Vitamins and Minerals


Vitamins are organic compounds not manufactured by the body other than proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are required for growth, maintenance and repair. Vitamins require no digestion and are absorbed directly into the blood stream. The thirteen vitamins identified are divided into two groups, fat-soluble and water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins, which include A, D, E, and K are stored in the liver and in body fat. Mega doses of fat-soluble vitamins can produce a toxic effect in the liver and can accumulate in the tissues. Symptoms of toxicity are bone and joint pain, blurred vision, dry skin, and hair and weight loss. The body does not store water-soluble vitamins. The kidneys excrete excess or Mega doses of these vitamins. However, toxicity has been reported with A, niacin, C, D and B6. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) are currently being revised.

Fat Soluble Vitamins RDA Purpose Sources
A 1,000 mcg Vision, skin, hair, growth, mucous membranes Egg yolk, milk, butter, yellow and dark green vegetables, yellow-orange fruits
D 5 mg Bone and tooth structure, needed to absorb calcium Sunshine, milk, eggs, fish
E 10 mg Red Blood Cells, muscles Whole grains, oils, fruits, green leafy vegetables
K 80 mcg Blood Clotting, bone growth Eggs, green leafy vegetables, cauliflower, tomatoes
Water Soluble Vitamins RDA Purpose Sources
C 60 mg Strengthens blood vessel walls, antihistamine, builds collagen Citrus, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, green peppers, cabbage, strawberries
B1 - Thiamin 1.5 mg Appetite, digestion, nerve function, carb metabolization Pork, legumes, whole grains, wheat germ, nuts
B2 - Riboflavin 1.7 mg Fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism, mucous membrane Milk, dairy, whole grain, eggs, fish, green leafy vegetables
B3 - Niacin 19 mg Appetite, lowers cholesterol, fat, protein and carb metabolism Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, peanuts, legumes, grains
B6 - Pyrodoxine 2 mg Serotonin (mood regulation), protein metabolism Meat, poultry, fish, grains, bran, wheat germ, egg yolk, legumes, green leafy vegetables
B12 2 mcg Red blood cells, genetic material production, new tissue Meat, poultry, fish, dairy
Folic Acid 200 mcg Red blood cells, genetic material production Meat, eggs, fish, green vegetables, beans, asparagus, yeast
Pantothenic Acid 7 mg Adrenal function, food metabolization, nerve function Whole grains, eggs, vegetables, meats
Biotin 100 mcg Metabolization of glucose Egg yolk, milk, legumes, peanuts, bananas


Minerals, in contrast to vitamins, are inorganic. Minerals also require no digestion. Some minerals are stored in the liver. It is important not to consume Mega doses of minerals on a regular basis above those amount recommended.

Minerals are divided into two groups, major and trace minerals. Major minerals are those that are required by the body in quantities greater than 100 mg per day and include Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Chloride and Sodium. Trace minerals are those that are required by the body in quantities less than 100 mg per day. Trace minerals are Iron, Copper, Zinc, Iodine and Selenium. Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) are currently being revised.

Essential Minerals RDA Purpose Source
Calcium 800 mg Blood clotting, Bones, Muscles, Nerves Milk products, Broccoli
Phosphorus 750 mg Muscles, Nerves, Energy production, Bones Cereal, Meat, Fish, Legumes, Dairy
Potassium * 2000 mg Energy, Hair, Skin, Nails, Heart rhythm, muscle contraction, regulation of body fluids Citrus, Bananas, fish, poultry, dairy
Magnesium * 350 mg Bone growth, protein and energy production Egg yolks, dark leafy greens
Sodium * 500 mg Muscle and nerve function, body fluid balance Meat, Milk products, fish, salt
Chloride 750 mg Aids digestion, maintains body fluid balance Salt
Zinc 15 mg Insulin production, male prostate function, digestion, metabolism Shellfish, eggs, meat
Iron 10 mg Hemoglobin (Blood Oxygen transport), Myoglobin (Muscle Oxygen storage) Meat, Fish
Chloride * 750 mg Muscle and nerve function, acid-base balance, digestion Meat, Milk products, Fish
Fluoride 4 mg Hardens bones and teeth Coffee, tea, spinach, gelatin, onion
Iodine 150 mcg Proper thyroid function Water, Iodized salt
Copper 3 mg Red blood cells, connective tissue, nerve fibers Shellfish, grains, nuts, chocolate
Chromium 200 mcg Carbohydrate metabolism Vegetables, grains, Brewer's Yeast
Molybdenum 250 mcg Nitrogen metabolism Grains, vegetables
Selenium 70 mcg Works with Vitamin E to protect cells Grains, meats, fish, poultry

* Electrolytes provide the proper electrical charge within the body fluids for the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and proper body fluid levels and acid-base fluid balance.