Questions & Answers

VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Vitamins and minerals


  • Vitamins and minerals are considered as essential nutrients, especially for those who are under heavy strain during work or daily sports activities.
  • Supplementing your body with vitamins and minerals contributes to the normal performance during everyday tasks and sports activities as well.


Wide spectrum multivitamins


Our multivitamin/mineral formulas contain a high dose of essential nutrients. Many of our products are fortified with a higher dose of vitamin B-complex and vitamin C (rosehip), and boast essential nutrients – magnesium, zinc and selenium among others - in an increased amount. Some of our complex formulas provide further extras, eg. extra amino acids, carnitines, stimulants, Glucosamine-Chondroitin- MSM, mixed herbs and other ingredients.


Special mono – and two-component formulas


Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin C is helpful in protecting cells against oxidative stress, while contributing to normal collagen production and maintaining the normal condition of cartilages, bones, veins, gums, teeth and skin. Furthermore, it contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system during and after intensive training sessions; its beneficial effects can be achieved by an extra intake of 200 mg vitamin-C on top of the recommended daily amount.


Vitamin-D contributes to the normal operation of muscles and the immune system, the maintenance of bones and the conditioning of teeth, while redounding the absorption/utilisation of calcium and phosphorous.


Magnesium supplements normal protein synthesis, boosts neural functions (such as neurotransmission and muscle-contraction, including myocardial contractions), helps alleviating exhaustion, while contributing to energy yielding metabolic processes and electrolyte balancing.

COLLAGEN SYNTHESIS AND VITAMIN-C

What is collagen?


Vitamins and minerals

Collagen is an important constituent of the human body, as it is present in all organs. The word is of Greek origin: “cola” means agglutination and “genno” stands for parents. The name denotes its solidifying role. Collagen is an extremely resistant, fibrous protein, which is a main constituent of bones, cartilages, sinews, ligaments and other connective tissues (skin, nails and hair). In reality, 25-30% of the protein found in our body is provided by collagen. Because collagen does not contain all the essential amino acids (it lacks tryptophan and its cysteine level is quite low as well) it is categorised as an “incomplete protein”. In its commonly known form, collagen is composed of three specially combined amino acid chains. Multiple triple helixes (a spiral of three chains) build up a single collagen fibre.


In general, collagen fibres consist of several different collagen types: collagen I and III are found in the skin, whereas II and III are present in cartilages. The density of collagens (I, II and III) is determined by the differing amounts of amino acids in its chains. Due to its unique physical attributes, the thick system of collagen fibres found in the dermis provides a structural integrity to the entire skin, thus securing the flexibility of it. Collagen synthesis is one of the main “manufacturing” ventures of the human body. The notorious scurvy is an illness, during which collagen synthesis is disturbed, resulting in the body “falling apart”. Collagen shortage leads to atrophy, and as a result cartilages, ligaments, sinews, bones, skin and gums may waste away, get loose and fall off. The condition of the human body soon starts to deteriorate.


Collagen is produced by fibroblast cells. At first, the precursor of collagen, procollagen is created, with Glycine and Prolin as its main components. Vitamin C plays an important role, even at the early stages of procollagen formation. In an experiment, human connective tissue cells were nurtured by vitamin C for a longer period of time. The results showed an eightfold increase in collagen synthesis, whereas other protein processes were left unaffected. (Boyera N, Galey I, Bernard BA.: Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts. Int J Cosmet Sci. 1998 Jun;20(3):151-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.1998.171747.x.)


Proper vitamin C supply is vital in the process of healthy collagen production. Furthermore, it is necessary for the normal functioning of lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase – those two enzymes which take part in collagen production. Once these enzymes become inactivated, it might threaten the maintenance of a mature collagen system.


The structure of collagen fibres
Vitamins and minerals




After the age of 25, the ability of natural collagen regeneration weakens, and by the age of 50-60, it falls to really low levels. It results in the appearance of wrinkles, cellulite, and dry skin, while the nails and the hair start to become matte. These are the signs of irreversible aging. Even though aging is inevitable, there is absolutely no need to accelerate the process with smoking. It is common knowledge that smoking is not only harmful to our internal organs, but it makes the skin age faster as well. Heavy smokers tend to look 5-10 years older in conjunction with their contemporaries. According to a study conducted in 1985, there is a phenomenon that describes a smoker’s aging skin as “the smoker’s face”. This explains the condition pretty well. The face of a smoker is prone to become wrinkled, haggard and pale even after a few years of smoking. Heavy and constant smoking might accelerate the aging of cells and tissues. As cell formation slows down, the skin turns flaccid and dried out, and as a result, it becomes more vulnerable to harmful external effects. It will start creasing earlier as it can’t produce enough collagen.


Vitamins and minerals

The most menacing side-effect of smoking on human skin is that it narrows veins (may cause varicose veins). Besides looking healthy, fresh and alive, the skin gets more oxygen and will have an efficient vitamin/mineral circulation too, if it has a satisfactory blood supply. The tighter these inherently narrow veins get, the less blood can pass through them, thus providing less fresh blood to tissues and worsening its quality – circulating stagnant and decomposed blood. On top of this, carbon dioxide - as found in smoke – supersedes a bigger share of oxygen from blood, and as a result, less oxygen will be transferred to the skin.

Smoking harms connective tissues in many other ways. We already covered that vitamin-C is vital in the process of collagen production. Harmful substances found in cigarettes bound oxygen, which reduce the effectiveness of collagen synthesis due to the lack of oxygen in the body. Collagen fibres’ ability to bound water plays a role in retaining the tautness of the skin. If there is a decrease in the number of collagen fibres or “faulty” fibres are produced, the skin loses a portion of its water retaining capabilities, which results in the skin losing its flexibility and becoming flabby. The face starts to age optically as well as a result of the lack of contours.

FREE RADICALS – THE “MISCHIEF-MAKERS” OF THE HUMAN BODY

Vitamins and minerals


Our immune system is constantly put to the test as it is extremely exposed to daily stress and our environment in general. When discussing the defense of the human body, we are prone to think about defending against certain pathogens only. In addition to viruses and bacteria, we have another enemy to fear, which is partly produced by ourselves and partially by other different industrial activities. This enemy is the “group” of so-called free radicals.


Free radicals are short-lived, highly reactive molecules which are capable of doing harm to any matter and organ in the human body. These are unstable and reactive particles which seek out other electrons in order to produce new chemical bonds. They exert their influence by dissolving the chemical bonds in intact tissues and forming new, otherwise inapt bonds. Despite all harmful effects, bury in mind that a portion of free radicals plays an important role in various self-supporting mechanisms of the body. A handful of our cells produce free radicals in order to eliminate intruding pathogens. Others generate such radicals which regulate coagulation and blood pressure. Optimally, the defense of the human body should be capable of eliminating those free radicals which were otherwise produced by itself. In case more free radicals are present in the system, it does not only threaten pathogens, but the cells of our body as well. Considering our current environmental circumstances and nutritional habits, it is getting increasingly difficult to provide the required amount of nutrients for neutralising processes. It is harder to maintain a healthy, balanced system, which then starts to feed free radicals which turn against their own host body.


The development of oxidative stress

Vitamins and minerals
healthy cell
Vitamins and minerals
the attack of free radicals
Vitamins and minerals
oxidative stress



Free radicals are constantly produced in our environment. Smoking, drug-, medicine- and alcohol consumption, paired with UV radiation, air pollution and contact with contagious chemicals all contribute to the formation of free radicals. Even such an ordinary act as touching our bathroom accessories accelerates radical production. Nutrition can’t be ignored either, as red meat consumption tends to generate a lot of free radicals. Furthermore, our digesting capabilities also have an influence on the amount of free radicals present in our system. We don’t necessarily have to associate them with “ugly” and “harmful” things when discussing radical sources.


It is enough to take a deep breath outside and the body gets filled with lots of free radicals. Those who have a normal respiration utilise 95% of the air taken, while the remaining 5% breeds free radicals which then launch oxidation processes in our bodies.


The emergence of numerous illnesses is accounted for the activities of free radicals. According to medical science, free radicals are accounted for the appearance of vascular illnesses, cancer, eye diseases, articular- and neural malfunctions for the most part, while other observations claim them to be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease to a certain extent. They also play a key role in the process of aging, most notably the untimely aging of the skin and elderly dementia. These effects make them the real rebels and – as their English name explains - radicals of cells. If uncontrolled, they are going to ruin everything that comes in their way. Free radicals destroy DNA in cells, they alter the composition of enzymes and other substances which take part in biochemical processes, and they might destroy cell walls or even the entire cell. The effect of free radicals is best illustrated by putting a halved apple on the table. After a couple of minutes it starts to get brown which is a sign of oxidation. The latter is a process that involves molecular electronic transition. If we pour lime juice on it though, the browning won’t occur. Antioxidants found in lime juice prohibit the destruction of cells. The corrosion of metal is a form of oxidation too, against which there are effective antioxidants.


Vitamins and minerals



Oxidative stress is a state, in which the proportion of free radicals (prooxidants) and antioxidants shifts towards radicals. The maintenance of antioxidant – preoxidant proportions is an important tool of maintaining overall health. Oxidative stress damages certain tissues and biomolecules of organs.


In reality, certain amounts of nucleic acid, proteins and lipids are present in every cell. It means that not only biomolecules are oxidised in real time, but the restoration of their oxidised products is incomplete as well. The quantity of oxidised products indicates the relationship between oxidative- and repairing systems. There is almost no such illness in which the harmful effects of free radicals are not shown; due to their overproduction, or because of the damaged antioxidant system. Antioxidants serve as the frontline versus free radicals. In a broader sense, every oxidation delaying or –inhibiting substance is called antioxidant. However, the expression is primarily used for biological antioxidants. They are capable of neutralising free radicals in a number of ways. They either give an electron to the radical to terminate its operation, or sacrifice themselves in an oxidative process, or they even help repairing damaged antioxidants. They work in synergy, and always back each other up.


The two most renowned antioxidants are vitamin E and C. What is special about vitamin-E is that it is a big molecule and is capable of fighting multiple free radicals simultaneously, and on top of these, it can be reactivated and deployed several times. Vitamin C, as a water-soluble vitamin, “works” in the liquid stocks of cells. Thanks to its special attributes it excels at protection against excessive solar radiation, cigarette smoke and other toxins. Moreover, it is also able to heal a “fallen” vitamin-E. Another antioxidant vitamin is beta-carotene, from which the body manufactures vitamin-A. Selenium is also beneficial for vitamins, most notably vitamin-E. Furthermore, with the help of Selenium, Glutathione Peroxidase – an enzyme incorporated in cells – is successfully able to defend against the attack of free radicals.


VITAMIN-D – 10 TIMES MORE

Vitamins and minerals



In reality, vitamin-D is not even a vitamin, because as opposed to normal vitamins, the human body is able to manufacture it for itself. It rather resembles a hormone which contributes to the production of active D-hormones. Out of vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol), the latter is more active when it comes to biological activity and effectiveness. Upon ultraviolet radiation, vitamin-D3 is created in the skin from its precursor, 7-Dehydrocholesterol. As a second step, it goes through another mutation in the liver and then the kidney until it transforms into 1,25-Dihydroxy Vitamin-D (Calcitriol). Vitamin-D formation is brought about by the UV-B spectrum of solar radiation. That is why solarium – which contains UV-A rays for the most part – is not eligible to complement vitamin-D. Unfortunately, from late autumn until early spring it is impossible to provide the sufficient amount of vitamin-D in the majority of Europe. The increased risk in the appearance of certain illnesses in this period is often associated with a possible vitamin-D deficit. Researches have shown that 37 degrees north of the Earth’s equatorial plane (which runs through the Mediterranean See and Sicily in Europe) it is impossible to satisfy vitamin-D needs solely from sunlight.


The role of vitamin-D


The development of active vitamin-D
Vitamins and minerals



The most recent studies pointed out that vitamin-D does not only contribute to the health of bones. The European Food Safety Authority – which is not particularly famous of its permissiveness – has officially authorised the following effects:


Vitamin D contributes to:

  • the normal absorption/utilisation of calcium and phosphorous
  • the upkeep of normal calcium levels in the blood
  • the sustenance of healthy bones and teeth
  • the maintenance of normal muscle functions
  • the normal functioning of the immune system

Vitamin-D also plays a role in cell division. In parallel with newer researches over the past decades, the amount of medically prescribed vitamin-D has grown tenfold as opposed to previous recommendations. The recommended daily intake of vitamin-D for adults is 1500-2000 IU, which is often impossible to solely provide by nutrition during sunlight lacking months.


The daily nutritional intake of vitamin-D among European nations is 40 – 300 IU (Spain and Finland correspondingly). Greater quantities of this vitamin can be found in marine/saltwater fishes, cod liver oil, while it is present in eggs and liver in smaller quantities. Vitamin-D enriched yoghurts, and various non-prescription supplements are available too.


Foods with the highest vitamin D content



cod liver oil; 1 tablespoon 924
salmon; grilled, 100g 284
mackerel; grilled; 100g 352
tuna; in a salty pickle; 100g 144
sardine; canned; in a salty pickle; 100g 184
margarine; enriched; 20g 62
bran flake; 30g 52
hen egg; 50g 36
calf liver; roasted; 100g 36
Source: Food Standards Agency (2002): McCance & Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, 6th Abridged Edition, Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry



Possible causes for vitamin D deficit


In the past couple of decades less and less sunlight reaches our skin. Why is it so exactly? It has multiple reasons:


1.
We tend to spend less time outdoors due to the increased use of air-conditioning.
2.
The popularity of home entertainment – multimedia, electronic gadgets, internet etc. – resulting in kids playing less outside.
3.
As a result of dominant office jobs and -occupations, we tend to work less outdoors.
4.
As the population gradually migrates towards cities, country life is continuously pushed to the background.
5.
The increasing popularity of lighter skin shades.
6.
We are more afraid of sunbathing, because of the exaggerated fear of skin cancer.
7.
Decreasing cholesterol intake – which is otherwise necessary for vitamin D production.
8.
Increasing obesity – the vitamin D need of an overweight person is higher!
9.
Soft drink consumption means increased phosphorous intake.
10.
With the expansion of intensive animal farming, livestock products and meat contain less vitamin D as opposed to animals which were bred outdoors.
11.
The increased use of vitamin D “consuming” or blocking medicines.
12.
More windows. Windows let through UV-A rays only, which destroy vitamin D. Windows take up more and more space in walls, both in the office and in our homes.
13.
High salt consumption decreases the effectiveness of vitamin-D, because it accelerates the depletion of magnesium and calcium in the body.


The consequences of vitamin D deficit


Vitamin D deficit leads to bone loss and osteoporosis (decreasing of bone mass and density). A more serious shortage might even trigger osteomalacia (bone softening). It increases the chance of bone fracturing, and lowers the effectiveness of medication aimed at osteoporosis. Out of all autoimmune illnesses, vitamin D is often related to rheumatic joint inflammations, diabetes and the increased risk in the appearance of sclerosis multiplex. According to various studies, vitamin D deficit contributes to the appearance and worsening of heart failures, it increases the risk of high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis.


The risk of vitamin D deficit is also considered as a risk factor for those with a diseased kidney. In their case, vitamin D intake is of high priority. From a perspective of breast- and colon cancer, vitamin-D deficit is also a considerable factor, as it is proven to be an emphasized risk factor. Furthermore, it is very likely to have a negative influence on conceiving.


During foetus-, baby- and infant ages, vitamin-D deficit also increases the possibility of type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes after reaching adulthood. On the other hand, liver- and bile diseases might worsen the risk of vitamin-D deficit.

VITAMIN- AND MINERAL CONTENT OF FOODS – FACTS AND FIGURES


Vitamin-C content of fruits and vegetables
(MG/100g; fresh harvest)
Vitamins and minerals


It is often read and heard that the proper way of vitamin- and mineral replenishment is through daily nutrition. For an easier navigation through vitamin- and mineral content of various foods, please find our informative charts attached. It is worth bearing in mind though, that such charts containing the nutritional facts of various fruits and vegetables forget to mention that the data pr esented only applies to freshly harvested goods. Not only processing, simply storing decreases the micronutrient content of harvested vegetables and fruits. A hundred years ago roughly two days passed between harvesting and consumption. This time span has been extended to roughly two weeks by today. Even though vitamin-loss can be minimalized with quick-freezing, a 30% loss is still inevitable. When entering a supermarket though, our information on the possible nutrient content of various fruits and vegetables is approximate to say the least.


The effect of storage on the vitamin-C
content of vegetables

Vitamins and minerals


SCITEC ESSENTIALS AND VITAMIN PRODUCTS

Beta- Carotene
vitamin A precursor
    Bromelain
    pineapple-extract
      Calcium-Magnesium
      mineral formula
        CLA
        conjugated linoleic acid
          500 mg vitamin C
            Co-Q10
            10 mg coenzyme q10
              Co-Q10 50
              50 mg coenzyme q10
                Chromium Picolinate
                for the maintenance of normal bloodsugar levels
                  Daily Vita-min
                  Vitamins and minerals – one-a-day tablets
                    Cold pressed organic high lignan flax oil
                      Garlic & Parsley
                      Odorless garlic with chlorophyll
                        Ginkgo Biloba
                        for cognitive performance
                          Lactase Enzyme
                          DIGESTIVE AID FOR LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
                            Lecithin
                            soy lecithin
                              Liver Support
                              Milk thistle extract
                                Lutein
                                Anti-oxidant for healthy eyes
                                  Mega Ginseng
                                  Korean ginseng extract
                                    Omega 3
                                    Essential fatty acids; EPA/DHA from fish oil
                                      Selenium
                                      Yeast-sourced 50 mcg selenium
                                        Shark Cartilage
                                        Natural, freeze dried chondroitin source
                                          Super Guarana
                                          900 mg standardized extract
                                            Vitamin E
                                            400 IU anti-oxidant
                                              450 mg yucca schidigera from natural whole herb
                                                Zinc
                                                25 mg essential mineral
                                                  Grape Seed
                                                  anti-oxidant
                                                    ZMB6
                                                    zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6
                                                      Mega Daily One Plus
                                                      High-level multi-vitamin and mineral formula
                                                      • high-level multi-vitamin and mineral formula
                                                      • a wide variety of carefully selected ingredients
                                                      • Omega-3, Lecithin and Coenzyme Q-10
                                                      • with lutein and grape seed extract
                                                      D3 + All-Trans K2 + MAGNESIUM
                                                      • In acid protective delayed release caps!
                                                      • Protects the immune system!
                                                      • Strengthen the bones!
                                                      • Helps keep muscle functions optimal!
                                                      Vitamin D3
                                                      important vitamin source
                                                      • 500 IU Vitamin D3 per capsule
                                                      Vita-C 1100
                                                      1100 mg vitamin C
                                                      • 1100 mg Vitamin D3 per capsule
                                                      Jumbo Pak
                                                      All-in-one muscle & performance maximizer
                                                      • complex multivitamin and mineral formula
                                                      • extra Vitamin C with rosehip
                                                      • with extra Calcium and Magnesium
                                                      • ”Krebs Cycle-ATP“ matrix with 3 types of Creatines!
                                                      • full-spectrum Amino Tab and extra BCAA's!
                                                      • special amino matrix with Tyrosine and Ornithine!
                                                      • Glucosamine, Chondroitin and extra MSM!
                                                      • Carni Complex with two forms of L-Carnitine!
                                                      • non-stimulant
                                                      Mega Daily One Plus
                                                      multi-vitamin and mineral complex
                                                      • advanced multi-vitamin and mineral formula
                                                      • with 25 ingredients
                                                      • high dose Vitamin D3
                                                        (250% of the daily recommended amount)
                                                      C 1000 + Bioflavonoids
                                                      With rose hip and bioflavonoids in acid protective caps!
                                                      • Broad spectrum Vitamin C formula!
                                                      • In special, acid protective caps!
                                                      • 1000 mg Vitamin C per capsule
                                                      • With Rose Hip Extract, Hesperidin and Grape Seed Extract
                                                      Winter-X
                                                      Echinacea, vitamin C and Zinc
                                                      • immune support formula
                                                      • with Vitamin C and zinc
                                                      • Echinaceaa
                                                      Euro Vita-mins
                                                      essential vitamin and mineral complex
                                                      • essential vitamin and mineral complex in a tablet form
                                                      • with 23 active ingredients
                                                      Monster Pak
                                                      Top of the line multi-vitamin and mineral based performance enhancer pak with numerous extras
                                                      • top of the line multi-vitamin and mineral based extras!
                                                      • with 3 types of Creatines
                                                      • green nutrients and enzyme complex!
                                                      • essential fatty acids
                                                      • stimulant complex!
                                                      • "Krebs Cycle-ATP" matrix!
                                                      • Mega DAA complex!
                                                      • full spectrum amino acid complex!
                                                      • Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM Complex!
                                                      Collagen Liquid
                                                      10.000 mg hydrolysed collagen
                                                      • found in joints, skin, hair and nails!
                                                      • 10.000 mg strong doses!
                                                      • Wzbogacony witaminą B6!
                                                      • 40 servings per bottle!
                                                      Mega Glucosamine
                                                      1000 mg Glucosamine Sulfate
                                                      • 1000 mg Glucosamine Sulfate per servinge
                                                      Mega MSM
                                                      Methylsulfonylmethane
                                                      • Methylsulfonylmethane 800 mg per capsule
                                                      Arthroxon Plus
                                                      Joint Maintenance Support
                                                      • the most popular products of its category!
                                                      • with 8 components!
                                                      • Glucosamine-Chondroitin-MSM!
                                                      • Type II Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid!
                                                      • NEM® (Natural Eggshell Membrane) – a unique, patented ingredient!
                                                      Glucosamine-Chondroitin Complex
                                                      • Liquid Glucosamine and Chondroitin Complex
                                                      • enriched with Vitamin C and E
                                                      • contributes to normal function of cartilage, gums, teeth, skin and blood vessels
                                                      Joint-X
                                                      Glucosamine-Chondroitin complex
                                                      • Glucosamine-Chondroitin complex
                                                      • with 4 components
                                                      Heavy Duty
                                                      12 component connective tissue support
                                                      • 12 component matrix including extra, special ingredients
                                                      Natural Eggshell Membrane – with extras
                                                      • contributes to the maintenance of normal connective tissues, cartilage and bones
                                                      • a natural source of combined Glucosamine, Chondroitin and Hyaluronic Acid
                                                      • fortifi ed with Vitamin C and Manganese
                                                      • Mstrong, one-a-day capsule formula