, and interventions aimed at optimizing MTHFR function can often be preventive or therapeutic.
Most research on MTHFR mutations point to the C677T homozygous mutation and how it causes elevated levels of homocysteine. This mutation has been linked to neuropsychiatric conditions due to the indirect effects of MTHFR activity on the production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, as well as the potentially toxic effect of hyperhomocysteinemia.
Schizophrenia-like syndromes, bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia have all been associated with one or more mutations of the MTHFR gene.
The MTHFR A1298C mutation affects the enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase by inhibiting the utilization of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), or methylfolate, in producing an important chemical called tetrahydrobiopterin, or BH4. BH4 is a cofactor in neurotransmitter production, including serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It also plays a role in the production of nitric oxide. If you have the MTHFR A1298C mutation, you may be deficient in BH4, which may cause psychological or neurological problems, as well as cardiovascular disease. Methylfolate supplementation can help address the MTHFR A1298C mutation by pushing the production of BH4, thereby preventing or reversing a BH4 deficiency.