Health and Wellness

  HealthyWellness Forums

  Alkaline Ionized Water


  Caloric Restriction Diet

  Dealing With Stress

  Essential Nutrients

  Exercise and Fitness

  Holistic Alternative Medicine

  Mental Health

  Migraine Headache Relief

  Vitamins and Minerals

  Weight Loss Diet


Optimal Vitamin and Mineral Levels

Research into vitamins and minerals has greatly increased in recent years. Conventional medical opinion is slowly but steadily coming to the realization that vitamins are important for more than just preventing deficiency diseases. This is a radical shift from their past opinion that vitamins were of secondary importance. Some doctors are starting to prescribe vitamins for certain ailments, but you can prevent most ailments in the first place by taking a more proactive approach.

Of the 100 or so naturally occurring elemental minerals, only 17 are required for health. These essential minerals, in addition to carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, are: boron, calcium, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and zinc. Most of the others act simply as toxins in the body.

Vitamins can be divided into water soluble (ex. vitamin C and B), and insoluble, or fat-soluble (vitamins A,D, E and K). Due to soil depletion and a typical modern diet of processed, dead foods, most people do not get nearly adequate levels of vitamins from their food. Deficiencies in some vitamins (C, B6, B12, and folic acid) and minerals (iron and zinc) can actually lead to DNA damage which can cause cancer.

There are 13 essential vitamins, and two essential fatty acids (linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid). Essential means that your body cannot produce them itself, and they must be included in your diet. Several others are conditionally essential, meaning in certain situations such as disease, sickness or stress, your body's requirement for these vitamins is higher than it can produce itself. Most people have genetic defects and polymorphisms (variations) that may prevent the body from using available vitamins effectively, which can cause certain diseases. These are presently only correctable by taking mega-doses of the appropriate supplement(s).

Genetic tests are already available (and are getting better and more complete very rapidly) which can tell you on an individual level how much of which supplements your body requires to function properly. Without testing, the only surefire way to prevent negative consequences of your inherited genetic defects is to take a bit more of them all so that your body can use what it needs. The subgroups of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), including Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), Recommended Dietary Allowance/Intake (RDA/RDI) and Adequate Intake (AI) are not optimal because they are based on averages. A step in the right direction, though still not perfect, because it does not address individual needs directly, is Optimal Nutritional Allowance (ONA). Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is the last subgroup of DRI and is another useful rating system that defines the average highest daily nutrient intake level likely to be free of adverse health effects for most individuals. All levels represent daily dosages. Within a decade it will be affordable for almost anyone to test most of their genetic variations and tailor their supplementation to their individual needs. The recommendations below may be significantly higher in some cases, than the RDA value, but they come uncompromised and are aimed at providing optimal health rather than just prevent deficiencies.

Vitamin A

  • promotes healing, immune-system health and epithelial tissue health

  • necessary for growth and skin, bone and eye health

  • reduces free-radical damage from UV light and protects the skin from cancer and aging (AGE spots and wrinkles)

  • ONA: 5,000-10,000 IU (and the same amount of beta-carotene)

    B Vitamins
    The B Vitamin complex includes thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin and niacinamide (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12), folic acid, choline, biotin, inositol, and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). These nutrients are grouped together because they are often found together in nature, and have similar functions in the body.
  • they function as enzyme cofactors and are involved in extracting energy from food

  • they maintain proper function of the gastrointestinal system and are important for nerve, skin, hair and eye health

  • they combat physical and emotional stress - this causes the body to need elevated levels when under stress

  • use of a balanced B vitamin complex prevents competition for absorption of one over another

  • ONA: B1 10-200 IU, B2 10-100 IU, B3 20-100 IU, B6 50-100 IU, B12 10-25 IU, Folic acid 400-800 IU,

    Vitamin C
  • The premier water-soluble antioxidant vitamin. Vitamin C is quite safe even at relatively large doses. Higher doses are beneficial to smokers, people using aspirin, or people who are sick.
    ONA: 2,000 mg (Research has shown that more or less than this amount decreases lifespan.)
    The DRI is a pathetic 60 mg which is the amount required to prevent scurvy rather than maintain optimal health.

    Vitamin D
  • necessary for bone health; prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults
  • sunlight enables your body to produce it naturally
  • blood level may be tested by 25(OH) D test and should be maintained at ~45-56ng/DL
  • DRI: 200-600 IU - ONA (with blood monitoring) is 1,600 IU or higher

    Vitamin E
  • powerful antioxidant that works in concert with glutathione to recycle Vitamin C
  • protects the body from toxins and carcinogens that cause free-radical damage
  • functions as a cardiovascular protectant and is useful in treating angina, arteriosclerosis and thrombophlebitis
  • helps prevent blood clots that can cause strokes, and improves blood flow to extremities and circulation in general
  • increases HDL (good cholesterol) and decreases overall blood cholesterol
  • helps protect against lung, esophageal, colon, brest and cervix cancers
  • thins blood and may cause increased bleeding especially when used with other blood thinners such as aspirin. Avoid before surgery.
  • comes in alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol varieties
  • ONA: 400-1,200 IU of mixed tocopherols

    Oxidation of molecules that make up your cells is a major contributor to the aging process. Unstable molecules called free-radicals, which are missing an electron in their outer shell, steal electrons from the closest molecules to them, and turn them into free radicals. If the nearby molecule happens to be DNA, the damage might be copied when the DNA replicates. In order to limit this damage, free-radical scavengers called antioxidants bind to free-radicals and stabilize them enough to be transported to an enzyme which combines two free-radicals together and stabilizes both. Your cells produce antioxidant enzymes, and certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients and other molecules that act as antioxidants and are capable of preventing oxidative damage. By taking vitamin and mineral supplements, you ensure your body has the required tools to produce antioxidant enzymes and neutralize free-radicals.

    Join the Raw Food Revolution