ActiKid ® Multi-Vitamins contain many different vitamins and minerals. In this section we outline the benefits of the most common ones:
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is good for the hair, skin and eyes. It helps your immune system to fight of infections and diseases. In children it is good for growth and development; it also helps to repair bone and tissue. Common sources of vitamin A are cheese, eggs and oily fish.
Vitamin D3 is a supplement used to treat osteoporosis and to improve health overall. There are two types of vitamin D. Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) Vitamin D2 is found mostly in foods, whereas Vitamin D3 is made by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Many health professionals agree that it is important to supplement vitamin D3 as it is easy for the body to absorb. Also, the body doesn’t allow high doses of vitamin D3 within the bloodstream, but it does vitamin D2, so it is thought to be safer.
Vitamin E is important for many functions. It is a fat-soluble vitamin which acts as an antioxidant. This protects the cell membranes by slowing down the processes which damage the cells. It is extremely important for the growth and development of children as it helps the immune system to function properly therefore preventing illnesses. It keeps the blood vessels open, so blood is able to flow freely. It is used to treat ataxia which is a movement disorder; this disorder leads to an extreme vitamin E deficiency.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) acts as an antioxidant; it protects cells and keeps them healthy. It is necessary for the maintenance of connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs. It also helps healing wounds. Adults need about 40mg a day. It cannot be stored in the body so it important to have in your diet on a daily basis. Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, red and green peppers, strawberries and broccoli.
Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
Thiamine is needed in the body to be able to use carbohydrates properly. This is for the breakdown of foods and the conversion to energy. However, for it to work effectively it has to be taken alongside other B vitamins. It is also used for many things such as digestive problems. It boosts the immune system and keeps the nervous system healthy. It also helps with the processing of protein and fats.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
Riboflavin, like all other B vitamins, plays a key role in energy production. Its role here is complicated—it is important both for energy production and metabolism. The vitamin is water soluble. That means your body cannot store this vitamin. So, it is needed in the everyday diet. Another role this vitamin plays in your body is that can fight off broken particles like free radicals. There free radicals can damage cells and DNA in your body. This vitamin is also an antioxidant.
Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin is required for the proper functioning of sugars and fats in the body and to help maintain healthy cells. It also needed for a healthy liver, healthy skin, hair, and eyes, and to help the nervous system function properly. It is a cholesterol-lowering agent.
Niacin is used for the treatment for migraine headaches, dizziness, circulation problems, diarrhoea and for people with cholera. Niacin is also used to treat depression, motion sickness, acne, ADHD, arthritis, memory loss, improving digestion and premenstrual headaches. It helps lower blood pressure, improves circulation and protects the body against toxins and pollutants. Niacin is also thought to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Common sources of Niacin include fish, chicken and turkey.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps the body to store protein and carbohydrates to create energy. It also makes haemoglobin which is found in red blood cells. It also carries oxygen around the body.
Vitamin B12 is vital for the development and proper functioning of the brain, blood cells, nerves and other vital bodily functions. Vitamin B12 makes red blood cells and keeps the nervous system healthy.
Biotin is used for preventing and treating biotin deficiency in pregnancy, long term tube feeding, malnutrition, and rapid weight loss. It can also be used orally for hair loss, skin rashes in infants, brittle nails, depression and diabetes. Biotin is a vital part of enzymes within the body as it helps to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Pantothenic acid is a vitamin which is also known as vitamin B5. It is used for a wide variety of ailments including acne, alcoholism, allergies, baldness, ADHD, autism, conjunctivitis, asthma, heart failure and convulsions. It is often taken orally for issues such as dandruff, diabetic nerve pain, depression, insomnia, grey hair, low blood pressure, cramps in the leg associated with pregnancy, headaches, irritability, multiple sclerosis and obesity. Pantothenic acid has a range of health benefits such as helping with conditions such as asthma, anxiety, and stress and keeps your skin healthy. It is found in meat, eggs, vegetables and cereals.
Magnesium is an important supplement needed for approximately 300 chemical reactions that keep the body working properly.
Iron is a mineral which is essential for several functions needed in the body. It makes red blood cells which are used to carry oxygen around the body.
Zinc is very important because it’s found in every tissue in body; it’s also directly involved in cell division as well as being a very powerful antioxidant. It serves as an enzyme and protects cell membranes. Zinc is not stored in the body therefore; nutritional intake is required. However, only a very small amount of zinc is necessary for human health. Main sources of zinc include oysters, beef, lobster and crab.
Selenium is a mineral which is present in the body only food and water. It is not naturally occurring. It is commonly used for medicines. Selenium is also used to treat diseases of the heart and blood vessels, which includes strokes. It is also used for preventing some cancers such as cancer of the skin, stomach, lungs and prostate. It is also used for preventing very serious complications and death from burns and head injuries. It is also used for treating HIV/AIDS, preventing bird flu and reducing side effects from chemotherapy in cancer patients.
Calcium is a vital mineral known for strengthening bones and keeping them healthy. It is also essential because it helps our nerves send messages, muscles contract and blood clot correctly. The ages that need higher intakes of calcium are pregnant and lactating women, teenagers, because they are growing at a rapid rate, and the elderly, who also need more calcium because their bones weaken with age.
There are many claims in which state that calcium does or possibly prevents poor bone health, rickets, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer of the prostate, colon and rectum, hypertension, kidney stones and can also help with weight management and blood pressure regulation.
Choline is an essential nutrient, as its role in reducing the risk of neural tube defects, fatty liver disease, and other illnesses has been documented. Recent studies have shown that choline deficiency may have adverse effects. It is used to build the components in cell membranes. The 2005 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey stated that only 2% of postmenopausal women consume the recommended intake for choline. Choline is widely available in most things you eat. It is found in plant and animal foods, and in whole as well as processed foods.
Did You Know?
Around 8% of children and 2% of adults have some kind of food allergy, this occurs when the body’s immune system incorrectly assumes a certain food protein is harmful and attacks it. Common examples of food allergies include reactions to peanuts, gluten and shellfish.
China is the largest producer of garlic, producing over 10 million tons in 2008 and accounting for over 75% of world output.
India is the world’s largest producer of bananas, producing nearly 22 million tons in 2007.