A Closer Look at Vitamin Supplements

April 21st, 2017 · No Comments · Disease Prevention, Uncategorized

Vitamins are essential to life

Eating a variety of fresh vegetables can help give your body the vitamins it needs.

Eating a variety of fresh vegetables can help give your body the vitamins it needs.

All foods contain some amounts of vitamins, although it is increasing difficult to obtain all the vitamins we need from food alone. It is also difficult to discern the best supplements from the vast selection available in the market.  Here’s a look at the individual vitamins our body needs and what supplement forms we like best.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that protects your cells against damaging free radicals. It is beneficial for growth and development, the eyes, and many skin conditions. Being fat soluble means it can build up to toxic levels, causing liver damage. It is important to follow guidelines for proper dosing information. Beta-carotene is a popular alternative to Vitamin A supplements. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that is transformed into Vitamin A in your body, as your body needs it. There is much less risk of toxicity with beta-carotene, however, thyroid hormone is needed to convert Beta-carotene into Vitamin A, so individuals with hypothyroid conditions should choose Vitamin A instead of beta-carotene. It’s also why so many people with hypothyroid are deficient in Vitamin A. Hanna taught that supplementing with Vitamin A after clearing parasite infections, especially fluke infections, is important for rebuilding tissue.

Hanna’s Herb Shop carries 3 different forms of Vitamin A:

Vitamin A 10,000 IUa sublingual supplement that goes to work fast!

Vitamin A– a natural source of vitamin A from fish liver oil in a softgel form.

Beta- Carotene, Natural– a softgel ‘precursor’ to vitamin A.

B Vitamins

The B Vitamins assist in energy production and immune function. They help with proper brain function and mood regulation. If your stress levels are high or if your mood feels off balance then you might benefit from taking a B supplement. Single B’s are available if you are interested in targeting one area at a time, but it’s always a good idea to take B Vitamins together for the synergistic way they work in the body. Taking extra of any of of the B’s with your multi-B works well. We like the complexes that provide a powerful amount of several or even all of the B Vitamins!

Biotin– plays an important role in metabolizing the energy we get from food. It assists in enzyme function and promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails. Can be beneficial in treating baldness.

Thiamine- B1– is used to process fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Energy levels and proper heart functioning depend on proper Vitamin B1 levels.

Riboflavin- B2– is used for energy production and to help combat migraine headaches. It also activates B6 and Folate in the body.

Hanna's Anti-Fatigue combines B vitamins to give your body a boost!

Hanna’s Anti-Fatigue combines B vitamins to give your body a boost!

Niacin- B3– is required for the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein into energy. It also supports cardiovascular health and promotes blood flow. This B vitamin is known for creating a “flush” on the skin that feels like a temporary slight sunburn. This “flush” does actually open up the blood vessels and “flushes” the circulatory system which can be temporarily uncomfortable, but excellent for cholesterol levels and helps with relaxation and sleep. Taking with food can help control the amount of “flush” a person experiences. Niacinamide is a form of Niacin that doesn’t produce the typical flushing effect. It also does not have the benefits of lowering cholesterol or promoting relaxation. Some evidence has shown, however, that it may be more effective than Niacin at increasing circulation inside joints so it may be a good choice for joint inflammation.

Pyridoxine- B6– plays a big role in making proteins, hormones and neurotransmitters (such as serotonin). It may help to relieve symptoms of PMS and reduce nausea and morning sickness.

Pantothenic Acid– speeds up wound healing and is essential for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands, digestive tract, nerves, and skin.

Folic Acid- B9– may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and birth defects. It supports healthy nervous system function. Folic Acid is the synthetic form of folate and is actually much more commonly found than folate. It is well tolerated and utilized by most people. However, if you have some types of MTHFR, a genetic mutation (see http://mthfr.net/ for more information), your body will have issues processing folic acid, or won’t do so as efficiently. Use folate instead and avoid foods “enriched” with added folic acid.

Cobalamin- B12– is required for the normal activity of nerve cells, and works with folate and vitamin B6 to promote heart health. It also improves sperm count and mobility. Good bacteria in the gut can often produce most of your body’s requirement of Vitamin B12. If your gut is compromised (including having taken antibiotics) then your B12 might be low. The highest concentrations of B12 come from animal protein. Vegetarians sometimes find it difficult to consume enough B12 through food and may benefit from a supplement. B12 deficiency is quite common and anyone with low energy levels should take a look at this vitamin.

Choline– is useful for normal brain and memory function and in treating high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Inositol-B8– is helpful for depression and anxiety.

Para-amino benzoic acid (PABA) – is useful in metabolism and promotes healthy skin, hair and red blood cells. Hanna recommended taking 1,000 mg of PABA 4 times a day for 4 weeks for skin pigment discoloration issues.

DMG (N-Dimethyl Glycine) – B15– is more closely related to an amino acid than a vitamin. It supports immune function, improves oxygenation, and boosts mental acuity.

Apricot kernels are naturally high in vitamin b17.

Apricot kernels are naturally high in vitamin b17.

Laetrile- B17– is a controversial vitamin that is gaining interest and popularity.  One of the greatest concentrated sources comes from Apricot Kernels.

Frequent alcohol use depletes several of the B Vitamins.  Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs interfere with the absorption of certain B vitamins. A supplement containing a complex of B’s is a good way to replenish these vitamins in the body.

Hanna’s Herb Shop carries these combination B Vitamins:

Anti-Fatigue- Hanna Kroeger’s B Vitamin combination with licorice root to support the adrenals and make it more bioavailable.

B-50, Super Capsules– a ‘one a day’ capsule. Vegetarian and hypoallergenic.

B-Complex, B-100– provides the recommended potencies of the most important B vitamins

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the single most popular vitamin supplement in the country.  It gives skin its elasticity by repairing and regenerating collagen.  It fights free radicals, strengthens blood vessels, helps wound healing and improves iron absorption.  Supporting the immune system, vitamin C helps the body recover from viral and bacterial infections.  There are two forms of vitamin C:

1) Ascorbic Acid is the most widely available form of Vitamin C.  It is generally the least expensive form, and it is available in powder, chewables, and capsules:

Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Bulk– is a convenient and affordable bulk form that easily mixes into liquid or food.  Buy by the ounce.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)– a capsule form with added bioflavonoids for extra antioxidant protection.

Vitamin C, Lovites, Chewable (ascorbic acid) – an easy to take chewable form.

2) Ester-C (ascorbate) is a buffered form of Vitamin C that is gentler on the stomach than Ascorbic Acid.  Ester-C may help lower inflammation and support the adrenal glands.  It may also be beneficial to cleansing toxins from the liver:

Vitamin C, Esterified (ascorbate minerals) – a tablet form with added ginger to soothe the stomach.

Vitamin C, Ester-C (calcium ascorbate) – a popular product at Hanna’s.  Its unique manufacturing process neutralizes pH and is absorbed quickly into the system.  Contains citrus bioflavonoids for added antioxidant protection.

Vitamin C Complex (calcium ascorbate) combines both forms of C in a convenient powder form.  It is formulated with buffered calcium ascorbate, bioflavonoids, Acerola, Rose Hips and Rutin.

Vitamin D

Most people don't get enough sun exposure to manufacture vitamin D.

Most people don’t get sufficient sun exposure to manufacture enough vitamin D.

Vitamin D is essential for the formation of strong bones and the absorption of calcium.  It also supports the reproductive and immune systems, reduces inflammation, strengthens glands, and is used to treat osteoporosis.  While the body uses sunlight to make vitamin D, it cannot make enough if you spend too little time in the sun or wear sunscreen.  There are 2 different forms of Vitamin D.  Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is made by the body and is found in some foods.  Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is a synthetic form often added to milk products and is in many supplements.  We love the natural form!

Hanna’s Herb Shop carries 6 different Vitamin D3 supplements. A few of our favorites are:

Vitamin D3 5000 IU, Liquid– a convenient liquid form of D3 in a base of sunflower oil and natural orange flavor.

Vitamin D3 5000IU– an easy to take sublingual form that is immediately absorbed into the body.

Vitamin D3- 10,000 IU– our most potent Vitamin D supplement in a safflower oil base softgel.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that fights damaging free radicals. It is actually a family of compounds called tocopherols that work towards strengthening the central nervous system and improving immunity.  It has blood thinning effects and promotes blood circulation. Vitamin E is widely used in treating some forms of cancer and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. In a supplement form it is important to choose the natural form of mixed tocopherols, labeled d-(alpha, delta, or gamma) tocopherol. The most common form used in supplements however is the synthetic form called dl-alpha tocoperol. There is evidence that the natural forms are more effective.

Hanna’s Herb Shop carries this Vitamin E supplement:

Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol acetate) – 100% pure and natural vitamin E in a gluten free, softgel form.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is the blood clotting vitamin. There are 3 forms if Vitamin K: K1 (phylloquinone) is found in plants.  Dark leafy greens like kale and turnip greens are excellent sources of K1.

K2 (menaquinone) is manufactured by bacteria in the intestines. Long term use of antibiotics can cause a vitamin K deficiency by killing these bacteria. Some digestive disorders such as chronic diarrhea, colitis, or Crohn’s disease can cause deficiency in vitamin K

K3 (menadione) is a synthetic form of vitamin K.

Hanna’s Herb Shop carries 2 Vitamin K supplements:

Vitamin K-1– an important supplement for blood clotting. In tablet form.

Vitamin K-2 100mcg (MK7) – supports normal blood clotting and the formation of prothrombin. A sublingual supplement that goes to work fast!

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