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Health boosting Ingredients

Vitamins

Carotenoids are found naturally in foods such as fruit, spinach, carrots and eggs.

The importance of certain ingredients in the diet for maintaining health has been known since ancient times. But the need for what we now call vitamins was first realised in the mid-18th century, when the Scottish surgeon James Lind found that citrus fruit helped to prevent sailors on long voyages from developing the disease scurvy.James Lind found that citrus fruit helped to prevent sailors on long voyages from developing the disease scurvy.

Vitamins are organic chemicals that were first isolated in the first half of the 20th century, and while the body is able to make some of these itself, we rely on our diet for the rest. Our bodies also need a number of inorganic chemicals in tiny amounts, mostly metals, and these are called minerals.

Many processed foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals, which helps us to consume enough of these vital substances.

Most governments issue lists of recommended daily amounts – RDAs – of each vitamin and mineral that should be supplied by the diet. Many people already eat sufficient in their normal diet, but there are still large groups in each country who do not. In the UK, fortification of margarine with vitamins A and D is compulsory as it is a substitute for butter, which is a good source of these vitamins. Fortification of bread flour is also compulsory in the UK, as milling the flour removes several of the useful B vitamins. Generally, fortification is carried out at no more than 50% of the RDA per daily serving.

Carotenoids are found naturally in foods such as fruit, spinach, carrots and eggs.Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is important for healthy eyesight and bone growth. It is made in the body from precursor chemicals called carotenoids, or ingested directly from meat and dairy products. Carotenoids are found naturally in foods such as fruit, spinach, carrots and eggs.

Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is important in many of the processes carried out by our cells. Some of the most important sources include meat, vegetables, cereals, rice and yeast. The disease beri-beri results from a deficiency in this vitamin, as does Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome in alcoholics. Most cases of deficiency in the UK occur in alcoholics, causing confusion, ataxia and coma.

Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, is another vitamin that is important in metabolism. It is found in foods like milk, liver, yeast and green vegetables, and can also be used to add colour to foods.

Vitamin B3, better known as niacin, is a vital component of metabolic processes. Deficiency Vitamin B5, now referred to as pantothenic acid, is important in metabolism. It is widespread in foodstuffs, including whole grains, eggs, meat and legumes. It is a familiar ingredient in cosmetics, where it is normally used in the more stable alcohol form, panthenol.causes the disease pellagra. It is commonly found in foods like meat, fruit and vegetables and various nuts and cereals.

Vitamin B5, now referred to as pantothenic acid, is important in metabolism. It is widespread in foodstuffs, including whole grains, eggs, meat and legumes. It is a familiar ingredient in cosmetics, where it is normally used in the more stable alcohol form, panthenol.

Vitamin B6, or pyridoxine, is important in the production of red blood cells and various hormones. It is found in milk, meat, brown rice, whole-wheat grain and nuts.

Vitamin B7, better known as biotin, is again important in metabolism and cell growth, and is widely available in egg yolk, liver, kidney, meat and some vegetables. As a result, deficiency is rare.

Vitamin B9, now usually listed as folic acid and B vitamins, has numerous functions in the body, mainly in amino-acid metabolism. It also has an important role when the body is growing rapidly during pregnancy, resulting in a reduction in the likelihood of neural tube defects such as spina bifida if it is ingested in the right quantities pre-and post-conception. It is found in foods such as green vegetables, peas and beans, and liver as folate. Supplements are important for pregnant women.

Vitamin B12, is a group of related substances, the most important of which is cyanocobalamin. Vitamin B9, now usually listed as folic acid or folate, has numerous functions in the body, mainly in amino-acid metabolismIt is essential for healthy blood and nervous system, and a deficiency ultimately leads to pernicious anaemia. It is found naturally in milk, eggs and meat, but not in vegetables,  so vegetarians need to ensure that they either eat foods fortified with B12, or take a supplement.

Vitamin C is familiar on food labels under its chemical name of ascorbic acid as it is commonly used as an antioxidant. It is needed by the body to synthesis collagen, the protein that makes up much of our connective tissue, and if we don’t get enough, we will develop scurvy. It also helps iron to be absorbed, and works as an antioxidant in the body, helping to protect against the onset of many chronic diseases. It is found in many fruits, and is particularly abundant in citrus fruits. Potatoes are also an important source in the UK diet.
Vitamin D is one of the few vitamins our bodies can make itself, which it does in response to sunlight, but many foods are fortified with it to make sure we get enough. It is actually a group of related chemicals, the calciferols, and has aVitamin E is another group of related chemicals, the tocopherols. These antioxidants are found in many foods, especially oils from sources such as wheatgerm, sunflower, olive and various nut oils. number of functions in the body. These include healthy bone growth, and a deficiency in this vitamin will result in a softening of the bones, or rickets, in children. Good natural sources include oily fish, liver, milk and eggs.

Vitamin E is another group of related chemicals, the tocopherols. These antioxidants are found in many foods, especially oils from sources such as wheatgerm, sunflower, olive and various nut oils. It is vital the integrity of membranes, and the dietary requirement tends to increase with the amount of polyunsaturated fats ingested, so it is often added to margarine. It is also used as an antioxidant.

Potatoes are also an important source for Vitimin C in the UK diet.Vitamin K is a group of quinone chemicals that are important in the blood clotting process, and the maintenance of healthy bones and cardiovascular system. Sources include green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and broccoli, and also some fruits such as avocado. K vitamins are also found in fermented dairy products such as cheese.

Claims

More than 80 health claims for the vitamins have been authorised in 2012 by the European Commission, and they demonstrate the important synergy between the different vitamins (and minerals) as several vitamins (and minerals) are noted to carry similar claims
ClaimVitamin or mineral
Maintenance of normal bonesVitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus,Vitamin D, Vitamin K
Maintenance of normal hairBiotin, Copper, Selenium, Zinc
Maintenance of normal energy-yielding metabolismVitamin B1, B2, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C
Maintenance of normal functioning of the nervous systemVitamin B1, B2, Niacin, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C

Vitamin C carries extensive claims for the maintenance of normal collagen (elastic net) formation in blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums, skin and teeth.

The EU Register can be searched very simply by nutrient and/or health condition

 

 

 

Fish oils

Fish oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids

Marine oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, notably eicosapentaenoic acid Fish oils are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids(EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). They are extracted from various different oily fish, such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna and herrings, but the fish do not make the oils themselves – they come from their own diet, usually microalgae, or for fish-eating fish, from other fish that eat the microalgae. It is possible to ferment these microalgae in a contained environment, from which a vegetarian algal oil rich in DHA and EPA can be extracted. Numerous health benefits have been claimed for these oils, including improving attention and positive effects on heart health.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the most abundant omega-3 in the brain. It may also have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease, and clinical trials are being carried out.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EHA) has several important roles in the body, as it is used to make several important biological molecules such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes which are essential to the healthy functioning of the body. It is also thought to have a positive benefit on mental health.

Minerals

Many different minerals are essential for health, often in tiny amounts. Some of the most important are:

Calcium has long been associated with formation of bones and teeth but has a wide role in human health, and claims have now been authorised for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth and also for the maintenance of normal blood clotting, energy-yielding metabolism, muscle function, neurotransmission, function of digestive enzymes and also a role in cell division and specialisation.

Cobalt is an essential component of the vitamin B12. It is not authorised for use as a food additive but it is available from the diet in adequate quantities.

Copper is part of many of the enzymes the body uses. Several claims have been authorised for copper, ranging from the protection of cells from oxidative stress to the maintenance of normal hair and skin pigmentation.

Chromium is needed by the body in the metabolism of sugars and lipids.

Claims have been authorised for the maintenance of normal macronutrient metabolism and normal blood glucose levels when in its trivalent state.

Iron is at the core of haemoglobin, the chemical that transports oxygen around the body in the blood, and is also part of numerous enzymes. A wide range of claims have been authorised, from the maintenance of normal cognitive function to the normal formation of red blood cells and the reduction of fatigue.

Manganese is required by many enzymes, and is important in the way the body processes toxic superoxide. Authorised claims include the maintenance of normal bones and connective tissue to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

Magnesium is essential for a wide range of fundamental cellular reactions and is involved in at least 300 enzymic steps in intermediary metabolism. Claims have been authorised for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth, muscle function, nervous system and psychological function as well as reduction in tiredness and fatigue.

Molybdenum is present in several enzymes and can carry a claim for normal sulphur amino-acid metabolism.

Nickel is in a number of enzymes, notably urease which processes urea. Like cobalt, it is not authorised for use as a food additive.

Selenium containing chemicals work with various important enzymes, particularly peroxidases, and is important in thyroid function. Selenium in the British diet is generally low as our soils have low contents of the element, so levels in the plants grown on that soil are also low.  Various claims have been authorised, including the maintenance of normal hair, nails and thyroid function, and also the protection of cells from oxidative stress.

Zinc is an important component of several important enzymes, including carbonic anhydrase in the eye, and the dehydrogenase which breaks down alcohol in the liver.  A wide range of claims have been authorised, including the maintenance of normal DNA synthesis, cognitive function, fertility, macronutrient metabolism and also the maintenance of normal  hair, skin, nails and vision.

It should be noted that several minerals (and vitamins) have in many cases been authorised to carry health claims. The claim in that case can be made for one or several of the relevant nutrients contained in a few product.

Examples are:

Health claim Vitamin Mineral
Contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism Biotin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2,vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C* Calcium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese*
Maintenance of normal bones Vitamin D, vitamin K Calcium,Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus,Zinc

 

 

Fibre

Dietary fibre is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Consuming sufficient dietary fibre is essential to maintain a healthy digestive system. There are two main types of fibre – soluble and insoluble – and many different components of plants act as dietary fibres, including cellulose, lignin, beta-glucans and oligosaccharides.

Dietary fibre is essential in maintaining a healthy digestive system.Insoluble fibre passes straight through the digestive tract unchanged. Because it absorbs water on the way, it softens the stool and helps waste material pass through the intestines more quickly. Important sources include beans, lentils, whole grains and wheat bran.

Soluble fibre is not digested, but it does not pass through the body unaltered – it absorbs water to form a gel, and may be fermented by bacteria within the large intestine. Increasing the amount of soluble dietary fibre in the diet may increase the feeling of fullness, or satiety, and contribute to weight management. Sources include oats, peas, beans, lentils, fruits such as apples, oats, potatoes and some green vegetables.

Vitamin D deficiency a ‘major problem’

A quarter of all toddlers in the UK are lacking Vitamin D, according to new research. A recommendation that all children under five should take Vitamin D supplements, 74 per cent of parents know nothing about the guidelines. And more than half of health professionals are also unaware of them.

Dr Benjamin Jacobs, consultant paediatrician at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, describes the vitamin deficiency issue as a ‘major problem’.

“We see about one case of rickets a month in our hospital, but that’s the very severe end of the disease,” he says. “There are many other children who have less severe problems – muscle weakness, delay in walking, bone pains – and research indicates that in many parts of the country the majority of children have a low level of Vitamin D.”

However, it is not only children who are at risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency. Anyone who doesn’t get enough sunshine, possibly because they are unable to go outside, or people whose diet is lacking in Vitamin D, could also be at risk.

Those who don’t go out in the sun are advised to eat plenty of oily fish and take supplements to ensure a sufficient intake of Vitamin D.

Global additives market on the up

Global sales of food and drink additives reached £17.3 billion last year, according to a new report.

The best performing sectors include enzymes, acidulants and hydrocolloids, says Leatherhead Food Research’s report The Global Food Additives Market, with a growing demand for low fat, salt and sugar products – as well as functional health benefit products – driving demand for a host of additives including emulsifiers, hydrocolloids, sweeteners, vitamins and minerals, soya ingredients, omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics and plant stanol esters.

The report also says that while the global additives market has not been immune to the effects of the global economic downturn, a period of modest growth is forecast for the world food additives market over the next few years.

Some of the better performing sectors are likely to include natural flavours and colours, food hydrocolloids, enzymes and functional food ingredients.