Vitamin B2, also called Riboflavin, is an important vitamin that also acts as an antioxidant within the body. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, like all B vitamins, vitamin B2 must be obtained through a healthy diet and replenished often — ideally every day, in order to avoid vitamin B2 deficiency.
All B vitamins are used to help digest and extract energy from the foods you eat. They do this by converting nutrients from carbohydrates, fats and proteins into useable energy in the form of “ATP.” For this reason, vitamin B2 is needed for the functioning of every single cell within your body. That’s why vitamin B2 deficiency, or lack of riboflavin foods in your diet, can contribute to a number of serious side effects, including anemia, fatigue and a sluggish metabolism.
Vitamin B3, also called Niacin vitamin and niacinamide, is an important lipid-altering, water-soluble vitamin that can be found in many common foods, including certain types of meats and organ meats, tuna fish, seeds, mushrooms and more. Vitamin B3 is an important vitamin for maintaining a healthy heart and metabolism, plus aiding in the balance of blood cholesterol levels. In addition, Vitamin B3 helps with brain function, skin health and even preventing or treating diabetes. Niacin is an incredibly important water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in many aspects of health, from brain function to heart health and beyond. It’s also one of the few micronutrients frequently prescribed by physicians to treat health concerns like high cholesterol, skin conditions, schizophrenia and more — through both supplementation and niacin containing foods.
Vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine, is one of the vitamins included in the vitamin B complex family. All B vitamins, including vitamin B6, play an important role in a range of physical and psychological functions. However, they are most well-known for helping to maintain a healthy metabolism, supporting nerve and liver function, and promoting the health of the skin and eyes.
From producing red blood cells to converting food into fuel to boosting mood and immunity, the potential vitamin B6 benefits and the crucial ways that this water-soluble vitamin affects health are unparalleled. It works together with a range of other vitamins and minerals in the body to optimize nearly every aspect of health and supports the function of the liver, blood cells, skin, eyes, nervous system and beyond to keep you feeling your best.
Vitamin B9, also known as Folate or Folic acid, is an important water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in many aspects of health. It aids in cell division and helps make new cells by copying and creating DNA. It also helps the body use vitamin B12 as well as certain amino acids. A folate deficiency can have serious consequences, including fatigue, painful mouth sores, and even an increased risk of birth defects like heart problems, spina bifida and anencephaly. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that is found in most prenatal vitamins, supplements and fortified foods. Folic acid for pregnancy is often recommended by many doctors to help ensure that folate needs are met and to protect against pregnancy-related complications. Folate is also associated with improved cognitive function and protection against depression and Alzheimer’s disease. It may also help support strong bones, decrease symptoms of restless legs syndrome and promote the health of the nervous system.
Vitamin B-12 (methyl cobalamin) plays an essential role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA, the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information.
Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods, such as fortified breakfast cereals, and is available as an oral supplement.
Vitamin B12 deficiency, is believed to be one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world, especially among people taking stomach acid-altering medications and antibiotics frequently, along with the elderly and sometimes vegetarians and vegans. Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood disturbances.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant and plays a role in maintaining the body’s connective tissue. Vitamin C can also help protect your heart, repair and restore tissues, and boost the absorption of other nutrients in the body. A vitamin C deficiency can wreak havoc, causing symptoms like easy bruising, bleeding gums, fatigue, weakened immunity and, in severe cases, scurvy. In fact, around the 18th century, scurvy became a serious problem for the British navy. Vitamin C foods have long been recognized for their powerful health-promoting properties. In fact, these super nutritious fruits and vegetables are often considered staples in many forms of holistic medicine, including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is involved in bone health, immune function, cell growth and more. Experts believe we need it to defend against several chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Your body can produce vitamin D on its own when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It can also be obtained through several vitamin D food sources and supplements.
Magnesium Glycinate supplement is recommended if you have a condition that affects your magnesium levels, like diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Alcohol and medication use can also affect your levels. Research has found magnesium deficiencies to be present in approximately 50 percent of people in the United States.
Alpha lipoic acid (also called lipoic acid or thioctic acid) is an organosulfur compound found in the body and also synthesized by plants and animals. It’s present in every cell inside the body and helps turn glucose into “fuel” for the body to use for energy. What is it about foods like broccoli and spinach that make them so healthy? There are the fiber, vitamins and minerals, of course, but then there are other important chemical compounds we call “antioxidants,” too — including alpha lipoic acid (ALA).
Glutathione is a peptide consisting of three key amino acids that plays several vital roles in the body. Longevity researchers posit that it is so pivotal to our health that the level of glutathione in our cells is becoming a predictor of how long we will live. Coined “The Mother of All Antioxidants” by Mark Hyman, MD, glutathione remains one of the hottest topics in both natural health and medical circles today. Over 139,000 peer-reviewed scientific articles have addressed this powerhouse molecule, and experts are now recognizing that an alarming rate of people are deficient for a variety of reasons, including chronic stress, environmental toxins and excessive use of antibiotics. Glutathione is critical to many aspects of our health, including our immune system and longevity. Therefore, after learning the many benefits of glutathione, it’s worth learning how to naturally increase your levels.
L-cysteine is used therapeutically and nutritionally to improve the health of humans. It’s a basic building block of glutathione, which has been coined “the mother of all antioxidants.” L-cysteine supplementation, is valued for its ability to increase glutathione levels in the body, which is extremely important for lung function, brain function and liver detoxification. Because several health conditions deplete your glutathione levels, you need L-cysteine to make more within your brain and body tissues. L-cysteine is also valued for its ability to break up mucus, thereby making it easier to cough up phlegm that’s caused by respiratory and pulmonary conditions. Plus, L-cysteine is involved in regulating glutamate levels, influencing the neurons in the central nervous system. In a nutshell, we all need enough L-cysteine in order to properly fight oxidative stress and conditions affecting the brain and lungs.
L-Citrulline is an amino acid is integral to the urea cycle, which is a pathway that helps excrete ammonia out of the body through the urine. Like alanine, arginine and glycine, it’s considered non-essential, meaning your body can produce it on its own. This amino acid plays a key role in several processes within the body. For starters, it helps increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure by widening the arteries. It also acts similar to nitric oxide supplements to increase levels of nitric oxide in the body, which is a compound that acts as a vasodilator to relax the muscles in the blood vessels and promote circulation. This is because it’s converted into arginine, another amino acid that is used to produce nitric oxide in the body. Because of its ability to promote proper blood flow, it’s been linked to several possible health benefits. In particular, it is thought to decrease blood pressure, prevent erectile dysfunction and boost oxygen uptake to optimize exercise performance.
Methionine. Methionine provides an important role relating to the growth of new blood vessels. While the body produces it on its own, supplementing with methionine has been shown to help heal wounds and those experiencing Parkinson’s, drug withdrawal, schizophrenia, radiation, copper poisoning, asthma, allergies, alcoholism, liver damage and depression. The human body uses L methionine to make creatine, another type of amino acid. Additionally, L methionine contains sulfur, which is used by the body for healthy growth and metabolism, and it’s responsible for a compound known as s-adenosylmethionine or “SAM-e,” which supports the proper function of the immune system; neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and melatonin; and cell membranes.
Agmatine is a chemical found in bacteria, plants, and animals, including humans. It is made from the amino acid known as arginine. Agmatine is commonly used by mouth for depression, alcohol use disorder, Alzheimer disease, anxiety, nerve pain, and improving athletic performance, although more research is needed. Agmatine seems to help manage different chemicals and pathways in the brain. This might improve certain conditions of the brain and nervous system.
Berberine has been known to have many pharmacological effects, including antimicrobial, antitumor, anti-inflammatory and blood glucose-lowering capabilities. Extracts and supplements made from this compound, such as berberine HCL, are generally inexpensive, safe and well-known for their broad antibacterial activities. They may even be able to help naturally treat conditions without the use of antibiotics. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, these herbs have been used to naturally treat diabetes for centuries. This compound also has a long history of use for managing bacterial gastroenteritis, diarrhea and other digestive diseases. Alkaloids are defined as a class of organic compounds of plant origin containing mostly basic nitrogen atoms. Consuming them can have pronounced physiological actions on humans, especially pertaining to cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Pine bark extract, like pine oil, is one of nature’s super antioxidants. What gives pine bark extract its notoriety as a powerful ingredient and super antioxidant is that it’s loaded with oligomeric proanthocyanidin compounds, OPCs for short. The same ingredient can be found in grapeseed oil, the skin of peanuts and witch hazel bark. While OPCs found in this extract are mostly known for their antioxidant-producing benefits, these amazing compounds exude antibacterial, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties. Pine bark extract can help reduce muscle soreness and may help improve conditions relating to poor circulation, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, diabetes, ADHD, female reproductive issues, skin, erectile dysfunction, eye disease and sports stamina.
Phosphatidylcholine (PC) (sometimes called Choline) is a phospholipid that makes an important neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. It plays a role in memory, movement and metabolism and is used to reduce fat deposits in the liver and under the skin. It’s used to fight memory loss, reduce fat deposits and support metabolic health. The body uses choline to make acetylcholine, a brain chemical that plays a major role in the autonomic nervous system to regulate heart rate, blood vessel dilation, bodily secretions and more. Acetylcholine has been used in treatments for cognitive issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, manic depressive disorder and anxiety.
Horse chestnut was taken by people hoping to naturally cure joint pain, bladder and digestive issues, fever and leg cramps. While several of these issues have not been tested scientifically, there are some benefits to taking horse chestnut, most notably its ability to combat chronic venous insufficiency (a vascular condition), hemorrhoids and swelling after surgery. Other contemporary but untested uses of horse chestnut include enlarged prostate, menstrual pain and eczema. While many of these folk uses remain unproven, there are some little-known, but major, researched benefits of horse chestnut for health. These include a powerful antioxidant load; a potential male fertility aid; and preliminary evidence that horse chestnut extract may be able to kill some types of cancer cells.
Skullcap has been used as an alternative medicine to help reduce inflammation, provide relief from spasms, stimulate blood flow in the pelvic region, help eliminate headaches, reduce fever and induce relaxation. Additionally, it’s been thought to improve conditions such as epilepsy, insomnia, hysteria and anxiety. Chinese physicians are known to have used the root, called huang qin, for antibacterial purposes, as a diuretic, an antispasmodic and to help with bile flow. In Nepal, the plant is used as a folk remedy for the common cold, cuts and insect stings. Additionally, some homeopaths have indicated it as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and even epilepsy.
Beetroot provides a sudden boost of ascorbic acid, vitamin E, carotenes, phenolic acids and phytoestrogens to the body. This helps improve cardiac and immunity function. Beetroot also introduces a greater concentration of potassium than when eating the vegetable. Beetroot provides more nutritious value than consuming cooked beets because the heat reduces the nutrient content.
Beetroot juice is one of the best ways to detoxify the body — boosting the function of all bodily systems.
Piperine is a black pepper extract that’s a popular ingredient in weight loss supplements. It’s sometimes added in the form of Bioperine. It’s main function is to increase absorption of the primary ingredients. Black pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world. It’s also got a long history of use in medicinal roles. As a folk medicine, it’s been used to treat numerous maladies including fevers, rheumatism, muscle pain, and digestive problems, and migraine headaches.