"helping you make the
most of life... naturally"
Search for Products

Vitamins

Vitamins

Vitamins are complex organic (carbon-based) chemicals that are necessary for health. Vitamins are “essential nutrients”, meaning that we cannot make them by ourselves but must obtain them directly from the food we eat. Vitamins are used by the body to carry out important biochemical reactions. If we do not have adequate amounts of vitamins our health may suffer.

Since World War 2, government agencies have estimated the amount of specific vitamins and minerals that are necessary for health in the general population. These recommendations have come under various names like the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA – USA), Daily Recommended Intake (DRI – USA), or the Recommended Daily Amounts (RDA – EU). These recommended values are intended as guidelines for the population as a whole and not for individual health. Also, these amounts are intended to prevent deficiency diseases not promote optimal health. It is helpful to think of the RDAs as the nutritional equivalent of the minimum wage. It is not helpful to think of the RDA’s as optimal levels of nutrients for a specific individual, but if you are not getting at least the RDA for specific nutrients, you are inviting trouble. More than 90% of UK residents do NOT get the RDA for at least one vitamin or mineral.

There are currently 13 vitamins that have official EU recommended daily amounts. They are grouped into six families based on their functions within the body, specifically the families A, B, C, D, E, and K.

Vitamin
RDA
Functions
Best Whole Foods
A
Retinol, Carotenes
800mcg
Healthy skin, hair and mucous membranes; night vision; bone and tooth growth, cell division
Liver, orange-yellow fruits & vegetables, green leafy vegetables, fatty fish
B1
Thiamin
1.4mg
Helps the body release energy from food; Nerve and muscle function
Sunflower seeds, nuts, pulses, whole grains
B2
Riboflavin
6mg
Helps the body release energy from food
Liver, almonds, milk, cheese, eggs
B3
Niacin
8mg
Helps the body release energy from food
Peanuts, liver, poultry, fish, meats, eggs
B5
Pantothenic Acid
6mg
Forms Co A – helps the body release energy from food; Stress response
Liver, meats, peanuts, legumes, pulses, seeds
B6
Pyridoxine
2mg
Helps maintain blood sugar and promotes detoxification
Sunflower seeds, liver, fish, meat, pulses, nuts, bananas
B7
Biotin
150mcg
Metabolism of fats and carbohydrates
Liver, nuts, leafy greens, egg yolk, barley
B9
Folic Acid
300mcg
Methylation, synthesis of DNA, RNA, and cell division
Liver, pulses, leafy greens (best raw), nuts
B12
Cobalamin
2mcg
Methylation, synthesis of DNA, RNA, and cell division
Liver, meat, shellfish, fish, egg yolk, cheese
C
Ascorbic Acid
60mg
Synthesis of connective tissue: bones, ligaments, tendons, teeth & gums
Citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, peppers, leafy greens, broccoli
D
Cholecalciferol
5mcg
Bone health (calcium absorption); Immune function
Sunlight on skin, fatty fish, eggs, sunflower seeds, butter
E
Tocopherol
10mg
Antioxidant for fats and membranes
Sunflower seeds, nuts, unrefined vegetable oil
K
Phylloquinone
75mcg
Blood clotting
Leafy greens, broccoli, fruits & vegetables

Sources: The European Food Information Council at www.eufic.org and The Linus Pauling Institute at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/