Monthly Archives: March 2014

What is Vitamin B6 Good For?

what are b vitamins

There are many benefits to adding some B6 to your diet. This water-soluble vitamin is not stored in the body. Your system takes what it needs and eliminates the balance, so you cannot go wrong with this supplement. In addition to being safe, it’s also a great way to maintain healthy brain functioning levels, reduce stress levels and stay healthy. Here’s what you should know about this wonder vitamin, as well as ways to spot a deficiency of this important vitamin.

Clear, Healthy Looking Skin

Research indicates that B6 helps control breakouts by regulating hormone levels.

Helpful for Women

Women who experience premenstrual syndrome may benefit from taking this supplement. It helps the liver remove excessive estrogen from the body, raises progesterone and helps manufacture serotonin. This can lead to calmer feelings and less distressing PMS symptoms.

Help with Depression

Vitamin B6 is essential for producing neurotransmitters like serotonin in the brain. Up to 25 percent of people who are living with depression are B6 deficient, so the supplement is often recommended to help combat depression. People with low levels of B6 are typically more anxious and distressed, and adding B6 to the diet may help lessen those feelings.

Maintain Healthy Brain Function

This vitamin is vital to healthy mental function and even your mood. It’s believed that only one-third of the public gets enough B6, and deficiencies can lead to serious problems. The vitamin performs several functions throughout the course of the day, including being a necessary component of producing antibodies and red blood cells. It manufactures brain chemicals and can release stored energy. It can help improve attention levels and memory, and that makes it an important vitamin for people of all ages.

Signs of Deficiency

It’s hard for people to know when they’re deficient in a certain vitamin. However, a B6 deficiency carries some unique signs and symptoms. General depression, confusion and anemia are common. You may also feel irritable, and in extreme cases, have convulsions.

Protect your health now and in the coming years by making sure that you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need. Government guidelines indicate that adult women need 1.6 mg of B6 per day while men should take 2.0mg per day. You may require a higher dose to achieve different health goals, and a health practitioner can help you determine which dose would be most effective for you. \

Hopefully this answered your question on what is vitamin b6 good for? below are more resources and informational articles.

Resources

http://www.wholehealthchicago.com/757/vitamin-b6/
http://holistichealthliving.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-brain-benefits-of-vitamin-b6/
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-vitamin-b6-brain-4217.html
http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/benefits-of-b6-vitamin/2011/02/10/id/385671/

Foods High in Glutathione

People are always looking for ways to maintain their health, decrease unwelcome symptoms of aging and boost their immune systems. While a variety of vitamins and minerals can help with some of these functions, there is one nutrient that can help with them all. That nutrient is glutathione, which can be found in a variety of foods. Here are some foods high in glutathione.

Glutathione is a combination of three amino acids known as glutamine, glycine and cysteine. Amino acids are the precursors of proteins. Usually there is a gene in the body that produces an enzyme that combines these amino acids into glutathione. However, this gene does not work correctly in some people. The reasons for this are manifold. For example, it may stop working due to a serious illness. Much of the time, it stops working due to the increased workload on the body’s immune system, such as from air and water pollution and toxins in processed foods. Toxins, such as mercury and lead, can also build up in the body through fish and other foods. Other ways that glutathione levels are decreased include medicines, increased stress and radiation. Even the normal aging process decreases this molecule.

Glutathione is an antioxidant. Without it, the body has great difficulty removing toxins from the blood and from cells in the organs and the skin. Antioxidants decrease the negative effect of free radicals on the cells within the body. Without antioxidants, every cell in the body will readily show the effects of age. Glutathione can also help detoxify the body because the sulfur molecules within glutathione attach to toxins, or poisons, in the body and carry them out as waste products.

A glutathione deficiency may make individuals feel run down. It can leave them with headaches and fatigue. As the body ages, it cannot replenish its supplies of glutathione as well as it once did. Therefore, people must be sure to eat foods high in this molecule to protect their immune systems.

One of the easiest ways to get glutathione from foods is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Many of these foods contain some level of glutathione, and those that are raised naturally without chemicals and picked at the peak of ripeness are the best. Fruits that have the highest levels of glutathione include:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Melons

The best vegetables include:

  • Green peppers
  • Potatoes
  • carrots
  • squash
  • broccoli
  • Spinach

Dark green vegetables are typically rich in sulfur and are therefore rich in glutathione. Milk thistle in a tea, eaten as a seed or sprinkled as a powder, is a great source of glutathione as well.

The second easiest way to consume glutathione is by eating meats and dairy products. Of course, cooking meats decreases the levels of this nutrient; however, there are still smaller levels of glutathione available even after the food is processed or cooked. Beef, chicken, pork, milk and eggs all contain some glutathione.

Selenium and alpha lipoic acid must be consumed as well in order for glutathione to be used in the body. Foods containing selenium include:

  • nuts
  • legumes
  • red meat
  • poultry and cheese

Alpha lipoic acid can be found in several vegetables, including spinach and tomatoes.

Those who are not getting enough glutathione in their diets should consider supplements. These supplements will fill in the gaps in nutrition and may bolster the immune system. As an antioxidant, glutathione is a vital part of anyone’s diet.

Glutathione (GSH) and Electron Flow

GSH and Cellular Health. Glutathione (GSH) is so important to the health of every cell in the body that cells die, when GSH levels inside cells drop too low 1.  It is at this very cellular level where most of the battles against toxins, pathogens, free-radicals, and aging are won or lost.

Even without the extra toxic demands exerted by 21st century living, the requirement for GSH production is high. Immune system cells like mast cells and white blood cells, as well as organ tissues – most notably the brain, heart, lungs, liver, and eyes – depend on GSH for survival. Healthy, unchallenged cells can produce a sufficient amount of GSH for a host of protective (see Table 1.1) and metabolic (see Table 1.2) functions. When additional pressures ensue — like emotional and physical stress, radiation, infection, an unhealthy diet, toxins, heavy metals, and the invasion of pathogens — cellular levels of GSH can be quickly depleted.

Table 1.1 Cell-Protective Functions of GSH
Neutralization and reduction of various toxins and carcinogens
Protection against intracellular oxidative damage
Enhancement and support of the immune system

As long as sufficient quantities of it are present, GSH effectively defends the cell’s DNA, membranes, nucleus, and other organelles by neutralizing this continuous oxidative stress. When GSH is depleted, however, cellular damage can be expected.

Table 1.2 Cell-Metabolic Functions of GSH
Facilitating DNA synthesis and repair
Facilitating protein and prostaglandin synthesis
Facilitating amino acid transport across cell
membranes
Activation of enzymes (includes glutathione reductase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutathione S-transferase) Czeczot 2006

The Miraculous GSH Molecule

The unique molecular characteristics of GSH account for its vast range of functions. In addition to its role as an electron donor (antioxidant), GSH also joins with a large number of different compounds to form complexes (conjugates) with very special properties. This conjugating ability allows GSH to function as a:

  • potent antioxidant
  • powerful detoxifier as the primary participant in the neutralization and/or excretion of many toxins
  • “Super food” for the immune system including B-cells, T-cells, mast cells, phagocytes, and macrophages
  • intracellular source of organic sulfur
  • cofactor for the function of different critical enzymes
  • participant in maintaining integrity of protein’s critical disulfide bonds
  • transporter of amino acids across cell membranes
  • DNA synthesis and repair
  • protein synthesis
  • electron exchanger in many redox reactions

Electron Flow: Key to Continuous Intracellular Defense. The amazing power of GSH, in large part, lies in its ability to promote a healthy flow and supply of electrons within each cell in the body. Even though it is not possible to take a teaspoon of electrons, one can ingest medications and/or nutrients that are extremely rich in their electron content. Once a sufficient quantity of electrons is delivered to the body, it brings about what can only be described as fantastic results.

For more information on Glutathione, read Dr. Thomas Levy’s book GSH Master Defender.

 

Beaver 1995, Ghibelli 1998, Hammond 2004, Franco 2006

What is a Pro-oxidant?

What is a Prooxidant? An oxidant, or prooxidant, is any substance that seeks to take electrons away from another substance. When enough electrons are lost without prompt replacement, this process of oxidation eventually results in cellular, and ultimately tissue, damage. Although a very limited amount of oxidation is a necessary and normal part of cellular metabolism, an excess of oxidation is always damaging, will always make you vulnerable to disease, and will always accelerate the aging process.

Virtually every substance that enters the body through respiration, absorption, or ingestion will ultimately be broken down, or digested, into components that are antioxidant or prooxidant. In other words, except for the very rare completely chemically inert substance, everything entering the body will ultimately give or take away electrons at the cellular and subcellular level.

How an Antioxidant Works

An antioxidant, then, is any substance that inhibits or prevents oxidative damage by supplying electrons back to the substance that was oxidized (repair) or by supplying electrons directly to the oxidant substance before it has the opportunity to take or deplete electrons from the target substance (prevention). An antioxidant “cures” oxidation and its free radicals by neutralizing them with an infusion of electrons.

When antioxidants cannot be supplied promptly and in a high enough quantity, oxidative damage will invariably result in electron-depleted cells and tissues, eventually leading to a clinically recognizable disease or toxic condition. Conversely, when there is an adequate supply of antioxidants present while oxidation is occurring, electrons can be supplied back quickly enough and in a sufficient amount so that no significant damage will result.

The cells of the body utilize electrons as their fuel. Antioxidants, in tandem with their oxidized counterparts, can be considered the transport mechanism for allowing adequate access and delivery of this electron “fuel” to all of the different cellular and subcellular sites in the body.