Oxygen’s Vitality Assistants
Majid Ali, M.D. Vitamins are oxygen’s darlings. It nurses and coddles them. They, in turn, are oxygen’s loyal assistants and serve their master in many roles, including:
Enzymes for energy (B complex vitamins)
Enzymes for detox (B complex vitamins)
Antioxidants (vitamin E and vitamin C)
Messengers or hormones (vitamin D for mineral metabolism)
Growth factors for cell and tissue (vitamin A)
Carriers of electron energy or energy groups (folic acid carries an important carbon group called methyl, formyl and methylene)
Coaxed by oxygen (and oxygen’s offspring, such as oxyradicals), vitamins facilitate actions and reactions. Cells renew themselves after injury and heal with them. The immune system cannot work and wounds cannot heal without them. This view of the functions of vitamins vastly expands the prevailing definition of vitamins as organic compounds which cannot be produced in the body and must be obtained from the diet to prevent a small number of deficiency diseases. This is a crucial point and I underscore it with text from my book RDA: rats, Drugs, and Assumptions (2005):
Discovery of Vitamins
The early years of the twentieth century saw a remarkable burst of vitamin discoveries. The years of their discoveries, their chemical names, and the sources of their original isolation are given below.
1910 Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Rice bran
1913 Vitamin A (Retinol) Cod liver oil
1920 Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) Citrus, most fresh foods
1920 Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Meat, eggs
1920 Vitamin D (Calciferol) Cod liver oil
1922 Vitamin E (Tocopherol) Wheat germ oil, unrefined vegetable oils
1926 Vitamin B12 (Cobalamins) Liver, eggs, animal products
1929 Vitamin K (Phylloquinone/phytol naphthoquinone) Leafy green vegetables
1931 Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) Meats, whole grains
1931 Vitamin B7 (Biotin) Meats, dairy products, eggs
1934 Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Meat, dairy products
1936 Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Meat, eggs, grains
1941 Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) Leafy green vegetables
A Historical Note
The idea that certain diseases can be prevented or reversed with substances in minute amounts (micronutrient) is not new. The ancient Egyptians fed liver to patients with night blindness long before vitamin A deficiency was recognized to cause the disease. Sea-faring people of earlier times recognized diets without fresh fruits and vegetables for extended periods resulted in ill health among the sailors, and that such disorders could be reversed by supplying fresh foods. In 1749, the preventability of scurvy with lemon was reported by the Scottish surgeon James Lind. Scurvy then was considered as sailor’s scourge that caused poor wound healing, bleeding gums, severe pain, and death. The adoption of Lind’s recommendation by the British Royal Navy firmly established the cause-and-effect relationship between scurvy and some factor in lemon (subsequently recognized as vitamin C). The term “vitamine” was coined by by Polish scientist Casimir Funk in his belief that these substances were vital to life and contained a chemical group called amine. The term “vitamin” was used when this family of micronutrients proved not to have amine groups.
The notion of Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) is the most pernicious idea of 20th-century medicine. Below, I reproduce some text from my book entitled “RDA: Rats, Drugs and Assumptions (1995): In 1940 the Food and Nutrition Board established amounts of several nutrients that it considered sufficient to prevent some nutritional deficiency diseases. This was unequivocally the worst medical folly ever foisted on the American people by government experts. None of the “experts” who sat on the Nutrition Board proclaiming the RDA doctrine had ever practiced nutritional medicine, nor did they ever evaluate clinical results of nutritionists. Notwithstanding, the RDA doctrine led to a widespread assumption among physicians that nutrients play no role in reversing chronic disorders. It also led to the second and more dangerous assumption that diseases could only be treated with drugs. Little did anyone recognize that these two seemingly innocent assumptions would rob millions of Americans of untold opportunities in using nontoxic, nondrug nutrient therapies for disease prevention and treatment of chronic disorders. The tragic error of the RDA is that it went on to spawn generations of physicians who turned their backs on the essential healing properties of nutrients, and became staunch opponents of all nondrug therapies. Ignorant in the true nature of the healing response and ill-informed about the role of nutrients in it, they declared all nutrient therapies quackery and relentlessly persecuted physician-nutritionists. Drugs and scalpels became the only acceptable tools of the trade. Laws were enacted to revoke the licenses of practitioners who practiced unconventional (meaning nondrug and nonsurgical) therapies.
Read more at How Minerals Beat Fatigue
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Majid Ali, MD is a humanist, physician, scientist, poet, story-teller, and the solo author of The Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine (in 12 Volumes) and 36 other books. The following is an outline of his journey in search of what it means to be a human, and the meanings of suffering, ethics, truth, and enlightenment: * A surgeon-turned-pathologist * A pathologist-turned-immunologist * An immunologist-turned-ecologist * An ecologist-turned-nutritionist * A nutritionist-turned energy practitioner * An energy practitioner-turned-philosopher * A philosopher-turned-humanist * A story teller * A Poet Dr. Ali’s works span 50 years in medicine. The staff of Majidalimd.me have been given the charge of collecting his massive volume of works in one place with a clear and concise navigation structure to help you find the information you need. Majid Ali, MD, the collected works of 50 years in medicine offering alternative options for patients is now here for you 24 x 7 x 365 days a year. BUT we need help – the staff and up keep of our website runs about $5,000 a month and we are trying not to sell anything – we would rather post everything for free – if you can help out – see below – we will send you a lot of free gifts! The goal of this website is to provide thousands of free videos without ads or commercial interruption on various and diverse health topics discussed by Majid Ali MD in addition to the printed material of tens of thousands of pages of medical observation! We invite you to join our mission of spreading authentic health and healing knowledge that is free of corporate deceptions and ideological distortions. We are committed to ethics and authenticity in learning, compassion, enlightenment, and Healing.
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