Vitamins to Nourish Your Body05.09.2012
by Life Enthusiast Staff
Vitamins are organic compounds that are a necessary requirement in foods to nourish your body.
We believe that unless you are in a serious health crisis, one of our Superfood blends should be sufficient to keep you well balanced and nourished. In fact, you should be using it as soon as you discover their existence.
An adequate supply of vitamins enables a high state of health and vitality.
The general category of "vitamins" was defined as substances found to be absolutely necessary for life (i.e., vital) and which the body cannot synthesize on its own. Recent research confirms that some go beyond the simple prevention of deficiency diseases. For example, niacin in pharmacological doses can lower blood cholesterol levels. Many vitamins have roles as coenzymes and in regulation of gene expression.
Vitamins were given letters to go with their chemical names to simplify discussion about them. You may not be familiar with "d-alpha tocopheryl succinate" but "vitamin E" is much easier to remember. When the "B" names were being handed out, several substances were give "B" names, which turned out not to be vitamins after all. You can hear of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12 but not 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. The latter substances did not in the end qualify as necessary and essential.
Let's repeat: a vitamin is a substance which the body cannot synthesize on its own, yet which is necessary for life. This means that all vitamins have to be acquired from outside the body. If a molecule can be synthesized in the body, it is not a vitamin. The single exception to this rule is vitamin D which can be synthesized in the skin, but only when exposed to sunlight; and Niacin (B3) which itself can be synthesized in the liver in small amounts.
There are thirteen vitamins in all, fat soluble A, D, E and K and water soluble (eight B vitamins and vitamin C). The fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the body and do not need to be ingested every day. Because they can be stored, it is possible to store too much and thus become toxic on these vitamins. The water soluble vitamins cannot be stored, with the exceptions of B12 and Folic Acid and must be consumed frequently for optimal health. These water soluble vitamins can be taken in large amounts without toxicity, because they are not stored and are easily eliminated.
Nutritional supplements (which include vitamins) are defined as substances extracted from foods or manufactured in the laboratory, to be served to your body in concentrations that are not found in natural foods. The difference between vitamins extracted from food sources and those manufactured by chemical processes in the laboratory is an important distinction, because vitamins manufactured using artificial or synthetic techniques come without complexed trace substances the way natural products do. Vitamins come in two forms: dextro- and levo- ("right" and "left" oriented molecules, which are the mirror images of each other). Your body can only use the levo- (natural) forms.
Some people think that if you consume a healthy diet, you have nothing to gain from vitamin supplements. If you are young and you eat exclusively a good variety of fresh, raw, organically grown complex carbohydrates, you have a good chance that your nutrient deficit is minimal. As you get older and especially if you stray from a pure natural diet, you have a lot to gain from supplements. It is true that you can survive without supplements, but don't you want a little more from life than mere survival? How about vibrant health and vitality?
Vitamin Supplementation is Necessary
Our civilization is starving for nutrients that are lacking in our food chain. Now more than ever, supplementation is crucial for health, because nutrients have been depleted from our soils, and destroyed in the processing & cooking of almost all the foods we eat. This type of malnutrition can be the cause of pain and chronic degenerative diseases. Even though caloric intake is abundant, many bodies lack proper nourishment.
Superior nutrition generally does not heal or cure specific symptoms (although this has happened). But when you feed your body all of it's requirements, you can perform optimally, as intended. Your body becomes an environment in which disease cannot thrive. These dynamic reactions are generally not understood by conventional medicine and science, but we know that nature provides what we need for health.
Benefits of Vitamin Supplementation
- Enhanced nutrient absorption & toxin elimination
- Regulated metabolism
- Supports enzymes and their biochemical activities.
Our vitamin supplements are used in specific therapy packages, in conjunction with amino acids and essential fatty acids, to help heal a multitude of illnesses (aches & pains, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Epstein Barr Syndrome, etc.).
Unfortunately, most people start looking for natural solutions to their health only after they have experienced a serious setback. To help heal a specific condition faster, the right strategy may be adding specific supplements, that have proven effective.
A great place to investigate benefits of specific individual vitamins is Linus Pauling Institute's Website.
Vitamins have been discovered to be key factors in our health. In 1880 Christian Eijkman produced vitamin-deficiency conditions in animals on an experimental basis and then reversed the condition with an appropriate feeding regimen. Frederick Hopkins said in 1906 that foods contain a small amount of "growth factors" needed to sustain growth and life itself. In 1912 Cashmir Funk named these growth factors "vitamines" because they were required for life ("vita") and because he found that thiamine isolated from rice husks contained nitrogen (called an "amine" - i.e., containing a nitrogen bound to three hydrogen atoms -NH3). Funk's original term "vitamine" was changed to "vitamin" when many scientists identified, purified, and synthesized all of the vitamins and discovered they did not all contain nitrogen. In the 1930s a flurry of scientific discovery demonstrated the biochemical functions of the vitamins and established the body's requirements for them. From then on, they have been commercially produced.
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