A Guide to the B6 VitaminThe B6 vitamin, also known as pyridoxine, is one of the most versatile of the B vitamins and yet the body only requires a relatively small amount. The B6 vitamin works closely with all the other B vitamins, especially niacin, folic acid, and Cobalamin and contributes to numerous functions in the body. Amino acids are converted by the B6 vitamin into proteins and it is also required for transforming stored sugar within the body into essential energy. Basically, the B6 vitamin is essential for converting the proteins that are consumed into proteins that the body needs and also for converting the carbohydrates from the form that they are stored in the body to a form that can be used for extra energy.
The body requires a number of different proteins and it is the B6 vitamin that ensures that the correct forms are available. For example, the B6 vitamin will create haemoglobin for carrying oxygen in the blood cells, hormones for regulating blood pressure, neurotransmitters and various enzymes.
The recommended daily allowance for the B6 vitamin is only around 2.0mg but this seemingly insignificant amount is used extremely efficiently within the body to produce over sixty different enzymes. The best sources of the B6 vitamin are high-protein foods such as eggs, fish, poultry, and meat and it is also added to breakfast cereals and bread to ensure that everyone is able to consume their recommended daily allowance, even if they do not eat meat products. An additional amount of the b6 vitamin may be beneficial for the heart and immune system. B6 vitamin supplements are sometimes required by asthmatics and diabetics. However, it is important to be aware that large doses of the B6 vitamin can be toxic.
As the B6 vitamin is found in many common foods the majority of people receive sufficient amounts of the vitamin from their normal diet. There are some groups that may need to take a B6 vitamin supplement to ensure that they obtain the recommended daily allowance. For example, pregnant or breastfeeding women will need a slightly higher amount of the B6 vitamin to allow for the amount of the vitamin that is being absorbed by the baby although it is possible to obtain the extra B6 vitamin from an increased consumption of high-protein foods. Strict vegetarians or vegans, however, and children who do not eat animal products may need a B6 vitamin supplement as vegetables and fruits are poor sources of the B6 vitamin.
A Guide to the B Complex VitaminsThere is a lot of discussion about the B complex vitamin and how it is essential for the body to perform a multitude of functions. However, the B complex vitamin is not simply one very complicated vitamin, as the name might suggest. There are actually eight B vitamins that are in the B complex vitamin as well as a few other related substances. The eight vitamins that make up the B complex vitamin are thiamine or vitamin B1, riboflavin or vitamin B2, niacin or vitamin B3, pyridoxine or vitamin B6, cobalamine or vitamin B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid and biotin. The other related substances that are also in the B complex vitamin include choline, inositol and para-aminobenzoic acid.
Every part of the B complex vitamin performs its own individual function within the body but it is when they work together as the B complex vitamin that they provide essential maintenance for the body to remain healthy. The B vitamin complex comprises B vitamins which are water soluble and it is essential that enough of these vitamins are consumed on a daily basis. The body cannot store water soluble vitamins such as the B complex vitamin and this leads to a regular intake being required.
The B complex vitamins are extremely beneficial for a number of conditions and may be needed in additional quantities at certain times in a person’s life. Of course, there is a recommended daily allowance for the B complex vitamins that varies according to the sex and age of a person. However, doctors and other health professionals have discovered the benefits of increasing the intake of the B complex vitamin to help overcome certain illnesses.
Many people suffer from anxiety and stress at one time or another and research has found that the B complex vitamin can be beneficial in helping alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and stress. If a person has been unwell the B complex vitamin can be extremely valuable in aiding the recovery process. Fatigue can be a symptom of a multitude of illnesses as well as simply overdoing things but the B complex vitamin can help alleviate general tiredness and lethargy.
Interestingly, some skin conditions, such as dermatitis, can also benefit from addition B complex vitamin intake. In fact, a number of creams and other skin preparations contain added vitamin B complex that can be absorbed by the skin to alleviate the condition. The condition of a person’s hair will also be greatly improved with sufficient B complex vitamin intake.
A Guide to the C VitaminThe c vitamin has got to be the most widely known vitamin these days. It is not surprising because the body needs c vitamin for over 300 functions. In fact, the c vitamin has been proved to help protect against heart disease, cancer and other serious illnesses. Without the c vitamin the body would not be able to heal itself either. This is because the c vitamin is vital for the formation of collagen. Whenever a person has a cut or an injury it is the collagen that helps repair the damage and without sufficient c vitamin this would be almost impossible. Collagen has a multitude of functions in the body, including keeping the organs in place, and it would not be able to do this without sufficient c vitamin.
The c vitamin is also an antioxidant for the body and helps other vitamins and minerals to be absorbed better. Folic acid and iron, for example, need the c vitamin to maximise their usefulness. The more c vitamin that the body has, the better its defence against colds and other common ailments and the c vitamin may not prevent a person catching a virus but it does help speed up the recovery process.
There is c vitamin in almost every fruit and vegetable but some have far higher c vitamin content than others. Cranberries and melons have high c vitamin content. In fact, tropical fruits have the highest c vitamin amounts of all fruit. Hot peppers are amongst the richest sources of the c vitamin when it comes to vegetables. The hotter the pepper, the higher its c vitamin content is. Unfortunately, the c vitamin is water soluble so many vegetables lose their effectiveness as a c vitamin provider if they are boiled for a long time. Steaming or quick stir frying vegetables ensures that more of their c vitamin content is retained. The recommended daily amount of the c vitamin is easily obtained from eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day if they are consumed raw or cooked quickly.
C vitamin supplements are extremely useful to ensure that people obtain sufficient c vitamin. However, with a balanced diet the amount of c vitamin the body receives is likely to be sufficient. However, if a person begins feeling tired or lethargic then a c vitamin supplement will help overcome this. There is no danger of having too much c vitamin as the body simply excretes the excess.
A Guide to the D VitaminThe D vitamin is the only vitamin that is not obtained from foods that are consumed. Instead, the D vitamin is actually obtained by sunlight on the skin. There has been a lot of media coverage about the dangers of getting too much sun but it is essential that the skin is exposed to sunlight to obtain the recommended daily allowance of the D vitamin. In reality, the amount of time that a person has to spend in the sun to receive a sufficient dose of the D vitamin is extremely small and just a few minutes a day will be sufficient and not have any adverse effects from the amount of ultra-violet light received.
The most important function of the D vitamin is to help control how much calcium is absorbed from food. The majority of the calcium is used to build strong teeth and bones but it is also needed to send messages along the nerves and to help muscles, such as the heart muscles, to contract. It is the D vitamin that ensures that there is always sufficient calcium in the blood to perform these tasks. Other functions that require the D vitamin relate to the immune system and it is believed that it is also a contributing factor in reducing the risk of contracting cancer and, in particular, colon cancer.
The variant of the D vitamin that is formed under the skin is known as vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol. This D vitamin is created when the ultraviolet in the sunlight reacts with a type of cholesterol that is found under the skin naturally. The D3 is converted into a more active form of the d vitamin in the liver and is then diverted to where it is needed the most. Some of the D vitamin remains in the liver and kidneys to help reabsorb the calcium from the blood. The rest of the D vitamin is dispersed to the bones to help them retain their calcium and the intestines to aid absorption of calcium from food.
Even though the majority of the D vitamin is formed through the exposure of the skin to sunlight there are some foods that do contain some of the vitamin naturally. This form of the D vitamin is known as vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol. This is used in the same way as the other D vitamins and is the type used to create the majority of D vitamin supplements.
A Guide to the E VitaminThe e vitamin is extremely important for a variety of functions in the body. A healthy heart needs plenty of the e vitamin as it has been shown to actually prevent heart disease. The e vitamin can also help contain any existing heart disease and stop it from getting worse.
E vitamin is also vital in protecting the cell membranes from the harmful free radicals that are present in the body. Without e vitamin, amongst others, the cell membranes would be damaged and this could lead to serious health problems, including cancer. The reason that the e vitamin is so effective against free radicals is that it is fat soluble so it can be absorbed into the cell membranes. The e vitamin is therefore essential for the immune system.
The recommended daily amount of the e vitamin that a person requires depends on their body weight. This is connected to the fact that the more fat a diet contains then the more of the e vitamin that is needed. However, the only foods that really contain any reasonable amount of the e vitamin are vegetable oils, seeds, wheat germ, and nuts. It is for this reason that most people should take some form of e vitamin supplement.
A deficiency of the e vitamin does not affect a person immediately. In fact, it can take months for the effects of insufficient e vitamin to be detected. After years of e vitamin deficiency there may e some detectable damage to the nerves of the spinal cord or retina of the eye but this is very rare. Most people obtain enough e vitamin from a normal diet but it is essential that the food that a person eats contains a little fat to help with the absorption of the e vitamin.
There are a few medical conditions that may lead to a deficiency of the e vitamin and may require the person to take e vitamin supplements. Cystic fibrosis causes a person to be unable to digest fats well which leads to less of the e vitamin being absorbed. Crohn’s disease causes to lower absorption rates of the e vitamin and a supplement may be necessary. Some forms of liver disease can also lead to problems absorbing the e vitamin, especially through the intestine. Of course, as fat is required to help absorb sufficient amounts of the e vitamin, anyone on an extremely low-fat diet will need to discuss their options for increasing the amount of e vitamin that their body needs.