Vitamin D Deficiency During the Winter

Vitamin D Deficiency in Winter

Daylight savings has come and we have had our first snow dusting in the Twin Cities. It is time to start considering the risk of vitamin D deficiency — the days are getting shorter and a tad drearier, especially here. I never actually realized this, but it gets darker earlier up north since we are further from the equator. This means less hours of sunshine and less direct sun rays, which can be a bit of a problem since sunlight is the best source of vitamin D. 

Vitamin D is essential to the body for maintaining proper amounts of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Vitamin D also aids in the absorption of calcium which helps keep our bones nice and strong. According to the Mayo clinic, vitamin D deficiency could cause rickets, or malformation of bones, in children and osteomalacia, or weakened bones and muscles in adults. Low levels of vitamin D is also thought to cause depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder in some individuals, with fall and winter being especially high risk times.  The FDA’s daily recommendations for vitamin D are 600IU for ages 1-70 and 800IU for those over the age of 70, but according to other research this might just be the bare minimum. So what are ways we can obtain the needed vitamin D during the darker winter months and avoid vitamin D deficiency?

Dietary sources typically only make up for 20% of our overall vitamin D intake, but it doesn’t hurt to load up on these foods during times of lower sunlight.  Here are few foods to help you avoid vitamin D deficiency: Fatty fish such as tuna, mackerel or salmon. Six ounces of salmon contains over 600IU of vitamin D. Eggs (in the yolk). Fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, soy milk and cereals. Beef liver. Cod liver oil (if you get desperate) which used to be a very common vitamin D supplement.

Get all the sunlight you can in the winter. Again, sunlight is the best way for your body to get vitamin D. In a time when we are all worried about skin cancer, it is still recommended that we get a moderate amount of sun for vitamin D production. The body actually stores extra vitamin D in the fat cells to avoid seasonal deficiency.   On a sunny day during the spring or summer for someone with moderately tanned skin and moderately close to the equator (yes, a little unspecific), it only takes being outside for 15 minutes with face and hands uncovered (including no sunscreen) for the body to produce enough vitamin D. During the winter, try to walk outside for 15-20 minutes during the sunniest part of the day several times per week, if not daily.

Recommendations for the amount of sunlight needed can be tricky since adequate vitamin D production is based on a number of factors. First of all, the darker your skin, the more difficult it is for the UVB light to penetrate and produce vitamin D. It also depends on where you live. The further away from the equator you are, the less direct UVB rays you get. It also depends on the time of the year, and as we discussed, the winter months produce the low amounts of sunshine.

Cautious tanning bed usage. Although large amounts of time spent in a tanning bed are not recommended due to the risk of skin cancer, these beds still produce UVB light that your body can turn into vitamin D. The Vitamin D Vouncil recommends caution with tanning beds, but still suggests a short period of time in a bed that contains more UVB than UVA light. The rule of thumb recommended by The Council is half the amount of time it takes your skin to turn pink (for a freckled gal like me this is probably about 4-5 minutes).

Supplements are also an option. Always be careful when taking supplements as you never want to over dose, especially on a fat soluble vitamin such as vitamin D. The upper tolerable level for vitamin D is set to 10,000 IU for all forms of vitamin D.

Low levels of sunlight can be a bummer for the mood and the body, but you can easily obtain the vitamin D you need though adequate UV rays, foods, and supplements to keep happy and healthy during the winter months. Avoiding vitamin D deficiency is easy and can result in vast improvements in your health. (Always check with your doctor before taking new supplements, starting a new diet, or using a tanning bed.)  

Tell me…

Are you affected by the dark days of winter?

Have you ever had cod liver oil?

Sources for “Vitamin D Deficiency in Winter:”

Originally posted 2013-11-21 09:45:29.

How to Ease Pain Naturally with Supplements

Natural pain relief

Natural Pain Relief: We’re all familiar with pain, or that unpleasant sensation, triggered via receptor nerve cells in your body, that tells your brain that something is wrong. Pain can serve as a first line of defense against a dangerous element or situation, but if your discomfort becomes chronic, due to illness or some other serious health condition, your overall quality of life can be greatly diminished. Using over-the-counter pain-relievers, or, in more severe cases, prescription drugs, can cause serious side effects. Some are even addictive, therefore leading to other potential health problems. Fortunately, you can reduce pain safely and naturally with the help of some simple compounds found in nature. Try these supplements to ease your pain the natural way, without the use of artificial chemical and stimulants.

Capsaicin for painful skin conditions, arthritis and osteoporosis: If you’ve ever sunk your teeth into a cayenne hot pepper, you know firsthand the kick of capsaicin-which gives these peppers their hot, spicy flavor. Capsaicin does more than make your eyes water when ingested. The chemical compounds in capsaicin lowers the level of substance P, the chemical responsible for transmitting pain messages to your brain, when applied topically. Use a cream or ointment containing capsaicin to treat skin conditions like shingles, as well as to soothe back pain, muscle pain, joint pain, and to reduce the pain associated with osteoporosis and arthritis.

Arnica for general joint pain and swelling: Arnica compounds, derived from the European arnica flower, contain anti-inflammatory properties that make it a natural pain reducer. Apply arnica in the form of an ointment or cream to inflamed joints or other swollen areas to reduce pain and inflammation.

Fish oil for arthritis and general joint pain: Fish oil (Omega 3 fatty acids) helps to reduce the production of prostoglandins, compounds that promote inflammation. Take 180 mg (milligrams) of fish oil daily to reduce arthritis-related inflammation and general joint pain.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin for arthritis and joint pain: Studies suggest that glucosamine and chondroitin, substances found in cartilage, may help strengthen joint cartilage in arthritis sufferers. Chondroitin is often combined with glucosamine in supplement form. Take 500 mg of glucosamine and 400 mg of chondroitin 3 times each day to safely treat arthritis and joint pain.  

Magnesium for menstrual cramps: Magnesium is a mineral that helps maintain healthy heart, muscle and nerve function. Some studies indicate that magnesium supplements may also reduce menstrual cramps and pain. Consume 360 mg of magnesium each day to safely alleviate menstrual discomfort. 

Bromelain for back pain, arthritis and general inflammation: Bromelain, derived from pineapples, contains a combination of enzymes thought to reduce inflammation resulting from back pain, sprains or other injuries. Take 500 mg bromelain supplements four times a day to reduce inflammation.  

The occasional ache and pain is normal, but you don’t have to accept long-term or chronic pain, or resign yourself to a harsh medication regimen to treat it. Try these supplements to ease your pain naturally and to help you get back to your healthy, happy lifestyle.

 Sources:

Originally posted 2013-11-14 11:55:32.

10 Vegan Ways to Get Calcium

collard greens cooked in bacon drippingsOne million Americans call themselves vegans, according to the Vegetarian Research Group. Vegans, who eschew not only animal products, but also fish, eggs and dairy, can enjoy such benefits as a reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. However, due to a limited variety of food sources, vegans can also suffer from certain nutrient deficiencies, such as calcium. Calcium is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and bones, and also contributes to your heart health and your muscle and nerve function. Fortunately, vegans have access to several sources of calcium that don’t involve dairy products. Here are 10 healthy, vegan ways to get calcium:

Calcium from fruits: Fruits offer a sweet, healthy treat that can top off any meal, and they’re loaded with nutrients and other good-for-you benefits. Some also deliver a good boost of calcium. Try an orange (75 mg calcium), a handful of figs (4 figs offers 506 mg calcium), a tablespoon of currants or a few apricots to help supply you with the necessary daily intake of this mineral.  

Calcium from vegetables: Green, leafy veggies don’t just pack a wallop of iron. Several serve up a solid boost of calcium as well. An 85 g serving of broccoli offers 34 mg of calcium, while curly kale provides a respectable 143 mg of calcium per serving. Okra and watercress also offer a solid calcium boost.

Calcium from legumes: I’m a big fan of the bean. With savory flavors and tons of protein, bean makes a great staple in any diet, and, in many cases, also provides a solid source of calcium. Opt for baked beans (72 g of calcium per serving), red kidney beans or chick peas for the best calcium bang for your bean buck.

Calcium from grains: Think grains are just good for fiber? Think again! Whole grains contain a host of nutrients and minerals, one of which happens to be calcium. In fact, one slice of wholemeal bread gives you 32 grams of calcium. Muesli bread (Swiss style), white rice (boiled) and cooked pasta also are good source of calcium.            

Seeds: Sesame seeds (1 tablespoon offers 80 g calcium) and fennel seeds (69 g calcium per tablespoon) can spice up your meal and provide a good serving of this vital mineral.

 Calcium from nuts: A mere 12 halves of walnuts will give you a healthy 38 g of calcium. Hazlenuts, almonds and brazil nuts are also delicious-and calcium packed-nut choices.

 Nondairy milk: If you think milk always means: dairy, you may be surprised. Nondairy-type milk choices abound. Almond milk, for example, serves up plenty of calcium (450 mg) per serving.

 Calcium-fortified foods: Many foods available at your local grocer, from juices to snack bars to cereals, come enriched with calcium. Simply check the food label to see if calcium has been added.

 Calcium from Vitamin D: No, Vitamin D doesn’t contain calcium. But you can actually increase your calcium intake by increasing your consumption of Vitamin D, a vitamin that assists in the use and absorption of calcium in your body. Get more Vitamin D by getting enough sunshine, eating fortified foods or through supplements. 

Calcium from supplements: A simple way to help you meet your daily calcium needs is by taking a supplement.

Keep in mind, for those between 19 and 50 years old, the daily recommend intake of calcium is 1,000 mg. So be sure to consume the right balance of foods and supplements to help you reach this amount.

Choosing a vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to lead to a calcium deficiency. Simply opt for calcium rich plant-based foods, calcium-fortified foods, or supplements to maintain the proper levels of this mineral, and you’ll be on the right start towards keeping your bones-and the rest of you-strong and healthy!

Sources: 

Originally posted 2013-11-14 11:41:04.

The CBH Super Multi and Other News…

The good news is due to an increase in popularity, we can’t keep the CBH Super Multi or Creatine on the shelves! Don’t worry though, we anticipate they’ll be back in stock in the next couple of weeks! The CBH Super Multi will also include an additional amount of co-enzyme q-10!

Even better news is that there are some incredible changes ahead for CREUS. We’ll soon be launching our new logo and branding of all our products. A few of our products will have new names too. For example the CBH Super Multi will be called the “Daily Multi Nutrient” to better reflect all the amazing ingredients it contains. And our Raspberry Ketones will be called “Raspberry Ketone Boost” to better explain its purpose.

Thank you for your support and for having patience with us as we grow. We are so grateful to all of our readers and customers. CREUS exists solely for your benefit! Our genuine desire is that you will have abundant life and optimum health!

Grace and Peace!

Jared White
Founder
CREUS

Originally posted 2013-11-07 16:03:12.

Fight Depression with Folic Acid

Sunflowers

What do sunflower seeds, okra and lentils have in common? They’re all good for you, and, in this writer’s opinion, downright delicious! But more specifically, these nutritious foods share a vitamin that offers some amazing benefits, including the reduction of depression. Due to its ability to help prevent birth defects, this power-packed nutrient, called folic acid, is often associated with prenatal health. However, folic acid (AKA folate) is often overlooked and undervalued, not only for pregnant women, but for the average person’s heart health, for reduced cancer risk, and for maintaining good mental health. In fact, folic acid intake has been directly linked to the most commonly diagnosed mental condition in America: depression. Depression, a condition that affects more than 9 million Americans each year, causes prolonged feelings of dejection and despondency, can be debilitating, and, in rare cases, result in suicide.

Treating Depression: Depression can be treated with prescription drugs, but these drugs are not always successful in treating the illness and can cause unpleasant and occasionally harmful side effects. As many as 50% of those who suffer from depression do not seek help, not wishing to suffer the stigma often associated with the condition. Fortunately, studies suggest that many mild cases of depression can be naturally alleviated with folic acid rather than with medication.

Fighting Depression with Folic Acid: Research has linked feelings of depression to serotonin, a neurotransmitter, or type of chemical, that occurs naturally in your brain. This chemical helps control specific functions of your brain, such as sleep, memory and mood. Low levels of serotonin can lead to feelings of severe sadness, and, in some cases, clinical depression. Drugs commonly used to fight depression, such as Prozac, contain SSRIs (selective serotonin uptake inhibitors), artificially raise serotonin levels to alleviate feelings of sadness. Studies have shown that people diagnosed with depression often suffer from low levels of folate, which is needed for the production of serotonin. In other words, folic acid can help naturally increase your serotonin levels to alleviate symptoms of depression.

Recommended Dosage of Folic Acid: Certain foods, such as those mentioned above, are rich in folic acid. Orange juice, beets, broccoli, mustard greens and avocados are just a few other food choices that provide .055 mg (milligrams) or more of this nutrient. If choosing to take folic acid supplements, be sure to consume only the recommended adult dose of 1 mg to reap the full benefits of this nutrient, while avoiding any negative side effects that can arise from an excessive buildup of certain vitamins in your body (toxicity).

Consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts on a daily basis doesn’t just keep your body healthy, it helps maintain good mental health as well. If you suffer from depression and want to avoid clinical drugs to treat the problem, consider folic acid in foods or supplements to help you naturally fight this condition and resume a healthy, happy lifestyle.

 References:

Originally posted 2013-11-07 16:01:51.

Natural Supplements as an Alternative Treatment for ADHD

Boy Doing HomeworkIt’s a disorder that’s probably more common than you realize. It affects children and adults alike, and it has no certain cause and no known cure. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a condition that causes hyperactivity, inattention and impulsive behavior, affects up to 9% of American children and can drastically impact a child’s ability to learn, along with his quality of life, well into adulthood. Treatment for ADHD often involves medication in the form of a stimulant, or a type of chemical agent that artificially boosts physiological activity to enhance the ADHD sufferer’s focus and help him control impulsive and/or hyperactive behavior. However, like most medications, stimulants come with a myriad of possible side effects, such as: suppressed appetite, headaches, abdominal pain, sleep disturbances and, in some cases, suppressed growth in children, nervous “tics” or other movements, and heightened anxiety or apathy. 

Fortunately, a number of safe and natural supplements have also been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms. Before turning to a prescription stimulant or other form of medication for help, consider these natural supplements as a safe, alternative treatment for ADHD:

Zinc: Zinc is a mineral in your body that plays a vital role in your immune system function. Some studies have found that children suffering from ADHD have low levels of zinc, and that zinc supplements can help reduce the symptoms and improve the behavior of patients with the disorder.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids: Some studies suggest that omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, or unsaturated fats, can improve the overall mental function of children suffering from ADHD, as well as help enhance their attentiveness and ability to focus.

Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral and electrolyte that influences your muscle control, heart health, protein production, mood and more. Studies indicate that many children diagnosed with ADHD also have a magnesium deficiency, and that many symptoms of ADHD, such as confusion, irritability and inattentiveness, can be alleviated with magnesium supplements.

Vitamin B6: Studies suggest that abnormal levels of certain brain chemicals, such as norepinephrine and dopamine (both of which play a role in your ability to focus), may be linked to ADHD. Vitamin B6 helps produce and maintain proper levels of these chemicals, and may reduce ADHD symptoms.

 L-carnitine: Daily intake of L-carnitine, a type of compound used in energy production in cells, has been linked to a decrease in ADHD symptoms. One study showed a 54 percent improvement in a group of boys with ADHD who were given L-carnitine supplements.

Certain supplements can be harmful in high doses, so take care to limit your supplement intake to the recommended daily amount. Maintaining proper levels of these vitamins and minerals will not only help keep your mind and body healthy, it may also help you safely and naturally ease ADHD symptoms in yourself or a loved one.

References:

Originally posted 2013-11-06 09:59:22.

Melatonin – The Jet Lag Fighter!

melatonin jet lagMany of us look forward to the fall version of daylight savings time, when we get to crank back our clocks and watches and savor an extra 60-minute block of sleep. But you may be surprised to learn that your body has a time-monitoring mechanism of its own, and that lost hour of daylight in the evening can throw off your body’s biological rhythms, which can have some pretty widespread effects on your health. The same thing occurs after you fly across three or more time zones: you lose or gain hours of daylight, causing possible fatigue, sluggishness, dizziness, irritability and mood swings upon reaching your destination. This phenomenon is commonly known as jet lag. Let’s explore what happens to your body when you lose or gain an hour or more of daylight, and how a hormone you naturally produce can fight this disorder.

What causes jet lag? Your body possesses a kind of “master clock,” centered in a part of your brain called the hypothalamus. This biological clock controls your circadian rhythms, or daily activity cycles that are based on 24-hour rhythms within your body. When light hits certain receptors located in your retina (a part of your eye), those receptors send a signal to the master clock in your brain. Changes in your environment, such as light and darkness, affect your master clock and disrupt your circadian rhythms. Even an extra hour or more (or less) of daylight can interrupt your normal circadian rhythms, which in turn can affect your sleep patterns and mood. Flying through time zones extends or shortens the amount of daylight you experience within a 24 hour period, which causes interruptions in your circadian rhythms, resulting in the condition known as jet lag.

How melatonin fights jet lag: After your retina perceives daylight, your master clock triggers a gland in your brain called the pineal gland to stop production of the hormone: melatonin. Melatonin levels increase when your retina photoreceptors experience darkness (at nightfall), which promotes a feeling of drowsiness and helps you sleep.  Therefore, an extra two or three hours of daylight, as can be experienced on a long-distance flight, can result in less melatonin production and thus lead to restlessness, insomnia and mood swings. Fortunately, taking a melatonin supplement can help you readjust your circadian rhythms and resume your normal sleeping cycle. 

Suggested dosage of melatonin to fight jet lag: Studies indicate that taking .5 to 5 mg (milligrams) of melatonin after reaching your final destination, and one hour before bedtime, may effectively treat the symptoms of jet lag. You may be sensitive to melatonin supplements, so consider taking the lowest dose (.5 mg) the first time you try this supplement to ensure you will not suffer any ill effects.

Jet lag can be an unpleasant side effect of a long flight. Fortunately, you can fight this condition naturally with melatonin, and help get your master clock, sleep cycle and circadian rhythms all back on track and running like clockwork again.

References: 

Originally posted 2013-11-06 09:50:54.

Homemade Electrolyte and Sports Drink: Piña Colada!

Science Behind the CREUS Piña Colada Electrolyte and Sports Drink Recipe

When engaged in endurance activities of 90 minutes or longer (whether cycling or running), it’s important to replenish the body with the right ratio of carbohydrates and electrolytes for optimum performance. The muscles need two primary things: fuel and electrical impulse. Carbohydrates are the best fuel during endurance activities, but they must be the right kind and in the right amount. As far as electrolytes go, sodium is the most important to replenish, but other electrolytes like potassium and magnesium are important too.  The CREUS Piña Colada Electrolyte and Sports Drink Recipe provides the following advantages:

Optimum ratio of glucose to fructose for absorption: Using a one to one ratio of fructose (pineapple juice) to glucose (tapioca starch) allows the body to effectively absorb and utilize all of the carbohydrates for energy.

Best ratio of carbohydrates to water for sports drink : The research indicates that the optimal amount of carbohydrates for endurance athletes during an event is about one gram per minute.  Also, the optimal amount of water is about 1 liter per hour. We’ve formulated the CREUS (CBH) Electrolyte and Sports Drink with a ratio of 60 carbohydrates to 1 liter of water.

The pineapple enzyme bromelain: By using pineapple juice in our homemade electrolyte and sports drink, you get a healthy dose of the enzyme bromelain. Bromelain is an effective anti-inflammatory that can help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. 

Ideal ratio of electrolytes for electrolyte drink: On a daily basis the body needs more potassium than sodium, but during an intense bout of endurance exercise the body loses a disproportionate amount of sodium through sweat. A trained athlete may loose more the 2 grams of sodium per hour. In addition to losing sodium and potassium, the body also loses other electrolytes, like magnesium and calcium. While it is impossible to replace all the electrolytes or fuel (carbohydrates) the body uses during endurance exercise while exercising, they can be replenished for increased performance. The CBH Piña Colada Electrolyte and Energy Drink Recipe uses all natural ingredients to supply approximately:

  • 600 mg of sodium
  • 350 mg of potassium
  • 30 mg of calcium
  • 24 mg of phosphorous 
  • 18 mg of magnesium
  • 60 grams of carbohydrates | 1:1 ratio of glucose to fructose

 

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Originally posted 2013-10-10 13:21:33.

Why Older People Need More Vitamin B12

Vitamin b12 for elderly senior older peopleThe last time you drank a glass of milk, you probably weren’t thinking about its vitamin B12 content or the health of your red blood cells and nerves. The good news is that milk doesn’t just go great with cookies — it contains a number of healthy vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, that are especially important for people 50 or older. Vitamins, as you’ve likely heard many times, are vital for the maintenance of the body. Vitamin B12, part of the B-group of vitamins, helps the body utilize fuel and is required for the synthesization of amino acids. Both of these functions are crucial for staying healthy as a senior.

When you eat certain foods, like dairy, fish, eggs and meat, you also ingest vitamin B12, which is bound to the food’s protein. Your stomach releases HCL (hydrochloric acid) to break down the food. The acid helps to release vitamin B12 from the protein in these food particles. After vitamin B12 is released, it combines with IF (intrinsic factor), a protein which originates from your stomach cells. Intrinsic factor allows the vitamin B12 to be absorbed by your small intestine and ultimately find its way into your bloodstream.

For young and old alike, vitamin B12 helps the body make nerves and red blood cells, and it is also integral for the production of DNA, which is the genetic information carried in our cells. The daily recommended amount (for adults) of Vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg (micrograms). Unfortunately, certain conditions can limit the absorption of this important vitamin. Crohn’s disease and celiac are two examples, since these conditions can disrupt food absorption in your digestive tract. Another very common condition that interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12 is age.

As we age, the volume of hydrochloric acid produced by our stomach starts to decrease, making it harder for our body to properly absorb the daily amount of vitamin B12 our body needs. Atrophic gastritis, or a type of chronic inflammation that causes the stomach lining to thin, strikes as many as 30% of people who are age 50 or over. This condition can also lead to lack of proper absorption of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can attribute to serious health problems, including:

  • Pernicious anemia, or a decreased count of red blood cells in your body
  • Cognitive problems, such as difficulties with reasoning and thinking
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Paranoia
  • Joint pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin caused by high bile pigments in your blood
  • Incontinence
  • Tingling or numbness of the legs and/or extremities (hands and feet)

People over the age of 50 should supplement their diet with 25-100 mcg of vitamin B12 daily, or consume foods fortified with vitamin B12, to ensure they meet their daily needs. Getting the proper amount of vitamin B12 is crucial for your mental and physical health. If you’re an older person, particularly 50 or above, be sure to take the extra steps needed to get your vitamin B12, and keep your mind and body healthy and happy.

References: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/health/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-cause-symptoms-that-mimic-aging.html?_r=0http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/vitamin_b12_deficiency

 

Originally posted 2013-10-08 11:22:26.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins are essential nutrients (i.e. nutrients that we need for basic function, but cannot produce on our own). There are two classifications of vitamins: Water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A (retinol), vitamin D, vitamin E (tocopherol), and vitamin K.

Solubility refers to one substance’s (the solute) ability to dissolve into another (the solvent). Thus, a water-soluble vitamin dissolves in water. Because of this, they are not stored in the body like fat-soluble vitamins. They must be replenished every day.

The B vitamins and vitamin C are found in many different kinds of food, both plant and animal products. Unfortunately, modern-day grain processing has made many of our grains deficient in most of the vital B-complexes. Food companies have been fortifying grains for this reason. Fortification is the processes of placing synthetic vitamins back into the food that has lost nutrients due to processing. Just another good reason to eat whole foods!

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Functions: Used in energy and alcohol metabolism; promotes a healthy appetite
Dietary Sources: Nutritional yeast, pork, organ meat, whole-grain, sesame seeds, wheat germ, bran, dried herbs and spices, pine nuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts, blackstrap molasses
Notes: This was the first B vitamin for scientists to discover.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Functions: Used in energy metabolism
Dietary Sources: Milk, yogurt, cheese, liver, almonds, dried herbs, spices, peppers, edamame, bran, sun-dried tomatoes, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast
Notes: B2 is destroyed by ultraviolet light, which is why a lot of milk is bottled in opaque jugs instead of clear jugs.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Functions: Used in energy metabolism; digestion aid; lowers triglycerides
Dietary Sources: Peanuts, liver, veal, paprika, avocado, bacon, bran, fish, some mushrooms, poultry, milk, eggs, legumes, nutritional yeast, nuts
Notes: High doses of the synthetic form of this vitamin can be dangerous.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Functions: Used in energy metabolism; production of hormones
Dietary Sources: Wheat bran, avocados, caviar, cheese, whey, tomatoes, mushrooms, oats, chicken, beef, nutritional yeast, potatoes, liver, egg yolk, broccoli
Notes: Many skin and hair products contain pantothenic acid.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Functions: Amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, helps make red blood cells
Dietary Sources: Fish, dried herbs and spices, garlic, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, molasses, hazelnuts, pistachios, bran, meat, starchy vegetables, noncitrus fruits, liver, soy, legumes
Notes: Vitamin B6 may help to ward of colorectal cancer.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Functions: Used in energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and glycogen synthesis
Dietary Sources: Egg yolks, liver, fish, oats, soybeans, wheat germ, lentils, split peas, bran, avocados, strawberries, raspberries, almonds, pecan, peanuts, walnuts
Notes: Adequate vitamin B7 helps a person have beautiful hair and nails.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Functions: Used in DNA synthesis and new cell growth
Dietary Sources: Leafy green vegetables, nutritional yeast, dried herbs, edamame, liver, bean sprouts, pinto beans, lentils, asparagus, sunflower seeds
Notes: Folic acid is extremely important to a growing fetus. If pregnant, be sure to eat food rich in this B vitamin.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Functions: Needed for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; blood formation; fatty acid synthesis; DNA synthesis
Dietary Sources: Clams, oysters, mussels, liver, fish eggs, fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, eggs, cheese
Notes: Consuming excess vitamin B12 will not give you energy.

Vitamin C
Functions: Antioxidant; collagen synthesis; immune support; helps in iron absorption
Dietary Sources: Citrus fruits, bell peppers, red and green chili pepper, dark leafy greens, kiwis, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, fresh herbs, papayas, strawberries, cantaloupes, mangoes, potatoes
Notes: If you have a cold, don’t take a lot of synthetic vitamin C. Vitamin C doesn’t cure the cold, it’s preventative! Through a whole foods diet, you should get plenty of vitamin C and, in turn, have a stellar immune system.

References:
Understanding Nutrition, 12th Edition (Whitney & Rolfes 2010); USDA

Originally posted 2013-09-16 14:21:49.