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i'm not sure how you feel about learning everything you can about things...
but in making lifestyle changes, it's helped me to understand the reasons for the changes
This is why this page, "marvelous miscellany" is here. the information on this page will help you to understand why the changes you're making are beneficial to your health & well being. perhaps this additional source of information will help to reinforce your committment to making changes.....
prepare to be empowered thru the emotional feelings network of sites for your recovery journey to physical & mental well-being


click here to go to the article at new york times

Q & A

Virtual Green Tea

Published: March 9, 2004

Q. Is there a green tea extract that provides the same health benefits as the brewed stuff? The recommended number of cups is too much for me to drink.

A. Laboratory tests & some, but not all, epidemiological studies suggest that green tea has properties that may help prevent cancer & arterial plaque & there are dietary supplements that contain catechins, the substances in green tea that are suspected, but not proved, to have health benefits.

Health claims for the supplements, which are sometimes marketed for weight loss, cancer & plaque, would require rigorous clinical trials to substantiate & they haven't been done, said Dr. Sheldon S. Hendler, co-editor of the PDR for Nutritional Supplements, the standard reference book in the field.

"In the meantime, those who enjoy green tea should continue to do so," Dr. Hendler suggested.

"Catechins are potent antioxidants & they also have anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic & antimicrobial activities, at least in the laboratory," he said.

In the epidemiological studies suggesting that green tea may have cancer-preventive activity, the amount of green tea consumed was about 10 or more teacups a day, each with about 30 milligrams of catechins.

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the major catechin in tea. (White tea, an expensive brew made from very young tea leaves, has even more catechins & black tea, because it is fermented, has fewer.)


Your body is about 60% water. A person at rest loses about 40 ozs. of water per day.

Water leaves your body in the urine, in your breath when you exhale, by evaporation thru your skin, etc. Obviously, if you're working & sweating hard then you can lose much more water.

Because we're losing water all the time, we must replace it. We need to take in at least 40 ozs. a day in the form of moist foods & liquids.

In hot weather & when exercising, your body may need twice that amount. Many foods contain a surprising amount of water, especially fruits. Pure water & drinks provide the rest.


make a list of these foods that contain phytochemicals & attach it to your grocery list to remind you to buy them when you are shopping for food!


Most Commonly Studied Phytochemicals
There are also 100's more phytochemicals existing & in need of discovery!

Food Phytochemical(s)
Allium vegetables
garlic, onions, chives, leeks
Allyl sulfides
Cruciferous vegetables
broccoli, cauliflower,
cabbage, brussels sprouts,
kale, turnips, bok choy,
Solanaceous vegetables
tomatoes, peppers
Umbelliferous vegetables
carrots, celery, cilantro,
parsley, parsnips
Compositae plants artichoke Silymarin
Citrus fruits
oranges, lemons, grapefruit
Monoterpenes (limonene)
Other fruits - grapes, berries, cherries, apples, cantaloupe, watermelon, pomegranate Ellagic acid
Flavonoids (quercetin)
Beans, grains, seeds
soybeans, oats, barley, brown rice, whole wheat, flax seed - Protease inhibitors
Flavonoids (isoflavones)
Phytic acid
Herbs, spices - ginger, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, basil, tumeric, caraway, fennel

Monoterpenes (limonene)

Licorice root - Green tea

Glycyrrhizin Catechins


High-Sugar, Low-Caffeine 'Energy' Drinks Don't Work: Study shows they actually make you sleepier


 Chemoprevention - The Answer to Cancer?

The American Cancer Society has developed guidelines for nutrition & cancer prevention. These guidelines are similar to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans & include the following:

  • Choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources.

  • Limit your intake of high-fat foods, particularly from animal sources.

  • Be physically active. Achieve & maintain a healthy weight.

  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages if you drink at all.

Consequently, even before these guidelines were developed, researchers began investigating several substances that have the potential to inhibit cancer tumor formation.

This investigation evolved into what is called "chemoprevention" today.

The "chemoprevention" strategy of preventing cancer was founded in the mid 1970's by Michael B. Sporn, an innovator in cancer prevention research. 3

Successful trials involving chemopreventive agents & animals led scientists to design larger similar trials with humans. In fact, in 1995 the NCI alone sponsored more than 50 trials of 25 different compounds.4

These chemical compounds along with several others are currently being recognized for their potential to prevent & treat various types of cancer.

This information will explain the concept of chemoprevention, list agents used in chemoprevention & describe benefits of chemoprevention in regard to cancer prevention & treatment.

Current "Buzzwords" in Nutrition

Chemoprevention -- Using one or several chemical compounds to prevent,
stop, or reverse the development of cancer.

Designer Food -- Processed foods that are supplemented with food
ingredients naturally rich in disease-preventing substances (5).

Functional Food -- Any modified food or food ingredient that may provide
a health benefit beyond the traditional nutrients it contains (6).

Nutraceutical -- Specific chemical compounds in food, including vitamins
and additives, that may aid in preventing disease.

Pharmafood -- Food or nutrient that claims medical or health benefits,
including the prevention and treatment of disease (7).

Phytochemical -- Nonnutrient plant chemicals that contain protective,
disease-preventing compounds.


about high fructose corn syrup
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
Sugar coated ... We're drowning in high fructose corn syrup. Do the risks go beyond our waistline?
Kim Severson, Chronicle Staff Writer
An overweight America may be fixated on fat & obsessed with carbs, but nutritionists say the real problem is much sweeter, we're awash in sugar.

Not just any sugar, but high fructose corn syrup.

The country eats more sweetener made from corn than from sugarcane or beets, gulping it down in drinks as well as in frozen food & baked goods. Even ketchup is laced with it.

Almost all nutritionists finger high fructose corn syrup consumption as a major culprit in the nation's obesity crisis.

The inexpensive sweetener flooded the American food supply in the early 1980's, just about the time the nation's obesity rate started its unprecedented climb.


The question is why did it make us so fat? Is it simply the Big Gulp syndrome, that we're eating too many empty calories in ever-increasing portion sizes? Or does the fructose in all that corn syrup do something more insidious, literally short-wire our metabolism & force us to gain weight?

The debate can divide a group of nutritional researchers almost as fast as whether the low-carb craze is fact or fad.

Loading high fructose corn syrup into increasingly larger portions of soda & processed food has packed more calories into us & more money into food processing companies, say nutritionists & food activists. But some health experts argue that the issue is bigger than mere calories.


The theory goes like this:

The body processes the fructose in high fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream.

The end result is that our bodies are essentially tricked into wanting to eat more & at the same time, we are storing more fat.

"One of the issues is the ease w/which you can consume this stuff," says Carol Porter, director of nutrition & food services at UC San Francisco. "It's not that fructose itself is so bad, but they put it in so much food that you consume so much of it without knowing it."

A single 12 oz. can of soda has as much as 13 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Because the amount of soda we drink has more than doubled since 1970 to about 56 gallons per person a year, so has the amount of high fructose corn syrup we take in. In 2001, we consumed almost 63 pounds of it, according to the U.S. Dept.  of Agriculture.

The USDA suggests most of us limit our intake of added sugar, that's everything from the high fructose corn syrup hidden in your breakfast cereal to the sugar cube you drop into your after-dinner espresso, to about 10 to 12 teaspoons a day.

But we're not doing so well. In 2000, we ate an average of 31 teaspoons a day, which was more than 15% of our caloric intake. And much of that was in sweetened drinks.

Beyond soda

So, the answer is to just avoid soda, right? Unfortunately, it's not that simple, because the inexpensive, versatile sweetener has crept into plenty of other places, foods you might not expect to have any at all.

A low-fat, fruit-flavored yogurt, for example, can have 10 teaspoons of fructose-based sweetener in one serving.

Because high fructose corn syrup mixes easily, extends shelf-life & is as much as 20% cheaper than other sources of sugar, large-scale food manufacturers love it.

It can help prevent freezer burn, so you'll find it on the labels of many frozen foods.

It helps breads brown & keeps them soft, which is why hot dog buns & even English muffins hold unexpected amounts.

The question remains just how much more dangerous high fructose corn syrup is than other sugars.


Fructose, as the name implies, is the sugar found naturally in fruit. It can be extracted, turned into granules & used like sugar in the kitchen. It used to be considered a healthier alternative to sucrose, plain old table sugar. It's sweeter, so less is needed to achieve the same taste. Diabetics use it because fructose doesn't stimulate insulin production, so blood sugar levels remain stable.

The process of pulling sugar from cornstarch wasn't perfected until the early 1970's, when Japanese researchers developed a reliable way to turn cornstarch into syrup sweet enough to compete with liquid sugar.

After some tinkering, they landed on a formula that was 55% fructose & 45% glucose, sweet enough & cheap enough to make most soda companies jump from liquid sugar to high fructose corn syrup by the 1980's.

The results were dramatic. a whopping increase of 4,080%.

Journalist Greg Critser lays out a compelling case against high fructose corn syrup in his 2003 book, "Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World."

He argues that federal policies that aimed to stabilize food prices & support corn production in the 1970's led to a glut of corn & then to high fructose corn syrup.

With a cheaper way to sweeten food, producers pumped up the size & amount of sweet snacks & drinks on the market & increased profits.


It's not natural

Critser writes that despite the food industry's arguments that sugar is sugar, whether fructose or sucrose, no group "has yet refuted the growing scientific concern that, when all is said & done, fructose ... is about the furthest thing from natural that one can imagine, let alone eat."

Although some researchers have long been suspicious that too much fructose can cause problems, the latest case against high fructose corn syrup began in earnest a few years ago. Dr. George Bray, principal investigator of the Diabetes Prevention Program at Louisiana State University Medical Center told the International Congress on Obesity that in 1980, just after high fructose corn syrup was introduced in mass quantities, relatively stable obesity rates began to climb.

By 2000, they had doubled.

Further, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2002 published research that showed that teenagers' milk consumption between 1965 & 1996 decreased by 36%, while soda consumption increased by more than 200%. Bray argues that w/out calcium, which nutritionists agree can help the body regulate weight, kids got fatter.

He says that he could find no other single combination of environmental or food changes that were as significant to the rise in obesity.

Other studies by researchers at UC Davis & the University of Michigan have shown that consuming fructose, which is more readily converted to fat by the liver, increases the levels of fat in the bloodstream in the form of triglycerides.

And unlike other types of carbohydrate made up of glucose, fructose does not stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. Peter Havel, a nutrition researcher at UC Davis who studies the metabolic effects of fructose, has also shown that fructose fails to increase the production of leptin, a hormone produced by the body's fat cells.

Both insulin & leptin act as signals to the brain to turn down the appetite & control body weight. And in another metabolic twist, Havel's research shows that fructose does not appear to suppress the production of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger & appetite.

"Because fructose in isolation doesn't activate the hormones that regulate body weight as do other types of carbohydrate composed of glucose, consuming a diet high in fructose could lead to taking in more calories & over time, to weight gain," he says.

However, Havel isn't convinced high fructose corn syrup is by itself the problem. That's in part because it is composed of 55% fructose & 45% glucose, which is similar to the 50-50 combination of fructose & glucose found in table sugar. Havel's studies have focused on fructose by itself & not as part of a high fructose corn syrup mixture.

"Whether there's an important difference in the effects of consuming beverages sweetened with a mixture of 55% as opposed to 50% fructose would be hard to measure," he says. "Additional studies are needed to better understand the nutritional impact of consuming different types of sugars in humans."

Still, other researchers are finding new problems with high fructose corn syrup. A study in last month's Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that women whose diet was high in total carbohydrate & fructose intake had an increased risk of colorectal cancer.

And Dr. Mel Heyman, chief of pediatric gastroenterology & nutrition at UCSF, is seeing sick children whose bodies have been overloaded with fructose from naturally occurring fructose in fruit juice combined with soda & processed food.

"The way the body handles glucose is different than fructose,'' he says. "It can overload the intestines' ability to absorb carbohydrate by giving it too much fructose. That can cause cramps, bloating & loose stools."

The jury's still out

Like others in the field, he says there's much to discover in how sugar works, but he disagrees that high fructose corn syrup is somehow reprogramming our bodies toward obesity. Rather, he says, we're just eating too much of it.

Nutrition theory holds that the basic make-up of fructose-laced corn syrup isn't much different than table sugar. They react about the same in the body, says Dr. Walter Willett, a professor of epidemiology & nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health. "There are some modest differences in metabolism, but I don't think fructose per se is the culprit."

Neither do the food companies that use it in copious amounts.

Says Stephanie Childs, a spokesperson for the Grocery Manufacturers Association: "At the end of the day, how any sweetener affects your weight depends on how many calories you are taking in overall. Overemphasizing one nutrient at the detriment of others is not going to solve the problem."

Even some leading nutrition reformers aren't convinced that high fructose corn syrup is of itself the issue. The bigger battle, says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, is to get added sugars listed on food labels with a percentage of daily value. That means a consumer could look at a package & see that, for example, one soda provides almost all the sugar a person should eat in a day.

"It simply comes down to this,'' he says. "We're eating too much refined sugars, be it sucrose or high fructose corn syrup or any other refined sugar."


A sugar glossary

Here's a rundown of the various types of sugar you'll find on product labels.

Brown sugar. Sugar crystals contained in a molasses syrup, w/natural flavor & color; 91-96% sucrose

Corn syrup. Made from cornstarch. Mostly glucose. Can have maltose

Dextrose. Commonly known as corn sugar & grape sugar. Naturally occurring form of glucose

Fructose. Sugar found in fruit & honey. Sweetest natural sugar

Galactose. Sugar found linked to glucose to form lactose, or milk sugar

Glucose. Also called dextrose. The human body's primary source of energy. Most of the carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose in the body.

High fructose corn syrup. Derived from cornstarch, usually a combination of 55% fructose & 45% sucrose. Treated w/an enzyme that converts glucose to fructose, which results in a sweeter product. Used in soft drinks, baked goods, jelly, syrups, fruits & desserts

Honey. Sweet syrupy fluid made by bees from the nectar collected from flowers & stored in nests or hives as food. Composed of fructose & glucose

Lactose. Sugar found in milk & milk products that is made of glucose & galactose

Maltose. Also called malt sugar. Used in the fermentation of alcohol by converting starch to sugar

Maple syrup. A concentrated sucrose solution made from mature sugar maple tree sap that flows in spring. Mostly replaced by pancake syrup, a mixture of sucrose & artificial maple flavorings

Molasses. Thick syrup left after making sugar from sugarcane. Brown in color w/a high sugar concentration

Powdered or confectioner's sugar. Granulated sugar that has been pulverized. Available in several degrees of fineness

Sucrose. Commonly called cane sugar, table sugar or simply sugar

Sugar (granulated). Refined cane or beet sugar; 100% sucrose

Turbinado sugar. Raw sugar that has been partially refined & washed  Awash in corn syrup

It should come as no shock to most consumers that a Pepsi or a Fig Newton has plenty of sugar - most of it from high fructose corn syrup. But what's surprising is the products where the sweetener hides out & how disguised it can be by the deceptively small serving size listed on the nutrition label.

Although the numbers below show teaspoons of sugar per serving, people often eat more than one serving. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture advises most people to limit themselves to 10 to 12 teaspoons of added sugars a day.

How much is too much?

The list below shows how much sugar, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, is in each of these single servings.

Sunkist soda: 10 1/2 teaspoons of sugar

Berkeley Farms low-fat yogurt with fruit: 10 teaspoons of sugar

Mott's applesauce: 5 teaspoons of sugar

Slim-Fast chocolate cookie dough meal bar: 5 teaspoons of sugar

1 tablespoon ketchup: 1 teaspoon of sugar

Hansen's Super Vita orange-carrot Smoothie: 10 teaspoons of sugar


November 26th 2001

Facts about fructose in food you're not supposed to know... New research shows that fructose in food - also known as high fructose corn syrup, could be a strong risk factor for a heart attack among middle-aged & elderly men.

Fructose in food

High fructose corn syrup is added to foods to make them taste sweeter. Because of its "natural" connotations, fructose in food is often perceived as a healthy alternative to other sweeteners. You'll find it in soft drinks, ice cream & frozen desserts, especially in the low-fat versions.

In 1986, the US Food & Drug Administration reported that there was "no conclusive evidence" suggesting that sugars (such as fructose in food) have a negative effect on your health.

However, a Minnesota research team has shown that just 6 weeks on a high fructose diet raises plasma triglycerides in men by more than 1/3.

Plasma triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood. There's a growing body of evidence linking plasma triglycerides to the "clogging" of your arteries, which may increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

In fact, some researchers now think that plasma triglycerides levels may actually be more important than cholesterol levels in establishing your heart disease risk.

During the first 6 weeks of the study, subjects were given a diet deriving 17% of its total calories from fructose. In the second stage of the study, the fructose was replaced w/glucose. The rest of the diet remained the same.

The women showed no significant difference in plasma triglycerides in response to the changes in diet.

In contrast, after just 7 days on the high-fructose diet, the men had significantly higher plasma triglycerides values than during the glucose diet.

Granted, this study did use large amounts of fructose, twice as much fructose as found in the typical American diet. However, based on current estimates, there are approximately 27,000,000 Americans consuming at least this much fructose on a daily basis.

Although previous research has shown that fructose has no negative effect on plasma triglycerides, many of these studies compared fructose w/sucrose (table sugar). When sucrose is digested, it is broken down into both glucose & fructose, so the comparison isn't really valid.

In contrast, when a diet high in fructose is compared w/a diet that contains virtually no fructose, there is a consistent body of evidence showing that fructose has a negative effect on plasma triglycerides.


It's important to remember that this study doesn't suggest that you avoid fruit. Fructose accounts for less than 10% of the weight of fruit such as strawberries, bananas or apples.

Dried fruit & fruit juices, on the other hand, are far more concentrated sources of fructose & their consumption should be restricted. This applies to men in particular, as the effect of fructose on triglyceride levels appears to be greater in men than women.

Also, be sure to check food labels for high fructose corn syrup. It's a common ingredient in fat-free or low-fat foods & another good reason why low-fat foods are not a good choice for people who are healthy & want to stay that way.

Selected Animal Sources of Vitamin A (18)

Animal sources of vitamin A provide the best absorbed form of this vitamin



%  DV *
Liver, beef, cooked, 3 oz

Liver, chicken, cooked, 3 oz


Egg substitute, fortified, 1/4 cup


Fat free milk, fortified with vitamin A, 1 cup



Cheese pizza, 1/8 of a 12" diameter pie


Milk, whole, 3.25% fat, 1 cup


Cheddar cheese, 1 ounce


Whole egg, 1 medium


% DV = Daily Value.

DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). They were developed to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient.

The DV for vitamin A is 5,000 IU (1,500 micrograms retinol). Most food labels do not list a foods vitamin A content. The percent DV (%DV) listed on the table above indicates the percentage of the DV provided in one serving.

Percent DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.

Table 5: Selected Plant Sources of Vitamin A (from beta-carotene) (18)

Plant sources of beta-carotene are not as well absorbed as animal sources of vitamin A, especially when they are consumed whole & raw. However, they are still a valuable source of this vitamin.



IU/ International Units
%DV *

Carrot, 1 raw (7 1/2" long)



Carrots, boiled, 1/2 cup slices



Carrot juice, canned, 1/2 cup



Sweet potatoes, canned , drained solids, 1/2 cup

Spinach, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup



Mango, raw, 1 cup sliced



Vegetable soup, canned, chunky, ready-to-serve, 1 cup

Cantaloupe, raw, 1 cup



Kale, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup



Spinach, raw, 1 cup



Apricot nectar, canned, 1/2 cup



Oatmeal, instant, fortified, plain, prepared w/water, 1 packet



Tomato juice, canned, 6 ozs



Apricots, w/skin, juice pack, 2 halves



Pepper, sweet, red, raw, 1 ring, 3" in diameter by 1/4" thick



Peas, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup



Peach, raw, 1 medium



Peaches, canned, water pack, 1/2 cup halves or slices



Papaya, raw, 1 cup cubes



*DV = Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).

They were developed to help consumers determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient.

The DV for vitamin A is 5,000 IU (1,500 micrograms retinol). Most food labels do not list a foods vitamin A content.

The percent DV (%DV) listed on the table above indicates the percentage of the DV provided in one serving.

Percent DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Foods that provide lower percentages of the DV also contribute to a healthful diet.



Phytochemicals - Vitamins of the Future?

Recently, you may have heard the words chemoprevention, nutraceuticals & phytochemicals in the media. What exactly do these terms mean?

With the ever-increasing interest in improving our health, it's important to understand these words & understand their function in health care.

The information presented here will provide a basis for deciphering the mixed messages that are being delivered in the media, conversations, research & education.

Research has demonstrated that cancer is a largely avoidable disease. It's estimated that more than 2/3 of cancer may be prevented thru lifestyle modification.

Nearly 1/3 of these cancer occurrences can be attributed to diet alone, secondary to our American diet of high-fat, low-fiber content.

Fruit & vegetable consumption have been consistently shown to reduce the risk of many cancers 

A major prevention strategy has been the "5 A Day for Better Health" program sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), encouraging the public to include more fruits & vegetables in their diet.

The American Cancer Society has developed guidelines for nutrition & cancer prevention. These guidelines are similar to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans & include the following:

  • Choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources.
  • Limit your intake of high-fat foods, particularly from animal sources.
  • Be physically active. Achieve & maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages if you drink at all.

The guideline stating to "choose most of the foods you eat from plant sources" has been recognized for years as important for good health. The Food Guide Pyramid illustrates this recommendation. M

More importantly, recent research has begun describing properties, specifically chemicals, contained in:

Chemical compounds found in these foods are being recognized for their potential for protection against heart diasease & cancer.

This information from Ohio State University's fact sheet will describe phytochemicals, identify the foods in which they are found & suggest ways to obtain them from the diet.

Curry May Help Prevent Colon Cancer: Chemicals in popular spice decreased polyp sizes, study finds

What are phytochemicals?

Phytochemicals are nonnutritive plant chemicals that contain protective, disease-preventing compounds. More than 900 different phytochemicals have been identified as components of food & many more phytochemicals continue to be discovered today.

It's estimated that there may be more than 100 different phytochemicals in just one serving of vegetables (6).

As early as 1980, the National Cancer Institute Chemoprevention Program of the Division of Cancer Prevention & Control (that's a mouthful) began evaluating phytochemicals for safety, efficacy, & applicability for preventing & treating diseases.

Researchers have long known that there are phytochemicals present for protection in plants, but it'as only been recently that they are being recommended for protection against human disease.

How are they beneficial?

Although phytochemicals aren't yet classified as nutrients, substances necessary for sustaining life; they've been identified as containing properties for aiding in disease prevention.

Phytochemicals are associated with the prevention &/or treatment of at least 4 of the leading causes of death in the US: 

  • cancer

  • diabetes

  • cardiovascular disease

  • hypertension (7)

They're involved in many processes including ones that help prevent cell damage, prevent cancer cell replication & decrease cholesterol levels.

Specifically, the economic cost of cancer to society was estimated to be about $104 billion in 1997 (8).

With health-care costs being a major issue today, it would be cost effective to continue the research needed to help promote the awareness & consumption of phytochemicals as a prevention strategy for the public.

Can I just take a pill containing these substances?

Americans spend approximately $2-2.5 billion a year on vitamin/mineral supplements (9).

It should be expected that extracted phytochemicals will be, if not already, available for consumer purchasing. Consumption of supplements containing phytochemicals will only provide selected components in a concentrated form, not the diversity of compounds that occur naturally in foods (10).

It's important to continue the effort to encourage increased fruit, vegetable &grain consumption to acquire the benefits of phytochemicals vs. simply ingesting a pill containing these substances.

Researchers continue to investigate the interactions of phytochemicals naturally present in food. It would be difficult to extract phytochemicals from plants for supplement use before understanding the synergistic effect of all phytochemicals present.

Are there any negative effects?

Individual phytochemicals are being evaluated for their safety & effectiveness in regard to disease prevention.

Although most studies support positive outcomes, there are a few studies involving animals that show possible detrimental effects. These studies involve animals & specific extracted phytochemicals in high dosages. The safety of consuming large amounts of fruits, vegetables & grains isn't presently a concern.

The research question being asked is:

"Should one increase the intake of a particular plant food containing phytochemicals & how much should they increase it?"

Obviously, like any other newly discovered chemical, there's a need for further investigation for potential health benefits & possible health risks.

Optimal levels of phytochemicals have yet to be determined. In addition, requirements during disease states may differ from requirements for prevention of heart disease & cancer.

Individual recommendations in terms of requirements for different genders, age groups, body types & so forth also need further study.

How can I incorporate more phytochemicals into my diet?

It's important for Americans to become aware of their lack of consumption of fruits, vegetables & grains.

The average American consumes only 1 serving of vegetables & 1 serving of fruit each day (11).

In one survey 1 in every 9 Americans ate no fruit or vegetable on the day they were interviewed (12).

Increasing the consumption of plant products in one's diet shouldn't be difficult or time consuming. There are plenty of simple strategies for increasing dietary fruits, vegetables & grains, including the suggestions below:

  • Keep fruits & vegetables (fresh, frozen & canned) stocked & in sight.

  • Reach for juice instead of coffee or soda.

  • Add chopped fruit to cereal, yogurt, pancakes, muffins, or even a milkshake.

  • Snack on fresh chopped carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower & peppers (purchase at a salad bar to save time).

  • Add fresh greens, carrots, celery, parsley, tomatoes, &/or beans to your soups.

  • Store dried fruit (apricots, dates, raisins & more) for a quick snack at home or work.

There are also several other easy methods for increasing fruits, vegetables & grains in your lifestyle. Why not challenge yourself & create one of your own? Good Luck!


It was once stated that our health is a "gift," a largely controllable gift (13). We can control this gift thru lifestyle choices of our own. These choices include the foods we choose to eat.

Research has demonstrated the tremendous potential of phytochemicals in regard to prevention & treatment of disease.

Now, it's the responsibility of not only health-care professionals, but also individuals to begin the conscientious effort of improving their diet.

Even though phytochemicals are readily available in today's food supply, it's highly possible that future foods may undergo bioengineering or fortification to enhance naturally occurring phytochemical concentrations. This would make it even easier to incorporate phytochemicals in the diet.

The research involving phytochemicals is promising, but with any newly discovered chemical, it's recommended that further studies be conducted.

This information was designed to introduce the discovery & importance of phytochemicals. It's in no way intended to replace your health-care provider's recommendations. As w/any health recommendation, it's advisable to check w/your physician before adapting any lifestyle changes.

Did You Know That . . .

Acids in the stomach are powerful enough to dissolve zinc. If it weren't for the bases in the stomach to balance the acids, they would quickly destroy the lining of the stomach. The entire lining of the stomach is renewed over a three day period, with about 30,000,000 cells of the lining being replaced each hour.

The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines "vitamin" as:
    vi.ta.min: any of various organic substances that are essential in minute quantities to the nutrition of most animals & some plants, act esp. as coenzymes & precursors of coenzymes in the regulation of metabolic processes but do not provide energy or serve as building units & are present in natural foodstuffs or sometimes produced w/in the body.
Vitamins are smallish molecules (Vitamin B12 is the largest, w/a molecular weight of 1,355) that your body needs to keep itself running properly.
In How Sunburns & Sun Tans Work, we learn that the body can produce its own Vitamin D, but generally vitamins must be provided in food.
The human body needs 13 different vitamins:
  • Vitamin A (fat soluble, retinol) comes from beta-carotene in plants; when you eat beta-carotene, an enzyme in the stomach turns it into Vitamin A.
  • Vitamin B (water soluble, several specific vitamins in the complex)
    • Vitamin B1: Thiamine
    • Vitamin B2: Riboflavin
    • Vitamin B3: Niacin
    • Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine
    • Vitamin B12: Cyanocobalamin
    • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin C (water soluble, ascorbic acid)
  • Vitamin D (fat soluble, calciferol)
  • Vitamin E (fat soluble, tocopherol)
  • Vitamin K (fat soluble, menaquinone)
  • Pantothenic acid (water soluble)
  • Biotin (water soluble)
In most cases, the lack of a vitamin causes severe problems. The following list shows diseases associated w/the lack of different vitamins:
  • Lack of Vitamin A: Night blindness, xerophthalmia
  • Lack of Vitamin B1: Beriberi
  • Lack of Vitamin B2: Problems with lips, tongue, skin,
  • Lack of Vitamin B3: Pellagra
  • Lack of Vitamin B12: Pernicious anemia
  • Lack of Vitamin C: Scurvy
  • Lack of Vitamin D: Rickets
  • Lack of Vitamin E: Malabsorption of fats, anemia
  • Lack of Vitamin K: Poor blood clotting, internal bleeding
A diet of fresh, natural food usually provides all of the vitamins that you need. Processing tends to destroy vitamins, so many processed foods are "fortified" w/man-made vitamins.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a family of fat-soluble vitamins. What foods provide vitamin A?

Vitamin A is found in animal foods such as:

  • whole eggs
  • whole milk 
  • liver

Most fat free milk & dried nonfat milk solids sold in the US are fortified with vitamin A to replace the vitamin A lost when the fat is removed. 17 Fortified foods such as fortified breakfast cereals also provide vitamin A.

Provitamin A carotenoids are abundant in darkly colored fruits & vegetables. Tables 4 & 5 at the end of this paragraph list animal sources of vitamin A & a variety of plant sources of provitamin A carotenoids. 18

It's important for you to regularly eat foods that provide vitamin A or beta-carotene even though vitamin A is stored in the liver. 2 Stored vitamin A will help meet needs when intake of provitamin A carotenoids or preformed vitamin A is low.19, 20

Retinol is one of the most active, or usable, forms of vitamin A & is found in animal foods such as liver & eggs & in some fortified food products.

This information is here to help you select foods that provide adequate daily amounts of vitamins, minerals & dietary fiber.

Following these guidelines will put your diet in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are:

  • Balance the food you eat with physical activity: maintain or improve your weight

  • Choose a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables & fruits

  • Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat & cholesterol

  • Eat a variety of foods

  • Choose a diet moderate in salt & sodium

  • Choose a diet moderate in sugars

  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation

What's "a good food source?"

A good food source of vitamin A contains a substantial amount of vitamin A &/or carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, in relation to its calorie content & contributes at least 10% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A in a selected serving size or unit of measure considered easy for the consumer to use.

The U.S. RDA for vitamin A is 1,000 retinol equivalents per day. The U.S. RDA given is for adults (except pregnant or lactating women) & children over 4 years of age.

The U.S. RDA for vitamin A is the amount of the vitamin used as a standard in nutrition labeling of foods. This allowance is based on the 1968 RDA for 24 sex & age categories set by the Food & Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences.

The 1989 RDA for vitamin A has been set at:

  • 800 retinol equivalents per day for women 19 - 50 years of age 

  • 1,000 retinol equivalents for men 19 - 50 years of age

Where do we get vitamin A?

In 1990, 39% of thevitamin A (including carotenes) in the diets of Americans came from fruits & vegetables.

  • Dark-green vegetables 

  • Deep-yellow fruits & vegetables

provided about 1/2 of the vitamin A in the form of carotenes coming from this group. Meats & dairy products each supplied about 20% of the vitamin A consumed.

Foods that contain small amounts of vitamin A but aren't considered good sources can contribute significant amounts of vitamin A to an individual's diet if these foods are eaten often or in large amounts.

Retinol is often called preformed vitamin A. It can be converted to retinal & retinoic acid, other active forms of the vitamin A family. 1-4

Some plant foods contain darkly colored pigments called provitamin A carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A. In the U.S., approximately 26% & 34% of vitamin A consumed by men & women is provided by provitamin A carotenoids. 1

Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances for vitamin A in micrograms (ug) Retinol Activitiy Equivalents (RAE) & International Units (IUs) for children &adults

Age Child Men  Wo-men


 Lacta-  tion
1-3 300 ug or 1000 IU      


4-8 400 ug or 1333 IU        
9-13 600 ug or 2000 IU   x x x
14-18   900 ug or
3000 IU
700 ug or
2330 IU
750 ug or
2500 IU
1200 ug or
4000 IU
19 +   900 ug or
3000 IU
700 ug or
2330 IU
770 ug or
2565 IU
1300 ug or
4335 IU














Table 2: Adequate Intake for vitamin A in micrograms (ug) & International Units (IU) for infants (21)

There is insufficient information to establish a RDA for vitamin A for infants. An adequate intake (AI) has been established that is based on the amount of vitamin A consumed by healthy infants who are fed breast milk (21).

Age (months) Males & Females
0 to 6 400 ug or 1330 IU
7 to 12 500 ug or 1665 IU






Results of 2 national surveys, the 3rd National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III 1988-91) (1, 21) &

the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII 1994) (1, 22) suggested that dietary intakes of some Americans do not meet recommended levels for vitamin A.

These surveys highlight the importance of encouraging all Americans to include dietary sources of vitamin A in their daily diets.

There is no RDA for beta-carotene or other provitamin A carotenoids. The Institute of Medicine report suggests that consuming 3 to 6 mg of beta-carotene daily will maintain plasma beta-carotene blood levels in the range associated w/a lower risk of chronic diseases (1).

A diet that provides 5 or more servings of fruits & vegetables per day & includes some dark green & leafy vegetables & deep yellow or orange fruits should provide recommended amounts of beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene is a provitamin A carotenoid that is more efficiently converted to retinol than other carotenoids. 1-4

For example, alpha-carotene & b-cryptoxanthin are also converted to vitamin A, but only half as efficiently as beta-carotene.1

Lycopene, lutein & zeaxanthin are other carotenoids commonly found in food. They aren't sources of vitamin A but may have other health promoting properties. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) encourages consumption of carotenoid-rich fruits & vegetables for their health-promoting benefits.

Vitamin A plays an important role in:

  • vision: to see in dim light & maintaining the surface linings of the eyes
  • bone growth
  • reproduction
  • cell division 
  • cell differentiation, which is the process by which a cell decides what it is going to become. 1, 5-8
  • maintains the surface linings of the respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts. 9 When those linings break down, bacteria can enter the body & cause infection. 9 
  • Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system. 2, 5, 13 The immune system helps prevent or fight off infections by making white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria & viruses.
  • Vitamin A may help lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights infections, function more effectively.

Some carotenoids, in addition to serving as a source of vitamin A, have been shown to function as antioxidants in laboratory tests. However, this role has not been consistently demonstrated in humans.1

Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of oxygen metabolism that may contribute to the development of some chronic diseases. 3, 14-16

Average Intake of vitamin A in the typical American diet. The "Other Foods" category includes grain products (0.5%) and miscellaneous foods (1.2%).

Source: Gerrior SA, Zizza C. 1994 Nutrient Content of the U.S. Food Supply, 1909-1990. Home Economics Research Report No. 52. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.

Why do we need vitamin A?

Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin, is involved in the formation & maintenance of:

  • maintains the integrity of healthy skin
  • hair
  • maintains the integrity of mucous membranes that function as a barrier to bacteria and viruses. 10-12
  • tooth development

Do we get enough vitamin A?

According to recent surveys of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), the average intake of vitamin A (& carotenes) by Americans 20 years of age & older met the RDA for vitamin A.

How can we get enough vitamin A?

Eating a variety of foods that contain vitamin A (& carotenes) is the best way to get an adequate amount. Healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet rarely need supplements. In fact, too much vitamin A can be toxic. 

How to Prepare Foods to Retain Vitamin A

Vitamin A can be lost from foods during preparation, cooking, or storage. To retain vitamin A:

  • Serve fruits & vegetables raw whenever possible.
  • Keep vegetables (except sweet potatoes & winter squash) & fruits covered & refrigerated during storage.
  • Steam vegetables & braise, bake, or broil meats instead of frying. Some vitamin A is lost in the fat during frying.

What about fortified foods?

Lowfat and skim milk are often fortified w/vitamin A because it's removed from milk w/the fat. Margarine is fortified to make its vitamin A content the same as butter.

Most ready-to-eat & instant prepared cereals are fortified w/vitamin A. Fortified ready-to-eat cereals usually contain at least 25% of the U.S. RDA for vitamin A. Because cereals vary, check the label on the package for the percentage of the U.S. RDA for a specific cereal.

What is a serving?

The serving sizes used on the list of good sources are only estimates of the amounts of food you might eat. The amount of a nutrient in a serving depends on the weight of the serving.
For example, 1/2 cup of a cooked vegetable contains more vitamin A than 1/2 cup of the same vegetable served raw, because a serving of the cooked vegetable weighs more.
Therefore, the cooked vegetable may appear on the list, while the raw form does not. The raw vegetable provides the nutrient, just not enough in a 1/2-cup serving to be considered a good source.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is probably one of the most highly publicized, yet least understood, of all of the vitamins. Championed by Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, Ph.D., & advocated by many nutrition buffs, vitamin C is indeed a fascinating & important nutrient (or micronutrient) necessary for human life.
The Basics
To understand vitamin C, we first need some information about vitamins in general. The word vitamin is derived from the combination of words: vital amine. Vitamins are organic (carbon containing) molecules that mainly function as catalysts for reactions within the body.
A catalyst is a substance that allows a chemical reaction to occur using less energy & less time than it would take under normal conditions. If these catalysts are missing, as in a vitamin deficiency, normal body functions can break down & make a person susceptible to disease.

Vitamins are required by the body in tiny amounts (hundredths of a gram in many cases). We get vitamins from 3 sources:

  • Foods
  • Beverages
  • Our own bodies - vitamin K comes from bacteria within our intestines & vitamin D is produced w/the help of ultraviolet radiation on the skin.

Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins can be remembered w/the mnemonic ADEK, for the vitamins A, D, E & K. These vitamins accumulate within the fat stores of the body & within the liver. Fat-soluble vitamins are often associated w/toxicity when taken in large amounts. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C & the B vitamins.

Water-soluble vitamins taken in excess are excreted in the urine and are not usually associated with toxicity. Both vitamin C & the B vitamins are also stored in the liver.

It's interesting to note that most animals produce their own vitamin C. Man, primates (apes, chimps, etc.) & guinea pigs have lost this ability. Due to this similarity w/man, guinea pigs have been subjected to experimentation over the years.

Calcium. The mineral calcium is vital to bone health& can help protect against Osteoporosis & fractures.

The recommended daily intake for adults is 1,000 milligrams for people aged 19 to 50 & 1,200 milligrams for people older than 50.

The best food sources are low-fat milk, yogurt & cheese & calcium-fortified orange juice.

Eat at least 3 servings a day of these foods to reach the recommended dose.

about vitamin d

needed for healthy teeth & bones / Muscle contraction / nerve function/involved w/blood clotting

Vitamin D is required for correct calcium absorption.

found in all dairy foods - white bread (calcium is added back) -sardines - tofu - dried figs - fortified soya milk - broccoli - watercress - nuts - eggs

recommended daily allowance 800mg

those deficient may find: Osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) after prolonged low intakes/ Rickets (children) & osteomalacia (adults) / marginal levels associated w/insomnia & muscle spasms

Cereals & milk products :
Whole meal bread, 2 slices - 1.5 mg
2 heaped tbsp. wheat germ - 3.6 mg
Brown rice boiled (160 gm ) - 0.5 mg
1/2 pint whole milk - 0.08 mg
1 egg - 0.6 mg
Fats & Oils :
2 tbsp. ghee(30gm) - 1 mg
1 tbsp. sunflower oil - 10 mg
2 tbsp. cod liver oil - 2 mg
Butter (10gm) - 0.2 mg
Fruits & Nuts :
1 apple - 0.4 mg
1 banana - 0.3 mg
1 orange - 0.3 mg
20 almonds - 4.8 mg
30 peanuts - 3.3 mg
Vegetables, Meat & Fish :
2 tomatoes - 1.8 mg
Sweet potato, boiles (150gm) - 6.5 mg
Baked Beans (200gm) - 1.6 mg
Liver(90gm) - 0.3 mg
Kidney (75gm) - 0.3 mg
Sardines (70gm) - 0.3 mg
Tuna (100gm) - 0.5 mg

A Book you might want to check out!
Title: The Chopra Center Cookbook: Nourishing Body and Soul - Author: Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon

about folate

  • Adequate intake of folate, is important in preventing neural tube birth defects.
  • It may also offer protection against heart disease by lowering blood levels of a substance called homocysteine.

The recommended daily intake is 400 micrograms.

Folate is found in fruits & vegetables (esp. leafy greens), legumes & orange juice. Grain-based foods, such as wheat flour, breads & cereals are fortified with folic acid, which is the synthetic form of folate.

All women capable of becoming pregnant should take a supplement containing 400 micrograms of folic acid.

Folic Acid Prevents Cleft Lip

Ivanhoe Newswire

By Lucy Williams, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) Pregnant women & those trying to start a family have yet another reason to take folic acid supplements. When taken during early pregnancy, folic acid substantially reduces the risk of cleft lip defects in newborns.

Previous research suggests folic acid supplements prevent neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. New research reveals women who take a daily dose of just 400 micrograms of folic acid during the first 3 months of pregnancy are less likely to have babies with cleft lip.

"It's pretty important that women who have any chance of getting pregnant should take the recommended dosage of folic acid, which is 400 micrograms a day," senior investigator Allen Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham, N.C., told Ivanhoe.

"That was the amount in our study that had a protective effect & provided some protection against neural tube defects."

Researchers identified 1,336 infants born between 1996 & 2000 - 377 born with cleft lip, 196 with cleft palate only & 763 healthy controls. The mothers completed surveys about their reproductive history. In the surveys, mothers revealed what they ate, drank & smoked during the first 3 months of pregnancy. They also disclosed whether they took folic acid supplements.

Women who took folic acid supplements of 400 micrograms or more per day reduced the risk of facial clefts in their babies by 40%. Women who didn't take supplements but reported diets rich in folate - the natural form of folic acid - were 25% less likely to have babies with cleft lip.

Dr. Wilcox said women should boost their folic acid intake as soon as they decide to get pregnant.

"The tricky thing is it's important to be taking those doses in the very earliest weeks of pregnancy before a woman may even know she's pregnant, so women shouldn't wait to start until they're pregnant to start taking these supplements.

They should start before they're pregnant," he said.

Although women who take folic acid supplements appear to benefit the most, Dr. Wilcox said it's still important to eat foods rich in folate.

"Eating a good diet with a lot of fresh fruits & vegetables is probably a very good thing for women who are planning to get pregnant," he said. "We shouldn't count on pills to provide everything we need. Nothing replaces a well-balanced diet."

According to the National Institutes of Health, dietary sources of folic acid & folate include:

 Beans & legumes
 Citrus fruits & juices
 Wheat bran & other whole grains
 Dark, green leafy vegetables

Even if you're not pregnant, you can benefit from folic acid. A study published in the Jan. 20 issue of The Lancet reveals folic acid improves cognitive function in older adults.

Folic acid may improve brain function by lowering levels of homocysteine - an amino acid in the blood linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke & Alzheimer's disease.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, which offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Ivanhoe interview with Allen Wilcox, M.D., Ph.D.; British Medical Journal Online, published online Jan. 26, 2007

Minerals are elements that our bodies must have in order to create specific molecules needed in the body. Here are some of the more common minerals our bodies need:
  • Calcium - used by teeth, bones
  • Chlorine
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Fluorine - strengthens teeth
  • Iodine - combines with tryosine to create the hormone thyroxine
  • Iron - transports oxygen in red blood cells
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium - important ion in nerve cells
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc
We do need other minerals, but they are supplied in the molecule that uses them. e.g., sulfur comes in via the amino acid methionine & cobalt comes in as part of vitamin B12.

Food provides these minerals. If they are lacking in the diet, then various problems & diseases arise.

about boron
Only relatively recently found to be of significance in human nutrition. A component of bones & can help reduce calcium & magnesium excretion in post-menopausal women...
Found in Fruits vegetables, nuts, honey & wine there's not a recommended daily allowance as of yet.
Deficiency may affect mental alertness.

about chromium
Part of an organic complex called glucose tolerance factor (G.T.F.), which is involved in glucose metabolism. Also plays a role in blood fat levels & is beneficial to cholesterol levels.
Chromium is found in the following foods that contain at least small amounts, including eggs, molasses, meat, wholegrains & cheese.
There is no recommended daily allowance of chromium.
A chromium deficiency can result in high blood cholesterol & sugar cravings & in more extreme cases, hyperglycaemia (impaired glucose tolerance).

about copper
Involved in the function of a number of enzymes. Needed for the formation of red blood cells. Used in production of skin pigment melanin. A component of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (S.O.D.).
Copper found in Oysters, crab, liver, nuts, olives, wholemeal bread.

Copper water pipes (soft water areas) & copper cooking equipment may also provide small amounts.

A defieciency in copper could result in: Anaemia & an increased risk of heart disease are main signs.

about iodine
Required for the production of the hormone thyroxine by the thyroid gland. Thyroxine is one of the hormones involved in the control of metabolic rate.
The recommended daily allowance is 150g.
Iodine is found in kelp, cod, haddock, mackerel, iodised table salt, milk & brazil nuts.
Deficiency in iodine can result in: Enlarged thyroid gland, goitre, is main symptom of a deficiency.

Marginal levels may lead to a slightly underactive thyroid gland.

A key constituent of haemoglobin (blood pigment) which carries oxygen around the body. Iron is also found in muscle tissue. Iron is involved in certain energy releasing reactions. Iron is better absorbed from animal source foods. Vitamin C improves the uptake of iron from plant sources.
Iron is found in liver, meat, dried apricots, curry powder, cocoa powder, spinach, wholemeal bread.
the recommended daily allowance of iron is 14mg
not getting enough iron can result in: Iron-deficient anaemia (low haemoglobin levels). Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, dizziness & increased risk of infections. May be the result of heavy periods, childbirth or after an operation. Low iron stores or vitamin C intake may contribute to the condition.

Groups at risk include some vegetarians/vegans, the elderly, adolescents & athletes.

about mangnanese a mineral
Involved w/bone strength - A co-factor in energy release reactions - Involved in the transport of calcium to the muscles. Necessary for correct functioning of nerves & muscles.
Manganese is found in wholegrains, nuts, avocados, peas, tea & pineapple.
No recommended daily allowance
No clear deficiency symptoms recognized

about phosphorous, a mineral
phosphorous  has an important role in healthy bone formation, along w/calcium in particular. Also involved in energy conversion reactions w/in the body.
phosphorous is found in cheese, wheatgerm, sardines, peanuts, yeast extract, soya beans but is found in a wide variety of foods. Added to carbonated drinks.
no recommended daily allowance
Deficiency uncommon but may lead to bone loss

about potassium, a mineral

An electrolyte mineral playing a major part in water balance & acid-alkaline regulation. Maintaining healthy heart function (w/sodium). Closely related w/sodium (& chloride) levels.

potassium is found in instant coffee, yeast extract, bananas, raisins, potatoes, tomatoes, peas, cauliflowers, dairy products. Most fruit & vegetables have high potassium: sodium ratios.

No recommended daily allowance  (RNI = 3500mg)

a deficiency in potassium could result in: weakness, nausea, apathy but usually only after excessive blood loss, sweating or diarrhea.

about selenium, a mineral
key constituent of the potent antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase & works closely with vitamin E. Helps protect cells. Involved with healthy liver function & heart health.
selenium is found in liver, kidney & other meats, fish/shellfish, brazil nuts, wholegrains & rice.
No recommended daily allowance  (RNI = 75m g)
deficiency in selenium can result in: low levels may contribute to an increased risk of certain aging diseases, such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis & some cancers  

about silicon or silica, a mineral

helps maintain blood vessel walls, cartilage, connective tissue & healthy bone formation. Structure of hair & nails. Helps to maintain skin elasticity (involved w/collagen production).

silicon is found in alfalfa, onions, root vegetables, dark green vegetables, bananas & milk. Extracts from bamboo or the herb horsetail are sometimes used as natural sources of silica.

No recommended daily allowance

about sodium, a mineral

Sodium is closely involved with the body's water balance together with potassium & chloride. Also has a role in acid-alkaline balance. Correct nerve & muscle function. Sodium is widely found in the diet. Processed & animal source foods contain the highest proportions.

Sodium is found in sodium chloride (table salt) & other forms of sodium are used extensively in food manufacturing (preservatives, flavouring agents, texture enhancers.)

No recommended daily allowance  (RNI = 1.6g)

about sulphur, a mineral

Sulphur is involved in the formation of keratin, the protein found in joints, hair & nails. Structure of most proteins & enzymes. Doesn't occur freely in the body but as part of sulphur-containing amino acids such as cysteine & methionine.

Sulphur is found in: 
  • shellfish
  • meat
  • eggs
  • dried peaches
  • kidney beans 
  • peas
No recommended daily allowance 

about zinc, a mineral
Zinc is needed for a large number of enzyme reactions, it's necessary for growth & for normal cell division & function. Zinc is required for the thymus gland (immune health) & for insulin release.
It's needed for healthy prostate function, for healthy sperm & for the health of the ovaries, too. The mineral is necessary for maintaining vision, taste & smell. It's also involved in the formation of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (S.O.D.).
Zinc is found in:
  • cheese
  • meat
  • wholemeal bread
  • fish/shellfish
  • mung beans
  • lentils
  • milk
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds
The recommended daily allowance of zinc is 15mg
Deficiency in zinc can result in:
  • retarded growth
  • poor skin condition & wound healing
  • impaired immune system 
  • impaired sense of taste/smell


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the following websites are the sources for the information on this page....


1. Oliveria, S. A. et al. 1997. The Role of Epidemiology in Cancer Prevention. The Soc for Exp Bio and Med 216:142-150.

2. Block, G. et al. 1992. Fruit, vegetables, and cancer prevention: A review of the epidemiologic evidence. Nutr Cancer 18:1-29.

3. Mirvish, S. S. et al. 1975. Induction of mouse lung adenomas by amines or ureas plus nitrite and by N-nitoso compounds: effect of ascorbate, gallic acid, thiocyanate, and caffeine. J Natl Cancer Inst 55:633-636

4. Thomas, P. R., R. Earl. Eds. 1994. Opportunities in the Nutrition and Food Sciences, Research Challenges and the Next Generation of Investigators. National Academy Press.

5. Bloch, A. et al. 1995. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Phytochemicals and functional foods. JADA.95: 493-496.

6. Polk, Melanie. 1996. Feast on Phytochemicals. AICR newsletter. Issue 51.

7. Bloch, A. et al. 1995. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Phytochemicals and functional foods. JADA.95: 493-496.

8. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 1997. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society.

9. Reynolds, R. D. 1994. Vitamin supplements: current controversies. J Am Coll Nutr 13(2): 118-126.

10. Bloch, A. et al. 1995. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Phytochemicals and functional foods. JADA.95: 493-496.

11. Craig, W. 1996. Phytochemicals: Guardians of our health. JADA. 97(10): S199-S204.

12. Craig, W. 1996. Phytochemicals: Guardians of our health. JADA. 97(10): S199-S204.

13. Malaspina, Alex. 1996. Functional Foods: Overview and Introduction. Nutr Reviews 54(11): s4-s10.


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