by Walter Last

Find out what Vitamins do and if you have increased requirements for any of them

Vitamins may be water-soluble or fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and the B-group vitamins. Except for vitamin B12, they are easily absorbed, and deficiency is due a deficient diet or to increased requirements. Due to genetic factors or diseases some individuals may require up to hundred times the usual amounts to function normally. One common problem is a thickened or hardened membrane, preventing nutrients entering some organs, especially the eyes. An increased vitamin concentration in the blood ensures an increased supply to the organ. Being water-soluble a surplus of these vitamins is easily expelled through the kidneys, and any problem from overdosing is rare.

The fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, are more difficult to absorb. Deficiencies can easily arise even with an adequate diet. Many individuals, in particular those who have a dry skin and difficulty in gaining weight, have fat-malabsorption. A common cause is a sensitivity of the intestinal lining to gluten that resulted in the gradual erosion of the absorption villi. With this condition fat-soluble vitamins and other nutrients, such as beta-carotene, are not well absorbed and deficiencies result. These cannot normally be corrected by just taking fat-soluble supplements, such as halibut oil capsules for vitamins A and D. Instead, try to obtain and use water-soluble forms of these nutrients, such as vitamin A emulsions and vitamin E in tablet form.

In addition, you may frequently rub vitamin A or E oil from opened capsules onto your skin, and keep a halibut liver oil capsule under the tongue at bedtime for absorption overnight. Formerly it was common practice to give cod liver oil rubs to babies who did not thrive. This is also excellent for adults. In addition, expose your skin frequently to mild sunlight for increased vitamin D production.

Generally, it is best to obtain all necessary vitamins from natural foods and your intestinal bacteria. Under present conditions, however, it is rarely possible to achieve and maintain good health without using special vitamin-rich foods as well as vitamin supplements.

In the case of poor health, absorption of vitamins and minerals is impaired, while your internal requirements are simultaneously raised. This phenomenon underlies the widespread vitamin and mineral deficiencies in our society, which result in a multitude of disease symptoms.

The bacteria of our intestinal flora supply a considerable part of our B vitamins. Antibiotic therapy destroys these essential bacteria and may cause vitamin deficiencies. For this reason use fermented foods or cultures containing acidophilus and bifido bacteria as well as B-vitamin supplements whenever antibiotics are taken. Other widespread conditions causing persistent vitamin deficiencies and dependencies are deprivations during fetal development and in later life, acute and chronic infections, parasites and inefficient metabolism.

Humans cannot synthesize vitamin C, so they must obtain it from their food. Most animals produce their own vitamin C at a daily rate, equivalent, in terms of body weight, to 2-5 g (2000-5000 mg) for an adult human; under stress, up to 15-20 g are produced. This compares with 60 mg recommended for adults by government health agencies. Vitamin and mineral supplements may not be required for the maintenance of health or even the cure of most degenerative diseases, provided the diet is predominantly fresh and raw, based on sprouted seeds, grass and vegetable juice as well as high-quality nutrients such as pollen, spirulina and kelp.

Bowel-tolerance Vitamin C

This can be a successful treatment for infectious diseases, including viral infections, which do not respond to antibiotics. The dose of vitamin C is increased until the patient develops diarrhea. Then the rate is cut back slightly until the bowel just tolerates the high vitamin-C intake. During serious infections, the bowel tolerance is much greater than that of healthy people. In normal health, for example, the bowel tolerance is about 4-15 g per day. With a light cold it might be 20-30 g, and with a serious cold 60-100 g. Mononucleosis or viral hepatitis requires 40-60 g, gastroenteritis 60-150 g, and viral pneumonia more than 150 g. Less than the bowel-tolerance dose may not be effective. While this treatment is most effective for viral infections, it can also help with bacterial infections.

When you are taking these massive amounts, it is important to select the correct form of vitamin-C. If mainly ascorbic acid is used, the body becomes too acid or mineral deficient, while sodium ascorbate introduces too much sodium and calcium ascorbate too much calcium. If your blood pressure is approximately normal, you may take a mixture of ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate.

With low blood pressure use mainly sodium ascorbate with calcium ascorbate. With high blood pressure potassium and magnesium ascorbate combined with ascorbic acid is best. You may neutralize some of the ascorbic acid with potassium bicarbonate and magnesium carbonate or magnesium oxide. In the end, the solution should taste slightly acid. You may dissolve the vitamin C in water, herb tea or juices.

Depending on the severity of the condition, take vitamin C at one or two-hourly intervals. Do not continue self-treatment at bowel-tolerance level for more than a few weeks, and in serious cases only under professional guidance or supervision. The high vitamin C intake should be reduced gradually to a preliminary maintenance dose of 3-10 g. A sudden withdrawal of all vitamin C may cause the return of colds, allergies or fatigue.

In addition to bowel-tolerance vitamin-C, take other infection-fighting nutrients, such as L-lysine, zinc, selenium, propolis, vitamin A, and therapeutic doses of other vitamins and minerals. Two or three liters of water or diluted drinks need to be taken daily during bowel-tolerance treatment. The diet should be light, consisting mainly of fruits in over-alkaline conditions or, in acid conditions, rice, sprouts and salads.

This treatment is not suitable with serious kidney disease or if it causes water retention/edema. Initially, treatment of life-threatening diseases or emergencies may be supported with daily or weekly injections of sodium ascorbate, given intravenously in 3 % solution. Many degenerative diseases associated with a weak immune system, for example, autoimmune diseases, cancer and multiple sclerosis, may benefit from intermittent periods of bowel-tolerance vitamin-C treatment. This method is also useful for accidental poisoning, and bites of poisonous snakes and insects.


In the following compilation 'RDA' means recommended daily allowance as determined by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council (US). A second RDA value is for women.

'IU' means International Units. Commonly not all of the listed deficiency symptoms are manifested, symptoms appear first in the weakest organs. 1 g = 1000 mg, 1 mg = 1000 mcg.


Vitamin A

Retinol, carotene. 1 mcg retinol = 6 mcg beta-carotene = 3 IU; RDA 5000/4000 IU; therapeutic 25,000-100,000 IU, especially in cancer treatment and for eye diseases. One halibut-oil capsule provides 4000 to 5000 IU. It is toxic in very high doses over long periods; destroyed by light and oxygen. Symptoms of vitamin-A toxicity are similar to those of vitamin A deficiency. Do not take very high doses without professional supervision. Long-term oversupply can lead to bone erosion due to a relative deficiency of vitamin D. Therefore supply vitamins A and D together, preferably as cod liver oil otherwise halibut liver oil. With malabsorption tablets or emulsion are easier to absorb.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Eyes dry, infected and sensitive to bright light, night blindness, poor dark adjustment, colorblindness, glaucoma. Skin dry, rough, horny, scaly; pimples, acne, psoriasis. Hair dry, falling or dull. Nails longitudinal ridges, peeling, brittle. Smell and taste poor, distorted. Respiratory infections, lung problems, ear problems, deafness, hearing noises, cancer, thyroid overactive, underweight.

BEST SOURCES Fish-liver oils, liver, butter, egg yolk. Yellow-orange vegetables and green juice are high in beta-carotene, which some individuals can and others cannot efficiently convert into vitamin A.

Vitamin D

Cholecalciferol (D3, preferable) or ergocalciferol (D2, less effective, synthetic, can be toxic in high doses over long periods). 1 IU = 0.025 mg cholecalciferol. RDA 200 IU; therapeutic up to 4000 IU.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Rickets; weak, deformed and porous bones; teeth and gum problems; muscular weakness; convulsions, cramps, tetany, nervous instability, underactive thyroid, multiple sclerosis, depression, overweight, eye problems; symptoms of calcium deficiency.

BEST SOURCES Sun exposure, fish-liver oils, egg yolk.

Vitamin E

Tocopherol (mainly used as d-alpha tocopherol, preferably combined with mixed tocopherols, or vitamin E complex with tocotrienols). RDA 15/12 IU; therapeutic up to 3000 mg (or IU). In research by US scientists mainly the ineffective synthetic d,l form has been used. Patients with heart problems or high blood pressure should increase the dose slowly. Destroyed by oxygen, chlorinated water, inorganic iron supplements, estrogen drugs.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Disorders of the reproductive and circulatory systems, stroke, heart disease, leg pains, cramps, poor wound healing, pronounced scar tissue, muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, tender breasts, arthritis, cancer, eye and ear problems, gangrene, infections, hot flushes, malabsorption, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, phlebitis, skin problems, varicose veins.

BEST SOURCES Cold-pressed oils (wheatgerm oil), rice polishings, sprouted seeds, nuts, egg yolk, green leaves, grass juice.

Vitamin K

RDA 80/60 mcg, therapeutic 5 – 15 mg. Destroyed by light, acid and alkaline conditions.

Essential for normal blood clotting to prevent hemorrhaging. Deficiency causes frequent, prolonged or severe bleeding, easy bruising and menstrual clots as well as nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. It is also needed for bone formation or to prevent osteoporosis, tooth decay, calcium deposits and hardening of tissues and arteries. Injections of vitamin K derived from plant sources were as effective as morphine for pain control.

Obtained from intestinal bacteria, green and especially dark-green vegetables , liver, egg yolk. Vitamin K1 from plants is more effective than that from intestinal bacteria, the synthetic form (K3) can have toxic effects.


These are easily lost in cooking and are not stored in the body (except B12).

Vitamin B1

Thiamine; also known as aneurin. RDA 1.5/1.1 mg; therapeutic 50-3000 mg. Destroyed by heat, sugar, alcohol, smoking. Deficiency may arise from lack of gastric acid.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Poor circulation with cold hands and feet; edema (fluid retention); tongue furrowed; underactive thyroid; fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, over-sensitivity to pain and noise, nausea, poor memory, apathy, debility, weight loss; muscles weak and painful, especially the legs, starting with numb, burning feet, later affecting calves and thighs, may result in paralysis. Severe gastrointestinal disturbances. Tachycardia (fast pulse) and dyspnoea (breathlessness) on exertion, brachycardia (slow pulse) at rest, enlarged and weak heart. Mental illness, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, hypoglycemia, allergies, addictions - drugs, alcohol. Severe deficiency known as beriberi.

BEST SOURCES Food yeast, rice bran, sunflower and sesame seeds, peanuts, millet, grains.

Vitamin B2

Riboflavin. RDA 1.7/1.3 mg; therapeutic 50-1500 mg. Destroyed by light, makes urine bright yellow.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Eyes sensitive, burning, bloodshot (blood vessels become visible in the white of the eye), blurred vision, cataracts. Skin oily and itching; eczema, especially around nose, forehead, ears, scrotum and vagina; redness of part of face (rosacea), acne, bedsores, purplish skin parts. Hair dull, oily, dandruff, split nails. Tongue sore, burning, magenta purplish; cracks on lips and corners of mouth (cheilosis). Allergies, anemia, arthritis, cancer, diabetes.

BEST SOURCES Food yeast, liver, kidney, almonds, sprouted seeds, grass juice.

Niacin and Nicotinamide

Formerly known as vitamin B3 (USA) or B5 (UK). RDA 19/15 mg, therapeutic up to 30 g in schizophrenia. The acid form - niacin or nicotinic acid - causes flushing of the face. It is prescribed to dilate blood vessels, to decrease blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, to increase circulation to the head in cases of acne or migraine. The non-acid nicotinamide or niacinamide does not have these effects, though - in contrast to niacin - high amounts may cause depression. Niacin or nicotinamide improve the oxidative energy metabolism and may be used to treat the following symptoms.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Schizophrenia; hyperthyroidism, protruding eyes, depression, irritability, overactivity, crying spells, suspicion, loss of humor, delusions, anxiety, insomnia, confusion. Tongue strawberry-tipped or bright red, shiny, 'raw beef' appearance. Mouth displays sores, canker, ulcerated corners. Skin rough, red; brown, often symmetrical discoloration on cheeks, neck and back of hands. Dermatitis with ulcerations, aggravated by exposure to sun. Headache, backache, fatigue, loss of weight and appetite. Lack of gastric acid, anemia. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Painful, stiff joints, arthritis, cancer. Changed sense perceptions; pellagra (cracking of skin).

BEST SOURCES Food yeast, peanuts, rice bran, liver.

Pantothenic Acid

Calcium pantothenate, vitamin B5; RDA 4/7 mg; therapeutic 50-1500 mg.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Tongue beefy, enlarged, furrowed; fatigue, depression, insomnia, graying hair, burning feet, arthritis, alcoholism, asthma, cancer, cataracts, epilepsy, psoriasis, stress, diseases of the digestive and nervous systems, adrenal weakness.

BEST SOURCES Food yeast, rice bran and polishings, liver.

Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine; RDA 2.0/1.6 mg; therapeutic 50-3000 mg. It works closely together with zinc, easily oxidized.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Inability to recall dreams, insomnia, depression, irritability, tremors, convulsions (epilepsy), migraine, schizophrenia. Skin oily, with eczema and urticaria (nettle rash or hives); edema (fluid retention), vomiting, halitosis, lack of gastric acid, muscle weakness, anemia, kidney stones. Pain, stiffness and swellings of fingers and joints; fingers and toes become white (Raynaud's disease). Autism, caries (tooth or bone decay), diabetes, Parkinsonism. Diseases of the digestive and nervous systems.

BEST SOURCES Food yeast, molasses, bran, sunflower seeds, rice, liver, egg yolk, nuts, beans, bananas.


RDA 0.3 mg. Necessary for protein and fat metabolism as well as for healthy hair.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Digestive, nervous, skin and hair problems; anemia, fatigue, depression, hallucinations.

BEST SOURCES Food yeast, rice bran. Usually from intestinal bacteria, except after antibiotics.

Folic Acid

RDA 0.2/0.18 mg; recommended at least 0.4 mg, 0.8 mg in pregnancy; therapeutic 5-20 mg. Easily destroyed by light, heat, storage, oxygen, contraceptive pill.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Widespread. Most pregnant women are deficient. Anemia; corners of mouth crack, red tongue, graying hair, grayish-brown skin pigmentation. Irritability, depression, fatigue, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, insomnia, dizziness, depressed reflexes, headaches. Muscle weakness, pain, numbness in legs, difficulty in walking, cramps. Digestive problems - constipation, diarrhea. Sexual and circulation problems, cervical cancer, hypoglycemia, birth defects, gout, cardiovascular disease, diabetes.

BEST SOURCES Grass juice, yeast, sprouts, dark-green leaves, liver.

Vitamin B12

Cobalamin. RDA 2 mcg =0.002 mg; therapeutic 1000 mcg by injection, especially in debility and after stomach operations. Most patients with lack of energy respond extremely well to vitamin B12 injections, even if laboratory tests show a normal vitamin B12 blood level. In poor health B12 is not well absorbed, calcium and hydrochloric acid improve absorption, commonly tablets are absorbed under the tongue, even better is absorption through the nasal mucosa –at bedtime rub a drop of vitamin B12 from an opened ampoule into each nostril.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS Pernicious anemia, chronic fatigue, debility, poor circulation, numbness and stiffness; very red, sore tongue; emotional disturbances, mental illness, cancer, liver and nervous system diseases, nerve inflammations, paralysis.

BEST SOURCES Liver, kidney, fish, egg yolk, (spirulina).

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid; commonly used as a supplement in the form of sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate. RDA 60 mg; recommended 500 - 3000 mg, therapeutic up to 100 g (neutralized). Easily destroyed by air, storage, smoking, cooking, stress. Useful to counteract bites or stings of poisonous snakes, insects, spiders and others.

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS First signs - lassitude, weakness, irritability, vague muscle and joint pains. Later - scurvy, starting in the limbs most used; muscle pain (especially during infections), bleeding of gums and skin, capillary weakness, fatigue, poor wound healing, acute and chronic infections. Liver and kidney problems; old age, senility, aging skin; thrombosis (strokes, heart infarcts); crib death, eye problems, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, schizophrenia, anemia, bedsores, stone formation, cancer, backache, anxiety. Allergies (asthma, hayfever, bee stings, epilepsy, headaches, rashes).

BEST SOURCES Fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted seeds, rosehips, grass juice.

Vitamin-like Substances

These are necessary biochemical substances which have not yet been awarded full vitamin status by government agencies, partly because some can be synthesized within the body, and partly because their usefulness is still disputed.


Bioflavonoids are part of the naturally occurring vitamin-C complex. Deficiency causes capillary fragility with purplish or blue skin marks, inflammation, gum bleeding and inner ear pain. Bioflavonoids are necessary for the proper functioning of vitamin C. Best sources are flower petals, sprouted seeds and fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and the residue of juiced citrus fruits. The best known members of this group are quercetin and rutin, rutin is found in concentrated form in dried buckwheat leaves and flowers.

Choline and Inositol

Important for the absorption and metabolism of fats and cholesterol, for the synthesis of lecithin, for liver and gall bladder function and for the formation and function of brain and nerves (transmission of nerve impulses, myelin sheaths). They are helpful in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis, asthma, diabetes (inositol), glaucoma, hair problems and baldness, high blood pressure, insomnia (inositol), liver diseases, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, neuritis, tardive dyskinesia (choline).

Choline is best supplied by lecithin, while other good sources are egg yolk, liver, brain and food yeast. Inositol is best supplied by sprouted seeds (in unsprouted seeds it remains unavailable in the form of phytic acid). Other good sources are heart, brain, liver, food yeast, cabbage and citrus fruits.

PABA (Para-aminobenzoic Acid)

A growth-promoting factor, deficiency contributes to white skin patches, eczema, graying hair, fatigue. As a lotion it is excellent for protecting the skin against ultraviolet radiation. It is obtained from food yeast, liver, egg yolk, and is also synthesized by intestinal bacteria. As a supplement, the soluble potassium salt of PABA is preferable to the almost insoluble acid itself.

Vitamin B15 (Pangamic Acid)

Occurs in seeds, grains and nuts; it protects against oxygen deficiencies (similar to vitamin E). It has been successfully used in the treatment of alcoholism, allergies, arthritis; autism, breathing problems such as asthma and emphysema, diabetes and hypoglycemia, heart problems (cardiovascular diseases), and premature aging. The usual therapeutic dose is 50-100 mg two or three times daily.

Vitamin B17 (Amygdalin or Nitrilosides)

Contains a cyanide ingredient that is harmful to cancer cells. It is most effective for preventing cancer if taken regularly by eating a few bitter seeds of stone fruits or pip fruits (for example, apricot, bitter almond, apple). Other good sources are sprouted seeds, alfalfa, mung beans, millet, and lentils. Professionally, a purified product, known as laetrile, is used orally or as injections for cancer treatment (now illegal in the USA). To be effective, laetrile must be used in conjunction with cleansing, supplements and correct diet.

Disclaimer: The aim of this web site is to provide information on using natural healing methods to aid in the treatment of illness and health improvement.
The author cannot accept any legal responsibility for any problem arising from experimenting with these methods. For any serious disease,
or if you are unsure about a particular course of action, seek the help of a competent health professional.

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