Vitamins and Minerals

Did you know that lithium is a naturally occurring element?  Sure...check out the periodic chart (you know, the one in your high school lab room).  I know that not everyone can take lithium and I'm not suggesting that everyone start "popping" lithium.  Nevertheless,  I often have to chuckle when people refuse to take lithium because they prefer a more "natural" method. (oh well, that's an whole 'nother story).

As for vitamins and minerals, our "natural" foods are great sources of them.  According to Mary Beth Lind, if we eat a well balanced diet of the food groups, we really should not need supplements.  We live in the "real" world though and many times it's easier to pop a pill than to eat right.  

One note of caution:  All vitamin and mineral supplements are NOT created equally.  Be sure to read the labels!  Some vitamins and minerals can actually do you more harm than good if taken in doses that are too high.  Again, be sure to check things out with your doctor before beginning any supplemental program.

vitamin/
mineral
food source(s) benefits points of interest/ CAUTIONS
  Vitamins    
vitamin A yellow, orange and dark green vegetables and fruits, liver, eggs, fortified milk improves vision and night blindness, healthy skin and mucous membranes, improves immune system's response to infection it's true!!! Eat your carrots for better eye sight...they are high in vitamin A
Vitamin A is a FAT SOLUBLE vitamin. high doses can be very dangerous and lead to toxicity... check with your doctor before taking a vitamin A supplement
vitamin B1
(thiamine)
organ meats such as liver and kidneys, muscle meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, whole grain and enriched cereals, green vegetables, improves nerve impulse transmission, energy production prevents disease called beri-beri, signs and symptoms include swollen lower legs, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss weakness, irritability, confusion, depression, loss of memory and decreased muscle tone
vitamin B2
(riboflavin)
organ meats such as liver and kidneys, muscle meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, green vegetables, necessary for fatty acid synthesis, essential for normal cells function, promotes healthy skin, tongue, eyes and nerves, energy production one sign of a Vitamin B2 deficiency is cracks at the corners of the mouth, some others are reddened eyes, sensitivity to light, and depression
folacin 
(folic acid)
organ meats such as liver and kidneys, muscle meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, whole grain and enriched cereals, green vegetables, stimulates production of red blood cells, nerve cell production, general cellular reproduction, protein synthesis, DNA and RNA production one of the many vitamins that is beneficial before getting pregnant, recent studies show this vitamin is very low in people with treatment resistant depression
Niacin organ meats such as liver and kidneys, muscle meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, whole grain and enriched cereals involved in more than 50 of the body's metabolic functions, energy production, metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, maintenance of every body cell also considered one of the "B" complex vitamins
deficiencies affect ALL cells, can lead to severe skin lesions, confusion, irritability, insomnia and psychosis
Biotin organ meats such as liver and kidneys, muscle meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, green vegetables, fatty acid synthesis deficiency is very rare, unless you eat a large amount of raw egg whites
Pantothenic Acid organ meats such as liver and kidneys, muscle meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, whole grain and enriched cereals, green vegetables, protein metabolism, energy metabolism, break down of fats deficiency is very rare, however signs are depression increased susceptibility to infection, irritability, confusion and fatigue
vitamin B6
(pyridoxine)
organ meats such as liver and kidneys, muscle meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, green vegetables, amino acids metabolism (which helps in the formation of serotonin, norepinephrine and acetycholine), promotes production of red blood cells, critical to protein metabolism, cholesterol metabolism and stored glucose conversion signs of deficiency are: altered brain function, hyperactivity, irritability, weakness, insomnia and nervousness, low blood lymphocytes and other WBCs (for fighting infections), skin lesions and arteriosclerosis
vitamin B12
(cobalamin)
organ meats such as liver and kidneys, muscle meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and milk products, green vegetables, production of RNA & DNA, production of red blood cells, general cellular production, maintenance of nerve tissue, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism

 

specifically the body produces immature red blood cells incapable of carrying oxygen when you have a vitamin B12 deficiency called pernicious anemia, the nerve cells will literally die from lack of oxygen, anemia can cause depression, mental confusion and irritability 
vitamin C (excellent 100mg/100g)
broccoli and broccoli greens, collards, black currants, guava, horseradish, kale,  turnip greens,  parsley, sweet peppers
(good 50-99mg/100g) cabbage,  cauliflower,  chives, kohlrabi, orange pulp, lemon pulp, mustard greens, beet greens, papaya, spinach, strawberries, watercress, sprouts
(fair 30-49mg/100g)
asparagus, limas,  swiss chard, gooseberries,  currants, grapefruit, limes, loganberries, cantaloupe,  okra, tangerines, tomatoes, potatoes, turnips
promotes healing and production of immune system cells, promotes iron absorption,  increases body metabolism and energy production, essential to function of collagen and 5-Http uptake which is responsible for serotonin production in the brain, promotes mental health and prevents depression, promotes proper hormone secretion through out the body, activates folic acid, prevents scurvy, (note: there is still a HUGE controversy on whether or not vitamin C prevents common infections like a cold, although it has been accepted that large doses will reduce the number of days ill,  having a vitamin C deficiency affects every cell in the body) classified as an anti-oxidant, water soluble, if you take a supplement be sure to drink plenty of water,  high concentrations in the blood can lead to kidney stone formation, grapefruit can affect many medications, the ones associated with treatment of BP are: Buspar ,
Caffeine, Halcion,
Tegretol, Valium,
Versed, Xanax
(all benzodiazepines like valium and buspar) 

check with your pdoc or pharmacist
vitamin D fortified milk and milk products, fish liver oils, liver and eggs, muscle meats, whole grains maintains healthy bones and teeth prevents rickets (soft bone disease), also helps the regulate calcium and phosphorus, two important minerals in bone formation, exposure to sunlight helps the body produce it's very own vitamin D
Fat soluble vitamin, large doses can cause toxicity, irreversible kidney damage, calcification of the major organs and arteries
vitamin E vegetable oils, margarine and shortening, muscle meats, milk and milk products, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, cabbage family anti-oxidant that protects other  nutrients like vitamin A from oxidation, promotes the integrity of the cell membrane, healthy skin and nails, improves cardiovascular health, and reduces risk cancer of the skin unfortunately, there is not scientific evidence that vitamin E improves reproduction, sexual performance, slows aging, enhances athletic performance or improves breathing disorders
Fat soluble vitamin, rare for toxic levels to occur
vitamin K leafy green vegetables,  whole grain, egg yolks, and milk  production of prothrombin which promotes blood clotting deficiency is rare in adults, but hemorrhage especially in newborns is a concern
Fat soluble vitamin, rare for toxic levels to occur
  Major Minerals found in larger quantities in the body  
Calcium canned fish, milk dark green leafy vegetables beans dark fruits eggs whole grains  improves hard structure of bones and teeth, promotes transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contractions and relaxation, cellular membrane structure, helps hold cells together, blood clotting stored in bones, one of the electrolytes important to basic body function, especially important in heart function, deficiency can lead to rickets
Chlorine table salt, salt substitutes one of the  electrolytes which are nonmetallic conductors of electricity,  nerve messages  in the body travel with the aid of electrolytes major cause of depletion are vomiting and diarrhea
Magnesium peanuts, beans, shrimp, spinach, whole grains, crab meat energy production, maintains homeostasis (body's attempt to stay chemically balanced), improves nerve impulse transmission deficiency signs and symptoms are: irritability, muscle tremors
Phosphorus whole milk, chicken, pork, lean beef, tuna, cheese, beans, eggs, whole grains structure of bones and  teeth, DNA and RNA production, buffer of the body fluid deficiency can lead to rickets
Potassium lean meats, fish, milk, bananas one of the  electrolytes which are nonmetallic conductors of electricity,  nerve messages  in the body travel with the aid of electrolytes, retention of fluids taking diuretics can deplete the potassium levels quickly, major cause of depletion are vomiting and diarrhea, too much potassium can be serious as well
Sodium bouillon, baking powder, sea fish, shell fish, salt cured meats, cheese, bread, eggs, processed foods, table salt one of the  electrolytes which are nonmetallic conductors of electricity,  nerve messages  in the body travel with the aid of electrolytes strenuous exercise can lead to depletion, although sports drinks often replace sodium quickly they also contain a large amount of sugars, confusion, irritability and psychosis are some signs of depletion
Sulfur meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, legumes contributes to the structure of proteins, promotes body use of thiamin and some hormones found in all tissues and causes the distinct odor of burning hair, nails or skin
  Trace Minerals found in smaller quantities in the body  
Arsenic organic foods normal growth, iron utilization  this occurs naturally in the water and soil and the dietary intake from foods is much lower than the toxic levels written about in detective stories and murder mysteries
Chromium molasses, meats, fruits, vegetables promotes normal function of insulin and normal glucose tolerance due to the increase in refined sugar intake, can be a factor in early diabetes development
Cobalt see vitamin B12 part of vitamin B12 see vitamin B12
Copper organ meats, shell fish, nuts, whole grains, eggs, fish, poultry,  dried peas, beans,  dark green leafy vegetables respiratory chain, collagen production, hemoglobin production, melanin production deficiency signs and symptoms: anemia, mental slowness due to lack of oxygen to the brain
Fluorine added to water supply in many areas...and the rest depends on the soil content of fluoride where you live, fluoride toothpastes do offer a fair amount helps form tooth enamel pregnant mothers who are given an additional fluoride supplement can guarantee a cavity free life for their newborn, 
Iodine store bought salt, shell fish, kelp, seaweed thyroid function, body metabolism goiter or enlarged thyroid, nervousness, irritability, depression, confusion, anxiety can all be signs of thyroid problems
Iron meat, oysters, whole grains, fortified cereals and breads, raisins, dried fruits, dark green leafy vegetables promotes use and production of body enzymes iron deficient anemia is most common, anemia can cause depression, mental confusion and irritability 
Manganese cereals, dried peas, beans, nuts, leafy green vegetables, dried fruits, root or tuber vegetables, almonds, tea growth,   fertility, healthy skin, changes in pigmentation or skin color works hand in hand with vitamin K
Molybdenum grazing animal meats, vegetables grown in areas of high soil content protection of cellular membranes, reduction of tumors, decreased cancer risk can be dangerous and toxic in high levels
Nickel grazing animal meats, vegetables grown in areas of high soil content in natural food forms slows aging improves bone, mucous membranes, collagen and skin tissues, prevents iron deficiency anemia data is very limited, however,  toxicity is usually not a problem unless several grams are ingested from non-dietary sources
Selenium grazing animal meats, vegetables grown in areas of high soil content cancer risk reduction in amounts of 0.05 - 0.2 poor dental hygiene and increased cavities can be an indication of high selenium content in an area, can be dangerous and toxic in high levels
Silicon actually found in most foods, this is the most prevalent mineral on the earth, oats and barley are best sources collagen formation, bone calcification too much silicon can cause silicosis, a respiratory disease that causes lung tissues to harden
Tin grazing animal meats, vegetables grown in areas of high soil content normal function of adrenal gland, heart function tomato products canned in tin that has not been coated with lacquer or resin increase tin uptake, dietary levels have not been established
Vanadium shellfish, mushrooms, black pepper, and parsley maintaining blood sugar levels, bones and teeth, reduces risk of cancer dietary levels have not been established, however high supplemental doses can cause a green tongue and chemical imbalances in the body
Zinc raw Atlantic oysters, wheat germ, lean beef, dark turkey meat, whole grains, cheddar cheese body metabolism and production of new cells, energy production, protein synthesis, promotes wound healing, collagen formation, amino acid metabolism deficiency signs and symptoms, dry brittle hair and nails, scaly and inflamed skin

 vitamin and mineral information from reference #6

TrueHope& Other Alternatives

Vitamin and mineral supplements have been hailed as the new all natural treatment for BP.  TrueHope or EM Power Plus has been one of those supplements in the news for the last several years.  There are those who swear by it and others who take a much harder view of the supplements.  We are not making any claims here one way or the other.  There is obviously many who are interested in this approach, and we want to give you the full story.  Here are a couple links you might want to check out.  They are from both sides of the TrueHope spectrum, as well as testimonials from other Alternative Treatments.

http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/testimonials/

http://www.truehope.com 

http://www.bipolarworld.net/Stories/ben.htm 

http://www.healthwatcher.net/Quackerywatch/Synergy/evaluation-1.html 

http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/comment/truehope.htm 

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