Vitamins are organic micronutrients essential for the human body to function normally. Each performs a unique role and is necessary to maintain balance (homeostasis). Most vitamins are not manufactured by the body and must be obtained from our food or from supplements.
Vitamins can be made in laboratories or occur naturally. Man-made synthetics are no substitute for naturally occurring vitamins and, especially in the case of fat-soluble, can be generally toxic to our body. Not all vitamin supplements are equal. Most supplemental vitamins contain petroleum residues, coal tar, and additional industrial poisons. They were originally developed as a cheap alternative to naturally grown and harvested sources. Synthetic vitamins are not compatible with our bodies and I wholeheartedly recommend against them. Get vitamins from your food or from supplements made from whole food sources.
There are 2 main types of vitamins used; fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble means the molecules are stored and transported by fats. They include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Water-soluble means the molecules are stored and transported by water. They include the 8 B vitamins and vitamin C. Fat-soluble can be stored by the body while water-soluble can not and must be replaced regularly.
Naturally occurring vitamins found in food are structurally different from those chemically produced and form synergistic relationships that enhance their efficacy. By contrast, multiple research studies have shown that taking synthetic vitamins can, in fact, increase the risk of disease, including cancers, and death. This information is controversial yet experts almost universally agree that the best sources of vitamins and minerals are whole foods.
The vitamin content of any food provides a greater benefit than the equivalent dosage in synthetic form. This is likely due to the synergistic effects of additional nutrients both known and unknown. Never forget our body is unable to recognize petrochemicals, coal tar, and other poisons even if they are made to look like natural nutrients. Nature knows best.
Recommended Daily Allowances (RDAs) are generally recognized as vitamin quantities that prevent specific deficiency symptoms or disease. This is the opposite end of the spectrum to levels required to support optimal health. Optimal allowances are largely unknown but likely to be many times that of the RDAs.
An additional piece of the nutritional pie is the nutrients available in the soil to the plant while it is growing. This is another area of great concern as the food we eat today is close to 50 times more nutrient deficient than that from only 50 years ago. Chemical fertilizers made from synthetics, petroleum, and industrial chemicals prevent plants from absorbing the full spectrum of nutrients they need and when we ingest those plants the same problem occurs in us. We’ve come to a point where we need to supplement our diets with whole foods, not synthetics, which have concentrated amounts of these essential vitamins.
Vitamin A (antioxidant) – Involved in immune function, vision, reproduction, cellular communication, cuts risk of heart disease, and may slow skin aging. Recommended daily dosage: 2,300 international units (IU). It’s best to get A from a beta-carotene source, i.e. orange foods.
B vitamins help energy production, iron absorption, and maintain metabolism, muscle tone, and a sharp mind.
B9 (folate or folic acid) – A coenzyme in single-carbon transfers in the synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and metabolism of amino acids. Protects against cancer and birth defects, assists in healthy cell renewal, and keeps red blood cells. Folate recommendations daily 400 micrograms (mcg); 600 mcg if you’re pregnant.
B6 (pyroxidine) – In coenzyme forms, performs a wide variety of functions in the body and is extremely versatile, with involvement in more than 100 enzyme reactions, mostly concerned with protein metabolism. Plays a role in cognitive development through the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters and in maintaining normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood. Involved in gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, immune function (for example, it promotes lymphocyte and interleukin-2 production), and hemoglobin formation.
B12 (methylcobalamin) – Required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase.
Vitamin C (antioxidant) – Boosts immune system function and helps prevent heart disease, prenatal problems, and eye illnesses. It even helps wounds heal faster, fends off wrinkles (gives elasticity to the skin), strengthens blood vessels (along with minerals such as copper), and assists with proper iron absorption. Daily recommendation 1,000mg minimum but higher doses are safe and therapeutic. Eat citrus fruits and vibrant veggies. A single orange is packed with nearly the entire RDA of vitamin C. So is one red pepper or a cup of broccoli.
Vitamin D3 – Has many roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation. Many gene encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D. Studies are showing it can reduce your risk of breast cancer by as much as 50 percent, and it may offer protection from both ovarian cancer and diabetes. It plays a central role in muscle function, promotes calcium absorption in the gut, and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations, which enables normal mineralization of bones and prevents hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclast. Recommended daily intake minimum 1,000 IU and as much as 5-10,000 IU is showing to be safe and therapeutic. Most processed foods are fortified but not with nearly enough nutrients. Sun exposure is crucial for healthy D intake.
Vitamin E (antioxidant) – A fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of ROS (reactive oxygen species) formed when fat undergoes oxidation and helps with blood circulation.
Vitamin K2 – Essential for reactions needed to create blood clots to stop bleeding.
The following table of vitamins contains the key vitamin functions and good food sources. Remember there is no match for plant-sourced vitamins!
|Vitamin||Key activities||Food source|
|Alpha & beta carotene||Improves stability, integrity and healing of epithelial (skin) tissues including those that line our digestive tract
Functions as an important antioxidant
|Dandelion greens, kale, spinach, carrot greens, carrots, parsley, sweet potato, cantaloupe|
|B1||Helps detoxify carcinogenic chemicals
Possesses strong antioxidant properties
|Wild rice, sunflower seeds, millet, nuts, nutritional yeast|
|B2||Boosts production of red blood cells
Enhances the ability of cells to utilize oxygen
Is noted to prevent many forms of cancerNecessary for healthy Thyroid function
|Cayenne pepper, almonds, wild rice, sea vegetables, watercress, dandelion greens, kale|
|B3||Helps protect bone marrow against chemotherapeutic drugs
Essential for the body’s production of energy
Broadly supportive of the cardiovascular system
|Sea vegetables, cayenne pepper, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, millet|
|B5||Improves production of white immune blood cells
Is necessary for cellular energy production
|B6||Helps prevent blood clotting
Stimulates production of white immune blood cells
|Cabbage, beets, lemon|
|Helps prevent many forms of cancer
Protects against birth defects
|Banana, legumes, chili peppers, yeast, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, kale, almonds, walnuts, molasses|
|B12||Necessary for red blood cell production
Important for the health of our nervous system
|Spirulina, blue green algae, marine phytoplankton|
|C||Helps retard the aging process
Acts as a potent antioxidant
Actively kills cancer cells
|Oranges, red & green peppers, broccoli, guava, kiwi, grapefruit, chili pepper, kale, parsley, acerola, black currents|
|D3||In D3 form stimulates programmed cell death of cancer cells
Stimulates production and activity of immune cells
|E||Important for the stability of cell membranes
Exerts antioxidants which protect mitochondria (our cells energy production plants) from free radical damage
Helps protect against toxic side effects of radiotherapy
|Sunflower seeds, almonds, wheat germ, avocados, olives, spinach, tomatoes|
|K2||Inhibits the development of many forms of cancer
Facilitates the apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
Is necessary for ATP (energy) production
|Green tea, parsley, cabbage, kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts|