I am going to explain the truth about vitamins and the fact that most of us aren’t having enough, which will be having a contribution towards ill health. I will also explain what each vitamin does, you can use this to notice symptoms within yourselves and then maybe consider supplementing with a vitamin or mineral. Vitamins are organic micro-nutrients that act like a spark plug in the body to keep us functioning well or “tuned up” these are needed for growth, vitality, resistance to disease and healthy ageing.
Supplementation of these doesn’t fix issues overnight, vitamins fill our deepest nutritional gaps and the fixes and regenerations can take as long as the health decline did in the first place.
Every recent study since the 1980s has concluded that even though people believe that they are eating a well balanced diet they are often well below the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamins and minerals. If you then consider that the RDAs are well outdated and are just set to reduce the chances of classic wartime diseases like rickets and scurvy and definitely not set for optimum health.
A classic example is Vit D (also a hormone) made in the skin with the presence of sunlight with a RDA of 5mcg which might be enough to prevent rickets but 10x less than what people actually need for good health …50mcg. The upper amount confers to the lowest risk of heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. Interestingly Vit D is linked to good health, better mood, happiness and increased libido.
To increase Vit D just get some more sun, especially between 12-3pm in the summer months or a couple of short 4 minute blasts on a sunbed twice weekly. Take vit D & A together or as part of a multi vitamin if you are supplementing, people with depression in the winter months should consider an increase to vit D.
People ask or tell me all the time, “Do we get enough micronutrients (vitamins) from our food?.... NO,NO,NO we don’t.
Perhaps it’s the fact that we have poisoned our agricultural land with chemicals for decades to ensure a constant yield of fruit, vegetables and salad, this in turn has robbed the soil of nutrients which cannot be passed onto the end product which ends up on our table (or lap in front of the TV).
An example of this is Vitamin C, which is essential for our immune system, collagen and bone formation, stress and repair of our arterial walls.
To have a protective roll against disease we would need to eat 22 oranges per day or 1 gram of vitamin C (16 x the RDA).
The UK health service released a statement saying “if you are not under 5 or pregnant and use vitamin pills the chances are you are wasting your money” again another example of our health service providing all of the wrong advice without scientific backing.
Think of that last UK health service advice and then think about this next statement: a recent study suggests that taking 1 gram of vitamin C (16x the RDA) equates to a 62% reduced risk of diabetes, a 39% reduced risk of dying from Cancer and a 20% reduced risk of early mortality.
So taking all of that into account and the fact taking excess vit C is safe, why not take some extra vitamin C each day? It’s a no brainer really!
Hopefully you are all getting the picture: we need to supplement with pills and powders and increase the RDA to be in optimum health, especially if we feel tired, moody, low energy, low libido, foggy minded, weak, unmotivated as these are all indicators that we are missing something.
I have previously mentioned vitamin D & C, so below is a list of the remainder and what they do for us including symptoms of a vitamin deficit.
Essential for reproduction, skin health, Cancer prevention and vision, natural vitamin A from fish oils has been proven to assist with certain visual issues.
B1 (Thiamine) aka the “Morale Vitamin”
Beneficial effects on the nervous system and mental attitude.
Deficiency can result in poor sleep, memory issues and general fatigue.
Commonly deficient within the American diet and because we seem to follow the US with food trends this is something to consider. B2 is needed for energy production, metabolism and promotes healthy skin.
Deficiency can result in ulcers, coronary heart disease, hypothyroidism and alcoholism
Needed for sex hormone, digestion, and cholesterol metabolism. Niacin can rapidly open up circulation and flush the system, can be very powerful for individuals with poor circulation.
Deficiency can result in headaches, negativity, and depression and can positively relieve symptoms such as acne, and diarrhoea.
B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Antioxidant vital to adrenal function and defends against stress, works well in conjunction with vit C for stress.
Deficiency can lead anemia, fatigue and muscle cramps.
Essential for blood cell regeneration, amino acid/protein metabolism needed for muscle growth. A primary immune stimulant and having particular positive effects against liver Cancer.
Deficiency can resulst in anemia, depression, nervousness, lethargy and skin lesions.
A known anti-inflammatory and analgesic a primary part of DNA synthesis and red blood cell formation. Often the most important vitamin for energy, anti fatigue and vitality, vegetarians are often missing this which could explain why they always so miserable.(little joke there).
Don’t be deficient B12 as it will likely result in you feeling run down all the time, degenerative nervous system (unhappiness), dizziness, and heart palpitations. Good sources are cheese, poultry, fish, organ meats and eggs.
An important factor of DNA reproduction, blood health and enzyme production, needed for the production of new cells. Important in pregnancy for the above reasons. Effective uses after chemotherapy for the autoimmune depression state,
Deficiencies can lead to absorbs ion issues such as Crohns disease and sprue.
An active fat soluble anti-oxidant and immune stimulant, effective as an anticoagulant and vasodilator which helps prevent and reduce blood clots and heart disease. Can also help with skin health and baldness.
Deficencies can lead to muscle and nerve degeneration, anemia and skin pigmentation.
Vitamin K is made by bacteria in the gut, so individuals with poor gut health can have deficiencies here. Necessary for blood clotting including reducing heavy menstruation and can help for cirrhosis and liver jaundice.
In summary we need these micronutrients to be in balance and if they are not it might leave you feeling like rubbish or worse very ill, you might end up going to your GP with the symptoms and be put on a course of anti depressants or worse when really the issue is your B complex, Vit D and Folic acid are very low. Remember that when you rebalance your body’s vitamins you don’t feel great immediately as it can take months for everything to start working properly again.
I would recommend getting your vitamin/mineral levels tested whilst remembering that you should actually be 10x or more above the RDA and then supplement accordingly and then waiting a few months to allow your body the time to rebalance and function well again.
For advice on your nutritional health or anything health related please get in touch.
Glenn Hill is a Twice Nationally Award Shortlisted Health Coach & Personal Trainer
He is a ex Army Engineer Para & Physical training Instructor
Currently working out of Pulse Gymnasium in Birtley & mobile around the North East