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Vitamin A and B family

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Vitamins are essential for our ongoing good health, and are most effective when consumed in fresh, natural foods or good high quality supplements. 

Some people may not completely absorb or properly assimilate vitamins from their diet. Pollution, poor nutrition, illness, prolonged periods of stress and some medical treatments deplete our body's vitamin stores and can interfere with vitamin absorption.

VITAMIN A (Retinol)
Vitamin A is a weak antioxidant compared to carotenoida. Working deep inside the core of our cells, best known for its role in our vision, also  boosting your health with vitamin A. 
  • strengthens the immune system
  • maintains healthy eyes and skin
  • supports growth
  • controls cell “specialisation” (differentiation)
  • helps reproduction
Vitamin A can support the treatment of many problems and might therefore already be included in some medications. Some possible uses for Vitamin A include the treatment of:
  • acne
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • anaemia
  • autism
  • bronchitis
  • burns
  • cancers like breast, lung or skin cancer
  • conjunctivitis
  • cystic fibrosis
  • eczema
  • HIV/AIDS
  • infections such as chicken pox or pneumonia
  • night blindness
  • osteoporosis
  • tuberculosis
  • warts
  • wound healing


Unlike caretenoids, too much preformed Vitamin A can be toxic. Hypervitaminosis A is relatively rare but does occur, even though it is more likely caused due to excessive use of supplements. Signs of a Vitamin A overdose can be:
  • blurred vision
  • bone pain
  • brittle nails
  • dizziness
  • clumsiness
  • cracked lips
  • dry itchy skin
  • fatigue
  • gingivitis
  • hair loss
  • headaches
  • liver problems
  • nausea
  • vomiting
Critical adverse effects of Vitamin A toxicity include an increased risk of birth defects and liver abnormalities. Recent studies suggest that a long-term intake of too much preformed Vitamin A might reduce bone mineral density (BMI) and therefore increase the risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture. However, the available data is conflicting and further research needs to be done.

Vitamin B Complex

The B Vitamins, or Vitamin B Complex, are a group of closely related water-solubles substances which have certain functions in common although they each play individual roles in the body. 
B Vitamins are involved in the metabolic processes that release energy from carbohydrates, fat, and protein - we would lack energy without them. They play a role in cell multiplication and the production of red blood cells. They are also important for our nervous system, for normal nerve and brain function which affects our mood and behaviour.
The eight core members of the Vitamin B Complex are:

Vitamin B1 is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. It is important for energy production and the functioning of our nervous system, muscles, and heart. Because Thiamine is important for our brain cells, it also affects our mood.
Although all B Vitamins work in a close relationship, Vitamin B1 appears to work well with Vitamin B2 and B3.

Benefits of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1, B2 and B12, have pain-relieving properties that are even more effective when these Vitamins are used in combination.
Vitamin B1 is important for energy production, nerve function, and brain cell viability. It is also said to stabilize our appetite, to promote growth, and to boost our mood.
Thiamine is necessary for the metabolism of alcohol, although alcohol in turn interferes with the absorption of Thiamine.
Possible uses include:
  • alcoholism
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • anxiety
  • atherosclerosis
  • Crohn's disease
  • depression
  • diabetes mellitus
  • hepatitis
  • HIV/ AIDS
  • insomnia
  • multiple sclerosis

There are no toxic levels of Thiamine known today, thus there is no defined upper limit of intake. Vitamin B1 is only marginally stored in our body and excessive amounts are easily excreted in the urine. However, drowsiness or hypersensitivity to Thiamine is possible but rare.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin, or Vitamin B2, was formerly known as Vitamin G until it was correctly assigned to be a member of the Vitamin B group. It is a real energy provider.
We need Vitamin B2 for the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, as well as for DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) metabolism. It is also required for thyroid enzyme regulation and the production of corticosteroids. Riboflavin helps in the formation of antibodies and red blood cells, and acts as an antioxidant.
This water-soluble Vitamin is not stored to any great degree in our body and needs to be regularly part of our diet. Excess amounts are excreted in the urine, and because of the natural deep-yellow colour of Riboflavin, make our urine bright yellow, which is not harmful.
Although all B Vitamins work in a close relationship, Vitamin B2 appears to work more synergistically with Vitamin B1, B3 and B6.
Riboflavin helps maintain healthy skin, good vision, and promotes general health. Riboflavin may also reduce the frequency of migraine headaches. Vitamin B1. B2 and B12, have pain-relieving properties that are even more effective when these Vitamins are used in combination.
Possible uses include:
  • anaemia
  • anorexia
  • bulimia
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • depression
  • eye fatigue
  • fatigue
  • HIV support
  • migraine
  • neonatal jaundice
  • thyroid disorders
No toxic levels have been established for Riboflavin. Excess amounts are excreted in the urine, and because of the natural deep-yellow colour of Riboflavin, make our urine bright yellow, which is not harmful. However, very high doses may cause a passing itching, numbness, or tingling sensation.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Niacin and Niacinamide prevent the deficiency disease Pellagra. They are both forms of Vitamin B3. Our body can produce Niacin from tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid, but needs Viamin B1. B2. B6 to do so. However, this process is highly inefficient. Niacinamide also acts as an antioxidant.
The water-soluble Vitamin B3 is involved in the production of hormones such as estrogens, progesterone, testosterone, and insulin. Vitamin B3 helps with the transfer of hydrogen between our cells and is important for energy production. Vitamin B3 has positive effects on mood and brain function.
Vitamin B3 is important for energy production. It is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Vitamin B3 supports healthy skin, and maintains a healthy nervous and digestive system. It is also important for the detoxification of alcohol.
Niacin and Niacinamide requirements are higher in people with diabetes mellitus. So far only the Niacin form of Vitamin B3 is known to lower cholesterol levels.
Possible uses include:
  • acne
  • alcohol detoxification
  • anxiety
  • atherosclerosis
  • burns
  • dermatitis
  • diabetes mellitus
  • diseases of the small intestine
  • HIV
  • migraines
  • multiple sclerosis
  • osteoarthritis
  • pancreatic insufficiency
  • schizophrenia
  • skin cancer


Niacin can cause a body-wide flushing or tingling sensation which is not serious and usually subsides over time. Niacin from food sources however, is not linked to adverse effects. Niacinamide, on the other hand, needs to be studied in more detail but appears to be less likely to show these side effects.
Vitamin B3 should be used with caution by people with certain underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or liver disease.
Side effects may include:
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • breathing difficulty
  • diarrhoea
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • heart palpitations
  • jaundice
  • liver damage
  • nausea
  • panic attacks
  • vomiting

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Pantothenic Acid, or Vitamin B5, is found in all living tissues. The name "Pantothen" is Greek and means "from everywhere".
Vitamin B5 is essential for fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism. It is involved in cell building, cholesterol synthesis, and the production of hormones and antibodies. Vitamin B5 also supports the utilization of other nutrients.
The water-soluble Pantothenic Acid provides energy and has positive effects on mood and brain function.
Vitamin B5 could also be an anti-stress Vitamin because it provides energy and has positive effects on mood and brain function. Vitamin B5 helps fighting infections by building antibodies, helps making red blood cells, and helps cell building. It may also improve hair growth and sperm activity.
Because Pantothenic Acid supports the utilization of other Vitamins, it also supports many of the benefits of the Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B5 has no known toxicity and only very rare cases with side effects such as diarrhoea, heartburn, or water retention have been reported.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6, or Pyridoxine, is a group of six related compounds: pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, pyridoxine 5'-phosphate, and pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate. Although these forms function like pyridoxine, their bioavailability differs.
Our nervous and immune system needs Vitamin B6 to function efficiently. Vitamin B6 is important for energy production, healthy skin, muscles, and blood. It has similar characteristics to Vitamin B1 B2 and B3
Vitamin B6 is important for carbohydrate and protein metabolism, blood glucose regulation and the breakdown of glycogen, the production of haemoglobin and antibodies, the formation of hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as the activation of Vitamin B3. Many of these functions are supported by Vitamin B 2 B9 and B12.
Vitamin B6 maintains our nervous and immune system and promotes healthy skin and muscles.
Fluctuating blood sugar levels often cause ups and downs in mood and energy. Vitamin B6 helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels; it helps our blood to carry oxygen and to breakdown glycogen.
Possible uses include:
  • acne
  • alcohol withdrawal support
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • anaemia
  • asthma
  • atherosclerosis
  • attention deficit disorder (ADD)
  • autism
  • bulimia
  • burns
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • celiac disease
  • dementia
  • depression
  • HIV
  • low back pain
  • morning sickness in pregnancy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • premenstrual syndrome
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • schizophrenia
Although Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble Vitamin and excess amounts are easily excreted, toxicity is a concern and too much Vitamin B6 can result in nerve damage to the arms and legs.
Adverse effects may include:
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • nausea
  • nerve damage
  • peripheral neuropathy
  • seizures
  • sensory neuropathy

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

The water-soluble Vitamin B7, Biotin, was also known as Vitamin H until it was found that both substances were identical. Subsequently the name Biotin replaced Vitamin H.
Biotin is important for fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism. It is also involved in glycogen synthesis and supports the utilisation of other nutrients.
Biotin helps to regulate blood sugar levels and promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails. It is important in the metabolism of fatty acids, for energy production and a healthy nervous system.
Biotin supports the utilisation, and as such the benefits, of Vitamin B5 B5 and B12.
Although Biotin is very potent and only very small quantities are required, Biotin shows no toxicity.

Vitamin B9 (Folate)

The water-soluble Vitamin B9, Folate or Folic Acid, was formerly known as Vitamin M. Folate occurs naturally in foods and can be synthesized by our body. However, Folate has a lower bioavailability than Folic Acid which is used in food fortification and supplements. Folic Acid needs Vitamin B3 and Vitamin C  for its activation.
Vitamin B9 is essential for protein metabolism and the formation of red blood cells. It also stimulates platelet production. Vitamin B9 is required in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis and is as such essential for cell growth and reproduction. Vitamin B9 works closely with Vitamin B2 B6 and B12  
Vitamin B9 appears to be another anti-stress Vitamin that also improves our mood.
Vitamin B9 is important for the prevention of neural tube defects and for a healthy nervous system. It also maintains healthy homocysteine levels.
Possible uses include:
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • anaemia
  • atherosclerosis
  • burns
  • cancer prevention
  • depression
  • dermatitis
  • diarrhoea
  • down syndrome
  • epilepsy
  • fractures
  • gout
  • migraine headaches
  • neural tube defect prevention
  • osteoarthritis
  • osteoporosis
  • psoriasis
  • restless legs syndrome
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • schizophrenia
Folate is not considered to be toxic and even high doses of Folic Acid are considered to be safe and non-toxic. However, high intakes of Folic Acid can make it difficult to detect a Vitamin B12 deficiency because Folic Acid also reduces Vitamin B12  deficiency symptoms but without correcting the neurological damage that also occurs. This is why most Folic Acid products also contain Vitamin B12.
Adverse Effects may include:
  • fever
  • itching
  • mental changes
  • shortness of breath
  • skin rash
  • sleep disturbances
  • wheezing

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is a group of compounds also known as cobalamins. It occurs naturally in all foods of animal origin in form of methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. The synthetic forms of Vitamin B12 are Hydroxycobalamin and Cyanocobalamin. Our body needs to produce a specific protein called intrinsic factor to be able to absorb sufficient quantities of this nutrient.
Vitamin B12 is essential in cell, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, DNA and protein synthesis, and the activation of Vitamin B9. It is also necessary for normal blood formation, calcium absorption, and functioning of our nervous system. Vitamin B12 works closely with Vitamin B6 and B9.
Vitamin B12 helps to maintain a healthy nervous system, supports energy, and promotes growth. We need Vitamin B12 for normal blood formation. Vitamin B12 works closely with Vitamin B6 and B9 in regulating homocysteine levels among other functions. 
Vitamin B1 B2, and B12 have pain-relieving properties that are even more effective when these Vitamins are used in combination.
Possible uses include:
  • AIDS/HIV support
  • age-related decline
  • allergies
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • asthma
  • atherosclerosis
  • dermatitis
  • cardiac events
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Crohn's disease
  • cystic fibrosis
  • depression
  • diabetes mellitus
  • down's syndrome
  • hepatitis
  • herpes zoster
  • hives
  • insomnia
  • low back pain
  • male infertility
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • neural tube defects (risk reduction)
  • osteoarthritis
  • osteoporosis
  • pain
  • pernicious anaemia
  • restless leg syndrome
  • schizophrenia
  • tinnitus
Vitamin B12 has no known toxicity from excess intakes of food and supplements. However, a few adverse effects and possible dangers may exist from intravenous megadoses. Furthermore, large doses of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B9 might stimulate tumour growth!
Adverse Effects may include:
  • acne
  • diarrhoea
  • hives
  • itchy skin
  • peripheral vascular thrombosis

Vitamin B Complex

The B Vitamins are involved in many metabolic reactions in our body and are crucial for energy production and utilization. They play a role in cell multiplication and the production of red blood cells. B Vitamins are important for our nervous system and can boost our energy levels and improve our mood.
Some B Vitamins show pain-relieving properties and may relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to name a few. As with many micronutrients, B group Vitamins appear to be more effective in combination.
B group Vitamins are unlikely to cause a toxic reaction. However, excessive intake of Niacin (Vitamin B3) for example, can cause a flushing or tingling sensation. Others may cause nerve damage, drowsiness, or diarrhoea.

Foods high in Vitamin B's

B group Vitamins are mainly found in eggs, fish, fruits, grains, kidneys, legumes, liver, meat, milk, nuts, poultry, seeds, vegetables, and yeast. Water-soluble Vitamins are unstable to heat, light and oxygen. Prolonged cooking can easily destroy these Vitamins. 
For quick reference see chart 
VitaminDosageFunctionsNatural Sources
Vitamin ARetinol and/or Beta Carotene5000 - 50,000 IUHelps build healthy eyes, required for growth and bone development. Beta Carotene is a good antioxidant. Helps healing of infections.Carrots, yams, pumpkins, yellow or orange fruits, beet greens, fish, eggs, tuna
Vitamin B1Thiamine25 - 300mgHelps in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. Required for normal nerve function.Whole grains, rice bran, lean meats, fresh peas, beans, wheat germ, oranges, poultry, fish, enriched pastas
Vitamin B2Riboflavin25 - 300mgHelps in production of energy from foods and the formation of red blood cells.Fortified grains & cereals, leafy green vegetables, poultry, fish, yogurt, milk, cheese
Vitamin B3 Niacin25 - 300mgAssists in release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins; helps promote healthy skin.Fortified breads and cereals, brewer's yeast, broccoli, carrots, cheese, dandelion greens, dates, eggs, fish, milk peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, tuna, veal, beef liver, chicken breast
 Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid10 - 300 mgHelps release energy from foods; required for synthesis of many substances.Lean meats, whole grain cereals, fish, legumes
Vitamin B62 - 300 mgEssential for protein metabolism and nervous system function; participates in synthesis of hormones and red blood cells.Whole grain breads and cereals, fish, chicken, bananas
Vitamin B9 Folic Acid400 - 1,200 mcgEssential for red blood cell formation and synthesis of DNA and proteinFortified cereals, pinto beans, navy beans, green leafy vegetables, beef, brown rice, bran, cheese, lamb, liver, milk, mushrooms, oranges, split peas, pork, tuna, whole grains
Vitamin12 Cyanocobalamin25 - 500 mgHelps maintain healthy nervous system, required for normal growth and for production of red blood cells. Helps breakdown fatty acids.Ham, clams, cooked oysters, king crab, herring, salmon, tuna, lean beef, liver, low fat diary products
Vitamin C60 - 5,000 mgRequired for formation of connective tissue, bones and teeth; assists in utilization of other vitamins, acts as an antioxidant.Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, melons, peppers, collards, dandelion greens, onions, radishes, watercress
Vitamin D400 - 800 IUAides in normal bone growth and tooth function; facilitates calcium and phosphorus absorption.Sun exposure, sardines, salmon, fortified milk, fortified cereals, herring, liver, tuna, margarine, cod liver oil
Vitamin E30- 1,200 IUAs an antioxidant it protects body cells and helps maintain normal red blood cells.Whole grains, wheat germ, nuts, spinach, sunflower seeds
Vitamin H Biotin0.3 - 1 mgAssists in metabolism of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and proteins.Legumes, nuts
 Vitamin K80 mcgEssential in the blood clotting process.Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower



Please be sure to check with your health care provider regrading your situation, the list of vitamins above is provided for guidance only


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