How Well Do You Know Your Vitamins

We all know that supplements are good for us. But do you actually know the difference between vitamins, minerals, co-enzymes and antioxidants and what their unique functions are? Here is a guide to help you understand the benefits of some of the most important nutrients that are vital to our health and wellness.

Vitamin B complex: Made up of essential water soluble vitamins such as thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine ( vitamin B6 ), biotin, and folic acid. Supplementation of B vitamins has been shown to improve ratings of stress, mental health, vigor, and cognitive performance. They are essential in helping your body breakdown and convert food into the energy, gives YOU an energy boost and ramps up the growth of immune cells in the face of an infection. A deficiency in B vitamins can manifest as fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, anxiety, and depression.

Vitamin B12: Known as cobalamin or methylcobalamin, B12 is a water soluble vitamin that acts as an immunomodulator (stimulates the immune system). Vitamin B12 can help increase the number of red blood cells, improves cellular metabolism, nerve function, and assists in the production of DNA. A deficiency in B12 can lead to anemia that presents as fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood disturbances. B12 can sometimes be poorly absorbed by the intestines if a person lacks a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. Intrinsic factor is a prerequisite to the absorption of B12 through digestion. This is why B12 intramuscular injections and IVs are so valuable.

Vitamin C: Is one of your body’s biggest immune system boosters! Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radicals and helps ward off inflammation and infection. Vitamin C is responsible for the growth, and repair of tissue cells and is involved in many functions of the body, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the function of the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. A deficiency in vitamin C, along with B vitamins, can result in anemia and can present with symptoms such as:

  • Fatigue

  • Shortness of breath

  • Dizziness

  • Pale or yellowish skin

  • Irregular heartbeats

  • Weight loss

  • Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet

  • Muscle weakness

  • Personality changes

  • Unsteady movements

  • Mental confusion or forgetfulness

Glutathione: Often referred to as "the mother of all antioxidants," glutathione is a powerful anti-inflammatory molecule that plays a key role in keeping you healthy by combating oxidative stress and neutralizing harmful free radicals that can lead to cancer, inflammation, brain damage, and a range of other health problems. Some of the other purported benefits of glutathione may include: pain reduction, protection against aging, improved mental health, reduced symptoms of ADHD and autism, protection against Alzheimers and Parkinson's disease. It may also help the body to combat infections, improve gut health, and protect against stroke and heart attack. Glutathione assists in detoxing the body of harmful substances and heavy metals so it can decrease symptoms of a hangover and may aid in addiction recovery. One of the more fun benefits of glutathione though is it's ability to improve acne and promote healthy, beautiful, glowing skin!

Zinc: An important trace mineral (second only to iron) that helps to boost your immune system! Zinc is thought to slow reproduction of bacteria and viruses, assist in white blood cell function and may help prevent you from catching a bug. If taken soon after cold symptoms appear, zinc might also shorten the duration of a cold. Zinc is necessary for the activity of over 300 enzymes that aid in metabolism, digestion, nerve function and many other processes of cellular metabolism. A deficiency in zinc is characterized by loss of appetite, and impaired immune function and in severe cases may result in delayed wound healing, taste abnormalities, and mental lethargy.

Magnesium: An essential mineral that participates in a broad range of important bodily functions including: energy creation, protein formation, genetic maintenance, muscle function, and nervous system regulation. Some of the potentially positive benefits of magnesium supplementation including relief of angina, migraine headaches, depression, and chronic pain. In recent years, double-blind trials have shown IV magnesium can rapidly abort acute asthma attacks. The benefit of intravenous administration of magnesium as seen in the Myers’ Cocktail and MIVM Cocktail may allow the opportunity for ailing cells to take up magnesium in ways not achievable when taken orally.

Taurine: is an important amino acid for neurotransmission, neuroprotection, and neurogenesis. Taurine is especially helpful in regulating your mood and stress levels to help you focus on the tasks at hand. Your endurance may also benefit from taurine supplementation as it has been shown to increase exercise time to exhaustion. Taurine can also help you sleep and improve your over-all energy levels.

NAD+: is an essential co-enzyme present in every cell of your body. In fact, life isn’t possible without the hundreds of functions nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) does to power your metabolism. Your body loses it's natural supplies of NAD+ as you age, and alcohol, drugs, disease, stress, and illness all contribute to decreased levels of NAD+. Since, NAD+ is crucial in the metabolic pathways responsible for energy metabolism and DNA function/repair, decreased levels are thought to contribute to the aging process and may lead to decreased energy, loss of muscle strength, and increased fat production and storage. Symptoms of neurodegeneration may include agitation, anxiety, apathy, forgetfulness, memory loss, mood changes and increased inflammation.

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