View Other Topics

Vitamins and Minerals From A to Z

Jul 11, 2022

Image: Getting the right nutrition balance – clipartpanda.com
 
 
Here, from webmd.com, is a listing of supplements the human body needs to survive.  Please note this is for informational purposes only and you should consult with your physician before adding anything to your diet.
 
Vitamin A
 
One type comes from animal sources of food. It helps you see at night, make red blood cells, and fight off infections. The other type is in plant foods. It helps prevent damage to cells and an eye problem called age-related macular degeneration. (But too much vitamin A can hurt your liver.) Eat orange veggies and fruits like sweet potato and cantaloupe, spinach and other greens, dairy foods, and seafood such as shrimp and salmon.
 
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
 
It helps your body turn food into energy. It's also key for the structure of brain cells. Legumes, like black beans and lentils, and seeds are go-to sources. Pork and whole grains are also good. Most people get enough thiamin from the foods they eat, but pregnant and breastfeeding women need a little more. People with diabetes tend to have low levels of it.
 
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
 
You could get enough for the day from a good breakfast! It’s added to many fortified breads and grain products and also found naturally in eggs, asparagus and other green veggies, and milk. Your cells need it to work right, and it might help prevent migraines. (It gets its name from the Latin word "flavus" for yellow -- a lot of B2 will turn your pee a bright color.)
 
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
 
This is a family of compounds that your body needs to turn food into energy and store it. It helps protect your skin and tissues, too, and may improve your cholesterol levels. Three ounces of canned tuna has nearly all you’ll need in a day. Or serve up some chicken, turkey, salmon, or other lean meats. You're vegan? Eat crimini mushrooms, peanuts, and peanut butter.
 
Vitamin B6
 
This vitamin plays a role in more than 100 different reactions in your body. Some research has shown that B6 may help protect against memory loss, colorectal cancer, and PMS. It’s found in many kinds of foods including leafy and root vegetables; non-citrus fruits like bananas, avocados, and watermelon; legumes; and fish, poultry, and lean meat.
 
Vitamin B12
 
Rev up before hitting the gym with a snack like a hard-boiled egg or cereal with vitamins added. B12 helps your body break down food for energy. Some athletes and trainers take supplements before workouts, but these don’t really boost your success if you're getting enough in your meals.
 
Vitamin C
 
Despite claims made by some over-the-counter remedies, it doesn’t prevent colds. But once you have symptoms, drink orange or grapefruit juice to help yourself stay hydrated. Your symptoms may not go away any sooner,  but staying hydrated can help you feel better while your symptoms run their course.  Your body also needs vitamin C to help your bones, skin, and muscles grow. You'll get enough by including bell peppers, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, cantaloupe, leafy greens, and other fruits and veggies in your diet.
 
Calcium
 
This mineral helps concrete harden. Its strength makes it the building block for your bones and teeth. It's also key to make muscles move, including your heart. Get calcium from milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy foods, and from green vegetables like kale and broccoli. How much you need depends on your age and sex. Check with your doctor about whether you should take a supplement.
 
Chromium
 
You only need a trace amount of this mineral, which is believed to help keep your blood sugar levels steady. Most adults easily get enough by eating foods like broccoli, English muffins, and garlic. You may see chromium supplements that promise to help you lose weight, but there’s no scientific evidence to back up those claims.
 
Vitamin D
 
Like calcium, it keeps your bones strong and helps your nerves carry messages. It also plays a role in fighting germs. Careful time in the sun -- 10 to 15 minutes on a clear day, without sunscreen -- is the best source. Or you could eat fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel. There's a little in egg yolks, too. You can also get milk and sometimes orange juice with added vitamin D.
 
Vitamin E
 
It’s something called an antioxidant, which protects your cells from damage caused by cigarette smoke, pollution, sunlight, and more. Vitamin E also helps your cells talk to each other and keeps blood moving. Sunflower seeds and nuts including almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts are good sources. If you’re allergic to those, vegetable oils (like safflower and sunflower), spinach, and broccoli have vitamin E, too.
 
Folic Acid
 
For moms-to-be, it's a must. It helps make DNA and prevent spina bifida and other brain birth defects. Asparagus, Brussels sprouts, dark leafy greens, oranges and orange juice, and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are rich in folic acid. Your doctor may want you to take a supplement, too.
 
Vitamin K
 
You need it for blood clotting and healthy bones. People who take warfarin, a blood-thinner, have to be careful about what they eat, because vitamin K stops the drug from working. A serving of leafy greens -- like spinach, kale, or broccoli -- will give you more than enough K for the day. A Japanese dish called natto, made from fermented soybeans, has even more.
 
Iodine
 
Your thyroid uses iodine to make hormones that control metabolism. The first symptom of a deficiency is usually a goiter, a lump in your neck caused by an enlarged thyroid gland. It’s rare in the U.S., largely because iodine is added to table salt. Other top sources include fish and seaweed. Too much iodine can be harmful though, and supplements interact with some medications.
 
Iron
 
When your levels are low, your body doesn’t make enough healthy red blood cells. And without them, you can’t get oxygen to your  tissues. Women who are pregnant or have heavy menstrual cycles are most likely to have anemia, the medical name for when you don’t have enough iron in your blood. Keep up your levels with beans and lentils, liver, oysters, and spinach. Many breakfast cereals have a day’s worth added. Even dark chocolate with at least 45% cacao has some!
 
Magnesium
 
This mineral plays a role in making your muscles squeeze and keeping your heart beating. It helps control blood sugar and blood pressure, make proteins and DNA, and turn food into energy. You'll get magnesium from almonds, cashews, spinach, soybeans, avocado, and whole grains.
 
Potassium
 
You may think of bananas, but green leafy veggies are a better source of this mineral. It helps keep your blood pressure in a normal range, and it helps your kidneys work. Levels that are too low or too high could make your heart and nervous system shut down. You should also watch your salt, because your body needs the right balance of sodium and potassium. Snack on raw cantaloupe, carrots, and tomatoes, too.
 
Selenium
 
It does a lot of things, like fighting off infections and helping your thyroid gland work. Most Americans get enough from what they eat, including meat, bread, and eggs. Too much can cause brittle nails, nausea, and irritability. Just four Brazil nuts could put you at your daily limit for selenium!
 
Zinc
 
Without it, you couldn't taste and smell. Your immune system needs it, and it helps cuts, scrapes, and sores heal. It may help you keep your sight as you get older. While you can get zinc from plant sources like sesame and pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, lentils, and cashews, it's easier for your body to absorb it from animal foods, such as oysters, beef, crab, lobster, and pork.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Supplements: What You Really Need
 
 
It’s well known that the current American diet doesn’t include the nutrients our bodies were meant to have.  In this article from webmd,com, is a list of the essentials.  This list is for informational purposes only and it is strongly advised you consult with your physician before changing your diet/intake of supplements.
 
Vitamin D
 
It helps keep your bones strong. People who have healthy levels of it may be less likely to get certain conditions, but more research is needed. Your body makes vitamin D when you’re in sunshine. It’s also in salmon, tuna, and fortified foods. If you’re low on vitamin D, your doctor may suggest a supplement. But several large studies show no benefits to otherwise healthy adults. And taking too much is bad for you.
 
Probiotics
 
Also called “good” bacteria, probiotics are found in fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, miso, and sauerkraut. They can change the balance of good and bad bacteria in your body and may help improve digestion, soothe skin irritation, lower cholesterol, support your immune system, and more. But it’s not yet clear if probiotics in supplements help treat conditions, and most people don’t need to take them every day.  
 
Multivitamins
 
If you know your diet isn’t that healthy, can a multivitamin help you fill in the nutritional gaps? Not necessarily. Many studies have found that multivitamins don’t fight memory loss, heart disease, or cancer. Meanwhile, getting too many nutrients in pill form can cause harm. Experts usually recommend food as the best source for vitamins and minerals.
 
Folic Acid
 
Here’s a vitamin you definitely want to make sure you have enough of if you’re a woman who’s planning to get pregnant. Getting enough folic acid can help prevent birth defects in a baby’s brain and spine. You need 400 micrograms (mcg) per day, and the CDC recommends taking that much in a supplement, along with whatever you get from your diet. 
 
Fiber Supplements
 
Fiber is in veggies, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes like beans. It helps cut cholesterol, control blood sugar, and improve digestion. Women under 50 should get 25 grams a day, and men should get 38 grams. But only 5% of us hit those numbers. Taking a fiber supplement is usually safe, but ask your doctor, especially if you take medicines like aspirin. Start slowly to avoid gas and bloating, and be sure to get enough water.
 
Fish Oil
 
Fish like salmon and sardines have healthy fats called omega-3s that can lower your risk of heart disease. If you don’t eat fish, there are fish oil supplements with omega-3s, like EPA and DHA, and there are algae-based supplements. But more research is needed, because omega-3s in pills may work differently than the ones in fish. If you take a pill, the FDA says to keep the dosage to less than 2 grams per day of EPA and DHA combined.
 
Calcium
 
Unless your doctor recommends it, you probably don’t need a calcium supplement. Some research has linked them to a greater risk of heart disease and prostate cancer, but that link isn’t clear. You can strengthen your bones with exercise like walking, tennis, dancing, and lifting weights. And fill your plate with calcium-rich foods like yogurt, almonds, dark leafy greens (for vitamin K), and fish or fortified foods for vitamin D.
 
Joint Supplements
 
Glucosamine and chondroitin, two types of arthritis supplements, are among the most popular supplements sold in the U.S. They are found naturally in human cartilage. Research on whether they can ease arthritis pain or prevent arthritis is mixed. Still, most experts say there’s no harm in trying them, in case you’re one of the people who gets relief from them. As with all supplements, it’s best to check with your doctor first.
 
Vitamin C
 
Your body can’t make vitamin C, so you have to get it from food. And it’s easy to hit the recommended daily amount. Just 3/4 cup of orange or half a cup red bell pepper both provide more than 150% of what you need. So you probably don’t need a supplement. There are popular products on the market with mega-doses of vitamin C that claim to prevent colds (or at least shorten how long they last), but research on that has been inconclusive.
 
Melatonin
 
This hormone plays a role in sleep. Your body makes it, and it’s sold in pill form. Because there’s not much evidence about the safety of taking melatonin long-term, you’re better off trying it for short-term problems, like jet lag or a temporary bout of insomnia. Side effects can include drowsiness, headache, dizziness, or nausea.
 
Magnesium
 
This mineral supports your body in lots of ways. It gives you energy and keeps your heart healthy, for example. But even though it’s found in a range of foods, including nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy greens, most Americans don’t get enough. If you’re interested in taking a magnesium supplement, ask your doctor which type is best. There are several options.
 
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
 
This is an antioxidant your body makes, and you can get more of it in pill form. People try to use CoQ10 to fight migraines, protect the heart, and improve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. But the research on whether it works is limited and conflicting. Side effects include insomnia and upset stomach, but they’re usually very mild. CoQ10 can interact with blood thinners and insulin treatments, so check with your doctor before taking it.
 
Turmeric
 
This yellow-orange spice may help tame inflammation, which is part of a wide variety of conditions. It’s not yet clear if turmeric thwarts any particular health problems. As a supplement, it’s sometimes labeled as curcumin, which is one of the active ingredients in turmeric that has been the focus of scientific studies. Up to 8 grams per day is considered safe. And it’s fine to add the spice to your foods.
 
Vitamin B12
 
You need it to make red blood cells and DNA and to keep your nervous system healthy. It’s found in animal products like fish, meat, eggs, and milk, so vegetarians and vegans may come up short, as can adults over the age of 50 and people with digestive problems like Crohn’s disease. B12 supplements are sold as pills or shots. B12 shots have become trendy as a way to try to boost energy and slim down, though no research shows they work.
 
Keep in Mind
 
Everyone is different. If you have a specific health concern that you think supplements might help with, ask your doctor. Your doctor can check to see what’s safe for you, tell you about potential side effects, and add your supplements to your health record. The FDA doesn’t approve supplements, unlike prescription drugs. So do your research and talk with your doctor first.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Supplement Smarts: Best Ways to Take Different Vitamins
 
 
 
Make Food Your Plan A
 
With hundreds of supplements available, it’s hard to believe that not every nutrient in whole foods has been captured in a capsule. That’s why eating a variety of healthy foods is the best way to meet your health needs. But if you’re low on a certain vitamin or mineral, or just want to cover all bases with a daily MVM (multivitamin/mineral), these tips will help you get the most from it.
 
Timing Your Multi
 
You can take your MVM any time you’d like. Your body absorbs some of its vitamins better with food, so you may want to take it with a meal or a snack. You’ll also avoid the upset stomach that you can get when you take it on an empty stomach. Not a breakfast person? Have it with lunch or even dinner.
 
When to Take Water-Soluble Vitamins
 
Water dissolves them, and your body doesn’t store them, so most must be taken every day. They include C and the B’s: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12). Take them with or without food, with one exception: You’ll absorb B12 better with a meal. If you also use vitamin C, put 2 hours between them. Vitamin C can keep your body from using B12.
 
When to Take Fat-Soluble Vitamins
 
Vitamins A, D, E, and K need to go with fat from a meal for your body to absorb and use them. But you don’t need a lot of fat -- or any saturated fat. The healthy plant-based kind you find in foods like avocado or nuts will do just fine. 
 
If You Take Iron Supplements
 
You absorb iron best on an empty stomach. Take it with water or, better yet, a citrus juice: Iron and vitamin C have a tag-team effect. If it makes you queasy, save it for right after a meal. But don’t mix it with calcium or high-calcium foods -- these interfere with iron. You won’t take in either one fully. Men and postmenopausal women should skip supplements with this mineral unless a doctor says otherwise. The average MVM has more than you need.
 
If You Take Mineral Supplements
 
Large doses of minerals can compete with each other to be absorbed. Don’t use calcium, zinc, or magnesium supplements at the same time. Also, these three minerals are easier on your tummy when you take them with food, so if your doctor recommends them, have them at different meals or snacks. Don’t take any individual mineral at the same time as an MVM or an antioxidant vitamin formula, like one with beta-carotene and lycopene. Also see: What is silicon dioxide and how is it used in supplements?
 
If You Take Vitamin A
 
Watch the amount of what’s called preformed vitamin A. If you’re pregnant, doses over 10,000 IU a day can cause birth defects. High levels of both A and the usually safe beta-carotene (a substance that the body coverts to vitamin A) may raise your chances of having lung cancer if you’re a smoker, and maybe even if you’re a former smoker.
 
Prenatal Vitamins and Morning Sickness
 
Extra folic acid and iron are very important for a healthy baby. They can be found in most prenatal vitamins. But some prenatal vitamins can make nausea worse, mostly because of the iron. If this happens to you, pair your prenatal vitamins with a light snack before you go to bed. Talk to your doctor about the best prenatal formula for you.
 
Supplements and Your Prescriptions
 
Even essential nutrients can interfere with many common medications. If you take a traditional blood thinner like warfarin, just the small amount of vitamin K in an MVM can cut its strength. Taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin E per day can raise your risk for bleeding. And if you take thyroid medication, taking calcium, magnesium, or iron within 4 hours can cut its strength. Ask your doctor about how best to time it.
 
The Alphabet of Amounts
 
RDA (recommended daily allowance) is the daily amount of a nutrient you should get, based on sex and age. DV (daily value) is the percentage of a nutrient that a supplement or food serving adds to the average daily diet for all ages. UL (upper limit) is the most of a nutrient you should get in a day. Side effects from big doses range from tiredness or diarrhea to kidney stones or organ damage.
 
Know What’s Inside
 
There’s no one standard MVM formula. Some have more nutrients than recommended. Others may come up short on some RDAs. For instance, the amount of calcium you need to meet the RDA is too much to fit into a tablet that you could easily swallow. Scan the full ingredients list so you know exactly what’s in the supplement you’re considering. This will also help you know if you need to time when you take it.
 
Personalize Your Formula
 
Another way to get more of the nutrients you need is to shop for formulas geared to your age and sex. For example, many vitamins for seniors have more calcium and vitamins D and B12 than younger people need. As you get older, your body doesn’t do as good a job of absorbing B12. Women in particular often need extra calcium and vitamin D after menopause to protect bones. Men’s formulas leave out the iron.
 
Are Gummies Any Good?
 
Opinions about gummy vitamins are mixed. One study found that people who take vitamin D in gummy form get more from it than from a tablet. On the other hand, gummies can have a lot of sugar and calories. And because they taste like candy, it’s easy to go overboard and eat too many. They may even cause cavities. Also, not all brands contain all essential vitamins and minerals. Some may not even contain the amounts listed on the label.
 
Look for Quality Checks
 
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, look for brands that have been “verified” by one of the three companies that test supplements in the U.S.: Pharmacopeia, Consumer Lab, or NSF International. These testing organizations verify that what’s on the label is in the bottle in the right amounts.
 
Keep a Supplement Diary
 
If you keep a log, it can help you time out different supplements and keep track of how much you take every day. The National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements has a form called "My Dietary Supplement and Medicine Record" that you can print out and fill in. Bring it with you, along with your medication list, when you go to doctor visits.



Share This Blog with Friends!

Tags:
#vitamins,#health,#starzpsychics
  • Starz Radio
  • Blog
  • Yahoo!
  • Google Groups
  • Starz Youtube