Articles on Health Matters:

Who Needs a Multivitamin?

People above 60 years old.
The aging process is a robber of nutrients; making absorption of nutrients from food difficult.

Woman of childbearing age.
B vitamins have been proven to help prevent neural tube birth defects. Women intending to conceive should also build up their folate stores. In addition, folic acid in supplements is easier to absorb compared to folate naturally in food.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Women in this group face a surge in major nutrients to pass on their foetus or baby through breastfeeding.

Strict vegetarians.
People who abstain from animal products may not get enough vitamins B12, zinc, iron and calcium.

Special needs.
People on weight loss programme, heavey smokers and drinkers are likely to fall short of vitamins and minerals. Cigarettes and alcohol are top nutrient robbers!

Heavy exercise.
Anyone performing vigorous physical exercises. This could be for professional or recreational purposes.

People under prescribed medication.
Nutrients from a multivitamin may help speed up recovery.

Imbalanced diet.
Anyone who may not be eating a balanced diet consisting of at least five fruits and vegetables a day, as well as whole grains, low-fat dairy and small servings of lean meat, poultry or fish.

Contributed By,
Calvin Yeo
13 Feb 2007

This article is only submitted and not authored by Calvin Yeo. Calvin is a customer service and a motivational trainer and coach. Please visit his blog at and

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Multivitamin & Multimineral in a Nutshell

When selecting a quality daily multivitamin, choose one that is packed with essetial nutrients and multiminerals as listed below:

Vitamin A - supports normal growth and healthy development, and is key in stimulating night and colour vision.

Vitamin C - aid in tissue building such as severe burn and also healing of bone fractures, prevention of common cold, and growth of foetus and material tissues.

Vitamin D - aids absorption of calcium into bones and maintains healthy cardiovascular function.

Vitamin E - protects vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation and prevents breakdown of body tissues. Studies have shown that vitamin E may help lower risk of heart attack while enhancing the immune system.

Vitamin K - helps in blood clot and formation of bone tissues. Those on long-term antibiotic therapy require extra amount of vitamin K.

Thiamin (Vitamin B1) - helps the body to release energy from carbohydrate food during metabolism and aids in function of nervous systems.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - helps the release of energy from protein, carbohydrate and fat during metabolism

Niacin (Vitamin B3) - helps the release of energy from protein, carbohydrate and fat during metabolism. It also maintains normal function of skin, nerves and digestive system.

Vitamin B6 - helps use protein to build body tissue, aids in matebolism of fat, maintains chemical balance of body fluids and regulates water excretion.

Folate - helps to form red blood cells, forms genetic material (DNA) within each cell and functions as a part of coenzyme in amino acid formation.

Pantothenic Acid - helps release of energy from protein, carbohydrate and fat during metabolism, maintains blood sugar levels, aids in formation of red blood cells, hormones, and substances needed for nerve transmission.

Calcium - builds bones and teeth as well as maintains their strength, assists in muscle contraction and blood clotting.

Phosphorus - builds bones and teeth, helps release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates during metabolism, forms genetic material, cell membranes and many enzymes.

Iodine - helps to form thyroid hormones, which are vital to physical growth and development. Thyroid hormones control metabolism, improve mental functioning, gives us healthier hair, skin, nails and teeth.

Iron - carries oxygen throughout the body in both blood and muscle tissue.

Magnesium - builds bones, forms protein, helps release energy stored in muscles as well as regulates body temperature.

Copper - helps form haemoglobin, keeps bones, blood vessels and nerves healthy.

Zinc - froms protein in the body, helps wound healing, blood formation and general growth and maintenance of all tissue.

Contributed by,
Calvin Yeo
13 Feb 2007

Source: (i) "The New Nutrition", Felicia Busch, pub 2000, (ii) "Nuitrition & Dietetics", Shubhangini A Joshi, pub 2002.

Calvin Yeo is a customer service and motivational trainer and coach. Please visit his blog at and

Liver Health

Ask anyone to name the important organs in their body and see how many would include the liver in their answers. The second largest organ in the body, weighing almost the same as a football, the liver is one of the key organs that performs many vital functions.

Remarkably, the liver is the only organ in the body that can regenerate itself. Even if 25 per cent of the liver is removed, it will grow back to its original size and shape! Despite its regenrative ability, the liver is still susceptible to damage and diseases.

Does your liver need extra attention?
Maintaining good liver health is vital to everyone to ensure general well being. However, you should pay extra attention to the health of your liver if you:
- Consume fatty foods frequently or follow a generally poor diet.
- Have a poor digestive functions.
- Need to lower your cholesterol levels.
- Use oral contraceptives, Hormone Replacement Therapy or other hormonal drugs.

Poor liver health: Possible signs and symptoms
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Lethargy or loss of energy
- Jaundice
- Pain around the liver area
- Portal hypertension
- Itchy skin

Understanding Liver Function Test
Liver Function Test refers to tests where blood samples are analyzed for levels of specific enzymes in the blood stream. These enzymes are what referred to as 'markers' of disease and dysfunction.

The Liver Function Test does not measure the function of the liver, but serves as a marker of the integrity status of the liver cell membranes.

In fact, most of the standard or routine vlood tests ordered by your doctor to check 'liver function' are actually only able to detect liver condition. It is possible you may still have liver problems although blood tests are normal.

What Liver Function Test really shows is the level of enzymes present in the blood stream. Hence, while it could show that some damaging effect is occurring, Liver Function Test does not give an indication of the extent of damage.

Liver Function Test alone is not capable of making a proper diagnosis of many liver conditions. Consult a hepatologist (specialist in liver disease) for a clearer picture of your liver health.

Contributed by,
Calvin Yeo
21 Feb 2007

Source: The Merck Manual

Calvin Yeo is a customer service and motivational trainer and coach. Please visit his blog at and