The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals

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For anyone interested in health and nutrition, this guide provides up-to-date information. It explores the functions, benefits, and risks of each essential vitamin and mineral, and gives accurate information about the hottest supplements, including antioxidants, DHEA, and melatonin. The book also points out which drugs and foods may block the body's absorption of important nutrients.

"...features up-to-date research on vitamins, minerals & supplements...teaches health conscious consumer how to ...

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals, 3rd Edition

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For anyone interested in health and nutrition, this guide provides up-to-date information. It explores the functions, benefits, and risks of each essential vitamin and mineral, and gives accurate information about the hottest supplements, including antioxidants, DHEA, and melatonin. The book also points out which drugs and foods may block the body's absorption of important nutrients.

"...features up-to-date research on vitamins, minerals & supplements...teaches health conscious consumer how to assess their needs, how to purchase and store vitamins, and how to recognize myths, false cures, and other quackery."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028639642
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 10/16/2000
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

ALAN H. PRESSMAN, D.C., Ph.D., C.C.N., is a chiro-practor and board-certified dietitian and nutritionist. He is the host of the radio show “Healthline with Dr. Pressman,” which runs three times a week on WEVD in New York City. The nationally syndicated edition of the show airs every Saturday morning on more than 50 stations through the Equity Radio Network.

SHEILA BUFF is the co-author of many books, including (with Dr. Robert C.  Atkins) the best-seller Dr. Atkins’ Age-Defying Diet Revolution.

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Table of Contents


1. The Alphabet Soup of Nutrition.

Vitamins: Why They're Vital.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins. Water-Soluble Vitamins.

How Much Do You Need?

The Measure of Good Health. Beyond the Basics.

Minerals: Essential Elements of Health.

Minerals. Trace Minerals.

Do You Need Vitamin and Mineral Supplements? On the Edge: Marginal Deficiencies. The Antioxidant Revolution.

Radicals on the Loose. Fighting Back with Antioxidants.

2. Choosing What's Right for You.

Who Decides This Stuff, Anyway? What Are Your Needs?

Tests for Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies.

Nutritionally Oriented Health Care. Vitamins and Minerals for Everyone.

Special Needs of Older Adults. Vitamins for Kids and Teens. Vitamins for Vegetarians.

Supplements and Common Health Problems.

High Cholesterol. High Blood Pressure. Diabetes.

Getting the Most from Supplements.


3. Vitamin A and Carotenes: Double-Barreled Health Protection.

Why You Need Vitamin. Why You Need Carotenes Even More. The RDA for Vitamin.

Measuring Vitamin. Vitamin A Cautions. Beta Carotene Cautions. Carotenes and CARET.

Are You Deficient? Eating Your A's. Getting the Most from Vitamin A and Carotenes. Which Type Should I Take? Bugs Bunny Had Great Eyesight.

Preventing Night Blindness. Preventing Cataracts. Preserving Eyesight.

A as in Aging Skin. To Beta or Not to Beta. Carotenes and Cardiac Cases. Boosting Your Immunity with Vitamin.

4. Meet the B Family.

One Big Happy Family.

What the Little Numbers Mean. The Unofficial B's.

DRIs for B Vitamins. Are You Deficient? Eating Your B's. Getting the Most from B Vitamins. The Three B's for Heart Health. Aging and the B Vitamins. Don't Worry, B Happy. Boosting Your Immune System.

5. Thiamin: The Basic.

Why You Need Thiamin. The DRI for Thiamin. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Thiamin. Getting the Most from Thiamin. Protecting Your Heart. Thiamin and Diabetes. Thiamin and Canker Sores.

6. B Energetic: Riboflavin.

Why You Need Riboflavin. The DRI for Riboflavin. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Riboflavin. Getting the Most from Riboflavin. Producing Energy. Preventing Migraines. Riboflavin and Your Eyes.

7. Niacin: Cholesterol B Gone.

Why You Need Niacin. The DRI for Niacin. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Niacin. Getting the Most from Niacin. Powering Your Cells. Lowering High Cholesterol.

Boy, Was My Face Red.

Niacin and Diabetes. Other Problems Helped by Niacin.

8. Pyridoxine: Have a Healthy Heart.

Why You Need Pyridoxine. The DRI for Pyridoxine. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Pyridoxine. Getting the Most from Pyridoxine. Help for Heart Disease. Immune Booster. Helping Asthmatics. Preventing Diabetic Complications. Relief for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Pyridoxine for PMS. Other Problems and Pyridoxine.

9. Folic Acid: Healthy Babies, Healthy Hearts.

Why You Need Folic Acid. The DRI for Folic Acid. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Folic Acid. Getting the Most from Folic Acid. Folic Acid for Healthy Babies. Folic Acid Forestalls Heart Disease. Preventing Cancer with Folic Acid.

Folic Acid Helps Prevent Colon Cancer. Preventing Cervical Cancer.

Folic Acid and Depression.

10. Cobalamin: The B for Healthy Blood.

Why You Need Cobalamin. The DRI for Cobalamin. Are You Deficient? Who's at Risk? Eating Your Cobalamin. Getting the Most from Cobalamin.

11. Pantothenic Acid: It's Everywhere.

Why You Need Pantothenic Acid. Safe and Adequate Intake. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Pantothenic Acid. Getting the Most from Pantothenic Acid. Helping High Cholesterol. Pantothenic Acid for Pentathletes. Quack, Quack, QUACK!

12. The Unofficial B Vitamins.

When Is a B Not a B? Biotin: The B from Your Body.

Getting Your Biotin.

Are You Deficient?

Eating Your Biotin. Biotin for Your Hair and Nails.

Choline: Brain Food.

Eating Your Choline. Choline for Your Liver. Help for Alzheimer's Disease? Choosing a Choline Supplement.

Inositol: Choline's Close Cousin. PABA: Protecting Your Skin.

13. Vitamin C: The Champion.

Why You Need Vitamin C. The DRI for Vitamin C. Are You Deficient? Eating Your C's. Getting the Most from Vitamin C. Which Type Should I Take? Front-Line Antioxidant. Preventing Cardiovascular Disease.

Lowering Cholesterol Levels. Lowering Blood Pressure.

Enhancing Your Immune System.

Curing the Common Cold.

Healing Wounds and Recovering from Surgery. Fighting Allergies and Asthma.

Fighting Asthma Attacks.

Diabetes and Vitamin C. Kidney Stones, Gallstones, and Vitamin C. Cancer and Vitamin C.

Preventing Cancer. Curing Cancer. Treating Cancer.

Making Babies with Vitamin C. Saving Babies with Vitamin C. C-ing Is Believing. Other Health Problems Helped by Vitamin C.

14. Vitamin D: Look on the Sunny Side.

Why You Need Vitamin D. The Sunshine Vitamin. The AI for Vitamin D. Are You D-ficient? Eating Your D's. Getting the Most from Vitamin D. Vitamin D and Cancer. Other Health Problems Helped by Vitamin D.

Helping Psoriasis. Helping Your Hearing. Helping Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

15. Vitamin E: E for Excellent.

Why You Need Vitamin E. The Alpha, Beta, and Gamma of E. The DRI for Vitamin E. Are You Deficient? Eating Your E's. Getting the Most from Vitamin E.

Natural or Synthetic? I'm All Mixed Up. Wet or Dry? What About Selenium?

E-vading Heart Disease. Is It Really That E-Z? E-luding Cancer. Excellent for the Elderly. Other Health Problems Helped by Vitamin E.

16. Vitamin K: The Band-Aid in Your Blood.

Why You Need Vitamin K. The RDA for Vitamin K. Are You Deficient? Eating Your K's. Getting the Most from Vitamin K.

Vitamin K and Clotting. Vitamin K and Osteoporosis. K Kills Cancer Cells.


17. Calcium: Drink Your Milk!

Why You Need Calcium. Boning Up on Calcium. The DRI for Calcium. Are You Deficient? Calcium-Robbing Drugs.

Cortisone and Other Steroid Drugs. Thyroid Drugs. Drugs for High Cholesterol. Aluminum Antacids. Alcohol and Tobacco.

Other Prescription Drugs and Calcium. Eating Your Calcium. Picking the Right Calcium Supplement.

Calcium Supplements to Avoid.

Getting the Most from Calcium.

The Dynamic Duo: Calcium and Vitamin D.

The Function of Phosphorus. Avoiding Osteoporosis. Not for Women Only. Calcium and High Blood Pressure. Calcium and Colon Cancer. Calcium and Kidney Stones. Calcium and Heart Disease. Calcium and PMS. Calcium and Weight Loss.

18. Magnesium: Magnificent for Your Heart.

Why You Need Magnesium. The DRI for Magnesium. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Magnesium. Getting the Most from Magnesium. Magnesium and Your Heart. Magnesium Manages Blood Pressure. Help for Asthma. Magnesium and Diabetes. Magnesium for Healthy Bones. Magnesium and Migraines. Other Problems Helped by Magnesium.

19. Zinc: Immune System Booster.

Why You Need Zinc. The RDA for Zinc. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Zinc. Getting the Most from Zinc. Fighting Off Colds. Zinc Club for Men. Healthy Skin, Nails, and Hair. Zinc for Healing. Think Zinc for Other Problems.

20. Electrolytes: Keeping Your Body in Balance.

What's an Electrolyte? Why You Need Electrolytes. The RDAs for Electrolytes. Are You Deficient? Potassium Pitfalls.

Other Prescription Drugs.

Eating Your Electrolytes. Getting the Most from Electrolytes. Shaking Up Salt. Electrifying News on High Blood Pressure. Preventing Strokes with Potassium.

21. The Trace Minerals: A Little Goes a Long Way.

What's a Trace Mineral? Why You Need Trace Minerals. RDAs and Safe and Adequate Intakes. Are You Deficient? Eating Your Trace Minerals. Getting the Most from Trace Minerals. Singling Out Sulfur. Iron: Basic for Blood.

The RDA for Iron. Eating Your Iron. Getting the Most from Iron. It's Iron-ic.

Iodine: Important for the Thyroid.

The RDA for Iodine.

Chromium: Boon for Diabetics? Selenium: An Essential Element. Copper: Crucial for Your Circulation. Fluoride: Fighting Tooth Decay. Manganese: Mystery Metal. Molybdenum: Making Enzymes. Other Trace Minerals. Minerals You Should Miss.


22. Amino Acids: The Building Blocks of Life.

Why You Need Amino Acids. 50,000 Proteins from Just 22 Aminos. The RDA for Amino Acids. Eating Your Aminos. Amino Alert! Arginine for Immunity. Carnitine for Cardiac Cases. Creatine for Muscles. Cysteine for Pollution Protection. Glutamine for the Gut. Lysine: Help for Herpes? Methionine and Taurine. Tryptophan for Natural Sleep. Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, and Migraines.

23. Essential Fatty Acids: When Is Fat Good?

What's So Essential About Fat? Good Fat vs. Bad Fat.

The Good Fats.

Omega-3 and Omega-6.

Why You Need Omega-6. Why You Need Omega-3. Getting the Most from Omega 3's. Fish-Oil Supplements.

Omega-3 Helps Your Heart. Fish Oil and Fat Levels. Helping High Blood Pressure. Fish Oil and Diabetes. Calming Crohn's Disease. Helping Rheumatoid Arthritis. Fish Oil Fights Cancer. GLA: The Promise of Evening Primrose Oil. Other Good Fats.

24. Super Antioxidants.

The Crucial Role of Glutathione. Are You Deficient? Boosting Your Glutathione Level. Supplements to Boost Glutathione. Lipoic Acid: The Vitamin That's Not a Vitamin.

Helping Diabetic Neuropathy.

25. Flavonoids for Humanoids.

What Are Flavonoids? Carotenoids: Orange You Glad You Know? The Carotenes.

Alpha Carotene. Beta-Cryptoxanthin. Lycopene.

The Xanthophylls.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Capsanthin.

Have a Nice Cup of Tea. Quercetin: The Flavonoid from Onions. Garlic: It's Good for You. Anthocyanins for Healthy Eyes. Resveratrol: Red Wine Rescuer. Unexpected Health from Unlikely Plants.

26. Coenzyme Q10: Cellular Spark Plug.

Co Q What? CoQ10 for Cardiac Cases. Lowering Your Blood Pressure. Cholesterol and CoQ10. Other Benefits of Coenzyme Q10. Getting Your Coenzyme Q10.

27. Help from Natural Hormones.

What's a Hormone? Melatonin: From A to Zzzz.

A Good Night's Rest. Relieving Jet Lag. Maximizing Your Melatonin.

Soy Meets Girl. Bones from Beans. Soy for Your Heart. Eating Your Soy. Balancing the Hormone Equation.

I Yam What I Yam—Not.

DHEA: Fountain of Youth or Hype? Other Hormones.

Androstenedione for Athletes. Pregnenolone for Hormone Power. Help from Human Growth Hormone.

28. Fiber: Moving Things Along.

Why Fiber Is Fabulous. How Much Fiber Is Enough? Insoluble and Soluble Fiber.

Insoluble Fiber. Soluble Fiber.

Eating More Fiber. Which Type of Fiber? Fiber Supplements. Water, Water Everywhere. It's Official: Oatmeal Lowers Cholesterol. Oatmeal for Breakfast. Help for Bowel Problems. Beneficial Bacteria. Fiber Fights Cancer. Fiber for Diabetes.

29. Natural Pain Relief.

Arthritis: The Unavoidable Ache.

Glucosamine: Help for Arthritis. Chondroitin: The Other Half.

Not the SAMe Old Thing. Oiling the Joints. Healing Herbs for Aching Joints. How Do You Spell Relief? Managing Migraines.

30. Smart Supplements.

I'll Never Forget Old What's His Name. Vitamins on the Brain.

C for Comprehension. Excellent for the Aging Memory.

Ginkgo: Skipping Those Senior Moments. PS: SOS for Aging Brains. Carnitine for Cognition. Natural Help for Alzheimer's Disease. Supplements for Smarter Kids.


Appendix A. Quick Reference Chart of Ailments and Suggested Supplements.

Appendix B. Resources.

Appendix C. Glossary.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2000

    Genius..A truly epic achievement

    After reading this book i have a far better understanding of vitamins and general health. After reading I traveled to a university in Oregon and took a class from Dr. Pressman's son. Professor Cory Pressman and i must say that genius runs in the Pressman family. highly recommended reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2010

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