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Vitamin B12

In l948, scientists were successful in identifying a nutritional substance in calf’s liver that could prevent pernicious anemia, a potentially deadly disorder that mainly affects older adults. The compound—vitamin Bl2 (or cobalamin)—turned out to be the last vitamin to be discovered.

Vitamin B Complex

A high-quality vitamin B complex supplement will provide, in one convenient pill, a full range of B vitamins, including biotin, choline, folic acid, inositol, PABA (para-aminobenzoic acid), and the six “numbered” B vitamins–vitamin B-1 (thiamin), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin), B-5 (pantothenic acid), B-6 (pyridoxine), and B-12 (cobalamin). Combination products can simplify the process of taking individual B vitamins for a range of ailments including alcoholism, depression, diabetes, hair problems, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and stress.

Vitamin A

This famed vision-enhancing nutrient was isolated in 1930, the first fat-soluble vitamin to be discovered. The body acquires some of its vitamin A through animal fats. The rest it synthesizes in the intestines from the beta-carotene and other carotenoids abundant in many fruits and vegetables.

Vinpocetine

Vinpocetine is a derivative of an extract taken from the lesser periwinkle plant (Vinca minor), an evergreen undershrub. The shrub is native to Europe, where it has been been under examination since the 1950s for boosting stroke- and age-related decline in brain function. Only recently has vinpocetine become available in the United States, and not as a prescription drug like in Europe, but as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.

Valerian

For centuries, the tall perennial herb with pinkish flowers known as valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has been enlisted to help restless insomniacs get a sound night’s sleep. Today this mild, nonaddictive sedative is quite popular both as a sleep aid and as an anxiety fighter, particularly in Germany, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. And in recent years its popularity has grown enormously in the United States as well.

Pantothenic Acid (B5)

Also known as vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is essential for a number of basic bodily functions–from growth to reproduction. It participates in the continual breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from food, converting them into compounds the body can use. This vitamin also produces numerous enzymes and helps maintain precise communication between the central nervous system and the brain.

Yeast Infections (Vaginal)

I really doubt if the women in our grandmother’s time, or before, experienced the same trouble with yeast infections that we do. Truly, we’ve set the stage for yeast to flourish in our vaginas in ways unknown to earlier generations. We overuse broad-spectrum antibiotics, each of us eats 120 pounds of sugar every year (!), we’re on birth control pills, and we all face too many day-in and day-out stresses. The end result? By the time we’re in menopause, 75% of us will have had one or more yeast infections. These are typically episodes in which a yeast known as candida albicans–normally a harmless fellow-traveler in our vaginas–takes over. And the tell-tale symptoms of itching, burning, and a cottage cheese-like discharge make life really unpleasant for a few days.

Varicose Veins

Undeniably, heredity plays a role in varicose veins, those decidedly unattractive blue ropey knots (or squiggly red lines) you’re certain are distracting everyone from your otherwise perfect legs. Although varicose veins are rarely a serious medical problem, they can be quite uncomfortable and even painful if inflamed. Conventional medicine now offers a variety of minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedures that have virtually eliminated the more extensive surgery required in the past.

All Your Vegetables Soup

Click here for the Health Tip link. The Triple Whammy Food Plan focuses on eating a wide variety of nutrient-packed fruits and veggies. Carbohydrate timing using complex carbs is at the heart of eating the Triple Whammy way, to help your body generate feel-good serotonin all day, keeping energy and mood up. Read more in […]

Flu Shot: Do I Need One?

Posted 09/23/2008 The quick answer is, probably yes. Influenza (Italian: influence, a reference to the fact that the disease has always occurred in recognizable epidemics) makes its appearance virtually every winter and may last as long as spring. The biggest believers in flu immunization are those who’ve been through one bad flu episode. No one […]