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How To Be Healthy: Vitamins - Nature's Spark Plugs
( Published 1962 )
The "vital spark of life" is that awesome and stupendous faculty that all living things possess. Animals and plants have this power, the power to grow and reproduce their kind. Your body, too, is endowed with this living force, but it must be supported and preserved by the intake of foods that contain all the nourishment that the body requires.
Vitamins are an integral part of an enzyme that aids digestion, and they act as catalysts, which help to control metabolic processes. In other words, they help in the assimilation of the food you eat by contributing the element that changes fats, starches, and sugars into energy. Vitamins convert protein into amino acids for tissue repair and development. They help the mucous membranes to resist disease germs; they give strength to blood vessels and capillaries and feed nerve cells. Without enough of them, metabolic processes cannot progress in a normal manner, and poor health and exhaustion result.
Are all vitamins the same? By no means. They are either natural or synthetic. Natural organic vitamins supply all the related nutritional factors; and each of the various vitamins, in its own way, promotes health and keeps one feeling hale and hearty. The synthetic vitamins are segregated chemical elements usually made from coal-tar derivatives.
Vitamins in their natural state are found in food, in accurate proportions, functioning together interdependently, and also associated with many other substances as yet unidentified. But, due to processing, adulterating, handling, and shelf storage, many foods obtained in modern markets are sorely deficient in the vitamins that the body must have for development and proper functioning. Because of the widespread overrefinement of foods (which destroys these vital substances) you must take vitamin supplements to restore the missing components.
For this reason, a generous supply of all the basic vitamins should be furnished intensively and persistently, because omission of these elements leads to physical failure. This is especially true with older persons.
As for how much, this is a matter that only you can decide after evaluating the facts of nutrition you have learned. What is adequate or even bountiful for one person may be grievously meager for another. My experience has taught me that one has to experiment a bit to determine the individual potencies that are needed. You must learn to analyze your own condition.
Therefore, pay heed to your daily menu and make sure that it provides all known nutrients in full measure-all fats, minerals, natural sugars, vitamins, and proteins. Remember-food supplements give a lift, so to speak, but natural, wholesome food itself is more essential.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin (that is, it dissolves in fat), and it can be stored in the body. This vitamin is extremely valuable for the health of the linings of the ears, lungs, mouth, nose, throat, and all body organs, and is indispensable for healthy bones and tooth enamel, good appetite, and normal digestion, reproduction, and lactation (the formation and secretion of breast milk).
Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and bright, clear eyes. It protects against deterioration of the skin, as well as contributing to the well-being of the salivary glands, the ovaries, and the prostate. If one follows good nutrition, infections of the prostate gland can be avoided. If a prostate infection does occur, the diet should be enriched with supplements of vitamins A and C and vegetable oils. Research has also shown that vitamin A is of particular value as a deterrent of infections, such as habitual colds. Substantial amounts of the vitamin have been found in the relief of hay fever. It has also been found to be helpful in treating ear complaints, firming loose teeth, relieving aching corns and calluses on the feet, and improving the condition of people with goiter or other thyroid ailments.
Few people are aware that this vitamin lowers the cholesterol level in the blood. "Still fewer know that in a report in the Medical Journal of Australia, August 19, 1961, vitamin A was found to reduce by 60 percent the incidence of coronary heart disease, and to reduce by 90 percent the severity of coronary attacks."
The earliest symptoms of vitamin A deficiency are usually noticed as night blindness and sensitivity to bright light. The first changes in the skin are dryness and roughness; the hair lacks sheen and luster; dandruff accumulates; fingernails easily break and peel. A deficiency of this food substance is also one of the causes of stones in the bladder and kidneys, as well as in the pulp of the teeth. It can likewise cause a loss of the sense of taste.
The recommended minimum daily requirement of vitamin A is
four thousand international units. From studies made by Dr. Henry C. Sherman,
Probably the most satisfactory and least expensive source of vitamin A is liver. Fish liver oils, too, are especially well supplied with vitamin A and D, in the proportional relation in which they are needed.
Other good sources are:
apricots, dandelion greens, prunes, asparagus, egg yolk, soybeans, broccoli, kale, spinach, butter, kidneys, squash yellow, cantaloupe, lettuce, string beans, carrots, milk, whole sunflower seeds, celery, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, chard, parsley, tomatoes, cheese, peaches turnip greens, collards, peas, watercress, corn/yellow, persimmons
The importance of obtaining all the B-complex elements in your diet cannot be exaggerated. They fortify your nerves against the burdens and pressures of daily living. They are required for high energy. They are water-soluble vitamins, and must be replaced every day, as the body cannot store them.
We are intended to get our vitamins from the food we eat, and so food comes first, because it is the primary source of all nourishment. Let us realize, then, with respect to the B vitamins at least, that our body demands must be met by nutritious foods. If you do not do this consistently, vitamin and mineral supplements will not be of much value.
There are some fifteen members of the B-complex family that have been identified. In view of the fact that they are poorly provided for in the American dietary, almost everyone needs them. Almost two thirds of the calories we eat are distributed among foods that have had a goodly portion of their natural nutrients eliminated. Eating white sugar, drinking excessively, and smoking also swindle you of B vitamins. Baking powder and baking soda neutralize these vitamins. If you are puzzled as to why you always feel tired, ponder the possibility that your vitamin B supply is too low.
The B vitamins are definitely effective in correcting defective digestion and improving the skin, mouth, tongue, arteries, nerves, eyes, and liver. They are absolutely essential to the heart's vigorous power, and are also vital for well-regulated elimination. This group of vitamins improves health in numerous ways. They are a must for a healthy body.
If you want to increase the body's ability to cope with stress, stop damaging accumulations of cholesterol from forming in the arteries, protect yourself against cancer, and produce immunity to many diseases, include plenty of the B-complex vitamins in your diet. All of them are of the utmost importance, because without these vitamins in at least the minimum amounts, life cannot be supported.
Another function of the B-complex vitamins is to assist in developing the digestive acids of the stomach. One of the essential requirements for a long and healthy life is a strongly acid stomach. As we grow older, we tend to have less hydrochloric acid in the stomach than younger people. Hydrochloric acid secretion is normal when the B vitamins, especially vitamin B-1 (thiamine) and niacin, are procured in sufficient quantity. These vitamins are the best guarantee of adequate hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which in turn prevents disease-threatening bacteria from getting into the intestines.
Stomach acidity can be sustained by taking apple cider vinegar or eating garlic or onions. Dry table wines, such as burgundy, claret, Rhine wines, and sauterne also aid digestion in this way. Such wines contain 10 to 12 percent alcohol, which is more than is present in beer and ale, but they also contain less carbohydrate.
No two individuals have identical requirements of these vitamins. Body structure, whether it be large or small, and physical activity determine one's needs, and these demands can be considerably affected by excessive perspiration in summer as well as by stress.
A deficiency in the B vitamins breeds malnutrition, enlargement of the heart, atrophy of muscles, loss of appetite, and failure to grow. Further, it may lead to personality defects, such as loss of self-confidence and lowered morale, which in turn can produce nervous tension.
Some symptoms of a vitamin B deficiency are:
The two most fruitful sources of the whole B-complex are brewer's yeast and liver. Other foods in which B vitamins are plentiful are:
berries, soybeans, cheese, kidneys, sunflower seeds, egg yolk, legumes, wheat germ, fish, melons, whey, fowl, milk, whole grains, fruits, peanuts, yogurt
All component parts of the B-complex are mutually dependent and are so vital to health and well-being that they all should be taken at the same time, since taking only one or more single vitamins can cause a deficiency in the others. Be wary, therefore, of the risky, lopsided, B-complex formulas so universally accepted today.
THIAMINE (VITAMIN B-1)
Thiamine, or vitamin B-1, is precisely related to the activity of the nervous system and is the chief nerve relaxant of all the B vitamins. A lingering scarcity of this vitamin may indeed cause a breakdown of the myelin sheath, which covers the nerve endings.
Vitamin B-1 is the food factor that improves your proficiency to absorb knowledge, promotes a calm nervous system (which, in one sense, is the very basis of health), gives you a feeling of confidence and self-respect, and enables you to meet difficulties with assurance.
This vitamin is required by the body to burn glucose and helps to convey vital oxygen to where it is needed. The older you are, the more thiamine you need. You also require vitamin B-1 for normal appetite and orderly digestion.
An insufficiency of vitamin B-1 causes fatigue, gas, heart trouble, insomnia, low thyroid activity, neuritis (which sometimes assumes the characteristics of lumbago, neuralgia, sciatica, or shingles), shortness of breath, and severe weakness. Even slight deficiencies can affect your normal temperament adversely, causing such personality changes as depression, inability to stand noise, jealousy, lack of interest, loss of morale, and nervous tension.
Potent sources of this vitamin are:
beef, heart, peas, blackstrap molasses, kidney, pork, brains, legumes, rice polishings, brewer's yeast, lentils, sardines, chicken liver, codfish, milk/powdered, sunflower seeds, dry beans, mutton, wheat germ, eggs, nuts, whole grains, fish roe, peanuts, yogurt
RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B-2)
This important member of the B-complex is necessary for general health and energy, and is particularly necessary in order to help the cells in the tissues exchange oxygen, to keep vision undimmed, and to maintain clear skin and healthy hair. It is said that this vitamin is specifically required to foster superior resistance to disease, produce sturdy descendants, and increase longevity.
Riboflavin, or vitamin B-2, in combination with vitamin A, inhibits night blindness, which threatens airplane pilots and drivers of automobiles. Abnormal sensitivity to bright light, irritation and fatigue of the eyes, and soreness of the mouth, nostrils, and ears may be corrected when treated with this substance.
One of the first symptoms of vitamin B-2 deficiency appears as alterations of the visual apparatus of the eye, causing clouded vision. The whites of the eyes become bloodshot; sometimes there is granular inflammation; and the eyes water readily. As lack of riboflavin is considered to be the greatest single vitamin deficiency in our country today, make it a point to get a substantial amount of this element every day.
A greater intake of vitamin B-2, through the use of brewer's yeast, liver, and yogurt, will usually clear up any visual symptoms or other signs of deficiency. Eggs, green leafy vegetables, rice polishings , and wheat germ are other foods in which vitamin B-2 is present in good quantity.
PYRIDOXINE (VITAMIN B-6)
Pyridoxine, or vitamin B-6, is another very important element of the B-complex that, among other services, aids in conserving protein and in keeping your nerves young. A remarkable natural tranquilizer, it is winning distinction for its calming and comforting effect on the nervous system.
Extraordinary effects have been achieved by supplying vitamin B-6 to persons afflicted with epilepsy, hand tremors, insomnia, nervousness, palsy, or St. Vitus's dance. I wish to note here, however, that epilepsy, as such, cannot be cured by vitamin B-6, but seizures can be warded off or alleviated. It is a powerful food, rather than a drug.
Pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) is a muscle strengthener; consequently, it has proven useful in treating assorted types of muscular rigidity and distressing stiffness of the legs. It is likewise important to the utilization of fats, the forming of blood, the harmonious operation of muscles, and the health of the skin; and it has some bearing on the growth, color, and texture of the hair. It also improves human tolerance to noise.
Reports indicate that the greasy type of dandruff, as well as oiliness of the skin, so prevalent among acne sufferers, are greatly benefited, and occasionally vanish entirely, after a short period of treatment with vitamin B-6. It seems obvious that the oil glands of the skin cannot work properly without this substance. This may be a clue to why B-6 has been found effective in protecting sunsensitive persons.
Some of the consequences of an insufficiency of vitamin B-6 in the diet are air- and sea-sickness, dizziness, lessened resistance to middle-ear infection, inferior muscle strength, and skin disease.
Since vitamin B-6 is purged from grains in the refining process, it may be found liberally supplied in the following foods:
beets, fish, muscle meats, blackstrap molasses, heart, nuts, brains, honey, peanut oil, brewer's yeast, kidney, rice polishings, cabbage, legumes, seeds, corn oil, liver, wheat germ, egg yolk, milk, whole grains
Vitamin B-12 was at first called "the animal protein factor," because it is only available in animal sources. Vitamin B-12 restrains and checks degeneration of cells in the central nervous system and, with the help of iron, aids in the prevention of cell deterioration. It affords a successful treatment for a sore tongue, aids bronchial asthma and extreme fatigue, helps treat varying degrees of deafness, and has relieved migraine headaches when everything else has proved disappointing. Massive doses have been used to ease the pain of neuritis.
It is said that vitamin B-12 encourages growth in underdeveloped children who have shown no improvement with other treatments. But where this vitamin has demonstrated its greatest power is in the treatment of the deadly pernicious anemia.
A want of B-12 also causes difficulties in muscular coordination and harmful mutations in the bone marrow. Liver is the best source of this vitamin, but it can also be obtained in brewer's yeast, kidneys, milk, and wheat germ.
Biotin, every so often referred to as the "mental health vitamin," is an extraordinarily effective stimulant to the development of healthy cells, and is, therefore, vital to sound nourishment of the body, as well as being important to general growth. It is also required so that fat can be digested and assimilated.
Biotin deficiencies result in unusual fatigue, dry, peeling skin, mental distress, muscular pain, uneasiness in the heart region, poor appetite, and upset stomach.
Good sources are:
brewer's yeast, liver, egg yolk, tomatoes, kidneys, wheat germ
Choline is one of the B vitamins that controls the distribution of food fats throughout the body and aids gall bladder functioning. As choline is serviceable in helping to retard hardening of the arteries and diseases related thereto, it lessens the possibility of heart attacks.
This substance is also needed by the kidneys, for lactation in nursing mothers, and for the spleen; and it has been employed successfully in medical care of cirrhosis of the liver. It is also used for treating diabetes, glaucoma, and muscular dystrophy.
Valuable food sources are:
brains, lecithin granules, snap beans, brewer's yeast, liver, soybeans, cabbage, meat, spinach, egg yolk, mustard greens, tongue, fish, peas, turnip greens, fruits, rice polishings, wheat germ, heart, root vegetables, whole grains, kidney
Folic acid has been found necessary in moderate quantities in order for the bone marrow to make red blood cells of average size and normal number. It aids in the treatment of certain varieties of anemia, in particular the dread pernicious anemia. Folic acid is necessary for normal liver activity and has some bearing on preserving natural hair coloring.
A lack of this vitamin brings about proneness to intestinal parasites and food poisoning. Insufficiency also causes fatigue, pallor, weakness, and, ultimately, anemia.
Folic acid is abundant in:
brewer's yeast, liver, eggs, meat, fowl, mushrooms, fruits, oysters, grains/sprouted, soybeans, green leaves/uncooked, wheat germ, kidneys
Inositol is one of the B vitamins that is basic to life, but of which all the benefits to the body are not yet known. It is, however, most valuable for normal intestinal activity, especially the metabolism of fats; health of the skin; and hair growth and color. It is found in very small amounts in all the cells of the body. It is especially localized in the heart muscle and the lens of the eye.
Inositol is used to advantage in treating cerebral palsy, diabetes, gall bladder disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and other ailments of the muscles and nerves. This vitamin also combines with choline to maintain cholesterol in suspension, and it helps the body to make use of vitamin E, thereby helping to arrest hardening of the arteries.
This vitamin is also considered helpful in restoring missing hair. Tests have shown that some persons have evidenced revived hair growth when they took inositol along with the other B vitamins; when the others were taken alone, however, no results were obtained.
Best natural food sources are:
beef brains, fruits, nuts, beef heart, lecithin, peas/dried, blackstrap molasses, lima beans/dry, wheat germ, brewer's yeast, liver, whole grains, cantaloupe, meat, yogurt, corn, milk/whole
Niacin, well known as the substance that defends the body against pellagra, is necessary for healthy blood, fine skin tone, and sound digestion. Niacin retards the accumulation of cholesterol and other fatty substances in the bloodstream that contribute to hardening of the arteries. It is also required for good circulation, for the health of the brain and nervous system, for ideal functioning of the liver, and finally, for the combustion of starch and sugar. Unfortunately, niacin is one of the members of the B-complex that is removed from flour and sugar in the processing.
Niacin is frequently termed the "courage vitamin," because even a modest deficiency can influence the personality and bring on deviations from the norm such as apprehension, forgetfulness, hostility, insomnia, low morale, mental disturbances, surliness, suspicion, tension, and so on.
An undue scarcity of niacin causes or results in diarrhea, inflammation of the intestinal tract, severe skin disease, sore tongue and mouth, and loss of appetite, strength, and weight.
Conditions such as those just mentioned can be remedied, and especially by keeping to a diet in which brewer's yeast (which induces normal digestion and elimination), beefsteak, and liver and other meats are predominant.
Other good food sources are:
barley/whole, kidney, rice polishings, chicken, lobster, soybeans, eggs, mushrooms, turkey, fish, nuts, wheat germ, heart, peanuts, whey
For many years this vitamin of the B-complex has been designated as an antidermatitic agent, since one of its notable functions is protection of the skin. In addition, pantothenic acid is highly important to growth and helps to forestall old-age symptoms, such as impaired adrenal glands, accumulations of fat in the liver and kidneys, thinning hair, and shriveled testicles.
It favorably affects the activity of the digestive system and the entire alimentary canal and is an effective detoxifier of such body poisons as cortisone, DDT, streptomycin, strychnine, and sulfa drugs. This vitamin is also used in the treatment of neuritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Human beings whose diet was improved with additional B vitamins exceeding ordinary requirements showed a marked increase in their resistance to mental stress. They attained a greater degree of steadiness and self-control under pressure, and pantothenic acid proved especially valuable in this connection.
This would seem to be a more sensible course to take than self-dosage with tranquilizers, don't you agree?
Good sources of this vitamin are:
beans, corn, potatoes, beef, eggs, salmon, blackstrap molasses, kidneys, soybeans, brewer's yeast, liver, wheat germ, broccoli, peanuts, cabbage, peas
Para-amino-benzoic acid is essential for the regular functioning of the glands and is now thought to be the actual element in the B-complex that delays the appearance of gray hair. Other antigray vitamins of the B-complex are choline , inositol , and pantothenic acid. It is used to insure the reliable performance of the pituitary gland (which, in turn, favorably influences rheumatoid arthritis) and for treatment of rheumatic fever, and it is given to women to help overcome sterility. It is also administered by allergists for migraine headaches and for the relief of asthma.
Deficiency of this vitamin induces anemia, intense fatigue, skin rash, or eczema.
It is found most plentifully in:
blackstrap molasses, meat, brewer's yeast, nuts, fish, rice polishings, fruits, whole grains, liver
Vitamin C, which is called the "master vitamin," is essential to breathing, the heartbeat, and all bodily processes. Since the body cannot manufacture its own vitamin C, one must get the needed quantities from foods or supplements; because it is a water-soluble vitamin, it must be taken daily.
Early in the nineteenth century, it was widely known that lemon juice was a safeguard against scurvy. It was not until 1932, however, that researchers and food scientists discovered and identified that unknown essence as vitamin C.
The body must have vitamin C in order to produce collagen, a sort of cement that binds the cells together. It is an essential element of connective tissue, of which it conserves the elasticity and strength. Vitamin C is called the "vitality vitamin," because it is basic to health and life; you cannot live without it. It is needed by all the glands, but it particularly encourages the production of cortisone by the adrenals. Moreover, it is an indispensable bulwark for protection against disease bacteria and maintains durability of blood-vessel walls. It is essential to health at all ages, but especially in later life.
A very large percentage of all Americans suffer to some degree from diseases of the teeth and gums. Vitamin C and its associated bioflavonoids definitely influence the health of the gums, and their condition affords a good indication of your health pattern. This substance is vital to the complete development of the teeth. If enough vitamin C is not provided to growing children, the enamel of their teeth wears away or is even lacking. Tooth cavities occur most often in children, so a generous supply of this vitamin is absolutely necessary during these years to prevent decay.
We are beset on all sides nowadays by innumerable poisons, which we cannot escape, and which take the form of chemical additives, dyes, and fertilizers. Vitamin C acts as a detoxifier of these poisons. This vitamin is also recognized to be a defensive medium in cases of asthma, eczema, hay fever, hives, poison oak and poison ivy infections, and postnasal drip. It is also effective in treating arthritis, diabetes, drug sensitivity, muscular fatigue, pernicious anemia, polio, radiation sickness, rheumatic fever, and sinus infection.
You also need vitamin C for good bone formation; to heal all types of fractures; to prevent brittle bones (if vitamin C is deficient, bones will not hold minerals); for the repair of damaged nerve tissues; and for sound gums, supple joints, and healthy arteries and veins. It has proved of real value in the relief of low back pain and spinal disc injuries.
As another of its important functions, vitamin C promotes the absorption and utilization of iron. It also acts as a mild diuretic and helps to preserve normal vision. Since it regulates the cholesterol in the bloodstream, it is an important agent in lowering high blood pressure.
Medical authorities have published impressive results of treatment with vitamin C of chicken pox, diphtheria, dysentery, influenza, measles, mumps, pelvic infections, scarlet fever, septicemia, shingles, and tuberculosis.
Prevention Magazine (September 1963) reported on a survey that pointed out that vitamin C has the astounding qualification of being able to take the place of any of the other vitamins in a crisis.
According to a study in Clinical Medicine, Vitamin C has been used successfully in treating the common cold.
There have been many reports in the literature indicating that massive doses of vitamin C are of value in treating virus infections....Doses as high as 10 grams (10,000 milligrams) have been administered intravenously without ill effects.
In six cases of virus infections treated with vitamin C, "there was prompt patient response. In four of the patients, improvement was considered dramatic."
When one considers the fact that the average adult gets four colds a year and loses eight days from his job, which costs him or his boss eight days' pay-aside from the cost of medication and doctor's bills-the magnitude of the problem can be quickly seen. Do you begin to see that there is a solution -- that you can prevent colds by the use of this remarkable food?
The Journal of the American Medical Association referred to a British study (1963 ) in which saturation with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) was used as a treatment for forty male chronic psychiatric patients. Some had been in mental hospitals for as long as forty-five years. "The results showed that saturation with vitamin C has brought about an improvement in over-all personality functioning." The article explained that psychiatric patients are known to have "an unusually high demand for ascorbic acid," and that the hospital catering did not meet that demand. Vitamin supplementation of the diet was recommended.
A deficiency of vitamin C causes many grievous and diversified bodily evils, not the least of which is a loss of vitalizing oxygen. A deficiency may also lead to the formation of kidney stones and to other improper usage of calcium by the body.
Vitamin C shortages can also lead to aching bones, joints and muscles, apathy, fatigue, shortness of breath, sterility, and weakness. Likewise, deficiency can worsen allergies, cause the breakdown of gum tissues, introducing pyorrhea, and cause hemorrhaging of capillaries (the smallest blood vessels).
Reports indicate that the greatest single cause of a lowered vitamin C supply in the average person is regular smoking. Tests show that the smoking of one cigarette neutralizes about twenty-five milligrams of vitamin C in the body.
The National Research Council recommends seventyfive to one hundred milligrams daily as the minimum intake to prevent scurvy, but each person must discover his own requirements, depending upon his or her own particular circumstances.
In past years, one of the scourges of my life was severe chest colds. If I happened to lose much sleep, or got wet feet, or was under tension or anxious, I would invariably come down with a cold or cough and, once it had begun, no matter what I did, I was never successful in arresting it; it always went the limit. Now I take daily an average of twelve hundred milligrams of C, combined with the bioflavonoids , and I am virtually immune to these infections. So test and study your reactions until you have found the right dosage.
Actually, as far as I know, there is no limit to the amount of natural vitamin C that one can safely take, since any excess is eliminated by the kidneys very rapidly. There is no allergic or toxic reaction from vitamin C. It is the opinion of many nutritionists that everyone should get very much more vitamin C. There is no danger of getting too much.
Practically all fresh natural foods contain vitamin C, but rose hips contain more per gram than any other food. They also contain the bioflavonoids (vitamin P) and some vitamin A. Rose hips are the fruit of the rose, which remain after the petals have fallen. Rose hips may also be obtained in convenient powder, liquid, or tablet form in health food shops.
Other excellent food sources are:
apples, citrus fruits, peas, apricots, collards, persimmons, asparagus, corn/sweet, pimentos, avocados, green beans, pineapple, bananas, green peppers, potatoes, beet/greens, kale, sardines, berries, lima beans, soybeans, broccoli, liver, strawberries, brussels sprouts, melons, tomatoes, cabbage, parsley, turnips, cantaloupe, parsnips, watercress, cauliflower, peaches
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is absolutely essential for health, and especially for that of children, since it is required for the proper use of calcium and phosphorus by the body. Both these minerals are necessary for strong bones and teeth. The available evidence is conclusive that this vitamin is indispensable for their absorption and that it promotes their efficiency. It has also been proven beyond all question that vitamin D prevents rickets.
Vitamin D is called the "sunshine vitamin," as it is produced by the action of sunlight on a substance secreted by the oil glands of the skin. It is a vital aid to the health of the nervous system: another natural tranquilizer, which relaxes the nerves and induces sound sleep.
° Caution: Citrus fruits and juices should be used very sparingly, as they cause an alkaline urine, a circumstance that is conducive to the increase of disease bacteria.
One authority writes, on the subject of synthetic vitamin D:
Do you give your child "Viosterol " or "Vigautol " (synthetic Vitamin D)? It is well established that this product causes blood in the urine very quickly in children, by its destructive action to the kidneys. Deaths have been reported from the ordinary dosages used to "protect" from rickets.
You need more vitamin D for the building of energy, for the better absorption of minerals, for eye health, regular heart action, and effective clotting of the blood. It is of the greatest importance to the health of the thyroid gland, and some kinds of arthritis have been improved and even cured by it.
It is also valuable in other respects, and has been used in treatment of lockjaw, nearsightedness, osteomalacia , osteoporosis, and psoriasis. It is especially advantageous in healing fractured bones, during pregnancy and lactation, and again throughout the course of the menopause. If coupled with calcium, it is also useful for prevention of despondency, hot flashes, irritation, muscle spasms, and night sweats. As one advances in age, one's need for this vitamin increases.
An insufficiency of vitamin D prevents the body from using sugar efficiently, so that fatigue results. Other conditions caused by a deficiency of this vitamin are arthritis, defective teeth, imperfect bone structure, softening of the bones (osteomalacia), and nervous tension.
Speaking of sunshine in connection with vitamin D, a doctor in Arizona, where I was living, once told me that the time one was exposed to sunlight while going to and from work each day was enough to provide one with his daily quota of vitamin D. At the time, I made a practice of sitting out in the sun in a park near my home for a couple of hours nearly every day. The doctor forbade this, saying that it raised the temperature of the body, which was dangerous. I have followed that advice ever since; but, realizing that vitamin D is relatively scarce in foods, I take an additional supplement of 3,500 units a day.
The National Research Council recommends only four hundred units of vitamin D daily for individuals of all ages. Medical studies disclose, however, that about four thousand units can be taken every day to advantage, because this vitamin is not plentiful in ordinary foods.
Cod liver oil, halibut liver oil, and other fish liver oils are the only satisfactory food sources. Other foods that have some vitamin D are:
butter, oysters, eggs, salmon, herring, sardines, liver, sunflower seeds, mackerel, tunafish, milk
For quite a while I have been using a halibut liver oil capsule, which provides 850 units of vitamin D and five thousand units of vitamin A. It has proved to be very satisfactory. Make sure to obtain this vitamin from a natural source.
Vitamin E is really a fat-soluble group, the elements of which are designated alpha, beta, gamma, and delta (the first four letters of the Greek alphabet). At present, however, according to the best available authorities, the only active member of the group is the alpha ingredient.
When the millers began the custom of separating the wheat germ from the substance of the kernel, the principal source of vitamin E was milled out of the flour, so that now it cannot be obtained from bread or other white-flour products. As a result of this practice, a decline in public health began.
Consequently, there is an unusual amount of general interest in the use of vitamin E, which is essential for normal functioning of the cardiovascular system.
If you use white flour and its products, you are certainly deficient in vitamin E, because this substance is chiefly found in whole grains. I believe that the American diet does not contain enough vitamin E for good health. All the evidence points in that direction.
The veterinarians have known for forty years that vitamin E is also necessary for normal reproduction. They have given wheat germ oil to the barren heifers and to the bulls, with good results.
I am convinced that vitamin E is also necessary for normal reproduction in humans. I believe that one of the reasons why young women have so many menstrual disorders, and one of the reasons why they are having more miscarriages and so much more trouble at the menopause, is because our modern diet has been robbed of its vitamin E.
Vitamin E is essential for everyone from infancy to old age. It is especially needed by young people and by all who make vigorous demands upon the heart. It is one of the major foods of the pituitary gland, the adrenals, and the
sex glands. It is also important in that it helps the liver to detoxify various injurious substances and stave off many diseases of the later years.
Vitamin E is prescribed by physicians for men who have withered testicles. In this connection, I should mention that it is a known fact that this element is effective in influencing the youthfulness of the sex glands and prolonging their normal activity. Understanding the relation of nutrition to marital happiness can be an important step toward removing what may be the underlying cause of much incompatibility in married life.
Far better than drugs, vitamin E serves as an anticoagulant, dilates the blood vessels, and prevents blood clots from forming in the arteries, capillaries, and veins. No known food element has such a multiplicity of healing qualities as vitamin E. It is truly unique.
The body has more call for vitamin E in the cells and tissues than any other food, and it is second to none in its curative power. The healing of bruises, burns, and wounds is speeded up by the action of vitamin E; it prevents the formation of too much scar tissue, and sometimes even melts scar tissue that is incidental in urinary tract strictures.
This important substance was discovered in 1922 by researchers at the Universities of Arkansas and California. Since then it has been used successfully to ease the following conditions:
Vitamin E is usually referred to by nutritionists as the chief heart food, since its inclusion in the diet prevents degeneration of the muscles. Muscles famished for this food clement need several times the quantity of oxygen that healthy muscles do. Vitamin E has a singular influence on the effective activity of all the muscles, and indications are that it is of importance in producing muscle power and preserving muscle tone. It has also been found effective in relieving the pain of muscular inflammation.
The next most important effect of the use of vitamin E is oxygen conservation. It oxygenates the tissues in the same way in which exercise invigorates. The amount of oxygen in the blood is vital, not only for the protection of a healthy body, but also for the rebuilding of injured and unhealthy tissues. Vitamin E reduces the oxygen requirement in tissues, thereby protecting the brain, heart, and kidneys.
Its ability to conserve oxygen renders it very helpful in preventing arteriosclerosis, coronary and cerebral thrombosis, congenital heart disease, diabetes, gangrene, Raynaud's syndrome, and strokes. A shortage of oxygen in the blood is a significant factor in provoking a heart attack. Due to its power to buttress capillary walls, it can ease pain of nephritis (Bright's disease), rheumatic fever, and strictures.
By keeping the oxygen supply up, vitamin E makes it possible for the body to function normally, to avoid illness, to get along on less oxygen, and build up a reserve for future needs. The benefits derived extend from better mental efficiency to unusual physical stamina, less heart stress, and improved alertness. An all-round wonderful food substance indeed!
Without additional wheat germ, or capsules of concentrated vitamin E, the average American diet probably contains a daily maximum of from twelve to fifteen international units of this substance, an amount grossly insufficient to maintain the health and strength of the cardiovascular system. Most authorities on this subject have estimated that one needs a minimum intake of thirty units a day for adequate protection. Here again it should be stressed that one must find one's own proper dosage by experimenting. I began with one hundred units a day. The first unexpected result I obtained from this food was the healing, in about six weeks, of several lesions I had had for several years on both my legs below the knees. I then increased my intake to two hundred units a day for the next thirty days, then to three hundred units for the following thirty days, and so on until I built my consumption up to six hundred units a day, which I found to be the most effective dose for me. I have been taking this amount for about eight years with excellent results.
In view of the scarcity of vitamin E in the average diet, an eminent medical authority wrote that everyone should be taking daily supplements of natural vitamin E. I say "natural," because it has been ascertained that the natural form of this vitamin is five times as potent as the synthetic product.
Foods in which vitamin E is most plentiful are:
apples, haddock, pork chops, avocados, kale, rice/brown, bacon, kelp, sardines, bananas, lamb chops, seeds, barley, lettuce, soybean oil, beefsteak, liver, sunflower seed oil, butter, olive oil, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, tomatoes, coconut oil, parsley, turnip greens, corn oil, peanut oil, wheat germ, cottonseed oil, peas, wheat germ oil, eggs, potatoes, whole grains
-And, of course, capsules of concentrated vitamin E, since it is practically impossible to get enough of this vitamin without resorting to fresh vegetable oils or concentrates for your daily needs.
Note: The need for vitamin E increases as the intake of polyunsaturated fats rises.
VITAMIN F (UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS)
Fats are one of the three main building substances necessary for maintaining life. They are the most condensed form of energy and, consequently, even very small amounts of them will serve.
Vitamin F (the unsaturated fatty acids) is necessary for general good health, attractive skin, and quiet nerves. It helps in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as assisting in distributing calcium to the tissues. Certain exceptional growth elements are contained in it.
Medical evidence indicates that vitamin F is useful in the successful treatment of prostate gland trouble. Cases treated experienced a rapid decrease in swelling. It is also given credit for emulsifying cholesterol in the bloodstream, making it harmless. It likewise helps to make the joints more pliable.
Vitamin F is salutary in decreasing the number of colds one gets and reduces their severity; so that, on this account alone, this substance is a very desirable addition to the diet. These acids also aid the reproductive processes and are believed to have some connection with the proper operation of the thyroid gland. An active thyroid fosters an attractive, graceful body.
I have used several vegetable oils for varying periods of time, but, so far as benefits to the skin are concerned, I got the best results with corn oil. Corn oil contains the following acids, all important to health: arachidic , lignoceric, linoleic (an ingredient indispensable to life itself), linolenic, oleic, palmitric, and stearic. Many sufferers from arthritis, asthma, dandruff, fatigue, kidney disease, leg pains, migraine headache, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin diseases have responded to this therapy. Deficiencies of vitamin F can be responsible for brittle and lusterless hair and nails and dry skin.
In conclusion, a word about wheat germ oil. This valuable oil furnishes energy and vitality and helps the body to cope with the saturated fats. It has been proven to increase endurance. Progress was made and symptoms suppressed in some people with progressive muscular dystrophy and neuromuscular disorders who received wheat germ oil.
Dr. T. K. Cureton, head of the University of Illinois Physical Fitness Laboratory, said that wheat germ oil helps men to do hard labor without harm and to withstand severe stress. It increases stamina.
Vitamin F is found particularly in cereal and vegetable oils, as well as seed fats. The following foods are the best sources:
corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower seeds and oil, peanuts and peanut oil, wheat germ oil, safflower oil, whole grains, sesame seeds and oil
Vitamin K is the blood-clotting food element. It stops hemorrhaging following bodily injury, childbirth, a tooth extraction, or surgery. Its best food source is leafy greens.
VITAMIN P (THE BIOFLAVONOIDS)
Vitamin P (the bioflavonoids) is an aggregate of citrin, hesperidin, and rutin. It is present mainly in the pulpy portion of fruits and other fresh foods, always accompanied by vitamin C. For this reason, the effectiveness of vitamins P and C is greatly reinforced when they act as a team, more so than if they are taken individually.
Since vitamin P promotes ideal capillary penetration, it is of importance in keeping the heart and blood vessel walls in good, healthy condition. The action of this food benefits such grave conditions as arteriosclerosis, coronary thrombosis, and hemorrhaging. It likewise minimizes the risk of strokes and helps prevent the familiar degenerative conditions we see all around us today.
Vitamin P acts favorably on the tiniest veins, the capillaries, through which all nutrients pass from the blood into the cells and tissues and waste material is gathered and removed from the body. In this manner it accomplishes wonders in aiding all kinds of afflictions by stimulating basic body resistance against attack.
You also need vitamin P for protection against a number of ailments, including: bursitis, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, eczema, glaucoma, high blood pressure, miscarriage, polio, psoriasis, rheumatic fever, and rheumatoid arthritis. Combined with vitamin C, it has also proved beneficial in respiratory infections, from the well-known cold to influenza, tonsillitis, and tuberculosis.
Foods that are especially rich in this wonder-working substance are:
currants/black and red, parsley, citrus fruits, prunes, grapes, rose hips, green peppers, spinach
Next best sources are:
apples, lettuce, sweet potatoes, apricots, parsnips, tomatoes, cabbage, peas, walnuts, carrots, plums, watercress, cherries, potatoes
Before entering into a detailed explanation of the various minerals and their functions in the body, I feel it will be helpful to pause a few moments in order to summarize briefly some of the important points covered in this section on the vitamins.
To obtain the vitamins outlined in the preceding pages in maximum quantity and optimum quality, eat the following foods, which supply these nutrients in their most concentrated form:
FOR VITAMIN A
FOR VITAMIN B-COMPLEX
FOR VITAMIN C
FOR VITAMIN D
FOR VITAMIN E
FOR VITAMIN F
FOR VITAMIN P