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When reading the ingredients on a label, your inclination is likely to see a vitamin listed that you want and give little thought to whether or not it is a natural, plant-sourced vitamin or a synthetic made in a laboratory.   I am going to tell you how to know the difference when reading the labels.




 Next to essential minerals, vitamins are the most important nutrient required for body health. So, having an authentic vitamin is imperative to maintaining optimal health. You should be looking for the scientific name of the vitamin not the letter. The letter is an indication that the vitamin is synthetic while the scientific name tells you that a natural, plant-sourced vitamin is truly in the ingredients.



The following list gives you the synthetic and scientific names of each vitamin from A to K



VITAMIN A (Retinol and Beta carotene) 


Ranks high with healthy vision assistance.  Best source is concentrates from fish.  Suggest no more than 50,000 units once or twice a week.  Best used with B group vitamins, vitamins C, D and E, choline, EFAs together with calcium, phosphorus and zinc for bet results.  Retinol is destroyed by light, high temperatures and copper or iron cooking utensils.



When the B Vitamins are brought together,

they are considered to be a Vitamin B Complex.  The B Vitamins work so well together, a B Complex vitamin is often your best choice.

Selecting a "good" B Complex is not easy, so read your ingredients carefully.


VITAMIN B1 (Thiamine) Required for healthy nervous system, muscles, that include heart muscle and brain function. Helpts the body convert carbs into energy. Supports propr metabolism. May aid deficiency disorders associated with confusion, memory loss and shaking.

VITAMIN B2 (Riboflavin) Aids in cell processes leading to energy production and amino acid metabolism.  Vitamin B6 won't work without Vitamin B2.



VITAMIN B3 (Niacin) Important for carbohydrate metabolism and maintenance of healthy cholesterol level. May prevent adult-onset diabetes when weight loss and blood sugar levels are critical. Critical for preventing 4 Ds:  dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and death. Niacin is now considered the new fountain of youth.


VITAMIN B4 (Choline) Part of a group of gats known as phospholipids found in both plant and animal cells. When combined with phosphoric acid and fatty acids within the liver, it forms lecithin. Can be lost in cooking water. Not toxic, but large doses over a period of time requires Vitamin B6 be increased.


VITAMIN B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Needed for breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. May be effective for treatment of nerve damage, breathing problems, itching and other skin problems, When used with other drugs, may help with poisoning. Good for preventing gray hair, arthritis, allergies and birth defects as well as improving mental ability. Found in peas and beans (not green beans), lean meat, poultry, fish and whole-grain cereals.


VITAMIN B6 (Pyridoxine) Important for catalyzing reactions involving amino acids in the cells of the blood, brain and skin. Essential for protein and carbohydrate use and metabolism. Helps produce hormones and maintain healthy nervous and immune systems. Necessary for proper red blood cell formation.  You can get enough B6 from food alone (bell peppers, cranberries, cauliflower, turnip greens, mustr greens, kale, garlic and tuna everyday.  Otherwise, supplement with 2-10 mg daily.


VITAMIN B7 (D-Biotin) or VITAMIN H, VITAMIN B8: Also known as Coenzyme R, it is water-soluble, B-complex vitamin. Vitamin H is used in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, the metabolism of fats and proteins. Plays a role in energy released from food. Indicated for healthy hair and skin, healthy sweat glands, nerve tissue and bone marrow and assists with muscle pain. Vitamin H helps with the transfer of carbon dioxide. Helps in maintaining steady blood sugar levels, diabetes, cradle cap


VITAMIN B9 (Folate or Folic acid) Helps maintain normal blood homocysteine levels, Nourishes the brain and supports moods. Reduces the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. Supports protein metabolism. Supports energy production, Promotes normal formation and functioning of red and white blood cells. Assists in the production of essential building blocks of DNA. Assists in normal function of intestinal tract. Helps in noraml growth and development.


VITAMIN B12 (Cobalamin) Lacking B12 is a serious deficiency. Is water soluble but doesn't exit the body quickly like urine. It is stored in the liver, kidneys and other body tissues so deficiencies may not show up for years depending on the person's diet and the ability of the body for efficiently absorbing B12. Helps with proper digestion, food absorption, iron usee, carbs and fat metabolism. Function is to maintain healthy nervous system. Regulates the formation of red blood cell and longevity. Assists with proper circulation, female reproductive health, pregnancy, mental clarity, concentration and memory function.


Symptoms of B12 deficiency include mental fogginess, problems with memory, mood swings, lack of motivation, feeling of apathy, fatigue and lack of energy. Usually found in meats and fish; vegan diet usually does not provide enough without supplementation. Furthermore, research done by the New England Journal of Medicine revealed mice deficient in Vitamin B12 had growth retardation and fewer osteoblasts (cells responsible for bone formation).


B12 fortified breakfast cereals are NOT healthy. They quickly break down to sugar and stimulate insulin production. All B12 supplements are not the same, so once again you must shop carefully. Vitamin B12 shots are available, but only through a doctor. A fine mist spray is easier, less painful than the sting of a shot. Vegans are often deficient in B12 because it is found almost exclusively in animal tissues.



VITAMIN C (ascorbate C) 


Important to health because it helps bones, teeth, skin, cartilage, capillaries and is the first defense against free radicals that cause disease. Be selective when choosing Vitamin C. Ascorbate C is widely recommended over the many sources of Vitamin C. Ascorbate C is the true vitamin C.


Vitamin C. (Ester C) is non-acidic and more gentle to the stomach. Is the primary choice for cold symptoms. Synthetic C will not do as well as plant-sourced C. 



CoEnzymeQ10 (CoQ10)  CoQ10 is responsible for...converting carbs and fat into ATP energy, which is the raw form of energy desperately needed by your Heart, Brain, and ALL of your cells!  Effectively suppresses age-robbing free radicals — which are known to damage cells and cause the tell-tale signs of aging.  There are two forms of CoQ10, ubiquinol (outside) and ubiquinone (inside), that must work together inside AND outside your cells to give you  maximum benefits.


VITAMIN D3 (cholecalciferol from fish oil)                                   Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency may be subtle but serious.   Don't take the signs lightly.


1. Chronic Pain

2. Muscle Weakness

3. Psoriasis

4. Constant Fatigue

5. Depression

6. Sweaty Head

7. Constant Respiratory Problems

8. Hypertension and/or Cardiovascular Disease*


* The National Institutes of Health has identified Vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor which can lead to congestive heart failure.  As was pointed out, this deficiency is serious.

VITAMIN D2 (ergocalciferol from plant sources is less biologically active) Becoming well-known as the vitamin that wards off just about everything. Protects the brain and heart. Provides protection from the flu better than vaccines. Regulates calcium in bones. Protects the immune system. Regulates cell growth and cell death. Provides antioxidant and antiviral benefits. Controls seizures.



Major source of D is manufactured in the deeper layers of the skin. Food contains very little Vitamin D. Most of the population in the world is deficient in Vitamin D. Growing epidemic and contributing to many chronic debilitating diseases. Dark-skinned people more likely to be deficient than fair-skinned. 60% of type 2 diabetics have a deficiency. Winter is the season to be most concerned when levels may drop 50%. Solution: 15-20 minutes of sun exposure daily (when possible). Alternative: A good quality Vitamin D3 (cream is best). Vitamin D1 and D2 are not active forms of D, so recommend you choose a good D3.



Sunbathing for extensive periods at a time is dangerous, and there are no benefits from a sunburn. Gradual exposure for a tan is much safer and longer lasting. Sun blocks have chemicals and are not a protective cover for lengths of time. Use it sparingly early in the season and then allow yourself to as little as 10 minutes a day if you are fair-skinned. A hat and cover-up are better protection from the sun. No need to overdose on Vitamin D. More is definitely NOT better.




VITAMIN E (Topcopherol or Alpha-topcopherol) 

Best known for its help in preventing cancer.  Got a bad rap when a prevention study, using a synthetic E, showed an increase in cancer.  What is proved was that synthetic can actually cause cancer not the real Vitamin E.  The same results on a study involving prostate cancer were due to the use of a synthetic Vitamin E.  Again, the study proved that synthetic Vitamin E is the problem.



VITAMIN K (koagulation or phylloquinone) 


Phylloquinone is found in foods.  Vitamin K is considered the "forgotten" vitamin.  Best source comes from natto, an ancient Japanese food.  Natto is a fermented soybean food loaded with healthy bacteria which may serve as a probiotic Vitamin K2 is the highest level of K *.  K1 comes from dark green vegetables.  K3 is a synthetic, man-made, and you wouldn't want it anyway.  Fermented dairy is a good source of K2 particularly from (grass-fed, pasture) cows.


Soybean products must be fermented NOT defermented in order to be healthy.  

*  Vitamin K2 should be taken along with D3 to discourage heart disease. *  Vitamin K2 should be included with any calcium supplement.  *  K2 deficiencies may be due to poor or restricted diet, Crohn's Disease, ulcerative collitis, celiac and other issues that interfere with nutrient absorption.