Vitamins are often classified according to their solubility. Most of them dissolve in water and are called water-soluble vitamins. On the contrary, there are only four fat-soluble vitamins because they dissolve in oil.
The B vitamins are soluble in water and are found through the diet. They are the following:
Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins are generally not stored in the body. For this reason, you should try to obtain them regularly through diet.
Discover the guide to the 8 water-soluble complex vitamins , how they work, dietary sources, the recommended intake and their possible side effects.
Like other B vitamins, thiamine serves as a coenzyme in the body. Coenzymes are small compounds that help enzymes trigger chemical reactions that would not otherwise occur on their own. It helps convert nutrients into energy and sugar formation.
Functions of Thiamine
The richest dietary sources of thiamine include nuts, seeds, whole grains, liver and pork. In contrast, fruits, vegetables and dairy products generally do not provide much thiamine.
The recommended daily intake ranges from 1 to 1.2 milligrams (mg) for adults.
Deficiency is rare, but high blood sugar can increase the elimination of thiamine through urine, raising the risk of deficiency. In fact, thiamine levels can be reduced by 75-76% in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
People with alcohol problems also have a higher risk of lacking this type of vitamin. There are no reports of adverse effects from ingesting high amounts of thiamine from food or supplements.
Riboflavin is the only water-soluble vitamin used as a food coloring. It is involved in the conversion of nutrients into energy. It is also necessary for the conversion of vitamin B6 to its active form, and in the transformation of tryptophan into niacin.
Good sources of riboflavin include eggs, broccoli, milk, legumes, mushrooms and meat. Also the yeast extract is exceptionally rich in riboflavin. The intake for adults ranges from 1 to 1.3 milligrams.
The riboflavin deficiency is rare in developed countries. However, a poor diet, old age, lung diseases and alcoholism can increase the risk.
The deficiency can cause a condition known as arriboflavinosis, a condition characterized by sore throat, swollen tongue, anemia and skin problems. On the other hand, the high intake of riboflavin through the diet or with supplements has no known effects.
From what sources can we obtain Riboflavin
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is the only vitamin B that the body can produce from another nutrient, the amino acid tryptophan. It plays an essential role in cellular function and acts as an antioxidant.
Another important function is to boost a metabolic process known as glycolysis, the extraction of energy from glucose.
Niacin is found in both plants and animals. The yeast extract is rich in niacin, providing about 128 mg per 100 grams. Other sources include fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products and mushrooms.
Scientists have estimated that 60 mg of tryptophan can be used to create 1 mg of niacin. A daily intake of 30 mg is recommended for adults.
Niacin deficiency is known as pellagra , and is rare in developed countries. The main symptoms include skin inflammation, diarrhea, insomnia and dementia.
Niacin of natural origin from food does not seem to have any adverse effects. However, high doses can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach irritation, insulin resistance and liver damage.
It is required for the formation of coenzyme A, necessary for the synthesis of fatty acids, amino acids and neurotransmitters.
It is found in the extract of yeast, kidneys, chicken, veal, grains, broccoli and egg yolk. An intake of 5 mg per day is recommended for adults.
This vitamin is so widespread in food that its lack is practically unknown. However, its lack can cause irritability, sleep disturbances, restlessness and digestive problems. It does not seem to have any adverse effect at high doses.
Vitamin B6 is a group of nutrients necessary for the synthesis of pyridoxal phosphate , a coenzyme involved in more than 100 different metabolic processes.
It is involved in the formation of red blood cells, as well as in the energy and amino acid metabolism. It is also required for the release of glucose from glycogen, the molecule that the body uses to store carbohydrates.
It is present in a wide variety of foods such as tuna, pork, turkey, bananas, chickpeas and potatoes. Its availability is greater in foods of animal origin. A daily intake of 80 to 100 mg in adults is suggested.
The vitamin B6 deficiency is rare, but people with alcohol problems are at greatest risk. The main symptoms are anemia, rashes, convulsions, confusion and depression.
Vitamin B6 in food does not seem to have any adverse effects. However, very large doses are related to damage of the sensory nerve and skin lesions.
Symptoms of deficiency of water-soluble vitamins
It is required for carboxylases , enzymes involved in several fundamental metabolic processes. For example, biotin plays an essential role in the synthesis of fatty acids, the formation of glucose and the metabolism of amino acids.
The foods rich in animal biotin include organ meats, fish, meat, egg yolk and dairy products. It can also be found in legumes, green vegetables, cauliflower, mushrooms and nuts.
The gut microbiota also produces small amounts of biotin. A daily intake of 30 micrograms (mcg) per day in adults is recommended.
Deficiency is relatively uncommon. The risk is higher in babies fed formula low in biotin and people taking antiepileptic drugs.
Untreated deficiency can cause neurological symptoms, mental retardation and loss of muscle coordination. It has no known adverse effects and the tolerable upper limit has not been established.
Folate acts as a coenzyme and is essential for cell growth, the formation of DNA and the metabolism of amino acids. It is very important during periods of rapid cell division and growth, such as in childhood and pregnancy. In addition, it is required for the formation of red and white blood cells, so that its deficiency can cause anemia.
The best sources of folate include green leafy vegetables, legumes, sunflower seeds and asparagus. The yeast extract can provide around 3,786 mcg per 100 grams.
A daily intake of 1000 mcg of folate in adults is recommended.
Folate deficiency is rare, but anemia is one of the classic symptoms of a lack of vitamin B9. It can also lead to congenital defects of the brain and neural tube.
No serious adverse effects of high intake of vitamin B9 have been reported, but at high doses it can mask vitamin B12 deficiency.
It is the only vitamin that contains a metallic element, cobalt.
Adequate intake helps maintain the function and development of the brain and the production of red blood cells. It is also necessary to convert proteins and fats into energy.
Foods of animal origin are practically the only dietary sources of vitamin B12. These include meat, dairy products, seafood and eggs. It is recommended that adults consume 2.4 mcg per day.
Those who are most at risk of deficiency are those who never or rarely consume foods of animal origin, such as vegetarians and vegans. It can also develop in older people.
The deficiency can cause various health problems, such as anemia, loss of appetite, neurological problems and dementia. On the other hand, no adverse effects have been related to high intakes of vitamin B12 in healthy people.
Related Wiki Article: B-complex vitamins benefits
Taking seaweed in the form of a supplement is not common, but it is interesting, since they consist of plant compounds that do not come from the land, but from the sea, specifically from seaweeds, many of which have a great variety of very fresh compounds. And unique in them.
For example, chlorella is an alga commonly used as a supplement for the purpose of improving overall health. It is one of the most popular seaweed supplements along with spirulina.
Some say it can improve immunity, intestinal health and eliminate toxins from the body. Others simply see it as something green that people buy. So, what is behind this supplement?
Discover the definitive guide to chlorella, especially why people take it and whether it is safe or not for health.
Chlorella is undoubtedly the prototype of the green supplement. With this, it is referred to that people get attention because it is labeled healthy.
Most of the arguments for chlorella focus on its nutrient content. Although it is very variable depending on the growth conditions of the plant, in general it tends to be quite high in proteins, minerals such as magnesium and chlorophyll.
Despite its high content of protein and magnesium, people also supplement with chlorella in order to increase immunity, detoxify the body, help the liver, lose weight and, in general, improve health.
Chlorella is commonly known to be a detoxifying agent, and is found in shakes and supplements within the diet detoxification programs.
As a general rule, it is known that chlorella binds to minerals. There are many studies in animals that show benefits such as a lower accumulation of heavy metals or a greater elimination of them from the body.
Chlorella can also eliminate dioxins that, at least once, have been reproduced in women who are breastfeeding. It also seems to be good for eliminating fat-soluble toxins. However, the human evidence of the effectiveness of chlorella is limited, but it shows its ability to eliminate some carcinogens from the body.
Ultimately, chlorella is a convenient and relatively dense source of chlorophyll, and it can have a chelating role for many toxins, eliminating them from the body.
The effects of chlorella on immunity have repeated studies showing similar benefits. Specifically, immunoglobulin A (IgA) has been studied; a mediator of the immune system that can be measured in saliva and is thought to reflect the body’s ability to fight infections. As a general rule, more IgA involves having an immune function.
In this way, chlorella seems to be promising to improve the immune system, but it does not seem to be too powerful.
There is a study in which the percentage of body fat was measured, and showed that a slight reduction in body fat was associated with chlorella. However, the study was limited to comparing a group of high-risk youth versus low-risk youth who took the supplement, and not how it worked when compared to a placebo. Therefore, there is no study that links chlorella to weight loss.
The antidepressant effects deserve to be mentioned, because there is at least one pilot study showing advantages associated with chlorella.
In this study, 1800 milligrams daily of chlorella reduced the symptoms of depressive disorder compared to a placebo. However, it should be noted that the why and how chlorella acts was not developed.
Technically, this kind of supplement has some tests to reduce depression. And it is possible that this effect is applied to any antioxidant, but more evidence is needed to confirm this effect.
Human studies on chlorella are quite preliminary at this time and there does not seem to be the best dosage. However, around 1800 mg has been the dose used successfully.
It is not clear if you can really expect benefits with chlorella, at least in the short term. And it does not seem to have any important acute benefit that is remarkable.
In the long term, you can feel better mood and better digestion. But ultimately, that is something that happens when you have healthy habits, and there are many ways to do it.
According to human evidence, it does not seem to have any side effects. The gastrointestinal effects, such as nausea, cramps and diarrhea, are totally possible if not digested well.
The best form is one that openly shows on its label the components that make up a good chlorella.
Estimates of what really exists vary so much from one source to another, that it is almost impossible to determine their actual composition. The idea is to prefer the species of chlorella used in studies such as chlorella vulgaris. Also chlorella pyrenoidosa , used with similar success. Other species have not been tested.
Related Wiki Article: Health Benefits Of Chlorella
Laetrile is often mistakenly called amygdala or vitamin B17. It consists rather of a medicine that contains purified tonsil, a compound found in the seeds or grains of many fruits.
Laetrile is the name of a medicine created in 1952, and is found naturally in the following foods:
It was a very popular cancer treatment in the 1970s. However, it was banned after science deemed it ineffective. Interestingly, there is some evidence that it could provide some health benefits.
Learn all about laetrile supplementation in order to know if it should be consumed.
Is it convenient to consume laetrile?
The body breaks down laetrile into three compounds: hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde and prunasin.
Hydrogen cyanide seems to be the main compound responsible for its health benefits. Certain enzymes in the body convert hydrogen cyanide into a less toxic molecule called thiocyanate. This molecule was previously used to treat blood pressure, as it can dilate blood vessels.
There are several possible theories about how the laetrile can fight cancer, although these theories are not confirmed.
Two theories claim that cancer cells are rich in enzymes that convert laetrile into cyanide. This means that cancer cells can break down laetrile and eliminate cancer. However, until now there is no evidence that these cells contain the enzymes that help convert laetrile into cyanide.
Another theory suggests that cancer is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B17. However, no evidence shows that amygdalin is actually a vitamin or that it cannot be found naturally in the body.
Most research on laetrile focuses on its effect on cancer. Some studies have found that amygdalin, the natural form of laetrile, can have other benefits, such as the following:
One study found that it is able to decrease systolic blood pressure (upper value) by 28% and diastolic blood pressure (lower value) by 25%. These effects were enhanced when taking vitamin C.
3.2 Can relieve pain
Several animal studies show that the Laetrile can relieve pain caused by inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. However, there is a lack of evidence based on people.
One study found that Laetrile improved the ability of immune cells to attach to prostate cancer cells. However, more studies should be conducted to support the health benefits before recommendations can be made applicable to the entire clinical population.
Vitamin B17 is often mislabeled as Laetrile. Actually, it is a patented drug that was invented by Dr. Ernst T. Krebs, Jr. in 1952.
During the 1970s, Dr. Krebs falsely claimed that all cancers are caused by a vitamin deficiency. He also claimed that laetrile was the missing vitamin in cancer, which he later named vitamin B17.
He probably labeled it as vitamin B17 to be classified as a nutritional supplement, rather than a medication.
In two animal studies, scientists treated a variety of cancers with laetrile alone or in combination with an enzyme that helps activate it. In both studies, the animals did not show any improvement after being treated with said substance.
Currently, only two studies have examined the effects of laetrile on cancer in people, although none compared it with a placebo treatment. Therefore, it is not clear if taking laetrile is better than not receiving any treatment.
In one study, 178 people with cancer were treated with laetrile. The scientists discovered that it did not have a significant effect on cancer. In fact, some people experienced cyanide poisoning.
In general, the evidence shows that taking laetrile is ineffective in the treatment of cancer. It is also very dangerous, as it has the potential to be highly toxic.
Most of the following side effects are caused by excess hydrogen cyanide in the body.
The side effects, in addition, can be aggravated due to the following reasons:
Research shows that vitamin C can interact with laetrile and increase its toxic effects. Vitamin C accelerates the conversion of laetrile to hydrogen cyanide. It also depletes the body’s cysteine reserves, an amino acid that helps the body detoxify from hydrogen cyanide.
Recommended Article: Benefits Of B17
Vitamin C cannot be produced by the body. However, it has many roles in the body that have been linked to impressive health benefits.
This vitamin is soluble in water and is found in many fruits and vegetables such as oranges, strawberries, kiwis, peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 milligrams (mg) for women and 90 mg for men. Although it is commonly recommended to get your food intake, many people turn to supplements to meet their needs.
Therefore, know 6 benefits proven by the science of taking a vitamin C supplement to boost and improve your health day by day.
The Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant that can strengthen the natural defenses of your body. Antioxidants are molecules that stimulate the immune system by protecting the cells from those harmful molecules called free radicals.
When free radicals accumulate, they can promote a state known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases.
Studies indicate that consuming this type of supplement can increase the levels of antioxidants in the blood by up to 30%, which will help the body to fight inflammation.
The high blood pressure is a risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. Studies show that vitamin C can reduce blood pressure in those with and without high blood pressure.
An animal study found that taking a vitamin C supplement helped relax heart vessels, which reduced blood pressure levels. In addition, an analysis of 29 studies in people found that taking vitamin C lowered systolic blood pressure (upper value) by 3.84 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (lower value) by 1.48 mmHg in healthy adults.
Although the results are encouraging, it is not clear if the effect on blood pressure is long-term. In addition, it should be noted that people with high blood pressure should not depend on vitamin C as the only treatment.
The drop is a type of arthritis that affects approximately 4% of American adults. It manifests with inflammation of the joints, especially in the thumbs of the feet.
People with gout experience swelling and sudden, severe attacks of pain. Symptoms appear when there is too much uric acid in the blood. This kind of acid is a waste product produced by the body, and at high levels it can crystallize and deposit in the joints.
Several studies have shown that vitamin C helps reduce uric acid in the blood and, as a result, protects against gout attacks. A study of 1,387 men found that people who consumed the most vitamin C had significantly lower levels of uric acid than those who did not. In addition, another analysis of 13 clinical studies found that taking a vitamin C supplement for 30 days significantly reduced uric acid in the blood, compared with a placebo.
Although there is evidence of the strong link between the intake of vitamin C and the level of uric acid, more studies would be needed on its effects in the prevention of gout.
Iron is an important nutrient for the body and has a variety of vital functions. It is necessary to produce red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body.
Interestingly, vitamin C can improve the absorption of iron from the diet. Specifically, it helps convert low-absorbed iron (such as iron sources of plant origin) into a form that is easier to absorb. This is especially useful for people who follow a diet without meat, because this is an important source of iron.
In fact, the single consumption of 100 mg of vitamin C can improve iron absorption by 67%. As a result, vitamin C can reduce the risk of anemia among people prone to deficiency.
Therefore, if you suffer from low iron levels, then consuming more foods rich in vitamin C or a supplement can support you to improve your blood level.
One of the main reasons that lead people to take vitamin C is to increase their immunity, since vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which protect the body against infection. In the same way, it also helps these white blood cells work more effectively, while protecting them from free radical damage.
Vitamin C is an essential part of the skin’s defense system. It is actively transported to the skin where it can act as an antioxidant and strengthen the barriers of it. Studies have also shown that taking it can shorten the healing time of a wound.
Dementia is a broad term used to describe symptoms of poor thinking and memory. It affects more than 35 million people worldwide and generally occurs in older adults.
Studies suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation near the brain, spine and nerves may increase the risk of dementia. In this sense, vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, and its low level has been linked to a limited ability to think and remember. In addition, several studies have shown that people with dementia may have lower levels of vitamin C in their blood.
It has been pointed out that high intake from food or supplements have a protective effect on thinking and memory with age. Therefore, a vitamin C supplement is able to help in conditions such as dementia if you do not get enough vitamin C from the diet. However, more people-based studies would be needed to understand the impact of this supplement on the health of the nervous system.
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