|VITAMIN AND MINERAL GUIDE|
|VITAMIN||U.S. RDA||SOURCES and FOODS||AFFECT ON HEALTH||RISKS OF OVERDOSE|
|Vitamin A||5,000 IU||Deep green, yellow or orange vegetables, and some yellow or orange fruits. Broccoli, carrots, cantaloupes, peaches, squash, green leafy vegetables. Dairy products and baked goods made with eggs.||Essential for healthy skin and tissues, tooth development, vision in dim light.||Toxic above 50,000 IU. Symptoms include nausea, vomitting, fatigue, irritibility, blurred vision, joint pains, dry skin.|
|Beta-Carotene||5,000 IU||Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body. Anyone who eats leafy greens, carrots, broccoli, cantaloupes, peaches, squash is tapping the best sources.||Essential for healthy skin and tissues, tooth development, vision in dim light.||Non-toxic, but large doses can turn the palms of hands and soles of feet orange.|
|Vitamin B6||2 milligrams||Lean fish, meat, poultry, pork, eggs, spinach, potatoes, bananas, whole wheat bread, peanut butter. The list is long and varied, so that few people need to worry about getting enough.||Essentila to protein metabolism.||Taking 100 milligrams or more daily can cause nerve damage.|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||1.7 milligrams||Milk, cheese, enriched and whole-grain breads, dark green leafy vegetables.||Used in the release of energy to cells.||None|
|Vitamin B12||2 micrograms||Poultry, lean meats, seafood. B 12 is also added to breakfast cereals.||Helps form red blood cells and the functioning of all cells.||None|
|Vitamin C||60 milligrams||Fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, broccoli, cabbage, leafy green vegetables, red and green peppers. If you eat these on a daily basis, you will reach the RDA||Essential for growth and maintenance of all tissues. Promotes wound healing and increases iron absorbtion||High doses can cause diarrhea, or problems with iron storage.|
|Vitamin D||200-600 IU||Sunlight, fortified milk, canned and fresh fruit.||Aids in the formation and maintenance of bones and teeth.||Doses of more than 5,000 IU can cause heart and kidney damage.|
|Vitamin E||30 IU||Vegetable oils, margarine, nuts, beans||Helps form red blood cells, muscles and other tissues. Preserves fatty acids, may help immune system and delay Parkinson's disease.||Safe up to 400 IU daily. Higher doses may increase risk of stroke or heart attack.|
|Vitamin K||80 micrograms||Green leafy vegetable, whole grains, eggs.||Needed for normal blood clotting.||Can cause blood to be to "thick", especially in those taking Warfarin.|
|Folic Acid||200 micrograms||Leafy greens, peas and beans, citrus fruits, whole grain bread and cereals.||Reduces risk of neurologic deficits in developing fetuses.||Large doses can increase Zinc excretion and mask B 12 deficiency.|
|Biotin||300 micrograms||Eggs, mild and meats.||Helps in metabolism of carbon dioxide, protein, fats, and carbohydrates.||None known.|
|Niacin||19 milligrams||Meats, peas and is formed in the body from protein from eggs and milk. It is also added to flour, pasta and breads.||Aids in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.||Flushing, tingling and rashes at doses greater than 1000 milligrams. May cause liver toxicity.|
|Calcium||800 milligrams to 1500 milligrams||Milk, yogurt, leafy green vegetables, corn tortillas, and tofu are rich sources also.||Essential in building and maintaining bone strength and preventing fractures in the elderly. May decrease risk of colon cancer.||Constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, depression. May affect absorbtion of Iron and Zinc.|
|Chromium||none||Peanuts and beer, as well as cheese, whole grains, broccoli, wheat germ, brewe's yeast and liver.||May help in carbohydrate metabolism, and improve blood sugar control in diabetics||Safe at 50 to 200 micrograms daily.|
|Iron||10 milligrams||Iron is added to bread, cereals, rice, pasta, as well as being found naturally in meat, eggs, and some vegetables.||Used for buiding blood cells.||Interferes with calcium and Zinc absorption, and high doses may increase risk of heart disease.|
|Selenium||70 micrograms||Meat and seafood||Unknown||Large doses can cause fingernail deformities and hair loss.|
|Zinc||15 milligrams||Meat bread, and grain products. Eggs, seafood, and liver.||May help immune function.||Large doses can hamper copper absorption. High doses can actually lower the immune response. Vomitting.|
There is controversy about whether vitamin supplements are needed by normal, healthy individuals. Some researchers point out that a balanced diet containing grains, produce and dairy products and lean meats or fish contain all the vitamins you need to maintain normal health. There is no clear cut evidence that extra high doses will help you achieve optimal health.
YOUR DAILY ALLOWANCE. There are 13 known vitamins, all of them essential to good health. The US Recommended Daily Allowances (US RDA) provide general guidelines for determining adequate vitamin intake. They have built in margin of safety, so they exceed the needs of most healthy people.
Most experts think it is better to get your vitamins from food rather than a pills or supplements. Supplements may give you all or more of the US RDA, but won't provide the other benefits that fruits, vegetables, and other vitamin rich foods provide - such as fiber. Also, we know that vitamins don't work by themselves, but interact with the food you eat. This interaction may affect how your body absorbs and uses all of the nutrients it needs.
Reducing saturated and trans-fats, as well as salt (Sodium) in your diet may do more the improve your health than any supplement.