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Benefits of vitamins


Discussions on "Benefits of vitamins" in "Healthy and Nutritive Foods" forum.


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    Benefits of vitamins

    vitamin A



    Immunity

    Not only does Vitamin A strengthen "entry points" into the human body, such as mucous membranes, the lining of the eyes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, it is also essential for the lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that fight infection once in the body.

    Eyes
    Vitamin A, when converted into the retinal (retinaldehyde) form, is vital for healthy eyes. It allows the eye to effectively distinguish between light and dark, thus improving night vision. Furthermore, vitamin A is believed to fight against cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other age-related ocular diseases.

    Bones and Teeth
    When converted into retinoic acid, vitamin A effectively maintains healthy bones and teeth. Dentin, which also requires vitamin A, forms the hard layer of material within our teeth, thereby ensuring their strength. Vitamin A also plays an important role in replacing worn out or old tissue with newer tissue to ensure healthy bones and teeth.

    Urinary Stones
    Urinary calculi, or solid particles in the urinary system, may cause pain, nausea and vomiting when stones are formed. Vitamin A produces a mineral compound within the body called calcium phosphate that prevents the formation of these solid particles.

    Cancer
    As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin A fights against oxidative stress, or "cellular rust," within our bodies, thus protecting us from health problems such as cataracts, atherosclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.

    Skin
    The antioxidant properties of vitamin A combat free radicals that can damage the skin through oxidative stress. By maintaining proper moisture retention, the skin is not only protected from common dryness, but also keratinization (the process in which the epidermis hardens into a heavy material that makes up hair and nails), psoriasis (a skin disease marked by red, itchy or scaly patches), acne, and even wrinkling.

    Reproductive System
    Vitamin A is known to be essential for the reproductive process for both males and females

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    Last edited by sudhar; 19th Oct 2011 at 12:55 PM.
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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Vitamin A, also called retinol, helps your eyes adjust to light changes when you come in from outside and also helps keep your eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist. Vitamin A mostly comes from animal foods, but some plant-based foods supply beta-carotene, which your body then converts into Vitamin A. It also has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage. Early information from scientific studies suggests that beta-carotene might help people who already have Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). The American Heart Association doesn't recommend taking supplements of beta-carotene until more is known, however.




    How Much Vitamin A Is Enough?
    It's recommended that women consume 800 mcg and men consume 1000 mcg of vitamin A daily.

    Sources of Vitamin A

    Top sources of vitamin A include:
    • Beef liver
    • Egg yolk
    • Cheddar cheese
    • Fortified milk

    Top sources of beta-carotene include:

    • Sweet potato
    • Carrots
    • Pumpkin
    • Cantaloupe
    • Broccoli
    • Apricots
    • Spinach and collard greens

    Can You Have Too Much or Too Little?
    Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States, but it can cause night blindness, eye inflammation, diarrhea and other problems. Overconsumption of vitamin A can cause nausea, irritability and blurred vision in its mild form. In addition, the palms of the hands and the bottoms of the feet can turn orange if a person has a high intake of Vitamin A. Vitamin A toxicity can cause growth retardation, hair loss and enlarged spleen and liver in its more severe form. Vitamin A overdose can also cause birth defects and has been linked to increased risk of bone fractures in some people.

    Vitamin Storage
    If you want to get the most vitamins possible from your food, refrigerate fresh produce, and keep milk and grains away from strong light. Vitamins are easily destroyed and washed out during food preparation and storage. If you take vitamin supplements, store them at room temperature in a dry place that's free of moisture.


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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Vitamin C


    Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient that is vital to all creatures. Foods that are especially rich in vitamin C are parsley, broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts. Here are seven reasons to include vitamin C in your daily meals:

    Immunity
    Not only is vitamin C a well-known component of your immune system, it is also necessary for collagen, the main structural protein found in connective tissue. A healthy dose of vitamin C will protect your body from infection and maintain healthy bones and teeth, as well as quicken the body’s ability to repair wounds.

    Common Cold
    Along with its immune functions that fight against bacteria, viruses, and infection, vitamin C also serves as an affective antihistamine that will lessen the unpleasant effects of the common cold, including inflammation, stuffy nose and aches.

    Antioxidant
    Vitamin C is a powerful and effective antioxidant that protects our bodies from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Excessive oxidative stress, or "cellular rust," can lead to a host of severe medical conditions, such as atherosclerosis that can cause both heart disease and stroke, and is associated with many different types of cancer, including lung, mouth, throat, colon, stomach and esophagus. Vitamin C also helps to regenerate your supplies of vitamin E (another useful antioxidant).

    Hypertension
    Vitamin C has been shown to lower blood pressure, and therefore lessen the probability of hypertension, as well as the serious health problems that follow, such as cardiovascular disease.

    Blood Vessels
    Along with lowering your blood pressure, vitamin C ensures proper dilation of blood vessels, which can prevents such diseases as atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, and angina pectoris (a inadequate supply of blood to the heart that causes severe chest pains). Lead Toxicity
    Vitamin C dramatically lowers your blood lead level. This is especially important for children living in urban areas, as studies have shown that lead toxicity can lead to behavioral and developmental problems, such as learning disabilities and lowered IQ. Adults, moreover, may suffer from kidney damage and high blood pressure.

    Cataracts
    The lens of the human eye requires vitamin C to function properly, and a deficiency can lead to cataracts (a condition in which the lens becomes increasingly opaque, causing blurry vision). A higher intake of vitamin C has been shown to fight cataracts by increasing the amount of blood flow to the eye.

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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Natural Sources of Vitamin C: The daily requirement of Vitamin C can be acquired by consuming citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits and other fruits like strawberries or kiwifruit. Tomatoes and potatoes also are other good sources of the vitamin. An important point to keep in mind is that it is better to eat food products that contain this essential nutrient juiced or raw or should be cooked as little as possible because prolonged cooking at high temperature may destroy its value.


    Vitamin C Sources

    Most animals manufacture their own vitamin C. Primates, such as humans, gorillas, and monkeys, have somehow lost this ability. Which is why we need to get our vitamin C from our diets.



    It is well known that citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, grapefruits, tangerines, limes, mandarins and others contain vitamin C.



    In fact, vitamin C comes almost exclusively from fruits and vegetables. Other good sources are tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, peppers, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, rutabagas, cantaloupe, kiwi, papayas,paprika and watermelon. Many other fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of vitamin C, too.



    What is it?
    Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike most mammals, humans don’t have the ability to make their own vitamin C, so we must get it from what we eat.
    Why do we need it?
    And make no mistake: vitamin C is a vital part of the diet. It’s particularly important for the adrenal glands because they are among the organs with the highest concentration of vitamin C in the body. It’s also needed in the production of collagen, an important ingredient of gums, teeth, tendons, blood vessels, bone and ligaments, because it acts in partnership with eight enzymes involved in collagen formation.

    Vitamin C: The super vitamin
    It also plays an important role in the synthesis of a neurotransmitter that’s vital for brain function, and in addition, it’s very necessary for producing energy in the body’s cells.
    Recent research also seems to show that it may affect blood cholesterol levels and the incidence of gallstones. Not bad for one vitamin alone!


    Vitamin C may also be able to regenerate other antioxidants

    In reality there is only Now. If you know how to handle this moment you know how to handle the whole eternity-Jaggi vasudev .

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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Vitamin C has a long history in health benefits
    Even before the discovery of vitamin C in 1932, the British navy worked out that something in citrus fruits could prevent the fatal disease scurvy, a disease that killed millions of sailors up until the 19th century.
    Symptoms include bleeding and bruising easily, hair and tooth loss, joint pain and swelling; all of which are related to the weakening of blood vessels, connective tissue, and bone, which contain collagen.
    Preventing degenerative diseases
    The amount of vitamin C needed to prevent chronic degenerative disease seems to be more than the amounts needed for preventing scurvy, but nevertheless, it certainly seems to help.


    Cataracts are a good example, because they’re a leading cause of visual impairment throughout the world.


    Vitamin C and heart disease, stroke and Diabetes
    Vitamin C might also have a beneficial effect on those with conditions more likely to be fatal.
    For example current studies on the effects of vitamin C show a range of different results, but one important experiment shows the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases was 42% lower in men and 25% lower in women who consumed more than 50 mg/day of vitamin C and who regularly took vitamin C supplements.

    Several other studies show that vitamin C supplementation lowers blood pressure, which helps prevent both heart problems and stroke. Cardiovascular diseases (heart disease and stroke) are also the leading cause of death in people they discovered hat higher intakes of antioxidants like vitamin C, could help lower cardiovascular disease risk in diabetics.


    In support of their new theory, a 16-year study of 85,000 women, 2% of whom were diabetic, found that vitamin C supplement use (400 mg/day or more) did significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in the whole group, not just the diabetics. Regarding stroke in particular, a study that followed more than 2,000 residents of a rural Japanese community for 20 years found that the risk of stroke in those with the highest levels of vitamin C was 29% lower than in those with the lowest levels, particularly when the people involved were eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.


    Cancer
    In fact, a vast amount of research has shown that increasing your consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables will probably reduce your risk . If you have a higher intake of vitamin C, you are less likely to get cancers of the mouth, throat and vocal chords, oesophagus, stomach, lung and colon-rectum.
    A chemical called nitrosamine might be responsible for producing carcinogenic substances in the stomach, and vitamin C seems to prevent these forming in the first place. In this day and age, we don’t have to worry too much about conditions like scurvy. But we should be concerned about the high levels of found in the world today. Increasing your levels of fruit and vegetables, and combining those with avitamin C supplement can only help your chances of avoiding these kinds of problems, while increasing your likelihood of having a more healthy and happy life.

    In reality there is only Now. If you know how to handle this moment you know how to handle the whole eternity-Jaggi vasudev .

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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Vitamin D


    Vitamin D Primer
    During the early 1980s, I taught clinical nutrition at The University for Humanistic Studies in San Diego. I learned as much, probably more, than my students because we did a lot of informal clinical research on dietary nutrient levels. We found that vitamin D levels were low in all ages and both sexes, which lead me to predict a vitamin D deficiency epidemic. That’s old news now, and no one yet knows why levels are so low. However, research is advancing fast and we are learning a lot about vitamin D and why it’s essential for good health.


    Vitamin D to Hormone D
    Vitamin D is essential for life. It is the primary biological regulator of calcium metabolism and important for bone health. It also modulates neuromuscular function, reduces inflammation, enhances immunity, and influences the action of genes that regulate the proliferation of cancer cells.
    However, Vitamin D is technically not a vitamin at all, defined as an essential dietary factor, but a prohormone, a group of fat-soluble secosteroids, produced from the interaction of sunlight in the skin. Unfortunately, and nobody yet knows exactly why, even those in warm sunny climates, like Hawaii, are not making enough vitamin D.

    There are two major forms of the vitamin: D2
    (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), with vitamin D3 the more active of the two. A two-step process is required to activate vitamin D so the body can use it. First it is metabolized in the liver and then processed by the kidneys to produce more than 30 different active vitamin D3 metabolites.


    Role in Bone Health

    One of the most important roles of vitamin D is to maintain skeletal calcium balance by promoting calcium absorption in the intestines, promoting bone resorption by increasing osteoclasts, maintaining calcium and phosphate mineral levels for bone formation, and allowing proper functioning of parathyroid hormone to maintain serum calcium levels. Vitamin D deficiency causes osteopenia, precipitates and exacerbates osteoporosis, causes the painful bone disease osteomalacia, and increases muscle weakness, which worsens the risk of falls and fractures in all ages.


    Immune Regulator
    Vitamin D is an important immune system regulator. Vitamin D receptor ligands have been shown to increase the activity of natural killer cells and enhance the phagocytic activity of macrophages. Activated vitamin D hormone increases the production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial peptide that is produced in macrophages triggered by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with increased risks of deadly cancers, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus

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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Getting Enough Vitamin D
    Food sources include fatty fish eggs, red meat, and liver are rich in vitamin D. Light-exposed (wild) mushrooms can provide up to 100% of the recommended allowance of vitamin D.
    The two forms of vitamin D used in dietary supplements are ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Ergocalciferol is sometimes considered a vegetarian source of vitamin D since it can be plant-derived. Supplemental Vitamin D3 comes mainly from processing lanoline extracted from sheep’s’ wool, but some is made in the laboratory from specially grown yeast. Vitamin D2, only a third as biologically active, comes from vegetable and yeast sources. However, there is good evidence that vitamin D3 increases serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D more efficiently than does vitamin D2. For strict vegans, wild mushrooms provide an easily absorbed highly bioavailable source.
    From the naturopathic perspective, few individuals benefit from supplementation with vitamin D2 versus vitamin D3, the form of choice when supplementing with vitamin D. An important consideration in supplement choice is reliability of the manufacturer and quality control and assurance provided by the manufacturer. Vitamin D is often measured in International Units (IU) or micrograms. One microgram of cholecalciferol is equal to 40 IU of vitamin D.


    To effectively raise you vitamin 25, Hydroxy Vitamin D3 levels you may need to take 2-4,000 IU daily with meals. Some people need much higher dosages. When using vitamin D2, you may need to use a higher dose than with vitamin D3. For those with health conditions associated with low vitamin D status who have very low blood levels of 25, Hydroxy Vitamin D3, intramuscular injections of 100 to 200,000 IU may be required.


    Some Benefits of Vitamin D

    • Optimize calcium metabolism
    • Optimize phosphorus metabolism
    • Prevent type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and stroke
    • Prevent muscle weakness
    • Prevent osteoporosis
    • Regulate insulin activity and blood sugar balance
    • Regulate immune system responses
    • Regulate muscle composition and muscle function
    • Regulate blood pressure
    • Lower risk of excessive inflammation
    • Lower risk of some bacterial infections
    • Support cognitive function, especially in older persons
    • Support mood stability, especially in older persons
    • Help prevent chronic fatigue
    • Help prevent bladder, breast, colon, ovarian, prostate and rectal cancers


    In reality there is only Now. If you know how to handle this moment you know how to handle the whole eternity-Jaggi vasudev .

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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Vitamin E

    Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is well known for its antioxidant properties. It has enjoyed a reputation for preventing the effects of aging on skin, healing scars and scar tissue, and preventing damage to the body from free radicals – a byproduct of our bodies’ attempts to deal with the poisons and pollutants in today’s environment.

    As an antioxidant, vitamin E provides some protection against heart disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory diseases like arthritis and other effects of aging. In topical preparations, it is said to help erase wrinkles and promote healthy skin and hair. Taken internally as a supplement, vitamin E helps prevent heart disease, thins the blood and helps reduce the harmful effects of a wide range of conditions from sun exposure to hormone replacement therapy.

    What Vitamin E Does:
    Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, preventing the damage done by oxidation of nutrients and other chemicals in the body. Specifically, it seems to prevent damage to the eyes from age related macular degeneration, reduces the risk of heart disease and helps prevent certain cancers. Studies have shown, for instance, that patients with atherosclerosis who take vitamin E supplements show significantly less plaque build-up in their cells than those in a control group who were taking a placebo.


    Antioxidants like Vitamin E are a major part of the body’s immune system. They provide protection against diseases and conditions that are associated with aging by preventing free radicals from damaging cells of the skin, eyes, liver, heart and other bodily organs.

    Symptoms of Vitamin E Deficiency:
    The symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, abnormal eye movements, impaired vision, and unsteady gait. In more severe cases, vitamin E deficiency can compromise the function of the liver and kidneys. Vitamin E deficiency has been associated with serial miscarriages and premature delivery in pregnant women.

    Health Benefits of Vitamin E:

    • Prevents the clogging of arteries that contributes to heart disease
    • May reduce the risk of death from stroke in post menopausal women
    • May reduce the risk of stroke in people undergoing treatment for atherosclerosis
    • Inhibits the growth of cancer cells in cancers associated with hormonal causes (i.e., prostate cancer, breast cancer)
    • Reduces sensitivity to the sun in photodermatitis
    • May prevent osteoarthritis, and is useful for pain relief and treatment of inflamed joints
    • Improves cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and in conjunction with Vitamin C, may prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease
    • Helps prevent the long term consequences of menopause, and is the best option to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women
    • Protects against cataracts and age related macular degeneration
    • Helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may help prevent damage to the eyes and nerves associated with diabetes
    • Slows the effects of aging
    • Improves the speed of healing wounds
    • Lowers blood pressure
    • Reduces scarring from wounds and injuries
    • Slows progression of Parkinson’s disease
    • Helpful in treating lupus
    • Avoiding miscarriage in cases where vitamin E deficiency is a promoting factor


    Last edited by sudhar; 19th Oct 2011 at 02:27 PM.
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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Possible Side Effects of Vitamin E



    High doses of vitamin E may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heart palpitations and increase the tendency to bleed. People taking warfarin and other blood thinners should consult a doctor before taking high doses of vitamin E. Vitamin E may prevent the uptake of vital chemicals in anti-psychotic medications and should be used with caution by people taking anti-psychotic medications


    Regulator for Vitamin A

    The vitamin e benefits for healthy skin care also include its ability to regulate vitamin a in the body, which itself is important for healthy skin.


    Anti-Aging Benefits of Vitamin E
    Vitamin e added to lotions, creams, and other skin care products, as well as taken orally, plays a role in the anti-aging of skin. It helps skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also, free radicals are believed to play an important role in skin aging and therefore the antioxidant activity is quite valuable for this skin problem.



    Sun Protection and Sun Burn Treatment



    Vitamin e lotions provide some benefit in preventing and treating sunburns. These lotions protect the epidermis layer of the skin from early stages of ultra violet light damage. Vitamin e preparations also increase the effectiveness of sunscreens. Such lotions do not work immediately. They must be applied about 20 minutes before sun exposure in order to allow the vitamin e to be absorbed deep into the epidermis layer.



    Treatment of Skin Diseases
    Vitamin e can aid in the treatment of various skin diseases or skin conditions. Topical applications such as those used to treatOrally ingested vitamin e can help treat erythema (a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, and tender lumps).


    Treatment of Scars
    This is one of the more controversial benefits of vitamin e. Initially, it was thought that vitamin e was very beneficial in the prevention and treatment of scarring (acne scars or surgical scars) and healing of skin from various forms of damage such as burns. Some recent research has questioned this benefit of vitamin e. In fact some studies have indicated that vitamin e creams do not help prevent surgical scarring and may actually make the scar look worse. This is in opposition to the experience of a number of individuals that claim vitamin e creams help soften the appearance of scars.


    Skin Cancer Benefits of Vitamin E
    One of the most important benefits of vitamin e is the prevention of skin cancer. This occurs because of its sun protection quality and of course its powerful antioxidant properties, which help reduce or prevent sun damage.



    Other Vitamin E Benefits
    There are a variety of other benefits of vitamin e for skin care:

    • vitamin e products help reduce the appearance of stretch marks
    • vitamin e can help prevent the appearance of age spots
    • it helps maintain the skin’s oil balance during the cleansing process
    • it reduces transepidermal water loss from skin and strengthens the skin’s barrier function


    Overall for skin care, more benefit is obtained from topical application of vitamin e through creams or lotions rather than taking vitamin e orally. Skin is able to absorb natural vitamin e effectively. However, taking vitamin e orally is important for the good health of other areas of the body.

    The recommended skin lotions and creams by many experts are those that contain the alcohol form of vitamin e (alpha-tocopherol) instead of the acetate form (alpha-tocopherol acetate). The acetate form does not penetrate the skin’s surface well and provides less of the benefits of vitamin e such as antioxidant activity for the skin.

    Last edited by sudhar; 19th Oct 2011 at 02:26 PM.
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    Re: Benefits of vitamins

    Vitamin K

    Vitamin K, or phytonadione, is actually a group of vitamins that fall into two types: phylloquinones, which are made from plants, and menaquinones, which are made from bacteria.
    Especially high sources of vitamin K are spinach, Brussels sprouts, green beens, asparagus, Swiss chard, broccoli, kale and mustard greens. Here are six reasons to include vitamin K in your diet:

    Blood Clotting
    Vitamin K is an essential part of glumatic acid, an amino acid that causes the chemical event called carboxylation. This chemical event allows the blood from an open wound to stick to the nearby tissue, thus clotting the open wound and preventing an excess of blood from flowing out. Nose bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding, easy bruising, hemorrhaging and anemia are just some of the indications that a person is vitamin K deficient.

    Bone Health
    Vitamin K ensures healthy bones by two means. Firstly, vitamin K blocks the formation of too many osteoclasts, or bone cells, that take minerals from the bones and make them available to other bodily functions (a process called demineralization). The formation of osteoclasts, if not properly checked, can leave bones overly depleted of their minerals.

    Secondly, a protein found in bones that is directly related to our bone mineral density, called osteocalcin, must be chemically altered through carboxylation (the process mentioned above in regards to blood clotting) to maintain optimal health. As shown, vitamin K is a key ingredient in carboxylation, and with proper intake can allow the protein osteocalcin to strengthen the health and composition of our bones.

    Calcification
    The build-up of calcium inside tissue, or calcification, can become a serious problem that may lead to cardiovascular disease. Vitamin K helps prevent calcification by contributing to the process (mentioned again) called carboxylation. This process produces the matrix Gla protein (MGP) that directly prevents calcium from forming in tissue. Without a proper supply of vitamin K, and thus MGP, the body is at greater risk of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

    Antioxidant
    Though vitamin K has not been shown to be an antioxidant in the same sense as vitamin C and E, the basic forms of vitamin K, including phylloquinones and menaquinones, have been shown to protect cells from oxidative stress.

    Anti-Inflammatory
    Healthy vitamin K levels have been shown to significantly lower the release of the glycoprotein interleukin-6, a marker of inflammation within the body.

    Brain Function
    The myelin sheath, or the outer wrapping around a nerve, needs sphingolipids (a crucial fat) to form properly. Vitamin K is known to be essential for the synthesis of the sphingolipids, and therefore proper brain and nervous function.

    In reality there is only Now. If you know how to handle this moment you know how to handle the whole eternity-Jaggi vasudev .

    regards
    Sudha.R

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