Tuesday, December 11, 2012


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Essential- In nutritional terms, “essential” means you must have it to be healthy but your body doesn’t make it itself.

For example, there are actually around twenty-five amino acids needed by the human body, but your body manufactures sixteen by itself. The other nine are “essential.”

Human beings are one of the few animals that do not manufacture their own vitamin C; thus, to humans, vitamin C is essential while it is not to other animals.


All proteins are composed primarily of amino acids though the proportion of acids differs from one protein to another. Some can be made by the body and others (nine) are "essential"- must be supplied by the diet.

You cannot digest and transport nutrients without amino acids. Unfortunately, many are destroyed by processing.

Protein is available in:
  • meat, 
  • milk, 
  • cheese, 
  • yogurt, 
  • beans, 
  • grains, 
  • nuts, and 
  • in small amounts in veggies. 
All protein from animals have all the essential amino acids; they are "complete." No plant sources have them all and must be combined to be complete. Generally this means combining a grain with a legume (i.e. red beans and rice, peanut butter on whole wheat bread). Many believe soy to be a complete protein. It is not, though it comes closer than other plant sources.
The essential amino acids are Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine,


Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble. That means they dissolve in either fat or water.

Water-soluble vitamins are not stored well by the body and need frequent replenishing. They are more difficult to overdose on because the body eliminates them through the urinary tract.

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in body fat. You still need a regular supply but it can be spread out a bit more. If you lose a great deal of weight, your body will reabsorb the vitamins in the fat and use them.

The vitamins were assigned letters of the alphabet as they were discovered. So vitamin A was the first vitamin discovered, C was the third, E was the fifth, and so on. They were each also given a scientific name. I have included those when they are commonly known, such as vitamin B1, which is called Thiamin.

A and Beta Carotene

(Fat soluble) You need approximately 5,000-50,000IU per day. The body converts Beta Carotene into vitamin A.

Known for being anti-infective and improving night vision. Necessary in bone and teeth development where it forms the connective tissues. Essential to the epithelial cells of the body, a tough sheath of cells that makes up all the covering and linings of the body. The skin is a dry layer of epithelium and the digestive, respiratory and reproductive tracts are lined with it. A is used to protect the body from infections and, in the skin, harmful radiation. It is an antioxidant and renders cancerous cells harmless.

Zinc and protein are required for A to be released into the blood by the liver.

E protects A from chemical reactions, helping to make A more available.

A helps produce white blood cells.

Processing, cooking and sun drying destroys A and alcohol, iron, mineral oil and cortisone all reduce its absorption.

A is available in yellow-orange and root veggies as well as organ meat. Examples:
  • Alfalfa Herb
  • Barley Grass
  • Beet Greens
  • Blessed Thistle
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupes
  • Capsicum Fruit (Cayenne Pepper)
  • Carrots
  • Chaparral Herb
  • Dandelion Leaf
  • Dandelion Root
  • Eggs
  • Eyebright Herb
  • Fish
  • Gotu Kola
  • Horseradish Root
  • Liver
  • Mangos
  • Nettle
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Pumpkins
  • Red Raspberry Leaf
  • Safflower
  • Senna Leaf
  • Some Squash
  • Spinach
  • Spirulina
  • Stevia Leaf
  • Turnips
  • Uva Ursi Herb
  • Yams
  • Yellow Dock Root
  • Yerba Santa

Deficiency (Not enough in your diet) symptoms-

  • Cataracts
  • Dry skin
  • Eye disorders
  • Hearing problems
  • Increased susceptibility to microbial infections
  • Lack of sense of smell or taste
  • Loss of appetite
  • Macular degeneration
  • Poor nerves
  • Poor night vision
  • Sterility
  • Weight loss

Toxicity (too much in your diet) symptoms-

  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Beta carotene is non-toxic, you can’t get too much.

B1 (Thiamine)

(The B vitamins were originally thought to be just one vitamin. As it was discovered that they were, in fact, many different vitamins, instead of messing up the naming system, scientists just added numbers to the "B." As they discovered they had misidentified vitamins or that they weren’t essential after all, they just eliminated the letter.)

Water soluble, 25-300 mg (.33-.5 mg per 1000 kcal of food, minimum of 1mg per day for dieters.)

Helps metabolize carbohydrates. Since it is used up in metabolizing foods and the body doesn’t store it, dieters and extreme junk food junkies are in danger of deficiency.

Available in:
  • Acerola fruit
  • Asparagus
  • Barberry root
  • Barley grass
  • Beans
  • Beef
  • Bilberry
  • Blue cohosh root
  • Burdock root
  • Cabbage leaf
  • Cauliflower
  • Cereals
  • Elecampane herb
  • Enriched pastas
  • Ephedra
  • Fenugreek seed
  • Gotu kola
  • Grain germs and brans
  • Grapevine leaf
  • Ham
  • Oranges
  • Peas
  • Peppermint
  • Pork
  • Rice
  • Sage leaf
  • Senna leaf
  • Spirulina
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole grain breads
  • Yellow dock root

Deficiency symptoms:
  • appetite and weight loss, 
  • nausea, 
  • vomiting, 
  • fatigue, 
  • nervous system problems.
  • Beri Beri, 
  • muscle weakness, 
  • decreased DTR, 
  • edema, 
  • enlarged heart.

Raw fish and tea contain inhibitors.

Toxicity symptoms:
Not generally toxic (You can’t eat enough foods to get too much and it would even be difficult to take enough in pill form to cause a problem.)

B2 (Riboflavin)

Water soluble, 25-300mg

Helps release energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Widely distributed in tissues of plants and animals. Helps manufacture red blood cells and corticosteroids. It is not stored in body tissues and must be supplied daily. Can be leached from food while cooking.

Available in:

  • Alfalfa
  • Asparagus
  • Barberry Root
  • Barley Grass
  • Beans
  • Blue Cohosh Root
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Capsicum Fruit.
  • Cauliflower
  • Cheese
  • Dairy
  • Echinacea Root
  • Ephedra
  • Eyebright Herb
  • Fish
  • Fortified Grains and Cereals
  • Gotu Kola
  • Green Veggies
  • Hops Flower
  • Milk
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint Leaf
  • Poultry
  • Spinach
  • Spirulina
  • Turnip Greens
  • Yellow Dock Root
  • Yogurt

Deficiency symptoms- Mild: cracks and sores to corners of the mouth and tongue, red eyes, skin lesions, dizziness, hair loss, inability to sleep, sensitivity to light, and poor digestion.

Severe: (rare) anemia, nerve disease.

Generally caused by dieters eating non-fortified, refined grains and no dairy products, taking sulfa drugs, oral contraceptives, or exercising vigorously.

Toxicity symptoms- not generally toxic

B3 (Niacin, nicotinic acid, nicotinamide)

Water-soluble, 25-300 mg

An integral part of energy metabolism, facilitates glucose and fat metabolism. Its vasodilating ability (opens up the arteries and blood vessels) can cure tension and migraine headaches. Can reduce cholesterol and prolong blood-clotting time.

Available in:
  • Alfalfa
  • Asparagus Herb
  • Barley Grass
  • Beef Liver
  • Black Cohosh
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Chamomile
  • Cheese
  • Chicken Breast
  • Corn Flour
  • Damiana Leaf
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Dates
  • Eggs
  • Eyebright
  • Feverfew
  • Fish
  • Fortified Breads And Cereals
  • Ginkgo
  • Gotu Kola Herb
  • Hops Flower
  • Hydrangea Root
  • Milk
  • Mullein
  • Peanuts
  • Peppermint Leaf
  • Pork
  • Potatoes
  • Red Clover Flower
  • Red Raspberry Leaf
  • Slippery Elm Bark
  • Spirulina
  • Tomatoes
  • Tuna
  • Veal
  • White Willow Bark
  • Whole Grains

Deficiency symptoms- Mild: canker sores, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, halitosis, headaches, indigestion, inability to sleep, loss of appetite, dermatitis

Severe: Pellagra (dermatitis, diarrhea, anxiety, depression, irritability)

Toxicity symptoms- nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, flushing

Severe: liver damage, irregular heart rate, rash to large portions of the body, gouty arthritis

B5 (Pantothenic acid)

Water soluble, 25-500mg

Needed to form coenzyme-A (CoA), and is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Available in:
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Fresh Vegetables
  • Kidney
  • Legumes
  • Liver
  • Mushrooms
  • Pork
  • Royal Jelly
  • Salmon
  • Saltwater Fish
  • Torula Yeast
  • Whole Grains

Deficiency symptoms- rare: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and headache, tingling in the hands, sleep disturbances, abdominal pains and cramps

Toxicity symptoms- generally not toxic

B6 (Pyridoxine)

Water-soluble, 1.5-2 mg

Vitamin B6 processes amino acids, and is also needed to make Serotonin, Melatonin, and Dopamine. Vitamin B6 also aids in the formation of several neurotransmitters, making it an essential nutrient in the regulation of mental processes and possibly mood. Vitamin B6 lowers homocysteine levels which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, Osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

A link between vitamin B6 deficiency and carpal tunnel syndrome has been reported in some, but not all, research.

Available in:
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beef
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Brown Rice
  • Carrots
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Oats
  • Peanuts
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower
  • Walnuts
  • Whole Wheat

Deficiency symptoms- anemia, seizures, headaches, nausea, dry and flaky skin, sore tongue, cracks on mouth, vomiting

Toxicity symptoms- generally non-toxic, high doses (2000-6000mg/day) can cause nerve disorders.

B12 (Cynocobalamin)

Water-soluble, 25-500 mg

Structurally the most complicated vitamin. Key in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It is normally involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body, especially affecting DNA synthesis and regulation, but also fatty acid synthesis and energy production.

Historically, vitamin B-12 was discovered from its relationship to the disease Pernicious Anemia, which was eventually discovered to result from an effective lack of this vitamin due to problems with the mechanisms in the body which normally absorb it. Many other subtler kinds of vitamin B12 deficiency have since been discovered.
Available in:

  • All Meats, fish, and Dairy
Animal B12 is high in absorbable cobalt.
Plant B12 has a different type of cobalt that is not absorbed by the human body.Thus, plant B12 doesn't meet the needs of the human body. You must have animal B12.

Deficiency symptom:
  • Chronic fatigue,
  • Constipation, 
  • Depression
  • Digestive disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Headaches
  • Inflammation of the tongue
  • Irritability
  • Liver enlargement
  • Mood swings
  • Nerve disorders
  • Palpitations
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Spinal cord degeneration
  • Tinnitus
  • Unsteady gait

Toxicity symptoms- generally considered non-toxic. You can't get too much.

Vitamin C

Water soluble, 60-5000 mg

Speeds wound healing and is an antioxidant.

60mg will prevent scurvy but higher doses are necessary to prevent other illnesses (about 500mg is probably ideal).

C is easily lost in processing, so supplementing is often necessary. Moderates severity of colds and reduces intraocular pressure in Glaucoma, inflammation of Periodontal disease and intolerance to heat.

Can help to concentrate vasodilating prostaglandins to relieve chest tightness in asthmatics.

C is an ingredient of adrenaline and can reduce serum cholesterol and triglycerides. Atherosclerosis can be reduced also.

Helps metabolize folic acid and certain amino acids and helps absorb iron.

Replaces and strengthens connective tissues.

As an antioxidant, it reduces effects of pollution, antibiotics, steroids, oral contraceptives, and smoking.

Available in:

  • Acerola Fruit
  • Aloe Vera
  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Barley Grass
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Collards
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Hops Flower
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons
  • Lobelia Leaf
  • Mangos
  • Onion
  • Oranges
  • Papaya
  • Peppers
  • Pine Needles
  • Pineapple
  • Pink Grapefruit
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin Seed
  • Radishes
  • Raw Fruits
  • Raw Grass Fed Milk
  • Raw Veggies
  • Red Clover Tops
  • Red Raspberry Leaf
  • Rose Hips
  • Senna Leaf
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Watercress
  • Yellow Dock Root

Deficiency symptoms- mild: poor wound healing, bleeding gums, easy bruising, nosebleeds, joint pain, lack of energy, susceptibility to infection

Severe: scurvy (severe tension, cells fall apart, internal bleeding, death)

Toxicity symptoms-generally considered non-toxic. High doses (5000 mg and up/day) can cause abdominal bloating and diarrhea. Higher doses for long periods of time may contribute to gout.

Vitamin D

Fat soluble, 400-800 IU

Vitamin D plays an important role in the maintenance of organ systems. It regulates the calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood, enables normal mineralization of bone, prevents hypocalcemic tetany, affects the immune system by promoting phagocytosis, anti-tumor activity, and immunomodulatory functions. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts.
Available in Sunlight (the best source),
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Eggs (especially free range)
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Fortified Milk
  • Herring
  • Liver
  • Mushrooms
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
 Deficiency symptoms- in infants: irreversible bone deformities.
In children: rickets, delayed tooth development, weak muscles, softened skull

In adults: osteomalcea, osteoporosis, hypocalcaemia

Toxicity symptoms- nausea and vomiting, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, excessive thirst and urination, protein in urine, liver and kidney damage

Vitamin E

Fat soluble, 30-1200 IU

The most important lipid-soluble antioxidant, it protects cell membranes from oxidation, removes the free radical intermediates, protects neurons from damage, and is a cancer prevention.

Available in Vegetable and Nut Oils, Including Soybean, Corn, Safflower, Spinach, Whole Grains, Wheat Germ, and Sunflower Seeds
Deficiency symptoms- rare symptoms may include anemia and edema.

Toxicity symptoms- generally non-toxic, but stomach upset, dizziness and diarrhea can occur.

Vitamin K

Fat soluble, 80 mcg

Responsible for blood-clotting ability.

Available in Green Leafy Vegetables Including Spinach, Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli.

Deficiency symptoms- rare except in newborns, where bleeding tendencies are possible, elevated levels of vitamin K can interfere with the effects of anti-coagulants.

Toxicity symptoms- generally non-toxic; but a type of jaundice may occur in premature infants.

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