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Dr Suzanne J Stuart, LMT MTI CT CHT PhD ND
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    VITAMINS & MINERALS     The Help-Mates Our Supplements


"Vitamins are organic compounds which occur in foods, and which are essential for life and growth processes. Vitamins are constituents of enzymes and therefore function as catalysts in many metabolic reactions.

The body must constantly manufacture enzymes because enzymes decompose after performing their functions. If a vitamin needed to produce a specific enzyme is not present, the chemical reactions controlled by that enzyme cannot take place.

Vitamins are generally divided into two groups - those that can be dissolved in water, known as water-soul able vitamins, and those that can be dissolved in fats or oils, known as fat-soluble vitamins. The water soluble B complex, Vitamin C, and the compounds termed bioflavonoids, are usually measured in milligrams (mg.). Excess amounts of these water-soluble vitamins are not retained in the body but are excreted in the urine, so that daily intake of these vitamins is recommended and essential for a healthy body. The fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K are measured in terms of units of activity known as international activity (IU) or United States Pharmacopoeia units (USP units). Generally, each unit represents the amount of any form of the vitamin needed to produce a specific change in the nutritional health in a laboratory animal. Excess amounts of fat-soluble vitamins can be stored within the body for future use; therefore, daily intake of these vitamins is not as essential as the water-soluble vitamins. Smaller dosages may be taken daily or in conditions of maladies."


"The tissues and internal fluids of all living things contain varying amounts of minerals. Although only about five percent of the human body weight is mineral matter, minerals are vital to over-all mental and physical well-being.

Minerals are constituents of bones, teeth, soft tissue, muscle, blood and nerve cells. They also act as catalysts for many biological reactions within the human body, including muscle response, the transmission of messages through the nervous system, digestion, and metabolism or the utilization of foods. They are important in the production of hormones. The efficiency of each mineral is enhanced by the presence of proper amounts of other nutrients. The actions of minerals are interrelated, and often minerals combine with vitamins in order to complete reactions." Most minerals must have a vitamin to support assimilation of the mineral.

"A delicate internal water balance is essential to the proper functioning of mental and physical processes; minerals help to maintain this vital balance. Minerals keep blood and tissue fluids from becoming either too acid or too alkaline and permit other nutrients to pass into the bloodstream. They also help draw chemical substances into and out of cells.

Seven minerals, sometimes called 'macrominerals' - calcium, chlorine, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and sulphur - are present in relatively high amounts in body tissues. Other minerals, termed 'trace minerals,' are present in the body in only trace amounts, although they are essential for proper body functioning. Amounts of macro minerals are usually measured in milligrams (mg.), and trace minerals are measured in micrograms (mcg).

Physical or emotional stress causes a drain on the body's resources of minerals. A mineral deficiency often results in illness, which may be checked by the addition of the missing mineral to the diet."

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