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Posts tagged: Vitamin B

Red Seal's Health Blog


Immunity support to help fight off the nasties

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It is good to know that you now get a great quality extra strength supplement support at your local supermarket at reasonable prices.

The Red Seal High Strength range is just a little different from the average supplements in the supermarket, with:

  • Easy to swallow capsules
  • Most in veggie caps and suitable for vegans
  • All high quality
  • Higher doses; for when you need it the most
  • A reassurance that they are New Zealand made
  • Most are One-a-day doses

 

Immune Defence -High Strength Immune Defence

The most complex system in the body is the immune system. It is constantly working to protect us from invaders day and night. With our busy lives, we are constantly surrounded by pathogens that test us. The immune system is only something we become aware of when there are chills and ills in the body, feeling tired,  a scratchy throat and blocked nose, or a feeling of a full scale war in our body. Traditionally herbs such as Echinacea, Garlic, Pau d’Arco, Elderberry and Andrographis have been used to help support the immune system for the upper respiratory tract. Immune Defence also combines Vitamin C, bioflavonoids and Zinc to enhance the herbal synergistic actions and further support the immune defences and recovery from those winter threats.

 

Multiple Good Guys -High Strength Probiotic 50 billion

Not all bacteria are bad! Some bacteria are there to help protect us, and they live inside us.   They boost our immune system, protect against disease and aid in the digestion of food. When antibiotics, stress, or infection create imbalance by killing off the healthy bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract, then it is more likely that harmful bacteria may overwhelm our system.  This can lead to poor overall health and a variety of developing health issues. What are these good guys?  Probiotics!

High Strength Probiotic 50 billion capsules are a high dose multi strain of eleven probiotics especially selected to be able to move through the high pH of the stomach and continue to the digestive tract, and other areas such as the vagina and urinary tract. Thus helping to repopulate and colonize healthy bacteria in the right areas. Many people notice that when the digestive system is working better, their sense of wellbeing and mood also improves.

Being shelf stable,High Strength Probiotic 50 billion is ideal if you are home or travelling as there is no need to refrigerate them. Ensure you are back to health by including a multi strain Probiotic daily.

 

Be Complex –High Strength Vitamin B

If you are feeling run down and fatigued B complex may be what you need. B vitamins have a number of different functions in the body. B’s are responsible for many aspects that contribute to our well-being; including energy conversion, cognitive function, mood, healthy hair, skin and nails, detoxification, cholesterol balance, digestion, hormonal, nervous and reproductive systems.

Being deficient in some B vitamins such as B12, or Folic acid can lead to some critical health conditions that can make you feel tired and worn out. Different types of vitamin B all come from various types of foods. Most are water-soluble and it is critical that we replenish our daily intake. B vitamins work as a family and are synergistic so best taken together as a group. Large doses of any one single B may have no therapeutic value, or worse, cause a deficiency in another B vitamin. It is recommended that B vitamins are taken in a “complex” form, or if a single B vitamin is taken for a boost, that it is accompanied by a B complex or multi vitamin supplement.

Certain health conditions can result in a poor absorption of B vitamins, a poor diet with a high intake of processed foods, sugar and alcohol will mean the body will have a greater need for B Vitamins. Taking oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and sleeping pills also increases the body’s demands of B vitamins. Certain population groups, such as older adults and pregnant women, need larger amounts of some types of vitamin B.

 

Supplementary to a balanced diet.  Always read the label.  Take only as directed.

Endeavour Consumer Health, Auckland.

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A QUICK GUIDE TO YOUR B’S

Vitamin Bs

B vitamins are a group of eight individual vitamins, often referred to as the B-complex vitamins. We will take a look at how the B vitamins work so you can begin to understand why these essential vitamins should be in your diet.

What Are Vitamins and What Do They Do For Us?

Vitamins are organic (carbon containing) molecules that mainly function as catalysts for reactions within the body. A catalyst is a substance that allows a chemical reaction to occur using less energy and less time than it would take under normal conditions. If these catalysts are missing, as in a vitamin deficiency, normal body functions can break down and render a person susceptible to disease.

The body requires vitamins in tiny amounts. We get vitamins from the following 3 primary sources:

  1. Foods
  2. Beverages
  3. Our bodies

The B-complex vitamins are actually a group of eight vitamins, which include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), cyanocobalamin (B12), pantothenic acid and biotin. These vitamins are essential for:

* The breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose (this provides energy for the body)
* The breakdown of fats and proteins (which aids the normal functioning of the nervous system)
* Muscle tone in the stomach and intestinal tract
* Skin
* Hair
* Eyes
* Mouth
* Liver

Some doctors and nutritionists suggest taking the B-complex vitamins as a group for overall good health. However, most agree that the best way to get our B vitamins is naturally — through the foods we eat!


Where Do We Find These Vitamins and Why Are They Important?

The B-complex vitamins are found in brewer’s yeast, liver, whole-grain cereals, rice, nuts, milk, eggs, meats, fish, fruits, leafy green vegetables and many other foods.

For metabolism and nervous system, Thiamine (B1)

The B vitamin thiamine is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates into the simple sugar glucose. Thiamine is also important for the proper functioning of the nervous system. In this instance, thiamine acts as a co-enzyme in the production of the neurotransmitter (chemical messenger between nerve fibers), acetylcholine.

Thiamine is found in whole-grain cereals, bread, red meat, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, legumes, sweet corn, brown rice, berries, yeast, the germ and husks of grains and nuts. Mega-doses (very high doses) of thiamine have not been associated with adverse health effects, and excess of the water-soluble vitamin is excreted.

Water-soluble vitamin: Riboflavin (B2)

Riboflavin is important in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and, like thiamine, it acts as a co-enzyme in the process. It is also significant in the maintenance of the skin and mucous membranes, the cornea of the eye and for nerve sheaths.

A deficiency of riboflavin can cause skin disorders and inflammation of the soft tissue lining around the mouth and nose, anemia, and can cause the eyes to be light-sensitive. In the mouth, angular cheilosis can develop. This is a painful condition where lesions develop at the corners of your lips, and inflammation of the tongue can also occur.

Riboflavin is found in whole-grain products, milk, meat, eggs, cheese and peas. As a water-soluble vitamin, any excess is excreted, although small amounts are stored in the liver and kidney.

Niacin (B3) found in protein-rich food

Niacin, is needed for the metabolism of food, the maintenance of healthy skin, nerves and the gastrointestinal tract. Niacin is also used in those all-important oxidation reduction reactions. A deficiency of niacin causes the disease, pellagra. In the past, this disease was often associated with the very poor and was also a major cause of mental illness. The symptoms of pellagra are sometimes referred to as the “three D’s” — diarrhea, dermatitis and dementia — ultimately resulting in a fourth “D”, death. The mouth is also affected by pellagra, which can cause the inside of the cheeks and tongue to become red and painful. Fortunately, high doses of niacin can reverse the effects of this disease.

Niacin is found in protein-rich food such as meats, fish, brewer’s yeast, milk, eggs, legumes, potatoes and peanuts. Niacin can also be prescribed in higher doses as a drug to help lower cholesterol , but can cause side effects. The main side effects of high doses of niacin include flushing of the skin (due to dilating blood vessels), itching, headaches, cramps, nausea and skin eruptions.

Keep your red blood cells with Pyridoxine (B6)

Pyridoxine, is needed the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Pyridoxine is also used in the production of red blood cells, as well as in the biochemical reactions involved in the metabolism of amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Due to the abundance of pyridoxine in many foods, a deficiency is rare except in alcoholics, where it is often present. A pyridoxine deficiency causes skin disorders, abnormal nervous system, confusion, poor coordination and insomnia. Oral signs of pyridoxine deficiency include inflammation of the edges of the lips, tongue and the rest of the mouth. High doses of pyridoxine are sometimes touted as a remedy for PMS, but research has not supported this assertion.

Pyridoxine is found in many foods, including liver, organ meats, brown rice, fish, butter, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, soybeans and many others.

Vegetarians may want to read it: Cyanocobalamin (B12)

Vitamin B12 is necessary for processing carbohydrates, proteins and fats and to help make all of the blood cells in our bodies. Vitamin B12 is also required for maintenance of our nerve sheaths.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is sometimes seen in strict vegetarians who do not take vitamin supplements, and those who have an inability to absorb the vitamin (usually from a failure to produce intrinsic factor). Although enough B12 is stored in the liver to sustain a person for many years, a deficiency will cause a disorder known as pernicious anemia, which causes weakness, numbness of the extremities, pallor, fever and other symptoms. Mouth irritation and brain damage are also common consequences of B12 deficiency. However, these very serious effects can be reversed by vitamin B12 shots. Shots are needed because the deficiency is often caused by an inability to absorb the vitamin when taken orally. As we age, our stomachs have an increasingly difficult time producing intrinsic factor. Many doctors recommend that people over 60 have their vitamin B12 levels checked, to see if a B12 shot is needed.

Vitamin B12 is not found in any plant food sources and is produced almost solely by bacteria, such as streptomyces griseus. Rich sources of B12 include liver, meat, egg yolk, poultry and milk.

Folic acid (B9) and specially during pregnancy

Folic acid, is one of the B-complex vitamins that interacts with vitamin B12 for the synthesis of DNA, which is important for all cells in the body.

A deficiency of folic acid causes anemia, poor growth, and irritation of the mouth — all of which are similar to symptoms suffered by those with B12 deficiency. Folic acid is present in nearly all natural foods but can be damaged, or weakened, during cooking. Deficiencies are found mainly in alcoholics, the malnourished, the poor, the elderly and those who are unable to absorb food due to certain diseases.

Folic acid is found in yeast, liver, green vegetables, whole grain cereals and many other foods. The need for folic acid increases during pregnancy, due to high requirements of the vitamin from the fetus. Many nutritional requirements change during pregnancy, and vitamins are no exception. All of the B vitamins, especially folic acid, should be slightly increased during pregnancy and lactation (breast milk production).

Useful in many body’s functions: Pantothenic acid and biotin

Pantothenic acid is used in the breakdown of carbohydrates, lipids and some amino acids. Biotin functions as a co-enzyme in carboxylation reactions (-COOH), which are also useful in many of the body’s functions.

The vitamin is found in abundance in meats, legumes and whole-grain cereals. Mega-doses of pantothenic acid can cause diarrhea.

A deficiency of biotin is rare but can cause a skin disorder called scaly dermatitis. Biotin deficiency may be found in individuals who eat large quantities of egg whites. These contain the substance avidin, which “ties up” the body’s biotin. Biotin is found in beef liver, egg yolk, brewer’s yeast, peanuts, cauliflower and mushrooms.

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The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have it

Good eye health is a vital part of our well-being, yet we often take it for granted or assume we can do little to improve it. In fact there are many factors that can have a positive (or negative) impact on eye health – and diet is the first place to start.


NOT JUST CARROTS

While it’s true that the beta-carotene found in carrots is beneficial to your eyes, there are many other nutrients that are also essential. The two star players are lutein and zeaxanthin. Termed “macular pigments”, they are most prominent in the lens and macula regions of the eye and have been shown to play a prominent role in maintaining eye health. Lutein effectively controls free-radical generation and the resulting oxidative damage through its ability to filter out blue wavelengths of light (such as UV rays) which cause damage to the eyes as well as to the skin.

Where can you find lutein and zeaxanthin? They are most abundant in yellow, orange and green plant foods. Goji berries, kiwifruit, tangerines, persimons, red and yellow peppers, spinach, pumpkin and kale are all great sources, as are egg yolks. Marigold flower petals are an amazing source of lutein and zeaxanthin – branch out and add these to salads.

TIP: An extra-potent way to maximize the eye-health benefits of carrots is to drink their juice followed by a shot of cod liver oil.


WINTER WARNING

Open fires, windy days, seasonal allergies and central heating can make our eyes feel drier in winter. If this affects you, try upping your intake of vitamin B, essential fatty acids and potassium.

Star picks:

Red Seal Fish OilVitaminBComplex


Chamomile tea & Raspberry Leaf teaTEA AND SYMPATHY

The proverbial “cup of tea and a lie down” cures many ills, but did you know that teabags themselves could benefit your eyes?

Both Red Seal Raspberry Leaf teabags and Red Seal Chamomile teabags can be moistened with warm water and used as compresses several times a day. These kitchen-cupboard wonders can help with eyes that are swollen, bloodshot, itchy and irritated. 

Simply pour hot water over one or two teabags and steep them for three to five minutes. Squeeze out the moisture and pop them into the fridge for 20 minutes for a cool compress (much less for a warm compress).
Then lie down, place them over your eyes and relax. Bonus: you also get to drink and enjoy the tea!


WHAT CAUSES TWITCHING EYE?

Eye strain, high stress levels and lack of sleep can cause these infuriating tics and spasms. Magnesium, which works on relaxing muscles, is the most popular remedy for this ailment – try Red Seal Magnesium which also contains potassium.


EYE UP THESE SUPPLEMENTS

Even the best diet won’t always cover all the bases, so consider the following extra ammunition to support eye health:

Red Seal Zinc B6 and Magnesium – supports eye health and blood circulation to the eyes and can assist with dry eyes
Red Seal Selenium Plus – antioxidant protection plus vitamins A, C and E
Red Seal Cod Liver Oil, Red Krill Oil and Fish Oil – these supply plenty of omega-3 fatty acids essential for eye health
Red Seal Vitamin B complex – a great all-round supplement for those who are stressed, as stress affects eye health


By Julie Fergusson, Red Seal Naturopath

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

Credit: Life & Leisure

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