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Vitamins are organic substances that help maintain proper activity and catalyze vital processes within the body.

Vitamins are essential for life and they play a role in the management of the body’s chemical reactions; they maintain body tissue, regulate metabolism, and help release energy from digested food as well as regulate how the body uses food for energy. They also act as enzymes and co-enzymes, enabling the body to carry out activities or to build and fuel cells.

    • Vitamin A
      • Plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, and cell division
      • Helps regulate the immune system
      • Vitamin A  is necessary for normal differentiation of corneal, conjunctival, and retinal membranes, as well as growth and development, and immune activation. Not only does Vitamin A strengthen “entry points” into the human body, such as mucous membranes, and the lining of the eyes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, it is also essential for the functioning of lymphocytes, or white blood cells.
      • Dietary sources include baked sweet potatoes, canned pumpkin, carrots, spinach, kale and apricots.
    • Thiamin
      • Helps the body’s cells convert carbohydrates
      • Essential for the function of the heart, muscles, and nervous system
      • Used to maintain healthy digestion
      • Thiamin is one of the B vitamins, a group of water-soluble vitamins, that are part of many of the chemical reactions in the body. Thiamin (Vitamin B1) is essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. It is found in a wide variety of foods at low concentrations.
      • Dietary sources include yeast, yeast extract (e.g., Marmite), and pork. These are the most highly concentrated sources of thiamine. In general, cereal grains are the most important dietary sources of Thiamin.
    • Riboflavin
      • Boosts immune system function
      • Boosts athletic performance
      • Helps maintain healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails
      • Riboflavin is a water-soluble type of B vitamin and is not stored in the body. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) works with the other B Vitamins. It is important for body growth and red blood cell production, and helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates. Riboflavin is used for preventing low levels of Riboflavin (riboflavin deficiency) and muscle cramps. Some people use Riboflavin to support the eye. Other benefits include an increase in energy levels, and the promotion of healthy reproductive function.
      • Dietary sources include dairy products, eggs, green leafy vegetables, lean meats, legumes, milk, and nuts.
    • Niacin
      • Improves circulation and helps maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range.
      • Helps the body metabolize fats and protein
      • Helps the body make various sex and stress-related hormones in the adrenal glands
      • Niacin, also known as Vitamin B3 or Nicotinic Acid, is one of eight B vitamins. Niacin is used by your body to turn carbohydrates into energy. Niacin also helps keep your nervous system, digestive system, skin, hair, and eyes healthy. Furthermore, it is effective in improving circulation. That is why Niacin is often a part of a daily multivitamin. All B vitamins help the body to convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is “burned”to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein. Niacin helps the body make various sex and stress-related hormones in the adrenal glands.
      • Dietary sources include beets, brewer’s yeast, beef liver, beef kidney, fish, salmon, swordfish, tuna, sunflower seeds, and peanuts. Bread and cereals are usually fortified with Niacin. In addition, foods that contain tryptophan, an amino acid that the body coverts into Niacin, are good sources of this vitamin. Dietary sources include poultry, red meat, eggs, and dairy products.
    • Pantothenic Acid
      • Essential for the metabolizing of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
      • Required for chemical reactions that generate energy from food
      • Beneficial in maintenance of healthy skin, muscles, and nerves
      • Patothenic Acid, also known as Vitamin B5, is a water-soluble vitamin essential for the metabolization of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Pantothenic acid is found throughout living cells in the form of Coenzyme A (CoA). CoA is required for chemical reactions that generate energy from food (fat, carbohydrates, and proteins). The synthesis of essential fats, cholesterol, and steroid hormones requires CoA, as does the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and the hormones melatonin.
      • Small quantities of Pantothenic Acid are found in most foods. The major food source of Pantothenic Acid is from meats. Whole grains are another good source of the vitamin, but milling often removes much of this vitamin, as it is found in the outer layers of whole grains. Vegetables such as broccoli and avocados also have an abundance of the acid.
    • Folic Acid
      • Involved in the creation of healthy cells
      • Assists with heart health
      • Folic acid is a B vitamin. It is involved in very important cellular reactions. Inadequate Folic Acid can cause the build-up of amino acids in the blood called homocysteine. High homocysteine is treated with supplemental Folic Acid. Folic Acid supplements are recommended routinely to women of childbearing age.
      • Dietary sources of Folic Acid include green vegetables, orange juice, and beans.
    • Biotin (Vitamin B7)
      • Necessary for cell growth, production of fatty acids, and metabolism of fats and amino acids.
      • Assists in various metabolic reactions
      • Helps to transfer carbon dioxide
      • Biotin may be helpful in maintaining steady blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range. It is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails, and is often found in many cosmetics and health products for the hair and skin even though it cannot be absorbed through the hair or skin itself.
      • Dietary sources include romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, swiss chard, raw eggs, liver and peanuts.
    • Vitamin B12
      • Supports adrenal function
      • Helps calm and maintain a healthy nervous system
      • Important to DNA synthesis and maintaining healthy nerve cells
      • Vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the B Vitamin family. B Vitamins are necessary for key metabolic processes. Vitamin B12 is essential for normal nerve function, DNA synthesis, fatty acid metabolism, and amino acid synthesis in the mitochondria. Vitamin B12 affects the development and maintenance of red blood cells, nerve cells, and normal covering of nerve cells. It also aids in the production of DNA and RNA as well as the production of neurotransmitters. Vitamin B-12 is naturally synthesized by bacteria and is abundant in diets that include meat and dairy products.
      • Dietary sources include meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish.
    • Vitamin C
      • An essential vitamin that is not synthesized in humans
      • Protects against skin wrinkling
      • Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, is found in many fresh fruits and vegetables. It is an essential vitamin that is not synthesized in humans. Vitamin C is necessary for a variety of physiological functions, most importantly the formation of collagen. Vitamin C is one of the commonly used dietary supplements for immune stimulation, meeting antioxidant requirements.
      • Dietary sources include citrus fruits, cruciferous vegetables, berries, peppers, melons, tomatoes, and potatoes.
    • Vitamin D
      • Maintains serum calcium and phosphorus levels by regulating their absorption and excretion
      • Important for bone formation
      • Vitamin D refers to several forms of fat-soluble vitamins found naturally in plants, fish, and dairy products. Sunlight can promote the synthesis of D3 in the skin. Vitamin D maintains serum calcium and phosphorus levels by regulating their absorption and excretion.
      • Dietary sources of Vitamin D include fortified milk, margarine, cereals, fatty fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks.

Minerals are elements that enhance bodily functions and provide energy as well as produce hormones, maintain a regular heartbeat, and assist in bone formation.

The amounts of minerals needed by the body are variable, but they are essential to help your body grow and stay healthy. In addition, sodium, calcium, potassium, and magnesium are minerals which are also major electrolytes; maintaining the proper balance of electrolytes helps your body’s blood chemistry, muscle action, and other processes.

        • Iron
          • Helps muscles store and use oxygen
          • Needed to maintain healthy immune system
          • Essential for athletic performance; major function is to carry oxygen to and carbon dioxide away from all the cells in your body
          • Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron, as part of the protein hemoglobin, carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies as well as helps our muscles store and use oxygen. Too little iron can impair bodily functions. Someone with early stages of iron deficiency may have no signs or symptoms, and this is why it is important to screen for low levels of iron among high risk groups.
          • Many studies have routinely found that athletes, especially female athletes, are often iron-deficient or anemic. Iron is essential for athletic performance, as one of its major functions is to carry oxygen to, and carbon dioxide away from all the cells in your body. The brain also relies on oxygen transport and without enough Iron, difficulties with concentration, irritability and fatigue may occur. Iron is also needed to maintain a healthy immune system.
          • Dietary sources include red meat, lentils and other beans, leafy vegetables, black strap molasses, poultry, fish, fortified breads, and cereals.
        • Potassium
          • Essential for keeping muscles strong, maintaining blood pressure levels that are already within the healthy range and water balance in cells
          • Releases energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates during metabolism
          • Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Foods rich in potassium are responsible for a number of health benefits. On the other hand, individuals often see a decrease in muscular strength due to a lack of this mineral in the diet.
          • Potassium releases energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrate during metabolism. Recent studies have shown that deficiencies occur as the average American diet has shifted towards heavily processed foods, coffee, colas, and alcohol which reduce the amount of potassium in the diet. One of the most important properties of potassium is its relationship to sodium. When sodium is high in the diet, potassium levels are low. This is why adequate supplementation can be so important.
          • Dietary sources include bananas, potatoes, almonds and oranges.
        • Magnesium
          • Aids in the absorption of calcium by the body
          • Improves muscle function
          • Magnesium is an essential mineral for staying healthy and is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.
          • Adequate levels of magnesium aid in the absorption of calcium by the body, while zinc actively supports the body’s immune system.
          • Manganese is a trace mineral that is present in tiny amounts in the body. It is found mostly in bones, the liver, kidneys, and the pancreas. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood clotting factors, and sex hormones. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function. Low levels of manganese in the body can contribute to weakness.
          • The other crucial health benefits of magnesium include protein synthesis and improvement of parathyroid function. Magnesium can help to boost the bio-availability of Vitamin B6 and cholesterol.
          • Good dietary sources of magnesium include nuts (especially almonds), whole grains such as rye, wheat germ, oats, seeds, soy, fish, and green leafy vegetables. As with most nutrients, daily needs for magnesium cannot be met from food alone, which is why magnesium dietary supplements are recommended as well.
        • Calcium
          • Helps maintain healthy weight and store less fat
          • Helps protect cardiac function
          • Maintains healthy teeth and bones
          • Calcium is found in the human body as deposits in the bones and teeth. Traces of calcium are also present in the circulatory system. Research suggests that if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, you’re likely to be overweight. When calcium levels are low, the parathyroid hormone is released which stimulates the release of calcium in the bloodstream. The kidneys also release a hormone called Calcitriol which stimulates the production of fat and inhibit its breakdown. As a result, the body is more susceptible to storing fat. A diet high in calcium has been found to suppress these hormones so the body stores less fat. Calcium also helps to protect cardiac function, the maintenance of healthy teeth and bones.
          • Dietary sources include dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, along with non-dairy products which are vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli.
        • Zinc
          • Helps regulate the immune system
          • Supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence
          • Helps maintain the sense of taste and smell
          • Zinc is a mineral found in every cell in our body. It plays a vital role for protein synthesis and helps regulate the immune system. Zinc is mostly found in high concentrations in the white and red blood cells, eye retina, skin, liver, kidneys, bones, and pancreas.
          • Among its many functions, Zinc helps maintain a healthy immune system, helps maintain a sense of taste and smell, and is needed for DNA synthesis and wound healing. Zinc also supports normal growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence, helps sperm development, and is needed for ovulation and fertilization. Zinc is required for the development and activation of T-lymphocytes.
          • Dietary sources include oysters, red meat, and poultry. Other good food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood such as crab and lobster, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.
        • Chromium
          • Key mineral in maintaining blood sugar levels that are already in the normal range.
          • Important in the burning of carbohydrates and fats in the body
          • Chromium is an essential mineral that humans require in trace amounts.
            The body needs chromium for normal health and growth.
          • Chromium is important in the burning of carbohydrates and fats in the body and in the proper functioning of insulin. That is, it helps insulin to do its work of making blood sugar available to the cells. Some studies have shown that taking chromium helps improve muscle tone.
          • Dietary sources include beef, liver, eggs, chicken,
            oysters, wheat germ, green peppers, apples, bananas and spinach.

A dietary supplement, also known as food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person’s diet.

 

BONE & JOINT HEALTH

        • Glucosamine & Chondroiton Sulfate
          • Improves the natural repair process
          • Lubricates joints
          • Normally, the compound Glucosamine exists in cartilage. As the body moves, cartilage is worn away and reshaped. At rest cartilage resumes its normal shape and restores itself. If glucosamine levels are low, the repair process is slowed down. Glucosamine supplements have been shown to increase the body’s production of proteoglycans which dramatically improve the natural repair process.
          • Molecules of Chondroitin Sulfate blend with proteins to make proteoglycans. Proteoglycans are essential to all connective tissue in the body such as cartilage, ligaments and tendons.
          • Chondroitin supplements appear to increase hyaluronic acid, an important part of the synovial fluid, which is what lubricates joints.

RECOVERY, REPAIR & IMMUNE FUNCTION

        • L-Glutamine
          • Contributes to normal immune-system function
          • Aids in the exercise recovery process
          • Helps maintain normal gut, liver, immune and muscle function
          • L-Glutamine serves as a source of fuel for cells lining the intestines, and is involved in more metabolic processes than any other amino acid. L-Glutamine appears to be necessary for normal brain function and it is essential for maintaining amino acid balance in the body during times of severe stress. It is also used by white blood cells and contributes to normal immune system function. For athletes L-Glutamine has been shown to assist in the process of exercise recovery and help maintain a nitrogen/ammonia balance for better muscle metabolism. Many studies have shown that it helps maintain normal function of the entire gastrointestinal tract. Under physiological stress, L-Glutamine helps to maintain normal gut, liver, and immune and muscle function.
          • Dietary sources of L-Glutamine include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, dairy products, wheat, cabbage, beets, beans, spinach, and parsley. Small amounts of free L-Glutamine are also found in vegetable juices and foods, such as tofu.

ANTIOXIDANTS, CELLULAR REPAIR & IMMUNE FUNCTION

      • Coenzyme Q10
          • Antioxidant nutrient found in every cell
          • Lowers blood viscosity, making it easier for the heart to function optimally
          • Supports the immune system
          • Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant nutrient that is found in every cell, and helps the body produce energy within the cell. It is a coenzyme for several mitochondrial enzymes. The mitochondria is where cellular energy production takes place, but unfortunately as we age the production of CO Q10 decreases. For this reason, many people choose to take CO Q10 supplements.
          • Coenzyme Q10 is great for the heart and improving its ability to pump more blood as well as lowering the viscosity of blood, making it easier for the heart to function optimally. CO Q10 is also very supportive of the immune system.
          • Primary dietary sources of CO Q10 include oily fish such as salmon and tuna, organ meats such as liver, and whole grains.
        • Quercetin
          • Naturally occurring, powerful antioxidant
          • Protects cells from oxidative stress
          • Quercetin is a naturally occurring, powerful antioxidant found in red grapes, red wine, red apples, green tea, and broccoli. Quercetin appears to be one of the first plant compounds. It is also thought to play a significant role in protecting cells from oxidative stress.
          • In a two week study including 12 volunteers who were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments, Quercetin supplementation resulted in a modest 4 percent increase in VO2max and a substantial 13 percent increase in ride time endurance. This study suggests that Quercetin improves endurance in as little as seven days, which may have important implications for the enhancement of athletic performance (Davis JM, Carlstedt CJ, Chen S, et al). The dietary flavonoid Quercetin increases VO(2max) and endurance capacity (International Journal Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010).
        • R-Alpha Lipoic Acid
          • Produces energy for our body’s normal functions
          • Antioxidant that is both fat- and water-soluble
          • Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant and fatty acid found naturally inside every cell in the body. It is used to produce energy for our body’s normal functions. Antioxidants are substances that attack free radicals, a waste product created when the body turns food into energy. Free radicals cause harmful chemical reactions that can damage cells in the body.
          • Unlike other antioxidants, which work only in water (such as vitamin C) or fatty tissues (such as vitamin E), Alpha-Lipoic Acid is both fat and water-soluble. This means it can work throughout the body. In addition, antioxidants are depleted as they attack free radicals, but evidence suggests Alpha Lipoic Acid may help regenerate these other antioxidants and make them active again. In addition, Alpha Lipoic Acid increases the formation of Glutathione, an important antioxidant.
          • Alpha lipoic acid is made by the body, but can be found in very small amounts in foods such as spinach, broccoli, peas, Brewer’s yeast, brussel sprouts, rice bran, and organ meats.

          Spirulina

          • A blue-green algae rich in protein
          • Antioxidant that can help protect cells from free radical damage
          • A complete protein containing all essential amino acids
          • Spirulina is 65% protein and amino acids including the fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA).  GLA is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
          • Spirulina contains Omega 3, 6, 9 and is especially high in Omega 6.
          • Spirulina is often sold in powder form, but is is also available in capsules, tablets and many natural products.

AMINO ACIDS & FAT METABOLISM

        • L-Carnatine as Tartrate
          • Plays a vital role in the metabolism of fat
          • Aids in the release of stored body fat into the bloodstream for use as energy
          • Boosts energy, stamina and endurance
          • L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid. It functions as a transporter of fatty acids into the mitochondria, the metabolic furnace of the cell. L-Carnitine transports long-chain fatty acids across the mitochondrial membrane to be metabolized and it aids in the release of stored body fat, or tryglycerides, into the bloodstream for energy. Tryglycerides are the major source for the production of energy in the heart and skeletal muscles.
          • L-Carnitine is believed to boost energy by stimulating the body’s burning of tryglycerides as fuel, while sparing the supply of glycogen stored in the liver for heavier exertion. During exercise, the body will burn fat at a rate of 75-80% of maximum exertion, thus less glycogen from carbohydrates is burned. Studies have shown that L-Carnitine allows the body to save more glycogen, and ultimately boost stamina and endurance.
        • L-Carnosine

        • Important intramuscular buffer that stops glycination.
        • Powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the body from the damage caused by oxidation
        • L-carnosine is a compound that consists of two amino acids, beta-alanine and histidine. When these two amino acids are bound together they form a dipeptide called Carnosine. Carnosine is highly concentrated in muscle tissue and is an important intramuscular buffer.
        • Carnosine significantly increases chemical buffering in skeletal muscles, the ones you use in exercise.  Buffering is a process whereby the acid-alkali balance of the muscles is maintained, despite the fact that lactic acid production during exercise is trying to make the muscles more acidic. This is important because if the muscles get too acidic they won’t work to capacity.
        • The best food sources of l-carnosine are meat, poultry, and fish.  For people who do not eat enough complete protein or for those with specific health concerns that may respond to l-carnosine, supplements may be useful.