Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What Do Vitamins and Minerals Do For You?

Vitamins and minerals are necessary for good health. They build up your immune system, increase your energy level, enhance your appearance, expand your intelligence and more.

MAGNESIUM is needed for protein, fatty acid and bone formation. Magnesium is also used in making new cells, in relaxing muscles and in the clotting of blood. It helps form ATP, which gives us energy. It helps prevent muscle spasm, heart attacks and heart disease. It aids in lowering blood pressure and eases asthma. It also helps to prevent osteoporosis and regulate the colon and bowels. Symptoms of Deficiency: nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness and twitches, irregular heartbeat, leg cramps, insomnia, eye twitches, constipation, headaches and coronary spasms. Fifty-six percent of Americans are deficient of this nutrient.

CALCIUM About ninety-nine percent of your calcium resides in your bones and teeth. The remaining one percent circulates in your blood and carries out the critical function of regulating muscle contraction, heart contraction and nerve function. Calcium gives you strong bones and prevents osteoporosis. It even lowers blood pressure and can decrease your risk of colon cancer. Symptoms of Deficiency: Calcium deficiencies can result in leg cramps, muscle cramps and hemorrhage, since it is essential to blood clotting. If you do not consume enough dietary calcium, your body will eventually cannibalize the calcium from the bones to maintain calcium levels in the blood. This leads to porous bones and osteoporosis. Seventy-five percent of Americans are deficient of this nutrient.

VITAMIN A This vital nutrient protects against cancer, heart disease, prevents night blindness and other eye problems. It helps the skin repair itself and helps the formation of bones and teeth. Vitamin A is important for the immune system, protecting against colds, the flu, and infections of the kidneys, bladder, lungs and mucus membranes. Symptoms of Deficiency: Lack of vitamin A in your body can cause dry hair and skin, dry eyes, poor growth, frequent colds, skin disorders, sinusitis, insomnia, fatigue and respiratory infections. Forty-four percent of Americans are deficient of this nutrient.

VITAMIN C helps maintain and give structure to bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. It also plays a role in wound healing. Symptoms of Deficiency: Vitamin C deficiency causes weakness, fatigue, swollen gums, nosebleeds, and in extreme cases, scurvy. It is also reported to reduce the risk of cataracts and retinal damage, increase immune function and decrease heavy metal toxicity. Increased intake of vitamin C is linked to a reduced risk of cancer of the cervix, stomach, colon and lungs. It also contributes to the reduction of plaque buildup in the arteries and supports healthy blood pressure. Thirty-one percent of Americans are deficient of this nutrient.

VITAMIN K is important in blood clotting, bone mineralization and helping regulate cellular growth. Vitamin K has been shown to be supportive in preventing calcification or hardening in the arteries. It also lowers the incidence of kidney stones. Symptoms of Deficiency: Deficiency is associated with easy bruising and bleeding and increased risk of osteoporosis. Seventy-three percent of Americans are deficient of this nutrient.

POTASSIUM This mineral helps muscles contract, maintain fluid balance, sends nerve impulses and releases energy from food. Potassium is needed to regulate blood pressure, neuromuscular function and levels of acidity. It helps regulate fluids in and out of the cells of your body. Symptoms of Deficiency: Low potassium intake is associated with high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, wheezing and asthma, weakness, nausea, insomnia and fatigue. Less than five percent of the population gets an adequate intake of potassium.

DIETARY FIBER Dietary fiber helps to prevent gallstones, control irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and almost any intestinal disorder. It also helps to control cholesterol, blood sugar and prevent colon cancer. Studies show that ninety-six percent of Americans do not have an adequate intake of fiber.

"The Seven Pillars of Health"

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