Let’s start with vitamin A – the first vitamin to be discovered. The scientific name for vitamin A is Retinol and we can take this as a supplement or we can buy Beta-Carotene as a supplement which the liver converts to Retinol when it needs it.
Vitamin A boosts the health of your skin and supercharges your immune system.
General dose for Retinol is up to 10, 000 iu daily and Beta Carotene dosage should be around 10 mg which is the amount we get from 5 servings of fruits or vegetables per day. Best approach is to eat more fruit and veggies and get the extra benefits by taking beta carotene.
For Retinol Supplements here is the vitamin A page at Amazon here
And for Beta Carotene you can find the Amazon link here
How to Buy Vitamin B
Vitamin B was the second vitamin to be discovered and it was also the second and third and fourth…. Turns out that vitamin B has many types which got called B1, B2, B3 and then of course B4 and then someone realised that the chemical that got called B4 was not a vitamin so that name was dropped!
That’s not why it’s called “complex” but It does not help make it simpler.
While it is true that we can buy vitamin B1 and B2 and B3 and B5 and B6 and so on the best advice for most people is to buy a general 50 mg B complex often just called a B 50.
This gives most of the B vitamins at a reasonable sensible dose of 50 mg apart from B9 and B12 for which we need only tiny microgram amounts and 50 mg would be way too much.
For most of us we just need a 50 mg jar of B Complex.
And there is a Liquid Vitamin B Complex too right here
And some of us need more of one or two of the B vitamins than is in a B50 so the next section is for them
Without getting enough of vitamin B1 in our diet we die of a disease we call “Beriberi” ( pronounced like berry berry) This an Indonesian word because these symptoms were first spotted there. Beriberi symptoms are mental confusion, muscle wasting and weakness, heart disturbance and eventually death.
This was common amongst people on a poor diet with no whole grains. So for us to be healthy we need to limit the amount of these milled or so called “refined” products we eat or our health will suffer.
When we mill whole grains to get flour the flour we get has much less B1 than the whole grain. When some of the lost nutrients are added back to the flour the product is called “Enriched” or “Fortified” but of course it still has less nutrition than the original wholegrain.
“Enriched” and “fortified” products have less nutrients than the Wholegrain product so we need to limit the amount of these that we eat!
So its fine to eat white rice or bread from time to time but the bulk of our diet needs to be from whole grains or we may face vitamin deficiencies, lack of energy and so much more unless we supplement carefully.
B1 helps the liver detox nasty polluting chemicals from the environment
Good sources are Brazil nuts, brown rice, Beans and lentils
A good B1 supplement if you want more is this one at Amazon
Vitamin B2 helps the body generate energy from the food we eat. It also helps the skin and our mucous membranes inside the body. In particular, it helps to heal leaky gut.
We find B2 in wheat germ nuts and beans. Otherwise we can take a B50 supplement or buy a Riboflavin supplement like this one on Amazon
B3: Niacin and Niacinamide
We have two forms of B3 – the all singing all dancing form is niacin and its slightly less flashy form is niacinamide. Both forms are effective against mental illness especially schizophrenia and depression
Niacin gives some people a flushed and somewhat itchy feeling around the face which may persist for few minutes before spreading to the rest of the body and fading away.
This is the infamous “niacin flush”
This not harmful and is due to histamine being released from body stores which causes the smaller blood vessels to expand a little and allow more blood to flow.
It usually just fades away after a few minutes.
I have been taking 100 mg of B3 for decades and its never happened to me but some people are, I guess, more sensitive and these folks might switch to Niacin’s slightly less showy pal – niacinamide if they want to avoid the flush.
Niacin normalises blood lipids values and even increases brain circulation. Both forms are very powerful in supporting to maintain good health.
B5: Pantothenic acid
This is known as the “anti-stress” vitamin and it supports the adrenals and the liver. Helpful with Rheumatoid arthritis. Also useful in asthma, allergies and apathy!
B5 is found in Whole grains, sweet potatoes and Brewer’s Yeast.
Dosage – a few mg is all the authorities deem necessary or we can cover it with a normal B50 and If you want more this Source Naturals offer at Amazon could be helpful
For me vitamin B6 is the PMS vitamin. So many patients find relief of their PMS problems and breast pain when I advise to them to take 50 or 100 mg Pyridoxine!
It is generally anti-inflammatory in its action and helps deal with the Histamine hassles so many people go through. B6 along with a diet of low histamine foods is a great help.
Another major health benefit is that it reduces the high homocysteine levels in the blood that pose such a risk to our arteries and are a danger sign for stroke and heart attacks to all of us.
Whether it is inflammatory bowel disease or the inflammation in our joints that causes Rheumatoid arthritis Pyridoxine has its place as a major remedy that plays a role in healing the body of inflammation and nervous system disorders like anxiety and depression.
Most peeps do fine with ordinary and wonderful B6 here
A small number of people need to take the activated form of B6, called P-5-P instead of B6, here
I would love to keep calling this vitamin B9 because it has 3 major versions and you get into “hot water” as soon as you say this is Folate or Folic acid or folinic acid or even more versions.
Passions run deep!
Anyway, here goes…Folate is the natural form of vitamin B9 and was discovered in spinach leaves but is present in any green leaves or foliage. Folate is the version of the vitamin that we find in nature.
But technically folic acid is synthetic and folate is natural!
Of course a natural version may not be “shelf stable” so an artificial version of B9 was designed and manufactured which has a long shelf life so it’s great in shops.
This is “folic acid” and has been confused with folate because initial research on rats with folic acid worked well because the rats converted the artificial folic acid into folate with no problem.
Everyone assumed that this is also true for humans, until now!
Recent studies have concluded this conversion BARELY works in humans. Actually in humans this conversion only works at 2% efficiency. That’s more or less saying that there is no conversion.
Even worse what this means is that those of us who take folic acid are getting it stuck in our bloodstream because the conversion barely works. Scientists are now researching whether or not this accumulation of folic acid in the blood stream is causing cancer and other serious diseases.
One little precaution from this is to check the label on your Multivitamin and make sure that Folate is there and not folic acid!
More info on this confusion explained in the video
This is the last of the B vitamins we are going to cover here.
B12: This another vitamin that presents itself in either of 4 forms. So we have to choose one of them
There are a few others that some people call B vitamins and other people don’t and we’ll discuss those in the Specials section below.
The usual scientific name for vitamin B12 is Cobalmin
Cobalamin is a very unusual vitamin because it has a mineral, a cobalt atom, sitting in the middle of it. Like other vitamins it is a lifesaver – without it you will die from a type of anemia called pernicious anemia.
And B12 is famous. It is the only vitamin commonly given by a Doctor using an injection! There is a way of avoiding this horrid procedure – you just take a tablet under your tongue. This is called the “sub – lingual” B12 and it is a lot easier and cheaper than injections in a Doctor’s office!
We need a B12 that will protect us from this form of anemia and be clever enough so we can avoid needles!
Which cobalamin do we need? Turns out that there are 4 options when cobalamin shopping!
Here is the choice of cobalamins
First of all, they all work to some extent. The cheapest one is number 1, the one called cyano cobalamin so should we buy that one? I have taken that one for years with no harm BUT once you know that the cyano part of the name is because there is a cyanide atom in it – well let’s just say my enthusiasm cooled.
Suppose we look at the next one, hydroxocobalamin. This is in our food so we know its natural and we know there is no cyanide in it either!
On the other hand it is an inactive form and that does not mean that it is broken. It means that the body has to do some work by converting it to something that works well. And most people can handle that easily but I just want to mention that some people don’t and they need a different form which we’ll go over in a minute.
Next we look at Adenosylcobalamin. It is both natural and active so it is ready to work with no extra conversion.
Last but not least, we come to the Methyl version of B12. It is both natural and active so it does not need any conversion to take place before it works, so it’s all good.
Well, actually there is one little drawback – some people can’t handle the methyl form very well. It might make them feel irritable or angry. So if you get to feel that after taking a B complex or B12 supplement then it may be that it is an active form and that you would do better without the methyl version and that one of the other B12 versions is the right one for you!
Methylcobalamin is not right for everyone!
But B12 absolutely is and people taking Proton Pump inhibitor tablets from their Doctors are at risk from causing this deficiency and the health of your spinal cord and brain is not something any of us want to risk. So let’s all of us take some B12!
We all need B12 and I hope I have helped you to choose one for you. So here’s a Summary to pull all this info together:
Most people are going to do well with the Pure Encapsulations B12 which is a blend of Adenosylcobalamin and Hydroxocobalamin available at Amazon here
People who need the Methyl form and they will generally know who they are and have looked into their genetics – 23andme and so forth.
The first option is this simple Jarrow Methylcobalamin with B12 Lozenges, yum
And special forms of B12 here with a sublingual Methylcobalamin – a few drops under your tongue and you are done. Lastly another alternative to B12 shots – a sublingual Cyanocobalamin!
If you need a B12 and need an alternative to Methylcobalamin Jarrow Methylcobalamin with B12 Lozenges, here
How To Buy Vitamin C
There are 3 versions of vitamin C we can buy; they are all straightforward so let’s jump right in…
The simplest cheapest and most researched vitamin C is Ascorbic acid. You have the choice here of tablets or powder for people who want to mix the Vitamin C with water.
Take care not to sip all through the day or you will damage your teeth. Nothing to do with vitamin C in particular it is the same with any fruit juice.
One little note – there is powder and there is finer powder.
If you want vitamin C without tablets then you get Vitamin C Crystals Go here
But if you want very fine powder because you don’t like crystals go here
Tablets are simplest for me in that regard: I like 1 gram tablets like these
The non-acidic version of vitamin C is sodium ascorbate and either tablets or powder are totally OK. You can mix powdered sodium ascorbate in water and drink all day with no dental issues at all.
In fact extra vitamin C will make your gums stronger. For stronger teeth take vitamin K2 MK7, see below.
And that was the choice until recently
Back in the 60’s research started on Liposomes. These are little bubbles with nutrients or medicines in them. They are easy to take and can get more of the nutrient to its target in the body than taking a dose by mouth can.
Some Vitamin C experts reckon that it even beats an IV drip in its power to deliver high doses of vitamin C to your tissues in the body.
Over the last few years Liposomal Vitamin C has been available. I still recommend taking vitamin C in tablet or powder form every day and add liposomal C as a “treat” now and then and get to use it seriously in case of flu and worse!
Liposomal Vitamin C here
How to Buy Vitamin D – the vitamin that is a Hormone.
Yes it’s true, vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin is actually a Hormone. This means that the smooth and healthy functioning of the body depends on vitamin D. This makes it extra important that we get enough vitamin D.
It is the only vitamin in my opinion for which a Blood test to measure it’s level is worthwhile.
Going through a winter period taking vitamin D or rather D3 is a smoother happier and healthier experience than my previous Winters.
You know how people get lots of “Winter illness”? Turns out that’s mostly due to a lack of enough vitamin D in their blood. One tablet a day solves that problem!
You can get a Home kit to measure your blood level in the US ( just not in New York State) here.
How to Buy Vitamin E
Without enough vitamin E in our blood we may not be born alive and if we are likely to die soon afterwards. Vitamin E also protects our red blood cells so that all parts of the body get the oxygen they need.
Vitamin E is a lifesaver when we are born and without it in our later years we are likely to get a heart attack or stroke.
This “lifesaver” vitamin is one of the 2 major anti-oxidants. Along with vitamin C it protects us from inflammatory attack from bacteria, viruses and cancer.
Simple Summary – there are 8 different types of vitamin E. To save you from a mountain of complexity I am going to use a shortcut.
The technical name for vitamin E is “TOCOPHEROL” which is Greek for “To bring to full term” referring to the lifesaving ability to save babies lives.
Chemical companies have made chemical imitations of vitamin E and lots of the E on the market is this, in my opinion, chemical trash.
Other companies with higher standards want to sell you a natural version of one of the parts of vitamin E.
The short cut is to ignore this in your shopping and go straight for any company that sells “mixed tocopherols” or ” mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols”
That way you will get the best and most natural vitamin E supplement and the best results in your health.
This vitamin supplement has a good blend of tocopherols and tocotrienols .
Click here for Vitacost Vegetarian Vitamin E
And for a higher potency Kosher and vegetarian vitamin E from Maxi Health
How to Buy Vitamin K
The function of Vitamins K is still being explored. Here is what is clear: Vitamin K is more than One vitamin – we have is vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 and if any writer talks about “Vitamin K” without the 1 or the 2 they are being too vague to be useful.
Vitamin K1 – helps us to make proteins in the blood which make the proteins involved in blood clotting. This is a life saver we need blood clots to stop blood loss from a cut or wound. If we lose too much blood we lose blood pressure and ultimately die.
Vitamin K2– helps us make proteins that build stronger bones and teeth and also optimises the body’s ability to avoid cancer and to boost liver performance.
There are 2 types of K2 – one which prioritises the health of your bones and teeth which we call MK7 and one that tweaks and tunes genes to cut down on our chances of getting cancer called MK4.
To maximise Bone and Dental Health a high dose of MK7 here
To optimise settings that regulate anti-cancer measures high MK4 is here
Some vitamin K2 supplements have a blend of vitamins MK4 and MK7 . To take a Good blend of MK4 and MK7 go here
Any questions? Please ask below…