Good Nutrition Nutrition

Nutrition Notes Topics

Vitamins How They Work

Vitamin means vital at a minimum dose. These substances were discovered slowly one at a time. Supplementation with vitamins is popular and different assortments can be bought at any grocery store. Some vitamins such as Vitamins A,  D, E and K are multiple chemicals that share similar biological activity, but different potencies. Each vitamin has to be understood in detail. Generalizations will always mislead.

Vitamins and minerals that are required in small amounts mostly as co-factors or catalysts for enzymes. Enzymes are responsible for the millions of molecular transactions that sustain life. Many enzymes must have one or two vitamins and one critical mineral to function. The basic equation of life chemistry has the following form:

Nutrients----> Enzyme + Vitamin + Mineral----> Cell Products

For example, the amino acid tryptophan, derived from food, is transported to the brain to make the neurotransmitter, serotonin. At the appropriate place inside a brain cell, two enzymes and vitamin B6 transform tryptophan to serotonin. Serotonin is then transferred to the sending end of the neuron (the terminal bouton of the axon), where it is used as a molecular messenger to carry information across the synapse to the receiving neuron. The serotonin synthesis equation is:

STEP 1. Tryptophan----> 5-Hydroxytryptophan

STEP 2. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5HT)----> Serotonin via enzyme 5HT-Decarboxylase

To read about individual vitamins, click the links to the left. Anyone with an interest in Nutritional Therapy will want to read, understand and use the Alpha Nutrition Program .  This deceptively simple technology solves the common food-related health problems.