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B Vitamins: Types, Health Benefits and Deficiency

B vitamins (or vitamin B complex) are a group of water-soluble vitamins that are essential for the body to function. They include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. Some of them are better known under their chemical names such as niacin (B3), biotin (B7) or folate (B9). Although all of these vitamins play an important role in metabolism and many of them work in tandem when assisting chemical reactions in the […]

Vitamin C: Health Benefits, Deficiency and Food Sources

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is a water soluble vitamin that most people readily associate with fresh fruits and vegetables. This vitamin is involved in the activity of several enzymes and works as a powerful antioxidant. Its multiple roles within the body include making collagen for connective fibers in tissues such as bones, teeth, skin and cartilage, making L-carnitine that is necessary for fat metabolism, helping to heal cuts and bruises, taking part in the formation […]

Vitamin A (Retinol): Health Benefits and Deficiency

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin needed for the maintenance of healthy cell membranes and for cell reproduction. It is involved in the formation of protein, growth hormones, bone and retina. As a result, vitamin A is necessary for ensuring good vision, healthy skin, hair, teeth, bones, mucous membranes and immune system, and normal growth and development. It is also important for proper functioning of internal organs including the lungs, heart and kidneys. Alongside […]

Dietary Chromium: Health Effects and Toxicity

One of a number of lesser known minerals our body needs is a metallic element called chromium. Although it is needed only in tiny amounts, the latest research shows that it may have far reaching effects on our health. Chromium seems to play an important role in sugar and lipid metabolism. It balances both high and low blood glucose, controls sugar cravings and hunger, helps with fat loss, lowers bad cholesterol, slows the loss of […]

Health Effects of Silicon

Silicon is one of the least explored essential minerals that our bodies need to function properly. This element constitutes 28% of the mass of the earth’s crust, which makes it the second most abundant mineral on earth after oxygen. However, there is only one gram of silicon in the human body. Despite that dietary silicon is essential to health. But, do not confuse dietary silicon with silicone, a polymeric material that contains atoms of silicon […]

Iron: Health Benefits and Risks of Overload

Dietary iron is probably best known for its role as an oxygen transporter within the body. As part of the blood protein hemoglobin it picks up oxygen in the lungs and carries it to the cells throughout the body. For this reason and also because of its role in activating T-cells and enhancing the ability of white blood cells to fight bacteria, iron is an essential part of a functional immune system. Approximately two thirds […]

Manganese: Potential Health Benefits and Risks

Manganese is an essential trace mineral that is needed in the body to activate enzymes which help create cartilage and collagen to form strong bones and connective tissue. Furthermore, this trace mineral is a co-factor for an enzyme known as manganese superoxide dismutase, a potent antioxidant that helps fight free radicals in the body. It is also a co-factor for multiple other enzymes that assist in the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates and fats, regulate […]

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