Vitamin K Benefits, Discovery, And Why It’s Called “K”

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Jun 062013
 

Vitamin K is not as well known as some of the other vitamin families, in fact, it wasn’t identified until 1929. Since then, we have learned quite a bit about vitamin K benefits. For more of the story, read on!

How Vitamin K got its Name

The story of its discovery is another of those “unintended results” that happen so frequently in scientific research. Danish biochemist and physiologist Henrik Dam was conducting a series of tests to determine the role of cholesterol by feeding chickens a diet without any cholesterol. After the test chickens had been on this cholesterol restricted diet for a few weeks they began to develop hemorrhages and bleeding. When cholesterol was reintroduced to their diet these problems continued which proved that there was another substance that had been removed from their diet. Dam called this the “coagulation vitamin” because of the bleeding.

This newly discovered vitamin ended up with the letter “K” as an identifier because Dam first reported his findings in a German scientific journal where the new substance was identified as “Koagulationsvitamin”. Today, more than 80 years later, vitamin K is still known as the clotting vitamin but we now know it does much more than that.

In addition to its coagulation duties, vitamin K benefits include proper mineralization of bones and healthy and efficient cell growth.

Vitamin K Deficiency

Vitamin K deficiency is extremely rare but it can occur when the body is not able to properly absorb vitamin K from the intestinal tract. There is also evidence that a deficiency can be caused from prolonged antibiotic treatments. Symptoms of a possible deficiency can be being easily bruised and bleeding easily from the nose, or when brushing teeth, or abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding.

Sources of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is found in leafy greens such as Kale, Collards, Spinach, Romaine lettuce, and Parsley. It is also found in certain vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. Animal sources include fish, liver, red meat and eggs.

Smoothies offer a good opportunity to add vitamin K to your diet by using Kale and Spinach in mixed veggie and fruit smoothies, or in pure veggie smoothies. We have many recipes using both leafy greens.

Now that you know about vitamin K benefits, there is no reason not to include it in your daily meal plans.

Vitamin K Benefits

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Health Benefits Of Vitamin D: It’s More Important Than You Think

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Jun 022013
 

Vitamin D is what is known as a steroid vitamin. It is one of a group of fat soluble prohormones (a material whose function is to enhance the strength of hormones) that enhance the metabolism and absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Exposure to sunlight allows the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin. Read further to learn more about the health benefits of vitamin D.

While there are five forms of vitamin D, the two that are most important to us are D2 and D3. There is disagreement between researchers on which of the two is the more important but both are used nutritional supplements to provide the health benefits of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is Important Because:

• It helps regulate the immune system
• Studies indicate it may minimize risk for developing MS (multiple sclerosis)
• One of the more important health benefits of vitamin D is that it may well have an important function in keeping the brain working well as we age.
• Vitamin D may help maintain a proper weight. One study found that the amount of vitamin D in the body before beginning a low calorie diet was an accurate predictor of success in losing weight.
• Vitamin D has been linked with reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women.
• Many different studies have indicated that those who maintain an adequate level of vitamin D enjoy a markedly lower chance of developing cancers when compared to those with lesser amounts of the vitamin.
• It promotes the absorption of calcium and helps keep sufficient concentrations to allow normal mineralization of the skeleton.

As mentioned above vitamin D is naturally synthesized by the skin when exposed to sunlight. As little as 15 minutes exposure a week is sufficient if you live closer to the equator and more is necessary the further north or south you live.

Vitamin D is pretty hard to find in nature. There are no fruits that have the vitamin naturally although you will find some products such as Orange Juice and Milk that are “fortified” with vitamin D. Among vegetables, only mushrooms have it. So, to enjoy the health benefits of vitamin D you probably need a supplement.

Vitamin D Daily Requirements:

The National Institute of Health recommends 600 IU (International Units) daily for both men and women from one year of age up to 70 years of age. After 70, the NIH recommends 800 IU daily for both sexes.


Health Benefits of Vitamin D

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Best Sources Of Vitamin C

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Jun 022013
 
vitamin C, best vitamins,dietary supplements, vitamin, vitamin A, health supplement, health supplements,natural vitamins

Vitamin C

is the most controversial of all the vitamins. For many years Vitamin C has been the subject of hotly contested debates among experts about how much should be taken each day and exactly what benefits it provides. Read more below about this critical part of our diet and some of the best sources of vitamin C.

One example of this is in the RDA (recommended daily allowance). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommend a daily dose of between 60-95 mg (milligrams) daily. The British equivalent, The Food Standards Agency recommends 40 mg daily. On the other hand, Dr. Linus Pauling, the Nobel Prize winning chemist and passionate advocate of Vitamin C recommended as much as 18 grams (18,000 mg) daily! Other experts recommend a daily allowance of 500 mg daily.

Vitamin C

has many benefits to human health, beginning with aiding in the formation and maintenance of Collagen, a protein that is essential to the body’s ability to absorb Iron. In turn, this ability supports a large number of the structures of the body and is critical to healthy bones and teeth.

Although Vitamin C may not “cure” the common cold it does seem to shorten them and reduce their severity. Other Vitamin C benefits include protecting the immune system, eye diseases, and cardiovascular issues. Some researchers even believe it may help in the treatment of some cancers.

Too little vitamin C will allow a disease called Scurvy to develop. Symptoms of Scurvy include loosened teeth, mild anemia, bleeding gums, and bruising. If not treated, Scurvy is fatal.

There isn’t much risk associated with too much vitamin C. Most excess simply leaves the body with urination, but there is some evidence that continual excessive doses may cause kidney and bladder problems. Plus, such continuous overdosing will destroy vitamin B12.

Because humans are not able to create our own vitamin C like most other animals we must get ours either through foods or supplements, or both. These are among the best sources of vitamin C

Fruits Rich in Vitamin C include:
• Tangerines
• Raspberries
• Grapefruit
• Lemons
• Oranges
• Cantaloupe
• Strawberries
• Papaya
• Kiwi
• Guava
Veggies Rich In Vitamin C include:
• Cabbage
• Spinach
• Cauliflower
• Brussels Sprouts (raw)
• Broccoli (raw)
• Yellow and Red Peppers

 

Best Sources of Vitamin C

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Vitamin B

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Mar 152012
 

The Complex of Vitamin B contains eight water soluble vitamins. The B vitamins work together to improve metabolic process, improve the body’s immune system and nervous system, keep the skin and muscles healthy and balanced, encourage cell growth and division, along with other added benefits to your system. Brewer’s yeast is one of the best sources of the B vitamins.

Vitamin B 1

Also known as thiamine, serves as a catalyst in carbohydrate metabolic process helps synthesize nerve-regulating materials. Deficiency might cause heart swelling, leg pains, and muscular weakness. Rich food sources excellent for thiamine include liver, heart, and kidney meats, eggs, green leafy veggies, walnuts, legumes, berries, wheat germs, and enriched cereals. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 1.5 mg. Some think thiamine helps control alcoholism and also that it is effective for depression, stress, and anxiety. It is also thought to enhance mental proficiency and to aid indigestion.

Vitamin B 2

Also known as riboflavin, helps to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and respiratory proteins. A deficiency can result in lesions on your skin and light sensitivity. Riboflavins are abundant in mushrooms, milk, meat, liver, dark green vegetables, and enriched cereals, pasta, and bread. The RDA is 1.3 mg for adults. The vitamin is good for the skin, nails, eyes, mouths, lips, and tongue, and it’s believed to help safeguard against cancers.

Vitamin B 3

Also often known as niacin, vitamin P, or vitamin PP -helps discharge energy from nutrients. It can certainly lower cholesterol as well as prevent and treat arteriosclerosis, amid various other benefits. Not enough B3 can result in pellagra, a condition with signs or symptoms which include sunburn, diarrhea, irritation, swollen tongue, and mental confusion. Too much B3 can lead to damage to the liver. Food sources abundant in niacin are chicken, salmon, tuna, liver, nuts, dried peas, enriched cereals, and dried beans. The RDA is 14-18 mg each day for adults.

Vitamin B 5

Pantothenic acid, has a role in the metabolic processes of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is most often found in eggs, whole grain cereals, legumes, and meat, though it can be found in some level in nearly every food. The RDA is 10 mg. Deficit can lead to low energy, allergies, queasiness, and stomach pain.

Vitamin B 6

Pyridoxine, allows the body to process and metabolize amino acids, to use fats, as well as form red blood cells. Insufficiency in the vitamin may lead to smooth tongue, skin disorders, lightheadedness, queasiness, anemia, convulsions, and kidney stones. Whole grains, bread, liver, green beans, spinach, avocadoes, and bananas are really rich food sources that are good for this vitamin. The RDA ranges from 1.3 to 2 mg based on age and gender.

Vitamin B 7

Also called Biotin or vitamin H, it will help develop fatty acids and aids in the launch of energy from carbohydrates. There were absolutely no incidents of deficit amongst humans. The RDA is 30 µg.

Vitamin B 9

Folic acid, occasionally goes by the title of vitamin M or vitamin B-c. Folic acid allows your body to form hemoglobin. It will help combat anemia and sprue. Beneficial food sources include green leafy veggies, nuts, grain, legumes, and organ meats. Even so, be aware that folic acid is shed any time foods are saved at room temperature or cooked. Deficiency is unusual, though folic acid is especially essential in pregnancy. Eating enough folic acid before and during pregnancy helps in avoiding neural tube defects in newborns, including spina bifida. The RDA both for men and women is 400 micrograms, but females who are pregnant or likely to get pregnant should consume 600 micrograms each day. When breastfeeding, the recommendation is 500 micrograms.

Vitamin B 12

Also referred to as Cobalamin or Cyanocobalamin, aids the efforts of the neurological system and also the formation of red blood cells. When the body is struggling to process sufficient B12, pernicious anemia can result. B12 is only found in animal sources such as eggs, dairy, fish, meat, and liver. Consequently, vegetarians are highly urged take a supplement. The RDA for adult men and females is 2.4 µg.

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