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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics


"For Informational Use Only"
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.

  • The Function of Vitamins
  • RDA Versus ODA
  • Balance & Synergy
  • Synthetic Versus Natural
  • What is on the Store Shelves
  • Individual Vitamin Supplement Information & Products


    Vitamins are essential to life. They contribute to good health by regulating the metabolism and assisting the biochemical processes that release energy from digested food. They are considered micronutrients because the body needs them in relatively small amounts compared with nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and water.

    Enzymes are essential chemicals that are the foundation of human bodily functions. They are catalysts (activators) in the chemical reactions that are continually taking place within the body. As coenzymes, vitamins work with enzymes, thereby allowing all the activities that occur within the body to be carried out as they should.

    Of the major vitamins, some are water soluble and some are oil soluble. Water-soluble vitamins must be taken into the body daily, as they cannot be stored and are excreted within one to four days. These include vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins. Oil-soluble vitamins can be stored for longer periods of time in the body's fatty tissue and the liver. These include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Both types of vitamins are needed by the body for proper functioning.


    Recommended daily allowance (RDAs) were instituted over 40 years ago by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board as a standard for the daily amounts of vitamins needed by a healthy person. Unfortunately, the amounts they came up with give us only the bare minimum required to ward off deficiency diseased such as beriberi, rickets, scurvy, and night blindness. What they do not account for are the amounts needed to maintain maximum health, rather than borderline health.

    Scientific studies have shown that larger dosages of vitamins help our bodies work better. The RDAs therefore are not very useful for determining what our intake of different vitamin should be. We prefer to speak in terms of optimum daily allowances (ODAs) - the amounts of nutrients needed for vibrant good health. This entails consuming larger amounts of vitamins than the RDAs. The nutrient doses recommended on our micronutrients webpage (see below) are ODAs. By providing our bodies with an optimum daily allowance of necessary vitamins, we can enhance our health. The dosages outlined in our webpages will enable you to design a vitamin program that is custom-tailored for the individual.

    The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals


    The proper balance of vitamins and minerals is important to the proper functioning of all vitamins. Scientific research has proved that an excess of an isolated vitamin or mineral can produce the same symptoms as a deficiency of a vitamin or mineral. For example, high doses of isolated B vitamins have been shown to cause depletion of other B vitamins. Similarly, when zinc is taken in excess, symptoms of zinc deficiency can result. Studies have shown that an intake of up to 100 mg of zinc daily enhances the immune function, but an amount in excess of 100 mg daily may actually harm immune function.

    Synergy is a phenomenon whereby two or more vitamins combine to create a stronger vitamin function. For example, in order for bioflavonoids to work properly (they prevent bruising and bleeding gums), they must be taken along with vitamin C. Recent studies show that bioflavonoids also may be a big factor in preventing cancer and many other diseases.

    In addition, certain substances can block the absorption and effects of vitamins. For example, the absorption of vitamin C is greatly reduced by antibiotic drugs, so a person taking antibiotics requires a higher than normal intake of this vitamin.


    Ideally, all of us would get all of the nutrients we need for optimal health from fresh, healthful foods. In reality, however, this is often difficult, if not impossible. In our chemically polluted and stress-filled world, our nutritional requirements have been increasing, but the number of calories we require has been decreasing, as our general level of physical activity has declined. This means we are faced with needing somehow to get more nutrients from less food. At the same time, due to the cooking and processing of foods, which destroy most nutrients, getting even the RDAs of vitamins from today's diet has become quite hard to do. This means that to obtain the optimal amount of many nutrients, it is necessary to take them in supplement form.

    Vitamin supplements can be divided into two groups synthetic and natural. Synthetic vitamins are vitamins produced in laboratories from isolated chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature. Natural vitamins are derived from food sources. Although there are not major chemical differences between a vitamin found in food and one created in a laboratory, synthetic supplements contain the isolated vitamins only, while many natural supplements contain other nutrients not yet discovered. This is because these vitamins are in their natural state. If you are deficient in a particular nutrient, the chemical source will work, but you will not get the benefits of the vitamin as found in whole foods. Supplements that are not labeled natural may also include coal tars, artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, and starch, as well as other additives. You should beware of such harmful elements. However, you should also note that a bottle of "natural" vitamins may contain vitamins that have not been extracted from a natural food source, It is necessary to read labels carefully to make sure the products you buy contain nutrients from food sources, with none of the artificial additives mentioned above.

    Studies have shown that protein-bonded vitamins, as found in natural whole food supplements, are absorbed, utilized, and retained in the tissues better than supplements that are not protein-bonded. Chemical-derived vitamins are not protein-bonded. Vitamins and minerals in food are bonded to proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and bioflavonoids. Dr. Abram Hoffer, one of the "founding fathers" of orthomolecular medicine, explains:

      Components [of food] do not exist free in nature; nature does not lay down pure protein, pure fat, or pure carbohydrates. Their molecules are interlaced in a very complex three-dimensional structure which even now has not been fully described. Intermingled are the essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, again not free, but combined in complex molecules.

    Using a natural form of vitamins and minerals in nutritional supplements is the objective of the protein-bonding process. Taking supplements with meals helps to assure a supply of other nutrients needed for better assimilation as well.


    Over-the-counter vitamin supplements come in various forms, combinations, and amounts. They are available in tablet, capsule, gel-capsule, powder, sublingual, lozenge, and liquid forms. They can also be administered by injection. In most cases, it is a matter of personal preference as to how they are taken; however, due to slight variations in how rapidly the supplements are absorbed and assimilated into the body, one form may be recommended over an another form. These recommendations, when needed, are given throughout the webpages on this website.

    Vitamin supplements are usually available as isolated vitamins or in combination with other nutrients. It is important to select your vitamins based upon what you really need.

    The amount of any vitamin you take should be based on your own requirements. A program designed for health maintenance would be different from one designed to overcome a specific disorder. If you find one supplement that meets your needs, remember to take it daily. If it does not contain a large enough quantity of what you want, you may consider taking more than one. Just make sure that you are aware of the increased dosage of then other nutrients it may contain. If there is no single supplement that provides you with what you are looking for, consider taking a combination of different supplements. In these webpages, each supplement is listed separately, so you will know what each does and the amounts needed. You may find a supplement that contains several needed nutrients in one tablet or capsule.

    Because the potency of most vitamins may be decreased by sunlight, make sure that the container holding your vitamins is dark enough to shield its contents properly. Some people may be sensitive to plastic, and may need to purchase vitamins in glass containers. Vitamin supplements should be kept in a cool, dark place for storage.


    All vitamin supplements work best when taken in combination with food. Unless specified otherwise, oil-soluble vitamins should be taken before meals, and water-soluble ones should be taken after meals. See the following links for individual vitamin supplement description, use information and available products from our merchants.

    Nutrition Basics: Beta Carotene & Carotene Complex Information
    Nutrition Basics: Bioflavonoids Information
    Nutrition Basics: Biotin Information
    Nutrition Basics: Choline Information
    Nutrition Basics: Coenzyme Q-10 Information
    Nutrition Basics: Folic Acid Information
    Nutrition Basics: Inositol Information
    Nutrition Basics: Multi-Vitamin Information
    Nutrition Basics: Para-Aminobenzoic Acid (PABA) Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin A Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin B Complex Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin B-3 (Niacin) Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid) Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin B-12 (Cyanocobalamin) Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin D Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin E Information
    Nutrition Basics: Vitamin K Information

    See Merchant Banners below for supplement products or click on individual supplement information links in the Nutrition Basics Index

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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
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  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
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  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
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  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index

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