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What’s in Your Multiple Vitamin?

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is the most well known vitamin and obtained fromĀ Oz Vitamins Better Sleep Supplement many fruits and vegetables, such as berries, citrus fruit, and brassica vegetables. Ascorbic acid is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and utilized by the body, thus is a highly bio-available vitamin. Vitamin C is important in collagen production and rejuvenation, keeping skin and tissues healthy, metabolism of proteins and fats, and is a potent anti-oxidant. An adult should get at least 60mg a day to prevent deficiency, which can lead to a disease known as scurvy.

Vitamin B has many different forms, each with a specific yet vital function in the human body. Vitamins B1, B2, and B3, also known as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin respectively, each play a specific but functionally different role in glucose metabolism and cellular energy production. Thiamin is found in low concentrations in many foods, and fortified in milk, milk alternatives and cereal grain products. Beri beri is the disease caused by thiamin deficiency, and can cause edema, and/or mental and cardiovascular problems. The average adult should consume 1.3mg of thiamin daily to prevent deficiency. Riboflavin has an additional function as B6 cannot be converted into a useable form without the presence of riboflavin. Riboflavin is present in milk and milk alternatives, liver and meat, and fortified grain flour. 1.6mg of riboflavin is required daily to prevent deficiency symptoms. Riboflavin deficiency is not fatal but can cause skin problems, such as lesions and dermatitis. Niacin is available as nicotinic acid or nicotinamide, the common supplemented form being nicotinic acid. Aside from niacin’s metabolic role, niacin can have a positive impact on overall cardiovascular health and has been shown to lower blood pressure. Tryptophan, an amino acid, is converted to niacin, thus the daily intake is expressed as niacin equivalents, or NE, and 1NE of niacin is roughly equivalent to 60mg of tryptophan. Tryptophan can be found in all protein sources. Taking a high dose of niacin can cause an event known as a niacin flush, a reddening of the skin caused by blood vessel dilation just below the skin. Niacin deficiency causes a condition called pellagra, the symptoms progressing from dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and eventually death.

Vitamin B6 is a multifunctional vitamin, being utilized in many roles in the human body. The primary role of B6 is the breakdown of proteins into amino acids, which can impact niacin status as previously discussed. Vitamin B6 is essential to the human nervous system, as B6 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, chemical signal hormones, such as serotonin, dopamine and epinephrine. Vitamin B6 is also involved in the production and regulation of steroid hormones. The process to convert glycogen to glucose occurs during fasting and strenuous exercise. Another important function of B6 is red blood cell formation, particularly the formation of heme, the oxygen carrying component of haemoglobin.

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