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Vitamins
To keep the body healthy and doing what you want it to do a correct vitamin balance within the food you eat and the liquids you drink is an important factor.

About vitamins
Vitamins are essential substances that can be found in food and drink in small quantities and are necessary for good health. There are 13 significant Vitamins that the body requires to keep fit. Vitamins D and K can be produced in or by the body. Vitamin D is synthesized by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin K is formed by bacteria in the large intestine. The 11 remaining vitamins can be sourced by eating food and drinking liquids.

Water soluble vitamins (C and B-complex)
Some vitamins are water soluble which means they are excreted from the body through the intestines and kidneys. These vitamins have to be topped up on a regular basis. Water soluble vitamins are very fragile, they are extremely sensitive to overcooking and excess heat which will render their health giving effects useless.

Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)
Fat soluble vitamins can be stored by the body in the liver sometimes for weeks, so the need to eat them daily is not as important as water soluble vitamins. However the fat soluble vitamin intake should not be neglected to ensure a good holistic balance for health, although fat soluble vitamin intake is not as urgent as the water soluble vitamin intake.  
Important note
Too much of some vitamins can be dangerous especially during pregnancy and can cause severe damage to the foetus and body if taken in large quantities.
Vitamins A and D can cause extreme toxic illness or damage to the foetus if overdosed in any way or through over-supplement use. If in doubt consult a GP to test for vitamin deficiency and for advice on vitamin dosage.

Drinking tea and coffee with a meal can destroy upto 80% of vitamins and minerals in the food or drink ingested

Vitamin A (retinol).
Fat soluble - Food found in:
Orange/yellow, green vegetables, especially carrots, tomatoes, full fat dairy produce, fish liver oils, liver, kidney, eggs, peaches and apricots (dried or fresh).
RDA: 0.75mg, 1.2mg for nursing mums
What it's effect
Vision especially in dim light, mucus membranes and healthy skin, increase resistance against infection. Can be used to treat acne.
Warning: vitamin A taken in large quantities can be extremely poisonous especially in pregnancy.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Night blindness, thrush or cystitis, mouth ulcers, cornea damage leading to blindness, ear, eye and respiratory infections, dry skin, hair loss and dull hair, stunted growth.
Note: too much vitamin A can cause serious damage to the foetus some foods should be avoided such as liver, liver oils and liver pate’.

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Vitamin B1 (thiamin, aneurin).
Water soluble - Food found in:
Whole grain and wheat germ, cereals, brown rice, fortified white flour products, seafood, brewers yeast/yeast extract, meat, liver, poultry, pulses, seeds and nuts, potatoes and especially oatmeal.
RDA: 1-1.3mg
What it's effect
Metabolizes (breaks down) carbohydrates to provide energy and promote a healthy nervous system and muscles. Possibly helps to develop a good pain threshold. May be good for problems such as sciatica, lumbago, epilepsy and relief from postoperative pain.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Appetite loss, constipation, nausea, irritability, depression, fatigue, low concentration, pins and needles or numbness in the feet and legs, eye pain, shortness of breath, slow heart rate and in extreme circumstances beri beri leading to death.

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Vitamin B2 (riboflavin, lactoflavin, vitamin G).
Water soluble - Food found in:
Green vegetables, pulses, fish, yeast extract/brewers yeast, liver, kidney, meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, yogurt, fortified and whole grain cereals, wheat germ, seeds and nuts.
RDA: 1.3-1.6mg
What it's effect
Metabolizes (breaks down) carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Promotes the development of a healthy skin and mucous membrane, helps to counteract free radical damage, a possible preventative to cataract damage, may help with the treatment of migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome and muscle cramps.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Inflammation of tongue and lips, sore lips, cracked skin, especially around the mouth, conjunctivitis, hair loss and scaly scalp, red scaly skin at the side of the nose, burning gritty bloodshot eyes, dizziness, insomnia, sensitivity to light and trembling.

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Niacin vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid).
Water soluble - Food found in:
Rice, cereals, fortified white flour and products, meat, poultry, liver, kidney, yeast extract/brewers yeast, green vegetables, pulses, fish, especially raw peanuts with skins.
RDA: 18mg
What it's effect
Assisting in the development of a healthy blood circulation, opens the blood vessels to help combat high blood pressure, control of blood cholesterol which helps to lower muscle fats, a good healthy nervous system, skin, adrenal glands and appetite.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Diarrhoea, nausea, headaches, insomnia, depression, irritability, gastrointestinal ulcers and mouth ulcers, lack of appetite and in the extreme; pellagra (dementia, diarrhoea and dermatitis).

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Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5
Water soluble - Food found in:
All living matter and most foods especially beans, legumes, whole grain cereals, peanuts, egg yolk, liver, oranges, wheat germ and seeds.
RDA: 4-7mg
What it's effect
Production of antibodies to fight infections, healthy hair and skin, healthy nervous system, promotes wound healing, lower cholesterol, the manufacture of red blood cells and combats fatigue.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Deficiency is not common in humans but indications of lack of this vitamin can be: Low resistance to infections, cramp, fatigue, asthma, tender heels and burning hands and feet, teeth grinding, blood and skin disorders, insomnia and a susceptibility to allergic reactions.

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Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine).
Water soluble - Food found in:
Most foods, especially in green vegetables, soya beans, flour, seeds and nuts, whole grain cereals, milk, brewers yeast/yeast extracts, prunes, fish, raisins, pulses and wheat germ.
RDA: 1.5-2mg
What it's effect
Red blood cell formation, metabolism of protein fats and carbohydrates, production of antibodies against infection, could relieve nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, anemia, heart disease, insulin resistance and osteoporosis.
Note: it is a vital vitamin during pregnant.
Deficiency of this vitamin is unlikely but if it is present indications could be: Dry skin, skin rashes, morning sickness during pregnancy, fluid retention, muscle spasms and insomnia.

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Folic acid, vitamin B9 , folate, Bc, pteroylglutamic acid.
Water soluble - Food found in:
Kidney, liver, meat, fresh fruit, green vegetables, yeast extract/brewers yeast, wheat germ and pulses, soya beans, spinach, rice germ and black-eye peas.
RDA: 0.2 - 0.3mg
What it's effect
Promotes the correct functioning of B12 and help with the formation of red blood cells and the use of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Before and during pregnancy extra folic acid intake must be promoted to help safeguard good
foetal development.
Deficiency in vitamin B12 (pernicious anemia), shortness of breath, insomnia, irritability, confusion, forgetfulness, fatigue.
Note:Foetal abnormalities may occur during pregnancy due to neural tube defects - abnormality is reduced significantly if extra folate is taken. High doses of folic acid could mask symptoms of pernicious anemia.

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Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalmin)
Water soluble - Food found in:
Brewers yeast/yeast extract, meat, liver, fish, oysters, egg yolk, dairy products, shiitake mushrooms, cheese and fortified cereals.
RDA: 1.5 micrograms - 4 micrograms for pregnancy
What it's effect
Promotes the correct functioning of folic acid and red blood cell formation and a healthy nervous system. synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins - metabolism of fats, carbohydrates proteins and prevention of cell degeneration.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Anemia (pernicious), lack of appetite, diarrhoea, clumsiness, menstrual difficulties, fatigue,  trembling, irritability and deficiency of folic acid. In severe cases degeneration of the nervous system leading to speaking and moving difficulties.

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Biotin - A vitamin B complex.
Water soluble - Food found in:
Yeast extract/brewers yeast, liver, kidney, meat, poultry, egg yolk, cheese, nuts, oats.
RDA: 0.1-0.2mg
What it's effect
Synthesis of glucose and the metabolism of fats when diet is of a low carbohydrate type. Essential for cell growth, healthy skin nails and hair, bone marrow and sex glands. Important ingredient for energy production.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Deficiency may occur from prolonged antibiotic drug therapy or sulphonamine drugs. Weakness, tiredness, hair loss depression, inflammation of the tongue, anorexia and eczema.
Deficiency is very rare.

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Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).
Water soluble - Food found in:
Fruits, fruit juices, abundant in citrus fruits especially fresh fruits, blackcurrant, rose hips/rose hip syrup and most vegetables.
RDA: 40mg or 60mg if pregnant
What it's effect
Assisting in the  control of blood cholesterol, iron absorption, wound healing, growth and energy production, teeth and gums, healthy skin, tendons, cartilage and ligaments, possibly help with the control of pre-eclamcia.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Weakness and irritability, bleeding, soft gums, loose teeth, poor resistance to infections, tender joints, fatigue, muscle degeneration and anemia.
Note: if a daily dose exceeds 1g, you may experience nausea, stomach cramps or kidney stones.

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Vitamin D (cholecalciferol)
Water soluble - Produced by the action of sunlight on skin.
Food found in:
Fish liver oils, liver, most oily fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, kippers, mackerel and salmon), egg yolk, margarine, full fat dairy products, sprouted seeds, and malted milk drinks.
RDA: 0.5 micrograms
What it's effect
Absorption/balance of phosphorous and calcium for healthy teeth and bones.
Warning; can be toxic in large doses, causing hypercalcaemia and abnormal calcium deposits in the soft tissues, kidneys, blood vessel walls and growth retardation in children.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Muscle weakness bone deformities, dental cavities, cramp.
In severely deficient case it can cause rickets and osteomalacia.
Note: intake of vitamin D must be carefully monitored because excessive intake may harm the foetus.

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Vitamin E (Tocopherol).
Fat soluble - Food found in:
egg yolk, vegetables oils, nuts, whole grain cereals, pulses, seeds, wheat germ, green vegetables, raw skin peanuts and some margarine's.
RDA: 10 micrograms or 12-15IU
What it's effect
Healthy blood cells/cell membranes and blood cell formation, blood clotting and resistance to infection, cold sores, skin problems and varicose veins. Said to reverse aging and increase fertility.
Deficiency of this vitamin is unlikely but if it does occur there is muscle weakness, possible enlargement of the prostrate and possible miscarriage.
Note: prolonged overuse may cause reduced absorption of Vitamins, A, D, K and diarrhoea.

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Vitamin K (Menadione).
Fat soluble - Naturally occurring in the large intestine and can be  found in:
green vegetables, tomatoes, soybeans, oats, nuts, seaweed (kelp), potatoes, eggs, liver and wheat germ.
RDA: 70-140 micrograms
What it's effect
Blood clotting. Vitamin K  may be routinely given to the baby on delivery after a traumatic birth or because of any possible internal injury, and to help the babies blood clot possibly stopping any undetected internal bleeding.
Vitamin deficiency indications
Deficiency of this vitamin is unlikely but possible in new born babies (Newborns lack the intestinal bacteria to produce Vitamin K) and may possibly be caused by long term antibiotics.
Bleeding beneath the skin, nosebleed, diarrhoea and osteoporosis.

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Minerals

Minerals like vitamins are essential for good health in the mind, body and spirit (three treasures) they are part of our makeup and must be managed properly to keep everything functioning at optimal efficiency. Indeed lack or too much of some minerals could lead to serious illness.

Where do minerals come from?
Minerals can come from many different sources of foods and inorganic elements as shown in the mineral resource information.

Can minerals be adversely affected by foods and other things?
There are several sources that have an affect on how minerals are absorbed by the body:

1. Iron is absorbed more easily and readily from meat than it is from vegetables.
2. Vitamin C will enhance the uptake of iron.
3. Tea (black and green) will reduce the uptake of iron by up to 80% because of the tannin that is part of tea.
4. Refined foods are generally not a good source of vitamins and minerals because they tend to have been processed out.
5. Excessive intake of bran will reduce the absorption of several minerals.
6. Vitamin D deficiency will cause depletion in calcium absorption.
7. Sodium chloride or salt taken excessively may cause high blood pressure.
8. Some minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus are present in the body in large amounts. Phosphorus makes up about 1.5% around 2Ib/1kg of a 11st/70kg/154Ib healthy adult mostly in bones and teeth. Calcium makes up about 2% of total body weight mostly in bones and teeth.
9. Iron forms around 0.006% of body weight yet it is crucial for oxygen uptake into blood cells.

Some minerals also go by the name of trace elements. These minerals are present in the body in very small amounts but are still essential to health and fitness physically and mentally. To identify the trace elements in the mineral and trace element information the trace element will have the key of TE.

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Calcium
found in:
Hard tap water, kelp, molasses, pulses, bean curd, dried figs, watercress, fish, dairy products, fortified cereals, seeds and nuts (especially almonds).
RDA: 500mg-1200 pregnant women:
What it's effect
Promotes the correct nerve functions,  muscle contractions and blood clotting, involved in basic cell structure. Helps with growth and general maintenance of healthy teeth and bones.
Mineral deficiency indications
Deficiency of calcium is rare but if present symptoms could be: rickets in children, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, colon cancer and muscle cramps. Its uptake by the body is facilitated by vitamin D.

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Iron
found in:
Red meat, liver, fortified cereals,
pulses, dried apricots and figs, cocoa, fortified white flour, nuts (especially almonds), raisins, watercress, spinach and baked beans.
RDA: 12mg for women, 10mg for men, 13mg pregnant women, 15mg nursing mums:
What it's effect
Promotes the correct functioning of healthy red blood cell formation, the synthesis of hemoglobin and removal of waste gasses from the body.
Mineral deficiency indications
Anemia: in the extreme, depression of the immune system.
Note: excessive iron supplement may cause nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and cause feces to turn black. Could cause organ damage through organ cirrhosis.

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Magnesium
found in:
Nuts, green vegetables, cereals, wholemeal flour, milk, eggs, meat, shellfish, blackstrap molasses, millet, brown rice, soya beans and pulses.
RDA: 300mg, 450mg for pregnant women and nursing mums:
What it's effect
Promotion of correct nerve, muscle, metabolic enzymes and vitamins B1 and B12 functioning, cellular replication  healthy teeth and bones.
Mineral deficiency indications
Anxiety, insomnia, premenstrual tension, hypoglycemia, muscle cramps and tremors, irregular or rapid heart beat, weakness, nausea, sugar cravings, anorexia, facial tics, kidney stones and poor circulation.

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Phosphorous
found in:
Most foods, especially high protein foods - meat, dairy products, pulses.
RDA: 800mg, 1200mg pregnant women and nursing mums:
What it's effect
Assisting the conversion and storage of energy in cells, intestinal absorption, muscle function and the functions of some enzymes.
Mineral deficiency indications
Weakness, painful bones and stiff joints, central nervous system disorders and respiratory failure.
Too much can prevent the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc.

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Potassium
found in:
Most foods, especially  fresh fruit, raisins, avocado, potatoes, salmon, vegetables, meat, cereals, milk, wholemeal flour, coffee, tea and salt substitutes.
RDA: 1875 - 5625 mg
What it's effect
Functioning of nerves and muscles, maintenance of the balance of acid-alkali and fluids especially water in the body, elimination of carbon dioxide, high blood pressure and heart disease prevention.
Mineral deficiency indications
Muscle weakness, abdominal distention, paralysis, pins and needles, vomiting, loss of appetite, low blood pressure, thirst, drowsiness and coma.

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Sodium
found in:
Common salt (sodium chloride), smoked/cured meat, smoked fish, baking powder, tinned meat and vegetables.
RDA: 2000mg (5g of common salt)
What it's effect
Functioning of nerves and muscles, maintenance of the balance of acid-alkali and fluids especially water in the body and the regulation of a normal heart rhythm.
Mineral deficiency indications
Too little may accompany dehydration, this can cause low blood pressure. Too much can cause high blood pressure, oedema, kidney complaints and heart disorders.

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Chromium (TE)
found in:
Unprocessed and unrefined foods, especially fresh fruits, nuts, liver, molasses, egg yolk, kidney, beef, brewers yeast, cereals and whole grain flour.
RDA: 0.05 - 0.2mg
What it's effect
Storage and metabolism of fats and sugars, functioning of the skeletal muscles, helps to control the immune system and the development of lean muscle tissue.
Mineral deficiency indications
Deficiency of this vitamin is unlikely but may cause depression, on-set adult diabetes, weakness, fatigue, obesity, confusion and irritability.
Excessive chromium is toxic and produces inflammation of the skin if inhaled damage the nose.

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Cobalt (TE)
found in:
Eggs, meat, liver ,oysters, milk and kidney.

RDA: not applicable.

Mineral deficiency indications
Weak muscles, lack of vitamin B12 leading to pernicious anemia, bowel and nerve disorders.

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Copper (TE)
found in:
Most foods especially nuts (Brazil), shellfish, liver, kidney, brewers yeast, tap water that runs through copper pipes and cocoa.
RDA: 0.05 - 0.2mg:
What it's effect
Red blood cell formation and the functioning of enzymes, bone growth, aids iron absorption and vitamin C usage, improves immune function and counteracts histamine.
Mineral deficiency indications
Deficiency of this vitamin is unlikely but may cause low white blood cell count, brittle bone, high blood cholesterol, hemorrhage, diarrhoea and changes in hair texture and colour.

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Fluoride
found in:
Fluoridated products (toothpaste etc), tap water, fish, dairy products, tea, fortified cereals and meat.
RDA: 1mg:
What it's effect
Helps with growth and general maintenance of healthy teeth and bones.
Mineral deficiency indications
Tooth decay, osteoporosis. Too much fluoride can cause discolored and mottled teeth, increase density in the spinal bones, limbs and pelvis, calcification of ligaments.

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Iodine
found in:
Seaweed and seafood (kelp), fish, iodized table salt, fruit vegetables, meat produce that is farmed on soil containing iodine.
RDA: 0.14 - 0.15 mg:
What it's effect
Promotes the correct functioning of the thyroid gland and control of metabolism. Good for healthy growth and development. Essential for good foetal growth and nervous system development.
Mineral deficiency indications
Goitre. Metabolic and hormone dysfunctions, leading to increased weight, lethargy, drowsiness and fatigue. Can cause cretinism if present during pregnancy and at birth.

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Manganese
found in:
Most foods, especially pulses, avocados, nuts, peas, brown rice, barley, oats, liver and buckwheat.
RDA: 2.5mg
What it's effect
Helps the control of growth and the correct function of many enzymes, muscles and nerves. Promotes strong healthy bones.
Mineral deficiency indications
Bone deformities, decreased growth rate.
Note: An excess amounts may cause brain damage.

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Molybdenum
found in:
Most foods, especially nuts and seeds, oats, canned beans, pulses, avocados and whole grain cereals.
RDA: 0.15 - 0.5mg
What it's effect
Assisting the metabolism of iron and the prevention of tooth decay. Good for male sexual function.
Mineral deficiency indications
Can cause impotence and tooth decay, poor memory, heavy periods, fragile bones, mood swings. In the extreme: irregular heartbeat and coma.

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Selenium
found in:
Unrefined foods, blackstrap molasses, nuts, oats, fish, meat, whole grain flour, cereals, egg yolk, sea food, garlic, brewers yeast, liver and kidney.
RDA: 0.05 - 0.2 mg
Detoxifying the body of elements such as lead, cadmium and mercury. Promotes a healthy liver function and the functioning of red and white blood cells, selenium and vitamin E act as an antioxidant.
Mineral deficiency indications
Has been linked with infant cot death, muscle inflammation, reduced fertility in males, hair loss, heart problems, cataracts, anemia and cardiovascular diseases.

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Sulphur
found in:
Vegetable and animal proteins such as pulses, meat and dairy products.
RDA: not applicable.
Promotes a balanced and normal protein synthesis, strong nails, hair and skin.

 

Zinc
found in:
Most foods, especially seafood, oysters, seeds and nuts, oats, beef stewing steak, ginger root, liver and red meat, cereals, whole grain flour, egg yolk and dairy produce.
RDA: 15 mg - pregnant women 20 mg - nursing mums 25 mg:
What it's effect
Involved in Vitamin A, insulin release and the correct function of many enzymes. Promotes healthy reproduction, the healing of cuts and wounds, detoxification, healthy eyes, good immune system function.
Mineral deficiency indications
Has been linked with slow physical, mental and sexual development. Slow wound healing, liver disease, diarrhoea, inflammation, hypoglycemia and infertility.

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