VITAMINS have diverse biochemical functions, including function as hormones (e.g. vitamin D), antioxidants (e.g. vitamin E), and mediators of cell signaling and regulators of cell and tissue growth and differentiation (e.g. vitamin A). The largest number of vitamins (e.g. B complex vitamins) function as precursors for enzyme cofactor bio-molecules (coenzymes), that help act as catalysts and substrates in metabolism. When acting as part of a catalyst, vitamins are bound to enzymes and are called prosthetic groups. For example, biotin is part of enzymes involved in making fatty acids. Vitamins also act as coenzymes to carry chemical groups between enzymes. For example, folic acid carries various forms of carbon group – methyl, formyl and methylene - in the cell. Although these roles in assisting enzyme reactions are vitamins' best-known function, the other vitamin functions are equally important.
MINERALS are inorganic substances like sodium, potassium, chlorine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine, iron, cobalt and copper. They are classified into two categories: minor and major, based on intake level. If more than 100mg of a mineral is required per day, the mineral is classified as a major mineral. Major minerals include calcium, phosphorus, potassium,sodium, chlorine, magnesium and sulphur. Minor or trace minerals include boron, chromium, cobalt, flourine, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, vanadium and zinc.
Plants incorporate minerals from the soil into their own tissues. For this reason fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are often excellent sources of minerals. Minerals also help to maintain the volume of water necessary for the life processes in the body.
Vitamins and minerals are vital for good health and are essential for regulating and building all the cells which make up the body. Body cells recieve the essential food elements through the bloodstream and must be properly nourished with adequate supplies of all the essential vitamins and minerals to maintain optimum bodily functions.
AMINO ACIDS are the building blocks that make up proteins. How essential are amino acids? Well, how essential are proteins to life?! Protein provides structure for all living things and participates in the vital chemical processes that sustain life.
ANTIOXIDANTS are natural compounds that help protect the body from harmful free radicals, playing a beneficial role in the prevention of disease. Free radical damage is thought to be the basis for the aging process as well. Although many antioxidants can be obtained from food sources such as sprouted grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, it is difficult to get enough of them from these sources to hold back the free radicals constantly being generated in our polluted enfironment. We can minimize free radical damage by taking supplements of key antioxidant nutrients.
Recommended Daily Allowances
of Vitamins and Minerals for Men and Women
Self-Assessment Deficiencies Quiz
Symptom-based exam to determine
which vitamins you may need more of.
Grape Seed Extract