Vitamin And Mineral Functions And Deficiency Signs

By Michael Biamonte, C.C.N.


Vitamin A
Essential for growth and maintenance of healthy skin, bones, teeth, hair, nails and eyes. Needed for proper functioning of the immune system. Involved in healing wounds. Important for health, reproductive and adrenal gland function. Involved in thyroxine formation.

Conditions that may be helped: PMS, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Prevents night blindness, irregular periods, fatigue, vaginal dryness, dry skin, endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, acne, Crohn’s disease, gastric ulcers.

Depleted by: Heat, processing foods, coffee, low-fat diet, ERT, alcohol, cortisone, mineral oil, fluorescent lights, lack of protein.

Deficiency signs: Night blindness, defective tooth enamel, retarded growth, impaired bone formation, decreased thyroxine formation.

Toxicity signs: May produce toxicity in large amounts. Nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, lack of coordination, loss of appetite, weakness, rash, itching, fatigue, weight loss, irritability.

Food sources: Dairy products, eggs, yellow and dark green vegetables and fruits such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli and cabbage; also fish oils, liver.

Herbal sources: Peppermint, alfalfa, raspberry, dandelion greens, kelp, cayenne, paprika, sage, black cohosh, rose hips.

Vitamin B complex
Important for healthy digestion, liver function, emotional stability, anxiety, hot flashes and the heart. Vitamin B complex is actually ten water soluble vitamins, not stored in the body, that have interrelated functions. B vitamins are useful for promoting liver function. If there are insufficient levels of Vitamin B complex, it affects estrogen levels.

Conditions that may be helped: High blood pressure and fatigue. Depleted by: Tobacco, sugar, alcohol, coffee, estrogen replacement therapy (ERT).

Food sources: Whole grains, liver, carrots, molasses, fruits, fish.

Herbal sources: Oatstraw, red clover, parsley.

The following is a list of the individual vitamins that are part of the B-complex family.

Vitamin B-1 (thiamine)
Essential for development and growth, a healthy nervous system, muscles, bones, blood vessels, teeth and gums. Helps with the absorption of iron, and improves appetite. Converts carbohydrate foods into energy. Normalizes metabolism of estrogen and other hormones. Involved in synthesis of fatty acids, acetylcholine and the nucleic acids RNA and DNA.

Conditions that may be helped: Depression, apathy, anxiety.

Depleted by: Excess sugar intake, stress, sulfa drugs, cigarettes, coffee, tea, alcohol, dieting, illness, surgery, ERT, heat.

Deficiency signs: Easily fatigued, loss of appetite, irritability, emotional instability, confusion, loss of memory, stomach pain, constipation.

Toxicity signs: Headaches and irritability.

Food sources: Wheat Germ, liver, whole grains, legumes, oatmeal, peanuts, brown rice, fish, beans, sunflower seeds.

Herbal sources: Alfalfa, burdock, catnip, briar rose buds, rose hips, peppermint, yellow dock, fenugreek, raspberry leaves, nettles.

Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)
Essential for transforming proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy. Needed for building tissues and protecting against skin, eye, nail and hair disorders. Aids in the formation of antibodies and helps prevent sensitivity to light in the eyes. Important for the synthesis of corticosteroid hormones, red blood cells, and the co-enzyme active forms of Vitamin B-6 and folic acid.

Conditions that may be helped: EEG abnormalities, eye problems.

Depleted by: Coffee, sulfa drugs, stress, ERT, sunlight, antibiotics, alcohol, junk foods.

Deficiency signs: Cracks and sores in the corners of the mouth, red, sore tongue, burning eyes, sensitivity to light, apathetic, dizzy, vaginal itching, oily skin.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity.

Food sources: Dairy products, liver, whole grains, green vegetables such as brussels sprouts, peas, nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, red meats, yogurt, chicken, brewers yeast, seaweed, spirulina.

Herbal sources: Alfalfa, fenugreek, rose hips, nettles, yellow dock, hops, peppermint, parsley, echinacea, ginseng.

Vitamin B-3 (niacin, niacinamide, nicotinamide, nicotinic acid)
Energy production for over 100 enzymes. Important for the conversion of food into energy. Improves circulation and reduces cholesterol. Essential for healthy skin, gums and digestive tissues. Aids nervous system function.

Conditions that may be helped: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Depleted by: Alcohol, coffee, stress, antibiotics, sugar, sulfa drugs, sleeping pills, ERT.

Deficiency signs: Muscular weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, indigestion, rashes, insomnia, bad breath, nausea, vomiting, recurring headaches, tender gums, deep depression.

Toxicity signs: When you first take niacin, you’ll experience what’s called a “niacin flush”: red face and upper body, itching, stomach upset. This reaction is not harmful, except perhaps in people with peptic ulcers or asthma. Chronic toxicity signs include liver damage, increased uric acid in blood and impaired glucose tolerance.

Food sources: Chicken, fish, peanuts, legumes, broccoli, squash seeds, cashews, peas, beans, avocado, brewer’s yeast, mushrooms, whole grains.

Herbal sources: Alfalfa, hops, raspberry leaf, red clover, echinacea, licorice, rose hips, parsley.

Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) Essential for the metabolism of food and release of energy for cellular function. Vital for formation and synthesis of hormones and support of the adrenal glands.

Conditions that may be helped: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Fatigue, restlessness, irritability, depression, neuritis, decreased coordination.

Deficiency signs: Deficiency is rare. Toxicity signs: Rare.

Food sources: Liver, eggs, nuts, legumes, whole grains.

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine)
Essential for metabolism of amino acids, healthy teeth, gums, red blood cells and nervous system. Regulates brain activity and growth. Aids in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and utilization of DNA and RNA needed for the process of cell reproduction. Important for metabolism of hormones and immune function.

Conditions that may be helped: PMS symptoms such as water retention and irritability. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Combats nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. Convulsions, depression, lack of muscle coordination, carpal tunnel syndrome.

Depleted by: Alcohol, coffee, stress, heat, sunlight, high protein diet, sugar, cortisone, penicillin, ERT.

Deficiency signs: Low blood sugar, hair loss, cracks around mouth and eyes, numbness and cramps in arms and legs, visual disturbances.

Toxicity signs: Losing sense of touch, numb feet, unsteady gait, loss of coordination.

Food sources: Chicken, fish, meat, whole grains, eggs, brown rice, liver, banana, sunflower seeds, alfalfa sprouts, wheat germ, prunes, avocado, grapes, peas.

Vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin)
Essential for healthy red blood cells, and proper functioning of all cells, bone marrow, nervous system and intestines. Involved in metabolism of food and synthesis of DNA and RNA.

Conditions that may be helped: Low blood sugar, difficulty with concentration, memory loss, depression, agitation, manic behavior, hallucinations, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, some forms of anemia.

Deficiency signs: Anemia, neuritis, fatigue, nerve damage, soreness or weakness of arms and legs, decreased sensory perception.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity.

Food sources: Dairy products, fish, liver, kidney, milk, meat.

One of the B-complex vitamins. Essential for metabolism of food: amino acids, fatty acids, and nucleic acid. Essential for chemical systems in the body.

Conditions that may be helped: Enhances the immune response for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and candida (yeast) infections. Seborrhea dermatitis, diabetes.

Deficiency signs: Depression, lassitude, sleepiness, skin disorders.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity. <br<>
Food sources: Liver, kidney beans, lima beans, dark green leafy vegetables.

Considered one of the B-complex vitamins. It functions with inositol as part of lecithin. Synthesis of phospholipids in the brain and nervous system. Precursor of acetylcholine; involved in nerve transmission. Prevents fats from building up in the liver; helps move fats into the cells. Also essential for healthy kidneys and gallbladder.

Conditions that may be helped: Atherosclerosis, hepatitis, high cholesterol, stroke, multiple sclerosis, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, asthma, eczema, alcoholism.

Depleted by: Too little protein in the diet.

Deficiency signs: Fatty deposits in the liver, heart trouble, bleeding stomach ulcers, bleeding kidneys, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries.

Toxicity signs: Long-term, high doses of choline may create a Vitamin B-6 deficiency.

Food sources: Liver, whole grains, soybeans, legumes, egg yolk, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ; also lecithin.

Folic acid (folacin)
Another member of the B-complex family. Involved in the synthesis of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, thus essential for growth and reproduction. Formation of healthy red blood cells. Stimulates production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and stimulates the appetite. Helps liver function and important for healthy brain function and mental well being.

Conditions that may be helped: Pernicious anemia, fatigue, heart disease, prevention of birth defects, adrenal exhaustion, baldness, atherosclerosis, diverticulitis, arthritis, psoriasis.

Depleted by: Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, stress, heat, sunlight, oxygen, sulfa drugs, ERT.

Deficiency signs: Graying hair, poor growth, swollen tongue, anemia, forgetfulness, sores at mouth corners.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity in most people.

Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, spinach, liver, meat, whole grains.

Herbal sources: Alfalfa, chickweed, sage, parsley, nettles.

A lipotropic nutrient that is part of B-complex, and similar to biotin and choline. Involved in phospholipid synthesis. Aids in nerve transmission and regulates enzyme activity.

Conditions that may be helped: Atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, schizophrenia, glaucoma, baldness, cirrhosis, asthma, insomnia.

Depleted by: Coffee.

Deficiency signs: Constipation, eczema, hair loss.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity.

Food sources: Fruits, grains, vegetables, nuts, legumes, organ meats.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
This is a primary water-soluble and antioxidant vitamin. It is essential for tissue growth and repair, and formation of collagen. It helps increase the absorption and effectiveness of iron and calcium, and the utilization of folic acid. Involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and cholesterol regulation.

Conditions that may be helped: PMS and menopausal symptoms. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Reduces allergic response and relieves pain. Fatigue. Helps with low blood sugar. Enhances immunity by increasing the production of leukocytes-the white blood cells that fight germs. Excessive bleeding, builds stronger bones, heals wounds. High blood pressure.

Depleted by: Cigarettes, pollution, stress, antibiotics, aspirin and pain relievers.

Deficiency signs: Bleeding gums, tendency to bruise, nosebleeds, lowered resistance to infections, slow wound healing; if severe-scurvy.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity. However, high doses may interfere with some laboratory tests, reduce fertility in women, cause temporary diarrhea and stomach cramps and decrease copper absorption.

Food sources: Fresh fruit and vegetables.

Herbal sources: Rose hips, raspberry leaf, parsley, cayenne, paprika, echinacea, skullcap, nettles, dandelion greens, alfalfa, yellow dock roots, hops.

Vitamin D
Promotes calcium absorption and utilization of phosphorous in building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. Induces synthesis of proteins that transport calcium. Maintains blood calcium levels.

Conditions that may be helped: Osteoporosis, adult-onset diabetes, fractures, eye problems, gallstones, arthritis, allergies, canker sores, vaginitis.

Depleted by: Anti-convulsing medications, cortisone, mineral oil, smog.

Deficiency signs: Rickets in children, osteoporosis of long bones, tetany (muscular tingling, spasm and numbness), near-sightedness.

Toxicity signs: Kidney and aorta damage, headaches, nausea, diarrhea.

Food sources: Liver, milk, tuna, butter, fatty fish, organ meats, liver oil, egg yolks; also direct sunlight.

Herbal sources: Not found in plants.

Vitamin E (tocopherol)
This fat-soluble vitamin is a powerful antioxidant essential for immune function. Lecithin or a meal containing fat or protein help Vitamin E absorption. Selenium operates together with Vitamin E. Essential for the function of red blood cells, and protection of essential fatty acids. Vitamin E, along with Vitamins B1 and B6, iodine, and proper thyroid function, prolactin, dopamine, and prostaglandins inhibit oxidation and facilitate reduction processes that benefit estradiol. Hormone normalizing and stabilizing effects. Acts as a mild prostaglandin inhibitor.

Conditions that may be helped: PMS and menopausal symptoms (such as hot flashes), menstrual cramps, cancer prevention, arthritis, wrinkles and other signs of aging. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Fibrocystic breast disease. Nervousness, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath.

Depleted by: Excess consumption of polyunsaturated oil, mineral oil, chlorine, heat, freezing, thyroid hormone, sulfates, ERT, milling of grains (removing fiber, bran and germ).

Deficiency signs: Muscular wasting, reduced pituitary and adrenal gland functioning, liver and kidney damage, gastrointestinal disease, anemia, infertility, heart disease. Low levels of Vitamin E result in an increase in FSH and LH levels.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity. However, high blood pressure patients and those with chronic rheumatic heart disease should avoid Vitamin E except under expert supervision.

Food sources: Vegetable oils, wheat germ, meat, egg yolk, soybeans, green vegetables, whole milk, whole grains, nuts, sunflower seeds, watercress.

Herbal sources: Alfalfa, nettles, seaweed, dong quai, dandelion, rose hips.

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
There are three forms of Vitamin K; two of these (K1 and K2) are made by bacteria in the gut. K3 is a synthetic version. Needed for the synthesis of blood-clotting factors that helps control bleeding. Also important for liver function.

Depleted by: Radiation, air pollution, frozen foods, antibiotics, aspirin.

Deficiency signs: Hemorrhages, nosebleeds, diarrhea, miscarriages.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity for natural Vitamin K. Synthetic Vitamin K can produce jaundice, flushing, chest constriction and sweating.

Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, yogurt, egg yolk, molasses.

Herbal sources: Alfalfa, kelp, green tea.


Essential for bones and strength.

Conditions that may be helped: Osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms.

Deficiency signs: Depressed growth.

Toxicity signs: Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, lethargy; chronic-signs of osteoporosis.

Food sources: Vegetables, fruits and nuts.

Herbal sources: Chickweed, purslane, nettles, dandelion, yellow dock.

As the most abundant mineral in your body, calcium is essential for the strength and growth of bones and teeth. It’s also involved in the synthesis and regulation of hormones. Calcium activates enzymes that release energy and assists in blood clotting. Along with phosphorous and magnesium, it is vital for heart function.

Conditions that may be helped: PMS and menopausal symptoms including bloating, nervousness and insomnia. Menstrual cramps, osteoporosis, high blood pressure.

Depleted by: Antibiotics, cigarettes, high protein diet, sugar, fat, inactivity, alcohol.

Deficiency signs: Muscle cramps, numbness and tingling in the legs and arms, joint pains, tooth decay, insomnia, irritability; extreme and long-term deficiency causes osteoporosis.

Toxicity signs: Excess calcium can be deposited in the soft tissues and form kidney stones.

Food sources: Sardines, almonds, dairy products, salmon, tofu, broccoli, beans, molasses, sunflower seeds, peas, kale.

Herbal sources: Valerian, kelp, nettles, horsetail, peppermint, oatstraw, parsley, raspberry leaf, borage, dandelion leaf.

This is an electrolyte that helps maintain body fluid and acid/alkaline balance. Stimulates hydrochloric acid production in the stomach. Chlorine helps with hormone distribution, liver function and keeping joints healthy.

Conditions that may be helped: Diarrhea, vomiting.

Deficiency signs: Hair and tooth loss, poor digestion and muscle contraction.

Food sources: Seafood, seaweed, salt.

This mineral is important in the metabolism of food, activation, and regulation of cholesterol. It is a cofactor of glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which helps insulin’s regulation of glucose.

Conditions that may be helped: Fatigue, diabetes, hypoglycemia, heart disease.

Depleted by: White sugar, refining of food.

Deficiency signs: Depressed growth, severe glucose intolerance in diabetics.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity for dietary chromium.

Food sources: The most absorbable forms are brewer’s yeast (which contains the chromium compound called glucose tolerance factor GTF), liver, beef, beets, molasses from beet sugar, mushrooms and whole wheat bread.

Herbal sources: Licorice, echinacea, sarsaparilla, wild yam, oatstraw, yarrow, valerian root.

Important for immune function and energy metabolism. Copper plays an important part in the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells, and glucose and cholesterol metabolism. Involved in the synthesis of collagen and elastin together with Vitamin C. Cardiovascular function, as well as the skeleton, central nervous system and thyroid all rely on copper.

Conditions that may be helped: Osteoporosis, excessive bleeding, water retention, arthritis, anemia, heart arrhythmia.

Deficiency signs: Relatively unknown. Weakness, skin sores.

Toxicity signs: Nausea, vomiting. Copper intake over 3.5 grams can be lethal.

Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, seaweed, nuts, grains, liver, almonds.

Herbal sources: Sage, horsetail, skullcap.

Essential for the synthesis of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone that controls metabolism and influences estrogen and other hormones. Iodine is important in promoting growth and development, and regulating energy production. Vitamins A and zinc are needed for iodine metabolism. Needed for healthy, hair, skin and nails.

Conditions that may be helped: Fatigue, fibrocystic breast disease, thyroid and liver function. Low blood sugar. Deficiency or inability to metabolize iodine results in enlargement of the thyroid gland (goiter) or hypothyroidism.

Deficiency signs: Goiter, hypothyroidism, dry hair, rapid pulse, heart palpitations, nervousness.

Toxicity signs: No known signs from food and water sources of iodine. Iodine in medicines can impair thyroid hormone synthesis in a person with normal thyroid function.

Food sources: Iodized salt is the most important source of iodine. Also seaweed and seafood.

Herbal sources: Sarsaparilla, kelp, parsley, celery.

Combines with protein and copper to make hemoglobin, which transports oxygen within the red blood cells throughout the body. Important in immune function, thyroid function and metabolism of food. Needed for beautiful skin.

Conditions that may be helped: Hot flashes, excessive bleeding, insomnia, night sweats, fatigue, light-headedness, headaches, iron-deficiency anemia.

Depleted by: Coffee, tea, alcohol, carbonated drinks, high altitude, excess dairy, blood loss. Tannic acid, phytic acid and phosphates decrease absorption.

Deficiency signs: Most common sign is anemia which includes the following symptoms: difficulty breathing, brittle nails, constipation, fatigue.

Toxicity signs: Heart problems, internal bleeding, kidney and liver problems, death.

NOTE: Never take iron supplements unless you know you’re deficient or you’re advised to take them by your physician. Therapeutic doses of iron can cause constipation, and may increase your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Food sources: Liver, wheat bran, pistachios, sunflower seeds, dried apricots, molasses, almonds, raisins, tofu, turkey, haddock, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cashews, lima beans, soybeans, peanuts, sprouts, peas, brewer’s yeast.

Herbal sources: Dandelion root, burdock, catnip, kelp, dong quai, black cohosh, sarsaparilla, licorice, nettles, kelp, chickweed.

This mineral is required by over 300 enzymes for energy metabolism. Magnesium is also involved in body temperature control, making protein from amino acids and transporting messages through nerves to the muscles. Together with calcium, phosphorous, Vitamin D and other nutrients, magnesium helps keep bones healthy.

Conditions that may be helped: Osteoporosis, PMS and menopausal symptoms, diabetes, fatigue, weakness, irritability, sleep problems, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, headaches.

Depleted by: Alcohol, phytic acid in whole grains, large quantities of fluoride or zinc, diuretics, ERT; refining foods removes magnesium.

Deficiency signs: Tremors, confusion, irregular heartbeat, depression, irritability.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity (unless you have kidney disease or possibly certain types of bone tumors or cancers).

Food sources: Peanuts, lentils, split peas, tofu, wheat germ, banana, oatmeal, wild rice, bean sprouts, almonds, chicken, spinach, beef, salmon, nuts.

Herbal sources: Licorice, kelp, nettles, horsetail, oatstraw, evening primrose.

Important for synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and for formation of bone, blood and collagen. Activates enzymes. Manganese feeds the brain and nervous system, and is essential for the production of sex hormones and thyroxine.

Conditions that may be helped: Diabetes, fatigue, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, allergies, asthma, schizophrenia.

Depleted by: Chemical fertilizers, processing and milling of food.

Deficiency signs: Ear noises, dizziness, loss of hearing, decreased glucose tolerance; may trigger seizures in epileptics. Toxicity signs: No known toxicity for dietary forms, although very high amounts may impair iron utilization. Industrial exposure to manganese can result in the toxic signs of weakness, impotency, and irritability.

Food sources: Seaweed, whole grains, egg yolks, nuts, seeds, green vegetables.

Herbal sources: Raspberry leaf, uva ursi, ginseng, wild yam, hops, catnip, echinacea, kelp, nettles, dandelion.

Important for strong bones and teeth, and kidney and nerve function. Plays a role in metabolic energy production and activation of B vitamins. Vital for niacin and riboflavin digestion.

Conditions that may be helped: Osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, arthritis, stress.

Depleted by: Antacids.

Deficiency signs: Decreased appetite, weight loss, overweight, fatigue and irregular breathing.

Toxicity signs: No known toxicity (except in cases of kidney disease).

Food sources: Nuts, seeds, whole grains, fish, meat, eggs, poultry.

Herbal sources: Peppermint, yellow dock, fennel, hops, chickweed, nettles.

A primary electrolyte important for cells, regulating and controlling fluids, water and acid based (pH) balance inside cells. Important in regulating heartbeat. Influences muscular contractions and cramping.

Conditions that may be helped: Water retention, fatigue, high blood pressure, stroke, polio, mononucleosis, fracture.

Depleted by: Alcohol, coffee, sugar, stress, fasting, diuretics, laxatives, high salt intake.

Deficiency signs: Insomnia, constipation, general weakness, poor reflexes, acne, dry skin.

Food sources: Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, sunflower seeds.

Herbal sources: Peppermint, sage, catnip, hops, dulse.

Selenium is an antioxidant and protects your body from free radical damage, and ensures enough oxygen for energy producing cells. It preserves tissue elasticity. May play a role in the metabolism of antioxidants like Vitamin E. Prostaglandin synthesis relies on selenium.

Conditions that may be helped: Angina, hypertension, stroke, cystic fibrosis, arthritis, infertility.

Depleted by: Chemical fertilizers, acid rain, processing and cooking foods, refining grains. Low selenium levels in soils affects selenium content in foods grown there.

Deficiency signs: Premature aging.

Toxicity signs: Hair loss, fingernail changes, nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue, irritability, diarrhea, peripheral neuropathy.

Food sources: Lobster, tuna, shrimp, ham, eggs, chicken, whole grains, breads, dairy products, cereals.

Herbal sources: Black cohosh, valerian, echinacea, kelp, ginseng, hawthorn berries, fenugreek, sarsaparilla, uva ursi.

Required by over 100 enzymes that make DNA for cell replacement and protein synthesis from amino acids. Releases energy from glucose and fats. Makes hydrochloric acid in the stomach which is important for digestion. Involved in the production of sex hormones and thyroid hormone synthesis. Aids in the formation of collagen, a component of connective tissue.

Conditions that may be helped: PMS and menopausal symptoms, diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, heavy periods, skin conditions such as acne and eczema, combats effects of aging.

Depleted by: Alcohol, ERT, stress, infection.

Deficiency signs: Stretch marks, white spots in the fingernails, brittle hair and nails, poor wound healing, irregular menstrual cycles.

Toxicity signs: Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach upset. Therapeutic use of zinc should be restricted to six months, unless given by a nutritional practitioner, as zinc interferes with copper metabolism.

Food sources: Oysters, nuts, cashews, turkey, fish, wheat germ.

Herbal sources: Wild yam, chickweed, echinacea, nettles, sarsaparilla, skullcap, sage.

Other Nutrients

Bioflavonoids work together with Vitamin C. This group of compounds protects connective tissues, and controls bruising and internal bleeding.

Conditions that may be helped: Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats, hemorrhaging, premenstrual breast and water retention, anxiety, herpes of the mouth.

Food sources: Citrus fruits.

Herbal sources: Buckwheat greens, hawthorn fruits, rose hips, horsetail, blue green algae, elder berries.

Essential fatty acids
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are not made in the body, for example linoleic acid. EFA’s are vital as prostaglandin building blocks (precursors) that contribute to control and function of organs. EFA’s help lubricate hair and skin, prevent dry skin and hair loss.

Conditions that may be helped: PMS and menopausal symptoms, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, heavy periods.

Food sources: Nuts and seeds like flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower or wheat germ oil.