Vitamins can provide numerous health benefits with minimal risks involved. They are organic substances derived from plants and animals and have been shown to be essential for life.

Prescription for nutritional healing
Phyllis A. Balch.
New York : Avery, c2010.
The premier bible of natural health, with cutting-edge findings in alternative and preventative therapies-now thoroughly revised and updated. Prescription for Nutritional Healing is the nation's #1 bestselling guide to natural remedies. Now, wholly revised and updated by expert dietitian and nutritional researcher Stacey j. Bell, D.Dc., R.D., this new fifth edition incorporates the most recent information on a variety of alternative healing and preventive therapies and unveils new science on vitamins, supplements, and herbs. In the A-to-Z reference guide to illnesses, you'll find updates including: How omega-3 fatty acids and exercise may help those suffering from Alzheimer's bull;Srategies for combating prostate cancer The latest information on GI problems often associated with autismCurrent advice on the most beneficial nutrients for relieving arthritis Leading research on breast cancer, menopause and bio identical hormones New guidelines for diagnosing and battling diabetes And much, much more With more than 800 pages of comprehensive facts about all aspects of alternative ways to wellness, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition, unites the best if age-old remedies with twenty-first-century science.
The vitamin cure for migraines
Steve Hickey.
Laguna Beach, Calif. : Basic Health Publications, c2010.
Most people's diets are woefully inadequate for providing proper nutrition. Even good diets fail to deliver sufficient levels of nutrients. Research proves the immense value of vitamins for maintaining health and fighting disease. The Vitamin Cure book series, written by authors who are recognized experts in their field, offers authoritative, up-to-date, and practical information on taking vitamins for specific health problems.
Vitamin discoveries and disasters : history, science, and controversies
Frances Rachel Frankenburg.
Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger/ABC-CLIO, c2009.
It wasn't until the 20th century that researchers generally accepted that vitamin deficiencies were the root cause of a number of major diseases. In this work, Frankenburg (psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine; Harvard Medical School) describes the emergence of nutritional science. Each chapter focuses on a specific vitamin, describing the researchers, the research, and the historic and scientific contexts for its discovery, and chronicling the ongoing conflict between physicians who saw illness as caused by organisms and those who saw illness as a result of dietary deficiency. The book is illustrated with b&w historical photos and art. For those interested in components of nutrition as well as the history of the field, appendices describe some features of the vitamins in more detail. Simple glossary definitions are provided for many scientific and medical terms. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
What you must know about vitamins, minerals, herbs & more
Pamela Wartian Smith.
Garden City Park, NY : Square One Publishers, c2008.
Almost 75 percent of your health and life expectancy is based on environment, nutrition, and lifestyle. Yet even if you follow a healthful diet, you are probably not getting all the nutrients you need to prevent disease. In What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & More, Dr. Pamela Smith explains how you can restore and maintain health through the wise use of nutrients.

For years doctors, scientists and governments have been trying to determine the amounts of vitamins that you need in your diet. The National Academy of Sciences originally developed Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). RDAs were based on nutrient levels that would prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Since the mid-1990s, RDAs have been developed as one component of nutrient intake standards called Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). DRIs values are not only recommendations for nutrient intake but include levels that may reduce health risks such as osteoporosis, different cancers, and other diseases linked to diet.

Vitamin Food Sources

Vitamin A - carrots, sweet potatoes
Vitamin B - meats, broccoli
Vitamin C - citrus fruits, tomatoes

Vitamin D - tuna, sunlight on skin
Vitamin E - peanut butter, olive oil

Vitamin K - spinach, yogurt

Vitamins are needed in small amounts to be effective for basic body functions that include:

  • releasing energy stored in food
  • the formation and repair of tissues
  • reproduction
  • digestion
  • ability to resist disease

One of the best ways to ensure that your diet is rich in vitamins is to use foods as a source of vitamins whenever possible. Nutrition information printed on the food labels now offers the Daily Values (DVs) to help you to determine if a food contains a lot or a little of a specific nutrient.

A balanced diet can provide your body with a variety of the vitamins you need. Keep in mind that nutrient supplements are not nutrient substitutes and should be used to complement a good diet.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff