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Posts from the ‘Vitamins’ Category


Marmite – A superfood

Marmite is to the British and New Zealanders, what breast milk is to babies – an essential part of their diet and lifestyle!. Without it, is a “marmageddon”!. Marmite has been discovered by a German scientist, in 1902 and has been included in First World War soldier’s ration packs, due to it’s high nutritional value. In the 1930’s, an English scientist discovered that the folic acid in Marmite could be used to treat anemia. Till today, Marmite is as popular as ever!.

Marmite’s ingredients are: yeast extract, vegetable extract, salt, spices and vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B9, B12). It is popular to eat as a spread on toast, crackers or rice cakes , with cheese or butter. Take one teaspoon/day, to enjoy an array of health benefits.

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Vitamin dosage and toxicicty


Are vitamins in large doses harmful?

Isolated vitamins of the B-complex can be harmful and vitamins A and D. These vitamins should not be taken in synthetic form in LARGE doses without expert professional advice. There is no risk involved if they are taken in the form of brewer’s yeast (for B-vitamins) and unfortified fish liver oils (vit A and D).

It is the wisest and safest to take vitamins and minerals in their natural form and strength and in combination with enzymes and trace elements, for optimum assimilation.

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Co-factors and the immune system

A child with omega-6 conversion problems may have a deficiency in the co-factor vitamins and minerals that are essential in helping the delta-6 desaturase enzyme to convert linoleic acid (LA) to prostaglandins. Vitamin A, certain B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and iron are important. Food allergies may make it difficult to get enough of Linolenic acid (LNA). To regulate EFA metabolism properly, enzymes depend on key co-factor vitamins B6, A, C and E and minerals – magnesium, zinc, copper and selenium. If you do get enough of these vitamins and minerals, the body will metabolize LA and LNA into prostaglandins. Prostaglandins regulate the lymphocytes, which include the white blood cells, T-cells and B-cells in the immune system. Macrophages clean up the bloodstream and when it encounters a bacterium (antigen) it carries it around, until it meets a helper T-cell. The Helper T-cells send the killer T-cells and B-cells into action. The B-cells produce antibodies and the suppressor T-cells stops the action, when the battle has been won. B-cells and T-cells are the mind of the immune system and have a memory (like the brain cells). B-cells learn to make antibodies for every one of the thousands of different germs, toxins, fungi , bacteria, viruses that invade the body in the course of a lifetime. T-cells remember every invader – the germ may make some headway the first time, but the second time it invades, the army will be ready.

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A functional approach to vitamins

Vitamins do not yield energy when metabolized; many of them assist the enzymes that participate in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Insufficiencies of a vitamin may lead to problems related to less obvious physiological dysfunction. This decreased functioning may not readily be attributed to a vitamin insufficiency – therefore a thorough patient history including diet and lifestyle will help identify this link. The importance of vitamin interactions have been recognized e.g. methylation interactions of vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid in the prevention of heart disease. The homocysteinemia resulting from insufficient supplies of these vitamins may lead to coronary artery disease, neurodegenerative disease or cancer.

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Natural vitamins are organic compounds found in living plants and animals. They are required in small amounts by the body for normal metabolic functions. Fewer than 20 vitamins have been discovered, but new substances have been discovered that work side by side with vitamins, called carotenoids, polyphenols and phytochemicals. These with vitamins are essential for proper growth, maintenance of health and prevention of disease. The body can’t make it’s own vitamins (therefore they are essential) and must be supplied in the diet or by supplements. The vitamins themselves can’t be converted into energy, but some are required in the process of energy production.

Supplementation with vitamins have become essential for the prevention and treatment of disease, because of the poor nutrient content of the soil, vitamin loss due to processing, storage of food and cooking methods.

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The role of vitamins and minerals in fat metabolism

Cofactors in fat metabolism include enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

Every chemical reaction in metabolism require enzymes. Enzymes are proteins made according to our DNA, via blueprints of RNA. Enzymes are made in response to our body’s needs. Chemical reactions cannot occur without them. Enzymes are catalysts- they facilitate or dissolve associations between molecules. Specific enzymes facilitate specific interactions between specific molecules in a specific way, resulting in reliable molecular results that allow life to carry on.

Enzymes are allied with an essential mineral, which we get from foods e.g. over 80 enzymes ally themselves with zinc; for energy production, enzymes need magnesium. Several require copper; others need iron. Of the 20 minerals needed for our bodies to function, at least 12 of these help enzymes to function.

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