How Vitamins Are Used in Natural Cures

By Scott J. Banks, Joe Kraynak, J. J. Virgin

Vitamins are organic compounds or groups of organic compounds that your body needs but either can’t make or may not make in sufficient quantities, so you need to consume them. The table presents the essential vitamins along with a couple other key compounds that play a role similar to that of vitamins.

Essential Vitamins
Vitamin May Help with Food Sources
A (retinol)
Better form: Retinyl palmitate and
beta­carotene
Cardiovascular health; cancer prevention; eye disease,
including cataracts and macular degenera­tion; skin conditions,
including acne and psoriasis; measles; inflammatory bowel disease
(IBD)
Note: Don’t take an elevated dose of vitamin A
as retinol or retinyl esters without your doctor’s approval.
If you’re pregnant, don’t take vitamin A beyond your
prenatal vitamins. Supplement vitamin A in children only as a last
resort and only at low dosages.
Yellow, orange, and green vegetables and fruits, including
carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash,
broccoli, peas, kale, spinach, apricots, peaches, tangerines
B1 (thiamin)
Better form: Benfontamine
Brain and nervous system support, cardiovascular health,
beriberi, Wernicke‐Korsakoff syndrome, cataracts,
Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure
Sunflower seeds, navy beans, black beans, barley, green
peas
B2 (riboflavin)
Better form: Riboflavin 5’‐phosphate
Cardiovascular health, migraine headaches, cataracts, glaucoma,
cervical cancer
Soybeans, beet greens, spinach, tempeh, yogurt
B3 (niacin)
Better form: Nicotinic acid, not niacinamide
(nicotinamide) or inositol hexanicotinate
Cardiovascular health, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis,
diabetes, osteoarthritis
Note: Don’t take niacin if you have gout, and
don’t take more than 1.5 grams daily without medical
supervision and monitoring of liver enzymes.
Tuna, chicken, turkey, salmon, lamb
B5 (pantothenic acid) Adrenal system support, nervous system support, high
cholesterol, high triglycerides, wound healing, rheumatoid
arthritis
Whole grain cereals, eggs, meat, legumes, shitake
mushrooms
B6 (pyridoxine)
Better form: Pyridoxal
5’‐phosphate
Heart disease, morning sickness, macular degeneration,
depression, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), carpal tunnel syndrome,
rheumatoid arthritis, tardive dyskinesia
Note: Compromised liver function may prevent the
liver from converting other forms of B6 into pyridoxal
5’‐phosphate, which the body can use.
Tuna, turkey, beef, chicken, salmon
B7 (biotin) Blood glucose regulation, hair and nail problems, seborrheic
dermati­tis, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy
Organ meats, peanuts, almonds, barley, brewer’s
yeast
B9 (folate)
Better form:
5‐MTHF (5‐methyltetrahydrofolate)
Brain and nervous system health, neural tube defect prevention
in pregnancy, heart disease, age‐related hearing loss,
macular degeneration, depression, cancer
Leafy green vege­tables, legumes and lentils, avocado,
broccoli, mango
B12 (cobalamin)
Better form: Methylcobalamin, sublingual,
fast‐dissolving tablet
Pernicious anemia, heart disease, macular degeneration,
fatigue, breast cancer, male infertility
Fish and shellfish, dairy products, organ meats (especially
liver and kidney), eggs
Choline
Better form: Choline dihydrogen citrate
Brain and nervous system health, neural development in
pregnancy, liver and kidney health, asthma
Eggs, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, collard
greens
C
Better form: Mineral ascorbates
Heart disease, high blood pressure, common cold, cancer,
osteoarthritis, macular degeneration, pre‐eclampsia, asthma,
immune support
Note: Avoid vitamin C as ascorbic acid and any
products that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, pineapple, citrus fruits and
juices
D
Better form: D3 (cholecalciferol)
Osteoporosis and other bone disorders, immune support,
autoimmune­ disorders, neurological brain disorders,
Alzheimer’s disease, demen­tia, balance, parathyroid
problems, high blood pressure, cancer, seasonal affective disorder
(SAD), diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), obesity,
overall longevity
Note: If you’re taking a vitamin D supplement,
adequate calcium and magnesium intake are also required. See note
following this table for dosage information.
Sunlight, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, fatty fish
E
Better form: Mix of tocopherols and tocotrienols
Heart disease, cancer, photodermatitis, Alzheimer’s
disease, eye health, menstrual pain, diabetes, pre‐eclampsia,
tardive dyskinesia, rheumatoid arthritis, lipid production
Liver, eggs, nuts (especially almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts),
sunflower seeds, green leafy vegetables
K
Better form: K2 (menaquinone)
Excessive bleeding; osteoporosis
Note:Don’t supplement with
vitamin K if you’re on blood‐thinning medications.
Kale, spinach, greens (mustard, collard, and beet)

Have your vitamin D levels checked yearly and try to maintain an optimal level of 50 to 80 ng/ml. If your level is less than 50 ng/ml, increase exposure to sunlight or take a vitamin D3 supplement. Without sunblock and with arms and legs exposed, your skin makes 10,000 to 15,000 units of vitamin D. Here’s how much additional vitamin D you need based on your vitamin D level:

Vitamin D Level Additional Vitamin D Needed
<10 ng/mL 10,000 units per day
10–20 ng/mL 10,000 units per day
20–30 ng/mL 8,000 units per day
30–40 ng/mL 5,000 units per day
40–50 ng/mL 2,000 units per day