zinc

Functions
  • Skin – skin oil gland function
  • Critical for healthy male sex hormone and prostate function
  • Critical for immune system function
  • Protein synthesis and cell growth leading to wound healing
  • Hormone synthesis (adrenal hormones) and hormone activity and receptor site function (adrenal, growth hormone, thymic hormones, insulin)
  • Heart and cardiovascular support – protects against damage to blood vessel walls
  • Maintenance of vision, taste and smell
Source and function notes
  • Zinc is high in whole grains, legumes and nuts but is not absorbable from these sources due to its binding with phytic acid
  • Safety band – as Zinc and Copper compete for absorption
  • Depleted in refined products
  • Levels in body depleted by lack of exercise
Vegetable sources green peas; parsley; potatoes; garlic; cauliflower; spinach; cabbage; lettuce; cucumber
Fruit sources Grape juice
Nut and seed sources Pecans, Brazil nuts, Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts, hazelnuts, Olive oil
Absorption factors
  • Absorption inhibited by excess copper in the diet, non-organic iron in food, calcium in dietary supplements
  • Alcohol, infection, surgery also inhibit absorption
  • Smokers are often Zinc deficient
  • Stress enhances excretion
Spice and herb sources ginger root; black pepper, mustard, paprika, chilli powder, thyme, Cinnamon
Deficiency factors
  • Skin changes and disorders; hair loss; diarrhea
  • Recurrent infections and slow wound healing
  • Reduced appetite and loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Night blindness
Toxicity and dangers Excess depresses immune system and causes dizziness, vomiting, lethargy, and anaemia (due to excess zinc causing copper deficiency)

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

phosphorus

Functions
  • Energy metabolism(ATP)
  • Regulates many hormones
  • Develops and repairs body tissue
  • Lipid phosphorus structures form cell membranes and nervous system structures
  • Component of DNA
Source and function notes
  • Best sources from brewer’s yeast and pumpkin seeds and other seeds
  • Excess intake impairs Calcium absorption
  • Excess phosphorus from soft drinks, fast food or animal sources
Vegetable sources Sea Kelp and Dulse; Garlic; Mushrooms; Peas; Sweet corn; artichoke; Brussel sprouts; broccoli
Fruit sources Raisins, Dried prunes, Dried figs, Dates
Nut and seed sources Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame seeds, Almonds, Peanuts, Walnut, Cashews, Pecans
Absorption factors Antacids, iron, aluminium  inhibit absorption
Spice and herb sources
Deficiency factors
  • Weakness
  • Fragile bones
  • Joint stiffness
Toxicity and dangers

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

vitamin C

Functions
  • Healthy immune system, lens of eye, adrenal glands, reproductive organs, connective body tissues (such as joints and gums)
  • Immune system:
    • Enhances white blood cell activity
    • Stimulates immune cells to fight infection
    • Assists in the production of immune-related chemicals
  • Antioxidant: protecting cells and constituents of blood from free-radical damage; restores and regenerates antioxidant potential of Vitamin E
  • Detoxification: helps the body to chelate heavy metals
  • Neurotransmitter and hormone synthesis (cofactor for hydroxylase enzymes):
    • Neurotransmitters: acetylcholine, norepinephrine and serotonin
    • Hormones: (cortisol, growth hormone-releasing factor, oxytocin and vasopressin
  • Collagen synthesis (cofactor for hydroxylase enzymes). Collagen is the structural protein found in skin, bones, tendons, cartilage, arteries, capillaries, hair, nails, teeth
  • Cardio protective: influences cholesterol excretion
Sources notes
  • Best sources raw vegetables and fruits
  • Destroyed by air, heat and water
  • Increases iron absorption
Vegetable Sources Red Chilli; Red Bell Pepper;  Kale; Parsley; Collard leaves; Turnip greens; green peppers; Broccoli; Brussel Sprouts; Mustard Greens; watercress; Cauliflower; red cabbage; Spinach; Cabbage
Fruit Sources acerola; guavas; strawberries; papayas; oranges; lemon, grapefruit; elderberries; mangoes; tangerines
Nut and seed sources
Absorption and function notes
  • Excessively excreted when body is under stress (both environmental and emotional stress)
  • Ascorbate form does not require digestion for absorption
Deficiency factors
  • Poor wound healing; bleeding gums; frequent colds or infections; lung-related problems (epithelial lining relies on vitamin C for protection)
  • Frank deficiency: scurvy – signs are spongy gums, purpura (small bruises).
Toxicity At high doses: diarrhea can result; can also increase levels of uric acid in the urine (concern about kidney stones)

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

vitamin B3 – niacin

Functions
  • Brain and nerve function: vital for proper mental function
  • Energy production and fat, carbohydrate and cholesterol metabolism
  • Manufacture of body compounds such as sex and adrenal hormones
  • Treatment of schizophrenia
  • 2 forms:
    • As nicotinic acid form, lowers blood cholesterol
    • As niacinamide form, treating arthritis
Sources notes
  • Can be made in the body from conversion of tryptophan
  • Best sources yeast, wheat bran, meat and fish
Vegetable Sources peppers, red chilli
Fruit Sources
Nut and seed sources peanuts; sesame seeds; sunflower seeds; pine nuts
Absorption and function notes
Deficiency factors Pellagra (dermatitis, dementia and diarrhea)
Toxicity
  • As nicotinic acid form, can induce flushing of skin
  • In either form, high doses can result in liver disorders, peptic ulcers and glucose intolerance

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid

Functions
  • Brain and nerve function: works with B1 and B2 to make acetylcholine
  • Works as component of coenzyme A in:
    • Utilization of fats and carbohydrates in energy production
    • Manufacture  of adrenal hormones and red blood cells
  • Adrenal function (“anti-stress” vitamin)
  • Cellular metabolism
  • Lowers blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Sources notes Best sources yeast, organ meats, mushrooms, nuts, seeds and grains
Vegetable Sources Mushrooms; broccoli; peppers / red chilli; avocados
Fruit Sources
Nut and seed sources peanuts; pecans; sunflower seeds; cashews; hazelnuts;
Absorption and function notes
Deficiency factors
  • Rarely happens
  • Deficiency may lead to fatigue, reduced red blood cell production and reduced steroid hormone production
Toxicity none

Adapted from:

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.