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Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins are chemical compounds and minerals are chemical elements. The role of vitamins is to control the chemical reactions within the body to convert food into energy and living tissue. They also support the body to use the energy nutrients, maintain normal body tissue, act as a regulator, and are only needed in small amounts. There are thirteen vitamins that our body needs, three are produced by the body itself – biotin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin K are produced in the intestine. Each vitamin and mineral has a specific function or meets specific body needs.




Good Sources

Vitamin A

- Prevents night blindness
- Promotes healthy eye function
- Keeps skin, hair, and nails healthy
- Helps ward off bacterial infection

- Joint and bone pain
- Hair loss
- Skin changes
- Headaches
- Blurred vision
- Fatigue

- Green, yellow, or orange vegetables
- Cantaloupe
- Apricots
- Sweet potatoes

Vitamin B6

- Carbohydrates and protein metabolism
- Helps form red blood cells
- Proper nerve function


- Nerve destruction

- Bananas
- Meats, poultry, fish
- Potatoes
- Broccoli
- Cereals and grains

Vitamin B12

- Proper nerve function
- Helps form red blood cells
- Builds genetic material

- None known

- Meats, poultry, fish
- Milk
- Eggs
- Vegans may need supplementation

Folic Acid

- DNA and RNA synthesis
- Helps form red blood cells
- Important in growth and development
- Helps prevent birth defects

- None known

- Orange and grapefruit juice
- Green leafy vegetables
- Poultry
- Supplement recommended for pregnancy
- Dried beans

Vitamin C

- Promotes healing of cuts and wounds
- Helps resist infection
- Keeps gums healthy
- Strengthens blood vessel walls


- Diarrhea

- Kidney stones


- Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit)
- Strawberries
- Green or red peppers
- Broccoli

Vitamin E

- Helps form red blood cells, muscles, and other tissues
- Antioxidant

- Muscle weakness
- Headaches
- Fatigue

- Seeds and nuts
- Seafood
- Eggs
- Oils


- Helps build strong bones and teeth
- Involved in muscle contractions and nerve function



- Muscle and abdominal pain
- Calcium kidney stones


- Milk and milk products (yogurt, cheese)
- Tofu
- Broccoli
- Calcium fortified orange juice
- Some fortified cereals


- Works with insulin for proper glucose metabolism

- None known

- Egg yolks
- Meat
- Whole grains
- Cheese


- Helps carry oxygen to body tissues including muscle

- Liver disease

- Arrhythmias


- Red meat, seafood, and fish
- Dried apricots
- Dried beans
- Fortified cereals
- Supplement recommended for pregnancy


- Works with calcium to build and maintain bones and teeth
- Helps convert food to energy


- Lowers blood calcium

- Dairy products
- Egg yolks
- Meat, poultry, fish
- Legumes
- Soft drinks


- Vital for muscle contractions and nerve transmission
- Important for heart and kidney function
- Helps regulate fluid balance and blood pressure

- Slower heart beat
- Kidney failure


- Milk and yogurt
- Many fruits and vegetables (especially oranges, bananas, and potatoes)



- Important in function of many enzymes
- Wound healing


- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain


- Seafood
- Meats
- Eggs
- Whole grains

Copyright 2005 Glyconutrients Reference - Last Updated May 2005

Where to Next?

What are Glyconutrients?

Why do we need Glyconutrients?

How do Glyconutrients Work?

Who needs Glyconutrients?

Who Supplies Glyconutrients?

What are Phytonutrients?