MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
"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
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.
RDA VERSUS ODA
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
BALANCE & SYNERGY
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.
SYNTHETIC VERSUS NATURAL
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.
WHAT IS ON THE STORE SHELVES
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.
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS & PRODUCTS
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
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
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
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
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
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
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 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum 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 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
For a full list of available products from Mountain Rose Herbs, click on banner below:
MOONDRAGON'S REALM - WEBSITE DIRECTORY
A website map to help you find what you are looking for on MoonDragon.org's Website. Available pages have been listed under appropriate directory headings.