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Vitamins and Supplements FAQs

Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

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Q:Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from what?

A:Oranges. There are plenty of rich sources of vitamin C, so you can reach your needs without a supplement by balancing your diet. Foods that are high in vitamin C are red peppers (higher than oranges), guava, oranges, kiwi, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

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Q:Niacin, commonly prescribed to help lower cholesterol, falls into which group of vitamins?

A:Vitamin B. The B vitamins (vitamin B complex) are: B-1 (thiamine), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin), B-5 (pantothenic acid), B-6 - B-7 (biotin), B-12 , Folic acid. The B vitamins, such as thiamine, riboflavin, B6, B12, and folic acid (folate) help the body with the health of red blood cells nerves, the heart, and the brain. Anemia, memory loss, fatigue, weakness, and digestive problems are signs of low B vitamins. These vitamins can be found in fish, meats, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.

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Q:Which of the following vitamins or supplements is actually a metal?

A:Zinc. Zinc is a metal and is found in cells throughout the body. It helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses and helps the body make proteins and the genetic material DNA. Zinc also helps wounds heal and is important for proper senses of taste and smell.
Food fact: Oysters contain more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet.

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Q:What causes some fruits and vegetables to be red in color?

A:Lycopene. Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical that gives fruits and vegetables a red color. It is present in particularly high amounts in tomatoes and tomato products.

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Q:Calcium works with what vitamin to give us healthy teeth and bones?

A:Vitamin D. Calcium is a mineral that is an essential part of bones and teeth. The heart, nerves, and blood-clotting systems also need calcium to work. Food fact: Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the main food sources of calcium for the majority of people in the United States.

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Q:Which ranks number one in antioxidant activity?

A:Blueberries. Delicious and rich in antioxidants, blueberries rank number one in antioxidant activity when compared with 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables. Anthocyanin, the antioxidant that is thought to be responsible for this major health benefit, can also be found in blackberries, black raspberries, black currants, and red grapes.

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Q:How many essential vitamins do our bodies need?

A:13. The human body needs 13 essential vitamins. They are vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folate. You can usually get all your vitamins from the foods you eat.

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Q:What is the most abundant mineral in the body?

A:Calcium. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body.

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Q:Which heart smart supplement is derived from the lily family?

A:Garlic. Garlic is the edible bulb from a plant in the lily family. It has been used as both a medicine and a spice for thousands of years. Garlic's most common uses as a dietary supplement are for high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Garlic is also used to prevent certain types of cancer, including stomach and colon cancers.

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Q:Mom wanted you to eat your carrots because this vitamin is necessary for vision?

A:Vitamin A. Vitamin A is required for the proper development and functioning of our eyes, skin, and immune system. Additionally, vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness and is the single most important cause of childhood blindness in developing countries. Vitamin A comes from animal sources such as eggs, meat, fortified milk, cheese, cream, liver, kidney, and cod and halibut fish oil, as well as bright yellow and orange fruits and vegetables.

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Q:Our bodies need this little-known mineral for more than 300 biochemical reactions?

A:Magnesium. Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

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