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Health news:
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution


December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects


November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet


October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women


September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?


August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?


July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives


June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's


May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains


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Vitamins and health

Vitamins are complex organic (carbon-containing) substances, with zero caloric value and no appreciable weight in the body. Nevertheless, the body cannot function without them: they are necessary to support growth and maintain health. The main mechanism of the biological function of vitamins is as a part of body enzymes. Vitamins act as coenzymes which, attached to a protein molecule, form enzymes. They are necessary for the metabolism of nutrients, cellular function, bone and tissue formation and regeneration, glandular, neural and hormonal function - in short, for life.

With a few partial exceptions, the body cannot synthesize vitamins on its own, and depends on dietary intake or supplementation. There are 13 vitamins among essential nutrients; A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E and K. Four of them are fat-soluble (A, D, E and K), and rest of them water-soluble (C and B-complex). There are also at least several other vitamins that are not considered essential, and are classified as accessory nutrients (inositol, choline, PABA, pangamic acid and bioflavonoids).

Excess amounts of most water-soluble vitamins (B12 being one exception) are being excreted daily, thus they require regular daily intake for optimum health. They are also generally more fragile, easily destroyed by heat and air (oxidation), and lost to a greater degree during food processing and preparation.

Fat-soluble vitamins require presence of dietary fats, or bile salts, for absorption. They are, in general, stored by the body and don't have to be supplied as continuously as water-soluble vitamins. At the same time, they accumulate in the body more easily, which makes them generally more toxic when taken in excess.

Vitamins, as all other nutrients, need to be present in the body at a near-optimum level. The excess - especially in the form of individual vitamin excesses - can be as detrimental to health as deficiency. Thus the optimum diet needs to provide sufficient and balanced intake of all vitamins, preferably from food. This, however, may not be sufficient; supplementation is usually necessary to achieve their optimum intake.

Vitamin supplementation

Food and Nutrition Board's Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI), which replaced the old RDA (Recommended Daily Allowances), gives what amounts to a reference point for health-supporting intake of nutrients, including vitamins. These intake levels are given for all age groups, the two genders, as well as for pregnancy and lactation.

One needs to keep in mind, though, that those values are based on the average levels of nutrients found in individuals that appear healthy. Thus the DRI values should be looked at as the average intake levels of nutrients needed to prevent short-term signs of deficiency - not necessarily their optimum long-term levels.

Your current individual need for any nutrient - including vitamins - can vary significantly from the DRI value, depending on your health condition, lifestyle, nutritional imbalance, intake of medications, herbal and other preparations, and so on. In general, your optimum vitamin intake is likely to be higher than DRI values, not seldom significantly.

While a broad, balanced nutritional supplementation that includes vitamins is beneficial, it is unlikely to correct serious nutritional imbalances, or ailments and diseases resulting from them. It requires supplementation tailored to your specific nutritional profile, obtained from appropriate lab tests. R