How To Recognize A Real Vitamin

Health Alert 275

Industrialized farming has depleted our soils.(1) Foods once nutrient rich, now contain only a small percentage of the nutrition they had 100 years ago.(2)

Taking the right supplements can reverse these loses to give you more energy, better stamina and clearer thinking. I also find nutrient solutions most effective in my clinic to treat problems with prostate, cardiovascular and sexual health.

But when you look at the supplements on the market, it’s hard to sort through the many choices. Today, you’ll learn one simple exercise that will dramatically narrow your search.

* Sort Good Eggs from Bad Eggs *

When I teach nutrition at Barry University, I am often asked about vitamins that don’t exist. It reveals how difficult it has become – even at a university level – to sort through the problem of good nutrition in the modern world.

A good way to start is to weed out the bad eggs. Many supplement makers try to sell you nutrients you don’t need. Some even make up vitamins for their own marketing purposes. Your best defense against these hoaxes is for you to know all the true vitamins. As you are about to see, that’s not that tough.

Divide your vitamins into those that dissolve in fat (oil soluble) and those that dissolve in water (water soluble). The fat soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K. You can remember them with the silly phrase “Aardvarks Don’t Eat Kangaroos!” The water soluble vitamins are all the B vitamins and vitamin C. That’s it.

About 25 years ago, I developed a phrase to help my fellow medical students remember the names for all the B vitamins. I still use this to teach nutrition today: “Teddy Roosevelt Never Painted Pyramids Blue in Fancy Clothes.” It contains the first letter of all the B vitamins in numerical order. (The missing numbers are compounds researchers thought were vitamins but turned out to be non-essential.) The more absurd the image, the more likely you will remember it.

Here is the short but complete list of all the real vitamins, their functions and dietary sources. If it ain’t on this list, it ain’t a vitamin.

True Vitamins
Water Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin B1 Thiamine Circulation, blood formation, brain function.

Organ meat, yeast, peas, pork beans.

Vitamin B2 Riboflavin Blood cell formation, antibodies, cataract prevention. Meat, poultry, fish, nuts, kidney, liver, green vegetables.
Vitamin B3 Niacin Circulation, nervous system, healthy skin. Lean meats, nuts, legumes and potatoes.
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid Adrenal hormones, antibodies, neurotransmitters, stamina. Eggs, pork, beef, fish, milk, and most fruits/vegetables.
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Brain/immune system function, cancer immunity, mild diuretic. Chicken, fish, kidney, liver, eggs, bananas, lima beans and walnuts.
Vitamin B7 Biotin Cell growth, metabolism of carbohydrates/fats/proteins. Liver, eggs yolks, nuts, cauliflower, milk and legumes.
Vitamin B8 Inositol Hair growth, reduces cholesterol and plaque. Heart, fruit, milk, nuts, meat and vegetables.
Vitamin B9 Folic Acid “Brain food”, energy, red blood cells, strengthens immunity. Beef, lamb, pork, chicken liver, eggs, green leafy vegetables and salmon.
Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin Prevent anemia/nerve damage, digestion, cellular longevity. Lamb, beef, herring, mackerel, liver, oysters, poultry, clams and eggs.

Vitamin C


Tissue growth/repair, adrenal function, fights cancers and infections. Citrus, peppers, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries.
Oil Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A Eye problems/skin disorders, healthy bones/teeth, antioxidant. Liver, fish oil, egg yolks, crab, halibut, whole-milk, carrots, spinach, broccoli, cantaloupe.
Vitamin D Absorption of calcium/phosphorus, healthy teeth and bones. Fish-liver oil, eggs, butter, whole-milk, halibut, herring, liver, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shrimp.
Vitamin E Prevents cancer, heart disease, cataracts; reduces blood pressure. Organ meats, vegetables oils, wheat germ, eggs and nuts.
Vitamin K Needed for blood clotting and healthy liver function. Green leafy vegetables, dairy products, eggs, fruits and vegetables.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1 Acid Rain Study Reaches Milestone, Confirms Nutrient Depletion. Ivan Fernandez. University of Maine. Public Release Date: 26 March, 2004.

2 Mineral Nutrient Depletion in US Farm and Range Soils. Micheal Karr Ph.D.