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Soluble Vitamins Archives

The Role of Water Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the blood and cannot be retained within the body for prolonged periods of time. Whenever the levels within the blood become high these vitamins can be released into the urine. The water-soluble vitamins consist of the B vitamins and vitamin C.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for the formation of collagen for the development of cartilage, bone and the scar tissue that aids in wound healing. The vitamin C complex includes bioflavanoids, rutin (vitamin P) and other components not yet discovered. Vitamin C is necessary for the activity of white blood cells thereby making it vital for proper immune function. The vitamin C complex operates with vitamin E in carrying oxygen to the blood. It is also necessary for carnitine synthesis. Carnitine has been found to be helpful in heart ailments. Vitamin C also aids in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Fruits or vegetables left unrefrigerated for days will lose the majority of the vitamin C initially present.

If vitamin C intake falls below 10 mg. per day a condition known as scurvy may develop. Signs of scurvy include bleeding gums, loose teeth, decaying teeth, easy bruising, skin discolorations, joint pain, and impaired wound healing. Deficiency is more readily observed in people with poor diets, alcoholics, drug abusers, institutionalized elderly, and also diabetics and some cancer patients.

Foods rich in vitamin C include papaya, oranges, cantaloupe, pineapple, parsley, beet greens, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, turnip greens, collard greens, brussels sprouts, green peppers, grapefruit, kale, raw cabbage, lemons, limes and strawberries.

B Complex

So far 25 members of the B complex group have been identified. I will discuss the most studied in this section. They always occur together in nature whether they are found in plant or animal tissues. Some foods may have a greater concentration of a particular member of the B complex family, but all will be present in some amount. This group is essential for many actions such as: healthy nervous and immune system, digestive enzyme and insulin secretions, red blood cell production, healthy eyes, and the function of several organs and all glands of the body. The B vitamins are also important for the break down of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. The vitamin B complex assists the heart in maintaining its normal rhythm. B complex is better taken as a whole so as not create an imbalance in other members of the group. B complex taken in its natural state will contain necessary enzymes as well as all of the other factors that we presently have no knowledge of. According to nutrition researcher Dr. Royal Lee a natural vitamin B complex is between ten and fifty times more potent than the synthetic high potency complex.


Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

This member of the B complex is responsible for normal functioning in all body cells. It breaks down fats, carbohydrates and proteins and converts excess carbohydrates to fat for storage. Cooking and refining aids in the destruction of B1. 95 % of the vitamin B1 supplements sold are synthetic forms of the vitamin (thiamine hydrochloride or thiamine mononitrate.). Animals can convert the synthetic form into a usable form; humans cannot and thereby require the natural vitamin in its complete from.

Foods rich in vitamin B1 include yeast, fish, lean pork, legumes, collard greens, oranges, whole grain products, organ meats and nuts.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Approximately 50 enzymes in the body use riboflavin. This vitamin is required for growth and development and for the production of hormones. It is essential for the formation of red blood cells and healthy eyes, skin, and hair. Large doses of synthetic riboflavin may result in numbness, tingling, or itching and the possible formation of cataracts.

Foods rich in vitamin B2 include beef, lamb, avocados, wheat germ, oysters, salmon, dark green leafy vegetables, milk products, eggs, meat and legumes.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)

The natural form of this vitamin also aids in the break down of fats, carbohydrates and protein. It improves function of the digestive tract and helps to form estrogen and testosterone. Vitamin B3 aids in the detoxification of several chemicals and aids in the formation of red blood cells.

Foods rich in vitamin B3 include tuna, rice bran, rabbit, oysters, prunes, kale, brown rice, wheat germ, peas, avocados, eggs, oats, rye, asparagus, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and other meats.

Pantothenic Acid

Almost all plant and animal cells contain substantial amounts of pantothenic acid. It is essential in the formation of coenzyme A; which is vital for many different bodily functions. It plays a role in the breakdown of carbohydrates, protein and especially fats.

Liver, dried beans and peas, whole grains, wheat germ, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and eggs contain pantothenic acid. Royal jelly contains large amounts of pantothenic acid.


Deficiencies of biotin are rare as it is found abundantly in many foods. Intestinal bacteria also produce biotin. Deficiency of biotin (a.k.a. vitamin H) has been associated with hair loss, depression, anemia, muscle pain, hallucinations and nausea.

Foods rich in biotin include liver, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and egg yolks.

Folic Acid

This vitamin is reported to be the most commonly deficient vitamin in the world. Its responsibility is to maintain the genetic code of cells and transformation of chromosomes from one cell to another. During pregnancy the requirement for this vitamin doubles. Large doses of the synthetic vitamin can hide the symptoms associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Foods rich in folic acid include green vegetables, legumes, whole wheat, bran, almonds, walnuts, cantaloupe, sweet potatoes and liver. Keep in mind that cooking very easily destroys folic acid.

Vitamin B6

This member of the B complex is required for neurotransmitter production and for the formation of the protective sheath surrounding nerves. It is involved primarily in the building and the break down of proteins and amino acids. It also plays an important role in hormone and hemoglobin production. Synthetic forms (pyridoxine hydrochloride) taken in large doses may result in nervous system symptoms such as tingling in the arms, stumbling and lack of muscle coordination.

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bananas, navy beans, walnuts, sirloin steak, salmon and light meat chicken.

Vitamin B12

This vitamin is required in small amounts for cell division and growth. It is the only member of the B complex to be stored in the body. It supports healthy nerve function. Vitamin C in doses in excess of 500mg or greater taken with or around meals can inhibit or destroy the vitamin. The only dietary sources of vitamin B12 are from animal products.

Foods rich in vitamin B12 include meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and eggs.

Dawn A. Robinson is a Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic and also has a Master of Science Degree in Human Nutrition (M.S.).

She has been in active practice since 1994. Specializing in holistic health care she has helped many individuals and families reclaim their health and live better, healthier lives. To learn more visit Neu Life Chiropractic.

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The Role of Fat Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in body fat and require the presence of bile salts to be absorbed. Since they are stored in the body it is not absolutely necessary that you eat them every day. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, K and F.

Vitamin A

The vitamin A complex is necessary for normal skin and mucous membrane function. It is required for such functions as the growth and formation of bones, muscle, cartilage and ligaments, immune system function, and the formation of tooth enamel. It also assists in pregnancy, fertility, adrenal function, thyroid function and normal eyesight. A study demonstrated that blood levels of vitamin A were low in 52 of 58 rheumatoid arthritis patients. Vitamin A reduces the risk of cancer development. It does so within its natural complex. Many of you may recall the increase in media attention concerning beta-carotene and cancer. Large doses of beta-carotene were thought to decrease incidence of cancer but a study of Finnish male smokers demonstrated otherwise. This was because they used a fraction of the vitamin A complex. Beta is just one of over six hundred carotenes!

Foods rich in vitamin A include egg yolks, butter, cheese, fish liver oils, sweet potato, carrots, spinach, butternut squash and dandelion greens.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone. It is essential for healthy teeth and bones. Vitamin D helps maintain a healthy nervous system and muscle tone. We can get vitamin D through the diet or our bodies can produce vitamin D by exposure to sunlight. Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin it does require fat from food for absorption. Thus it is usually found in foods that contain fats. The elderly have a decreased ability to produce this vitamin. Vitamin D operates with the essential fatty acids to balance calcium and phosphorus bone ratios. It also helps to maintain normal blood calcium levels and may play a role in immune system function. Vitamin D can be stored in the liver, skin, brain and bones for future needs. Excessive consumption of the synthetic forms of the vitamin can result in calcium imbalance, calcium deposits in soft tissues and in an increase in lead absorption.


Foods that contain vitamin D include eggs, liver, cod liver oil, butter, fatty fish.

Vitamin E

There is much yet to be learned about vitamin E. Our bodies contain a higher concentration of vitamin E than any other vitamin. It was given the name tocopherol which means to bring forth offspring although the vitamin E complex contains much more than tocopherol. Vitamin E is known as the antisterility vitamin. It is important for male and female reproduction, fertility and female uterine function. We also believe vitamin E complex functions to include protection from free radical damage, protection of red blood cells from damage, prevention of tumor growth, and the stabilization of cell membranes and tissues. It protects our genes and allows us to pass on hereditary characteristics. Vitamin E is required for hemoglobin production and strength of blood vessel walls. It works in conjunction with the trace element selenium. Studies demonstrate that low blood concentrations of vitamin E are more of a risk factor for the development of heart disease than high cholesterol or hypertension.

Foods rich in vitamin E include plant oils, leaves and other green portions of plants and wheat germ oil, egg yolk, butter, poppy and sesame seeds, barley, alfalfa, asparagus, prunes and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K can be derived from plant, animal, as well as bacterial sources. It is involved in plant photosynthesis. Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting. It helps to form the clot to stop the bleeding in case of a cut or other injury. Vitamin K has also been found to work with calcium and vitamin D. It is necessary for early bone development and the maintenance of healthy bones. There is a link between this vitamin and the development of osteoporosis. Vitamin K is a very important part of the vitamin C complex and assists vitamin C in various functions. The pair is usually found together in green plants. Substantial amounts of vitamin K may be lost due to antibiotic therapy. Those undergoing anticoagulant therapy and postmenopausal women demonstrate increased risk of vitamin K deficiency. Chlorophyll in plants is a great source of vitamin K. The water-soluble form of chlorophyll is the refined form and does not function as the fat-soluble (water insoluble) natural form.

Foods rich in vitamin K include egg yolk, beef liver, whole wheat, alfalfa, spinach, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnip greens and other green leafy vegetables. In smaller amounts vitamin K is found in cereals, fruits, dairy products, and meats. We can also make some vitamin K in the gastrointestinal tract.

Be sure to include foods containing fat soluble vitamins in your diet.

Dawn A. Robinson is a Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic and also has a Master of Science Degree in Human Nutrition (M.S.).

She has been in active practice since 1994. Specializing in holistic health care she has helped many individuals and families reclaim their health and live better, healthier lives. To learn more visit Neu Life Chiropractic.

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Did you know that vitamins are actually of two different types? They can be classified into fat soluble and water soluble depending on how the body processes it.

While most people are unaware of this difference and for some it doesn’t really matter it is however important to ensure that our bodies get the recommended daily allowance of each kind of Vitamin. Whether you get them through your diet or by consuming supplements is irrelevant as long as one maintains a healthy body and avoids vitamin deficiencies of any kind.

From a scientific point of view, the chemical composition of a fat soluble and water soluble vitamin is rather complex. But for most of us this difference remains transparent.

The important thing to remember here is that the body is able to store only fat soluble vitamins but not water soluble ones. The fat soluble vitamins which include vitamins A, D, E and K are absorbed through the large intestines.

But in order for this process to work smoothly dietary fat must also be present because if fat is not consumed along with the fat soluble vitamins it becomes difficult for the body to complete the absorption process.


Once they are absorbed these fat soluble vitamins get stored in the liver till it is time for them to carry out their respective functions.

Every vitamin has its own unique function to perform in the body. For example Vitamin K helps to metabolize food into energy and helps in the clotting of blood by supplying the seven essential blood clotting proteins. It also aides in bone growth.

Vitamin E protects fatty acids and prevents red blood cells from getting destroyed. It acts as an important antioxidant and defends Vitamins A and C in the body as well.

Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium as well as regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorous in the blood. If a body possesses sufficient amounts of Vitamin D, their bones won’t suffer even if they don’t have enough milk.

Vitamin A is essential for good vision. It helps to adjust ones vision to dim light and differentiate between the broad spectrum of colors. It boosts the body’s immune system to fight against infections and also assists in tissue growth. There is a special protein called a ‘Transport Protein’ which helps the Vitamin A stored in the liver reach out the the tissues whenever required.

Water soluble vitamins like Vitamin B , Vitamin C and Vitamin H(Biotin) on the other hand are not stored in the body for long which is why they need to be replenished constantly. The excess ones are eliminated from the body through urine while the rest are responsible for processing crucial bodily functions.

The B Vitamins are crucial as they help in metabolizing proteins and fats. They also provide energy to the body when its converting glucose from carbohydrates.

Biotin or Vitamin H as it is commonly known helps to ensure proper growth of the body while Vitamin C acts as an important antioxidant. Both these vitamins benefit the body in other ways as well.

It is important for us to remain healthy so if we are not able to get the recommended daily allowance of vitamins from our diets, it would help to supplement it with a multivitamin.

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