You will find vitamins mentioned throughout our web pages and throughout our educational articles because they are so vital to optimum health. You will find useful links to educational and informational articles sprinkled throughout the sections of our site. Here's to your good health - Enjoy!!!
Anti-Oxidant Vitamins and Nutrients: Vit C, Vit E, Folate, Selenium, Co-enzyme Q (ubiquinone), Bioflavonoids, and Beta Carotene (in the form of food intake only, NOT supplements).
Heart disease is epidemic in Western society, and many of these supplements can be beneficial to your cardiac health: LDL or low density lipoprotein, also known as "bad" cholesterol is a key factor in the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) when it is oxidized! Excess free radicals in the plasma and blood vessel walls increase the oxidation of LDL, which becomes a toxic substance to cells, especially those in the blood vessel walls. The body takes up the oxidized LDL in macrophages, and this directly leads to plaque formation and progression. Anti-oxidants in the circulation prevent the oxidation of LDL!
Vitamin A - This is one of the fat soluble vitamins. Concerns from several studies show that a supplemental intake greater than 1.5 mg per day may increase hip fracture risk by causing decreased bone mineral density! High vitamin A levels may lead to increased bone resorption, increased bone fragility, and even spontaneous bone fractures! A suggested retinol intake of less than 1mg per day would seem prudent.
Vitamin B - The B vitamins, especially Folate, B6, and B12 help lower homocysteine levels, and hence decrease the incidence of Heart disease. Homocysteine promotes LDL oxidation, and is toxic to the endothelium (blood vessel lining) leading to vessel wall damage and plaque build-up. Most people need 400 micrograms or more of folate as a supplement to help decrease homocysteine - I recommend at least 1mg. per day! Pregnant patients may benefit from 50 mg. of Vitamin B6 three times daily to help with nausea and morning sickness!
Beta Carotene - A Vit A precursor. It reduces oxidized LDL uptake but does not prevent LDL oxidation. Beta Carotene is the only nutrient that SHOULD NOT be taken in supplement form!! Many studies have found INCREASED levels of various types of CANCER when individuals are given supplements of Beta Carotene. The only way to safely get the nutritional benefits of higher levels of this anti-oxidant is through improved diet - increase intake of fruits, yellow-orange veggies like carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes, and deep green veggies like spinach and broccoli.
Vitamin C - The predominant plasma anti-oxidant. It is a co-factor for 8 enzymes. This water soluble anti-oxidant is often taken to help with the common cold. The government's RDI is 75 mg/day for women and 90mg/day for men with an extra 35 mg/day recommended for smokers. Vit C scavenges free radicals in the plasma and prevents their entry in LDL particles. Vit C also improves blood vessel lining dilation, and hence blood vessel dilation. Vit C also speeds wound healing, and is vital in pregnant and nursing mothers!
Most people take 500 to 1,000mg daily, and others even higher doses. Be cautious with adult doses above 2,000mg/day - this may cause diarrhea or intestinal distress if doses are increased rapidly. The maximal amount the intestine is able to absorb per day is about 3,000mg, so more than this definitely increases your risk of intestinal consequences!!
Excess Vit C is excreted in the urine. It usually DOES NOT increase urinary stone formation - it does increase oxalic acid excretion - this may crystalize and form oxalate crystals outside of the body when exposed to air, hence the mis-conception that it may cause urinary stones!
Vitamin E - This is a fat soluble vitamin. Prevents the peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in membranes. By being incorporated into cell membranes, it prevents LDL oxidation. Vit E appears to be the primary anti-oxidant in LDL. It enhances T lymphocyte function. It is impossible to obtain high doses of Vit E in the diet. Even the low government RDI of 50 IU is too high for most diets!! Most people should take 200-400iu of Vit E daily. If you suffer from PMDD, then you should consider taking 400iu twice daily.
Multi Talented Vitamin E (Article)
Folate - An excellent supplement - see Vit B section above for details!
Selenium - An anti-oxidant often taken with Vit E and C to improve their absorption and function. The government's RDI is 55 mcg/day. People with higher selenium levels had lower rates of heart disease, but be cautious with your dosing - more than 400mcg/day can be harmful by increasing your risk of Selenium toxicity!Multivitamin - Nutrient 950 - Check Out Our Great Blended Multi Vitamin and Mineral Supplement: Click Here to see ingredients
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