Ingredient List A-Z

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Ingredients make up for dietary supplements

There are hundreds and thousands of dietary ingredients, ranging from amino acids to minerals to proteins, that make up nutritional supplements. Below is not a complete ingredient list but does include all the important ones, most also displayed in the official website of the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institute of Health, in alphabetical order.

Next time, when you shop for a supplement and don’t know what the ingredients on the label mean, just come back to this page!

A – H

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that your body naturally produces and is used to produce serotonin, a chemical messenger that sends signals between your nerve cells. Low serotonin levels are associated with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight gain and other health problems. Therefore, increasing your body’s production of serotonin may have various benefits.

L-Methylfolate, also commonly known as 5-MTHF, is the active form of folate the human body can actually use.  Folate is an essential nutrient that is involved in the synthesis and metabolism of DNA and certain amino acids. It is especially important during pregnancy and infancy, but is required for proper growth and maintenance of cells throughout life.  The naturally occurring 5-MTHF has important advantages over synthetic folic acid – it is well absorbed even when gastrointestinal pH is altered and its bioavailability is not affected by metabolic defects.  Folic acid or folate is not usable by the body until it is converted into 5-MTHF.  

A

The acai berry is a grapelike fruit harvested from acai palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of South America. It contains antioxidants and fiber.

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a form of carnitine that’s available as a supplement. Most of the cells in your body contain carnitine, which your liver and kidney make. Carnitine helps your cells produce energy.

Acidophilus, among the most common probiotics, is present in cultured dairy products and fermented foods and beverages, but you can also find it in supplement form.

Allicin is a compound produced when garlic is crushed or chopped. Available in dietary supplement form, it’s been found to reduce inflammation and offer antioxidant benefits. Taking allicin supplements is intended to help with a number of health problems, as well as fight major diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Aloe vera is a succulent plant species of the genus Aloe. An evergreen perennial, it originates from the Arabian Peninsula but grows wild in tropical climates around the world and is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses

α-Linolenic acid is an n−3 fatty acid. It is one of two essential fatty acids, so called because they are necessary for health and cannot be produced within the human body. They must be acquired through diet. ALA is an omega-3 fatty acid found in seeds, nuts, and many common vegetable oils

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a vitamin-like antioxidants, sometimes referred to as the “universal antioxidant” because it is soluble in both fat and water. ALA is manufactured in the body and is found in some foods, particularly liver and yeast.

American Ginseng is an herb said to offer numerous health benefits, including treatment of conditions like diabetes and cancer. Laboratory research shows that ginsenosides (compounds found in American ginseng) may stimulate the immune system and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Amino acids play central roles both as building blocks of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism. The 20 amino acids that are found within proteins convey a vast array of chemical versatility

Arginine is an amino acid and plays an important role in cell division, wound healing, removing ammonia from the body, immune function, and the release of hormones. It is a precursor for the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO), making it important in the regulation of blood pressure.

Astaxanthin is a powerful, naturally occurring carotenoid pigment that’s found in certain marine plants and animals. Often called “the king of the carotenoids,” astaxanthin is recognized as being one of the most powerful antioxidants found in nature.

Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and several provitamin A carotenoids. Vitamin A has multiple functions: it is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision.

B

Branched-chain amino acids are essential nutrients that the body obtains from proteins found in food, especially meat, dairy products, and legumes. They include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. “Branched-chain” refers to the chemical structure of these amino acids. People use branched-chain amino acids for medicine.

Bee propolis is generally known as the “bee glue”, which is a generic name that refers to the resinous substance accumulated by the bees from different types of plant. It possesses a pleasant smell. Propolis and its extracts have numerous applications in treating various diseases due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, immunomodulatory properties. Modern studies confirm a long list of health benefits offered by propolis.  A search of PubMed shows over 2,000 studies on bee propolis.

Berberine is a compound found in several different plants, including Barberry Oregon Grape, Goldenseal and Chinese goldthread. Berberine has a 3000-year history of use in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. It has many beneficial and potentially beneficial effects on health, especially for people with diabetes or cholesterol issues. It has been shown to fight harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.

Beta carotene is a red-orange pigment found in plants and fruits, especially carrots and colorful vegetables. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A, an essential vitamin. Beta carotene is a carotenoid and an antioxidant.

Beta glucan is one form of soluble dietary fiber that’s strongly linked to improving cholesterol levels and boosting heart health.  You can also find it in whole grains, oats, bran, wheat, and barley.

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) is a chemical that is produced when the body breaks down leucine. HMB might promote muscle growth. It seems to reduce the destructive breakdown of muscle in people with AIDS.

Betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, ,works by preventing the build-up of an amino acid called homocysteine, which can harm blood vessels and contribute to heart disease, stroke, or circulation problems.

Bilberry is a botanical relative of the blueberry and cranberry. Bilberries contain antioxidant plant pigments called anthocyanosides, which are believed responsible for their health benefits, ranging from eyes to diabetes.

Black cohosh is a flowering plant. It grows in parts of the United States and Canada. Today, black cohosh is mainly used to help treat symptoms associated with menopause

Blueberries contain a plant compound called anthocyanin. This gives blueberries both their blue color and many of their health benefits. Blueberries can help heart health, bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, diabetes,  cancer prevention, and mental health.

Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found in the pineapple plant. Some studies show the use of bromelain for nasal swelling and inflammation and for removing dead skin from burns.

Thiamin (or thiamine) is one of the water-soluble B vitamins. It is also known as vitamin B1. Thiamin is naturally present in some foods, added to some food products, and available as a dietary supplement. This vitamin plays a critical role in energy metabolism and, therefore, in the growth, development, and function of cells.

Riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2) is one of the B vitamins and is naturally present in some foods, added to some food products, and available as a dietary supplement. This vitamin is an essential component of two major coenzymes, flavin mononucleotide (FMN; also known as riboflavin-5’-phosphate) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). These coenzymes play major roles in energy production; cellular function, growth, and development; and metabolism of fats, drugs, and steroids.

Niacin is a type of B vitamin. It is water-soluble, which means it is not stored in the body. Niacin helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function. It is also important for converting food to energy.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)  is a vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. The body needs vitamin B6 for more than 100 enzyme reactions involved in metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy as well as immune function.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is a water-soluble vitamin that’s a part of the vitamin B family. It’s also known as vitamin H. Your body needs biotin to help convert certain nutrients into energy. It also plays an important role in the health of your hair, skin, and nails.

Vitamin B9, more commonly known as folate (naturally-occurring form of B9) or folic acid (a synthetic form), is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the B vitamin family. It is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. Folate is found mainly in dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and nuts.

Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA. Vitamin B12 functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. 

C

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class. It is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. Unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.

Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, is found in some foods, added to others, available as a dietary supplement, and present in some medicines (such as antacids). Calcium is required for vascular contraction and vasodilation, muscle function, nerve transmission, intracellular signaling and hormonal secretion. The two main forms of calcium in supplements are carbonate and citrate. Calcium carbonate is more commonly available and is both inexpensive and convenient. Calcium citrate is also useful for people with achlorhydria, inflammatory bowel disease, or absorption disorders. 

 L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that’s often taken as a weight loss supplement. L-Carnitine and the related compound Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) are compounds able to alleviate the effects of aging and disease on mitochondria, while increasing the mitochondria’s potential to burn fat.

Carnosine is a substance produced naturally by the body. Classified as a dipeptide (a compound made up of two linked amino acid molecules), carnosine is highly concentrated in muscle tissue and in the brain. It’s thought that carnosine’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects could help protect against a number of aging-related conditions (such as Alzheimer’s disease).

Carotenoids are pigments in plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. These pigments produce the bright yellow, red, and orange colors in plants, vegetables, and fruits. Carotenoids act as a type of antioxidants on human. There are more than 600 different types of carotenoids. Some can be converted into  vitamin A when released into the body.

Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers that makes them hot. Capsaicin is used in medicated creams and lotions to relieve muscle or joint pain. Capsaicin used on the body causes a sensation of heat that activates certain nerve cells.

Carnitine is the generic term for a number of compounds that include L-carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), and propionyl-L-carnitine. Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy.

Cartilage is a type of tough, flexible connective tissue that forms parts of the skeleton in many animals. Cartilage contains cells called chondrocytes, which are surrounded by collagen (a fibrous protein) and proteoglycans. Shark cartilage (like other forms of cartilage) contains substances that tend to inhibit angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels). Since cancers must build new blood vessels to feed themselves, this effect might be beneficial. 

Cat’s claw is a woody vine that grows wild in the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of Central and South America. Its thorns resemble a cat’s claws.  Today, cat’s claw is used as a dietary supplement for a variety of health conditions including viral infections (such as herpes and HIV), Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis, diverticulitis, peptic ulcers, colitis, gastritis, hemorrhoids, parasites, and leaky bowel syndrome.

Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind.  It has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years to calm anxiety and settle stomachs. 

Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree, which is native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean region. Chasteberry was used for reproductive disorders and today,  is used as a dietary supplement for menstrual problems, menopause symptoms, infertility, and other conditions.

Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is related to the mint. They are known as superfood for their ability to provide sustainable energy. In fact, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’re loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.

Chitosan is a sugar that is obtained from the hard outer skeleton of shellfish, including crab, lobster, and shrimp. It is used for medicine. Chitosan is used to treat obesity, high cholesterol, and Crohn’s disease.

Choline, a water-solutable essential nutrient,  is naturally present in some foods and available as a dietary supplement.  It is a constituent of lecithin, which is present in many plants and animal organs. Choline is a source of methyl groups needed for many steps in metabolism. The body needs choline to synthesize phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two major phospholipids vital for cell membranes.

Chondroitin is a substance that occurs naturally in the connective tissues of people and animals. As a supplement in higher doses than is found naturally, chondroitin is a popular treatment for osteoarthritis.  Researchers found that chondroitin appeared to reduce pain, increase joint mobility, and decrease the need for painkillers. 

Chromium is a mineral. It is called an “essential trace element” because very small amounts of chromium are necessary for human health. There are two forms of chromium: trivalent chromium and hexavalent chromium. The first is found in foods and supplements and is safe for humans. The second is a known toxin that can cause skin problems and lung cancer. Chromium is taken by mouth for improving blood sugar control in people with prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and high blood sugar due to taking steroids and HIV treatments.

Chrysin belongs to a class of chemicals called flavonoids. It occurs naturally in plants such as the passionflower, silver linden, and some geranium species; and in honey and bee propolis (glue). Chrysin is used for bodybuilding; for treating anxiety, inflammation, gout, HIV/AIDS, erectile dysfunction (ED), and baldness; and for preventing cancer.

Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees scientifically known as Cinnamomum. It has been used as an ingredient throughout history. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits. Just make sure to get Ceyloncinnamon or stick to small doses if you’re using the Cassia variety.

L-citrulline is a substance called a non-essential amino acid. L-citrulline boosts nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide helps your arteries relax and work better, which improves blood flow throughout your body.

Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA. Vitamin B12 functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. 

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a nutrient that occurs naturally in the body. CoQ10 acts as an antioxidant which protects cells from damage and plays an important part in the metabolism.  Levels of CoQ10 in your body decrease as you age. CoQ10 levels have also been found to be lower in people with certain conditions, such as heart disease. CoQ10 is found in meat, fish and whole grains. The amount of CoQ10 found in these dietary sources, however, isn’t enough to significantly increase CoQ10 levels in your body. As a supplement, CoQ10 might help treat certain heart conditions, as well as migraines and Parkinson’s disease.

Forskolin is an active compound found in the roots of the Indian coleus. It is sold as a weight-loss supplement. Some study shows that forskolin may promote fat loss while preserving muscle mass.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is the major component of connective tissues that make up several body parts, including tendons, ligaments, skin and muscles. Consuming collagen may have a variety of health benefits, from relieving joint pain to improving skin health.

Colostrum is a breast fluid produced by humans, cows, and other mammals before breast milk is released. It’s high in nutrients that promote infant growth and also provide other benefits, including: increase immunity, fight infections and improve gut health. Supplements are typically made from bovine colostrum.

Conjugated linoleic acid refers to a group of chemicals found in the fatty acid linoleic acid. Dairy products and beef are the major sources of conjugated linoleic acid in the diet. Conjugated linoleic acid might help reduce body fat deposits and improve immune function.

Copper is a mineral. It is found in many foods, particularly in organ meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, wheat bran cereals, grain products, and cocoa products. The body stores copper mostly in the bones and muscles. Copper is used for treating copper deficiency and the anemia it may cause.

Cranberry is a type of evergreen shrub that grows in wet areas, such as bogs or wetlands. Cranberry is native to North America. Cranberry is most commonly used for the prevention and treatment of urinary track infections. 

Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. Chemically speaking, it shares many similarities with amino acids. Your body can produce it from the amino acids glycine and arginine. Creatine is the number-one supplement for improving performance in the gym. Studies show that it can increase muscle mass, strength and exercise performance. Additionally, it provides a number of other health benefits, such as protecting against neurological disease.

Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric, a member of the ginger family.  It helps reduce inflammation. Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. Other compounds in turmeric might also be medicinal. In lab tests, curcumin seems to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors. One study showed that turmeric extract containing curcumin could — in some cases — stabilize colorectal cancer that wasn’t helped by other treatments.

L-cysteine is an amino acid commonly sold in dietary supplement form. Also found naturally in the human body, L-cysteine is available in many foods as well. Although classified as a non-essential amino acid, cysteine may be essential for infants, the elderly, and individuals with certain metabolic disease or who suffer from malabsorption syndromes. 

Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component. Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters; vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism.

D

Dandelion greens are edible and are a rich source of vitamin A. Dandelion has a long history of use for problems of the liver, gallbladder, and bile ducts. Today, dandelion as a dietary supplement is used as a blood “tonic,” as a diuretic, for minor digestive problems, and for other purposes.

Deer velvet covers the growing bone and cartilage that develops into deer antlers. It is used to boost strength and endurance, improve the way the immune system works, counter the effects of stress, and promote rapid recovery from illness. It is also used at the onset of winter to ward off infections.

Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) is a safe and effective licorice extract. It is specially processed to have glycyrrhizin removed to avoid potential side effects such as elevated blood pressure. DGL may increase mucus production. This can protect the stomach and esophagus from acid. Early evidence suggests that licorice extract may help treat hepatitis C. Licorice may also treat ulcers.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid. It’s a component of every cell in your body and a vital structural component of your skin, eyes and brain. DHA makes the membranes and gaps between nerve cells more fluid, making it easier for cells to communicate. Because your body can’t make DHA in significant amounts, you need to get it from your diet or supplements.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone produced by your body’s adrenal glands. In turn, DHEA helps produce other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen. Natural DHEA levels peak in early adulthood and then slowly fall as you age. A number of studies have found that DHEA supplements may help people with depression, obesity, lupus, and adrenal insufficiency. DHEA may also improve skin in older people and help treat osteoporosis, vaginal atrophy, erectile dysfunction, and some psychological conditions.

Diindolylmethane is formed in the body from plant substances contained in “cruciferous” vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. Diindolylmethane might act like estrogen in the body. Diindolylmethane is used for preventing breast, uterine, and colorectal cancer. It is also used to prevent an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy, BPH) and treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation.Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation.

E

There are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to North America. Echinacea is used as a dietary supplement for the common cold and other infections, based on the idea that it might stimulate the immune system to more effectively fight infection. Echinacea preparations have been used topically (applied to the skin) for wounds and skin problems.

EGCG, the most abundant catechin in tea, is a polyphenol  for its potential to affect human health and disease. It helps brain health, increase weight loss through fat oxidation and thermogenesis. As an antioxidant it has anti-aging and anti-cancer effects. As an anti-inflammatory it lowers blood pressure by lowering the risk for atherosclerosis (hardening of arterial walls).

Emu oil is a natural product made from the refined fat of the emu (a large, flightless bird native to Australia). Rich in antioxidants and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3 fatty acids), emu oil has long been used in aboriginal culture to treat skin conditions. Widely touted for its purported anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, emu oil is said to promote the healing of wounds and to treat skin conditions.

Energy drinks are widely promoted as products that increase energy and enhance mental alertness and physical performance. Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults. Consuming excessive energy drinks can have serious health effects, particularly in children, teenagers, and young adults.

An enzyme is a substance that acts as a catalyst in living organisms, regulating the rate at which chemical reactions proceed without itself being altered in the process. The biological processes that occur within all living organisms are chemical reactions, and most are regulated by enzymes.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is a fatty acid found in the flesh of coldwater fish, including mackerel, herring, tuna, halibut, salmon, cod liver, whale blubber, or seal blubber. Don’t confuse EPA with DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and fish oils, which contain EPA and DHA. EPA is taken by mouth for some heart-related conditions including clogged heart arteries (coronary artery disease), to prevent or treat heart attacks, and to reduce levels of blood fats called triglycerides in people with very high levels. It is also used for some mental conditions including schizophrenia, personality disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Elderberry refers to several varieties of the Sambucus tree, which has clusters of white flowers and black or blue-black berries. The most common variety is European elderberry or black elderberry. It is known to fight cold and flu symptoms, support heart health and fight inflammation and infections, among other benefits.

Evening primrose oil (EPO) is made from the seeds of the flowers of a plant native to North America. The plant has traditionally been used to treat bruises, hemorrhoids, digestive problems, and sore throats. Its healing benefits may be due to its gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) content. GLA is an omega-6 fatty acid found in plant oils.

Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities. Vitamin E is a nutrient that’s important to vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain and skin.Foods rich in vitamin E include canola oil, olive oil, margarine, almonds and peanuts. You can also get vitamin E from meats, dairy, leafy greens and fortified cereals. Vitamin E is also available as an oral supplement in capsules or drops.

F

Fenugreek is an herb and supplement that has many benefits for your health. The available studies support using fenugreek to increase breast milk production and the rate of weight gain in newborn babies. Initial research suggests that fenugreek can boost testosterone levels and sexual function in men.

Feverfew or bachelor’s buttons, is a flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae. It is a traditional medicinal herb which is commonly used to prevent migraine headaches, and is also occasionally grown for ornament.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.The best sources of fiber are whole grain foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a category of fats that are vital for your cells to function properly. The only way to obtain omega-3 fatty acids is through your diet or through supplementation, because the body doesn’t produce these important compounds. Fish oil is an excellent source for omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oil can improve cardiovascular health. In addition, they can help maintain proper brain and nerve function, and they provide support for healthy joints and eyes. There’s also some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can help manage weight. Two of the most crucial omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

Flaxseed comes from the flax plant (also known as Linum usitatissimum), which grows to be about 2 feet tall. Flaxseeds contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (although not the same type that fish, such as salmon, do) along with antioxidant substances called lignans that help promote hormonal balance in addition to several other benefits of flaxseed. Benefits of flaxseed include helping improve digestion, skin, cardiovascular health, cholesterol and hormone balance while fighting cancer and even sugar cravings.

Fluoride is commonly used in dentistry to strengthen enamel, which is the outer layer of your teeth. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities. It’s also added in small amounts to public water supplies in the United States and in many other countries.

Folic acid is a B vitamin. Folic acid is the synthetic (that is, not generally occurring naturally) form of folate that is used in supplements and in fortified foods. During early development, folic acid helps form the neural tube. Folic acid is very important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. 

Folate is the naturally occurring form of the B-vitamins (B9) and is needed to make red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and produce DNA and RNA. Adequate folate intake is extremely important during periods of rapid growth such as pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. 

Fucoxanthin is a member of the carotenoid family, and is found naturally in some types of seaweed, such as wakame. Like most carotenoids, fucoxanthin is an antioxidant. Animal studies by one group of researchers suggest that fucoxanthin might prevent the growth of fat tissue and reduce abdominal fat.

G

GABA is a chemical that is made in the brain. GABA, as a supplement, is taken by mouth for relieving anxiety, insomnia, improving mood, reducing symptoms of  premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also used for promoting lean muscle growth, burning fat, stabilizing blood pressure, and relieving pain. 

Garcinia cambogia is a popular weight loss supplement. It is derived from a fruit of the same name, also called Garcinia gummi-gutta or Malabar tamarind. The peel of the fruit contains high amounts of hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is the active ingredient believed to be responsible for most of its weight loss benefits

Garlic is a plant in the onion family that’s grown for its distinctive taste and health benefits. Garlic produces a sulfur compound called allicin. This is what seems to make garlic work for certain conditions. Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese.  Today garlic is a widely recognized health enhancing supplement. Garlic promotes the well-being of the heart and immune systems with antioxidant properties and helps maintain healthy blood circulation.

Ginger is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or ginger, is widely used as a spice and a folk medicine. It is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is commonly used for various types of “stomach problems,” including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), nausea. Other uses include pain relief from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, and other conditions.

Ginkgo is a large tree with fan-shaped leaves, native to China. Ginkgo seeds contain substances that might kill the bacteria and fungi that cause infections in the body. Ginkgo seems to improve blood circulation, which might help the brain, eyes, ears, and legs function better. It may act as an antioxidant to slow down Alzheimer’s disease and interfere with changes in the brain that might cause problems with thinking.

Ginseng refers to eleven different varieties of a short, slow-growing plant with fleshy roots. It is one of the most popular herbal remedies. Both American ginseng and Asian ginseng are believed to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation, treat diabetes, and manage sexual dysfunction in men.

Glucomannan is a natural, water-soluble dietary fiber extracted from the roots of the elephant yam, also known as konjac. Glucomannan has an exceptional ability to absorb water and is one of the most viscous dietary fibers known.Like other soluble fibers, glucomannan absorbs water in your stomach and contributes to feelings of fullness. In addition, it may promote reduced calorie intake and weight loss in other ways.

Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage — the tough tissue that cushions joints. In supplement form, glucosamine is harvested from shells of shellfish or made in a lab.  In humans, it helps form cartilage and is commonly used as a dietary supplement to treat joint disorders like osteoarthritis and to reduce inflammation.

Glutamine is an important amino acid with many functions in the body. It is a building block of protein and critical part of the immune system. What’s more,glutamine has a special role in intestinal health. 

Glutathione is a tripeptide comprised of three amino acids (cysteine, glutamic acid, and glycine) present in most mammalian tissue.  Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that’s made in the body’s cells. Its levels decrease as a result of aging, stress, and toxin exposure. Boosting glutathione may provide many health benefits, including reduction of oxidative stress.

Alpha-GPC is a chemical released when a fatty acid found in soy and other plants breaks down. GPC  helps increase a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine. This chemical is important for  memory and learning functions. In Europe alpha-GPC is a prescription medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. In the United States alpha-GPC is only available as a dietary supplement, mostly in products promoted to improve memory.

Glycine is an “essential amino acid” because the body can make it from other chemicals. The primary sources are protein-rich foods including meat, fish, dairy, and legumes. Glycine is used for treating schizophrenia, stroke, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and some rare inherited metabolic disorders.

 Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is one of the most popular herbs on the market today. It was traditionally used by Native Americans to treat skin disorders, digestive problems, liver conditions, diarrhea, and eye irritations. contains the chemical berberine, which might have effects against bacteria and fungi. 

Grape seed extract (GSE) is a dietary supplement made by removing, drying and pulverizing the bitter-tasting seeds of grapes. Due to its high antioxidant content, GSE can help protect against oxidative stress, tissue damage and inflammation and prevent disease. 

Grapefruit seed extract is a supplement made from the seeds and pulp of grapefruit. It’s rich in essential oils and antioxidants and has a variety of potential health benefits. Multiple studies show that grapefruit seed extract can fight infections, reduce the risk of heart disease and protect against oxidative stress and tissue damage.

Green coffee bean extract comes from coffee beans that haven’t been roasted. Coffee beans contain compounds known as chlorogenic acids. Some believe these compounds have antioxidant effects, help lower blood pressure, and help you lose weight. Roasting coffee reduces chlorogenic acid content. This is why drinking coffee isn’t thought to have the same weight loss effects as the unroasted beans.

Green tea is probably the healthiest beverage on the planet. It is about 30 percent polyphenols by weight, including large amounts of a catechin called EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. These include improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other impressive benefits. 

Guar gum is a food additive made from legumes. It is used to thicken and bind food products. It’s high in soluble fiber and low in calories. Studies suggest that guar gum could improve digestive health and decrease blood sugar, blood cholesterol, appetite and calorie intake.

H

Hawthorn is a plant. The leaves, berries, and flowers of hawthorn are used to make medicine. The antioxidants in hawthorn are thought to boost heart health by strengthening blood vessels and stimulating blood flow.

Hesperidin is a flavan-on glycoside found in citrus fruits. The most common uses of hesperidin supplements deal with the support of the circulatory system. Hesperidin alone, or in combination with other citrus bioflavonoids (diosmin, for example), is most often used for blood vessel conditions such as hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and poor circulation (venous stasis).

Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), a metabolite of the essential amino acid leucine, is one of the latest dietary supplements promoted to enhance gains in strength and lean body mass associated with resistance training.  

Horny goat weed is an herb. The leaves are used to make medicine. Horny goat weed contains chemicals which might help increase blood flow and improve sexual function. It also contains phytoestrogens, chemicals that act somewhat like the female hormone estrogen. This might reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Horse chestnut trees are native to the Balkan Peninsula. Historically, horse chestnut seed extract was used for joint pain, bladder and gastrointestinal problems, fever, and nleg cramps. Today, people use horse chestnut extract as a dietary supplement for chronic venous insufficiency.

Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is a clear, gooey substance that is naturally produced by your body. Its main function is to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated and moist. Hyaluronic acid supplements can help increase skin moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Topical treatments can soothe redness and dermatitis, while injections can make skin appear firmer. 

I – Z

I

Inositol, sometimes referred to as vitamin B8, naturally occurs in foods such as fruits, beans, grains and nuts. Your body can also produce inositol from the carbohydrates you eat. Inositol is a type of sugar that helps provide structure to your cells. It also affects the hormone insulin and the function of chemical messengers in your brain. Inositol shows potential as an alternative treatment option for mental health conditions, including panic disorder, depression and bipolar disorder. It may also help reduce blood triglyceride levels, improve insulin function, lower blood pressure and promote ovulation.

Inulin is a fiber found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Your gut bacteria convert it into short-chain fatty acids, which provide several health benefits: improve digestive health, relieve constipation, promote weight loss and help control diabetes.

Iodine (I) , a non-metallic trace element, is required by humans for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Iodine deficiency can lead to enlargement of the thyroid, and is most catastrophic to the developing brain. Therefore, requirements in pregnancy and lactation are much higher.

Iron is a mineral that our bodies need for many functions. For example, iron is part of hemoglobin, a protein which carries oxygen from our lungs throughout our bodies. It helps our muscles store and use oxygen. Iron is also part of many other proteins and enzymes.

Isoleucine is an essential branched-chain aliphatic amino acid found in many proteins. It is an isomer of leucine. It is best known for its ability to increase endurance and help heal and repair muscle tissue and encourage clotting at the site of injury. This amino acid is especially important to serious athletes and body builders because its primary function in the body is to boost energy and help the body recover from strenuous physical activity.

J

Jojoba oil  is the liquid produced in the seed of the Jojoba plant, a shrub, native to North America. It can be used as a cleanser, moisturizer, or spot treatment or anywhere on your body, including your face, without being diluted. It is effective in treating skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. 

K

Kava is native to the islands of the South Pacific and is a member of the pepper family. Kava supplements may have a small effect on reducing anxiety, but they may have been linked to a risk of severe liver disease.

Krill oil is made from krill, a type of small crustacean consumed by whales, penguins and other sea creatures.  Krill oil contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fats and an antioxidant called astaxanthin and is rapidly gaining a name for itself as an alternative to fish oil.  Like other sources of omega-3 fats,  krill oil may be effective at improving blood lipid levels and other risk factors for heart disease. It may offer unique benefits such as a smaller dosage, antioxidants, sustainable sourcing and fewer side effects.

Vitamin K, the generic name for a family of compounds with a common chemical structure of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods and is available as a dietary supplement.  Vitamin K is an important nutrient that plays a vital role in blood clotting and bone and heart health. Inadequate intake may cause bleeding, weaken your bones and potentially increase your risk of developing heart disease.

L

Lactoferrin is a protein found naturally in milk and several other fluids in the body. Lactoferrin’s main functions in the body include binding with iron and transporting it around the body, and fighting infections. Also available in dietary supplement form, lactoferrin has been found to offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Lavender is a flowering plant in the mint family that’s easily identified by its sweet floral scent. Lavender essential oil  helps improve sleep, treat skin blemishes, reduce blood pressure and heart rate.

Lecithin acts as an emulsifier which prevents the separation of certain foods. Lecithin is derived from soybeans, eggs or sunflower seeds. Lecithin supplements can be purchased to help treat high cholesterol, as a breastfeeding aid, and to treat ulcerative colitis, among other things.

Lemon balm is a lemon-scented herb that comes from the same family as mint.  It is thought to soothe symptoms of stress, help you to relax, and boost your mood.

Leucine is one of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), and is often considered the most important. Leucine contributes to regulation of blood-sugar levels; growth and repair of muscle and bone tissue; growth hormone production; and wound healing.

Licorice root, also known as sweet root, is used mostly as a sweetener in candies and beverages.  Licorice is available in many forms, either containing glycyrrhizin or as deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). Licorice root is used to soothe gastrointestinal problems. This is due to the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties of glycyrrhizic acid.

Lutein is one of two major carotenoids found as a color pigment in the human eye (macula and retina). It is thought to function as a light filter, protecting the eye tissues from sunlight damage. It is called “eye vitamin”.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and a carotenoid, responsible for giving many fruits and vegetables their red color – like tomatoes & watermelons. Studies have found that Lycopene can protect your DNA, your prostate health, your skin and your bones. 

Lysine is one of the essential amino acids that your body needs to build proteins. It may also improve your health overall by helping your body produce collagen, digestive enzymes, antibodies, and protein hormones. This nutrient may also help reduce your risk of developing cold sores, diabetes-related complications and heart diseases.

M

Magnesium is a mineral and a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. People get magnesium from their diet, but sometimes magnesium supplements are needed if magnesium levels are too low. Dietary intake of magnesium may be low, particularly among women. 

Manganese is a mineral element that is both nutritionally essential and potentially toxic.  It can be found especially in seeds and whole grains. It’s required for the normal functioning of your brain, nervous system and many of your body’s enzyme systems. When combined with the nutrients calcium, zinc and copper, manganese supports bone mineral density. This is particularly important in older adults.

Melatonin is a hormone in your body that plays a role in sleep. The production and release of melatonin in the brain is connected to time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light. Melatonin production declines with age. Melatonin is also available as a supplement. People commonly use melatonin for sleep disorders, such as insomnia and jet lag. Unlike with many sleep medications, you are unlikely to become dependent on melatonin, have a diminished response after repeated use (habituation) or experience a hangover effect.

Methionine is a unique amino acid. It contains sulfur and can produce other sulfur-containing molecules in the body. It is also involved in starting protein production in your cells.  Methionine is used to prevent liver damage in acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning. It is also used for increasing the acidity of urine, treating liver disorders, and improving wound healing.

MSM is a sulfur-containing compound found naturally in plants, animals and humans and is a popular dietary supplements in powder or capsule form. MSM is widely used in the alternative medicine field and by people looking for a natural way to relieve joint pain, reduce inflammation and boost immunity.

Milk thistle is an herb said to have properties that promote liver health. The seeds contain silymarin, a group of compounds which may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and protect liver cells from toxic chemicals and drugs.

Molybdenum is a key trace mineral that promotes liver detoxification and benefits sulfite-sensitive individuals. 

Multivitamins are supplements that contain many different vitamins and minerals, sometimes along with other ingredients. Multivitamins are the most commonly used supplements in the world. They are available in many forms, such as tablets, capsules, chewable gummies, powders and liquids. When choosing an MVM product, people should try to find one tailored to their age, gender, and other characteristics (e.g., pregnancy).

N

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is the supplement form of the amino acid cysteine, which is a semi-essential amino acid. Consuming adequate cysteine and NAC is important for a variety of health reasons — including replenishing the most powerful antioxidant in your body, glutathione. These amino acids also help with chronic respiratory conditions, fertility and brain health.

Nettle leaves are a powerful herbal medicine that grow abundantly in the wild. Nettle Leaf has a long history of use for modulating the body’s inflammatory pathways and supporting upper respiratory health. 

Niacin is a type of B vitamin. It is water-soluble, which means it is not stored in the body. Niacin helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function. It is also important for converting food to energy.

Noni is a small evergreen tree that often grows among lava flows. Noni contains many substances, including potassium. Some of these substances might help repair damaged cells in the body, activate the immune system, and have other activities.

O

Oregano is a fragrant herb that’s best known as an ingredient in Italian food.  It can also be concentrated into an essential oil that’s loaded with antioxidants and is useful both when consumed or applied to the skin. It is an effective natural antibiotic and anti-fungal, and may also help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol levels.

Many mainstream health organizations recommend a minimum of 250–500 mg of omega-3s per day for healthy adults .You can get high amounts of omega-3 fats from fatty fish, algae and several high-fat plant foods. Omega-3 fatty acids are a category of fats that are vital for your cells to function properly. The only way to obtain omega-3 fatty acids is through your diet or through supplementation, because the body doesn’t produce these important compounds. Omega-3 can improve cardiovascular health. In addition, they can help maintain proper brain and nerve function, and they provide support for healthy joints and eyes. There’s also some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can help manage weight. Two of the most crucial omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Omega 6 fatty acids are an essential fatty acid that the body needs for normal growth and development.  They are abundant in vegetable oils and beef, chicken, eggs. Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.  The recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is 4:1 or less. However, the Western diet has a ratio between 10:1 and 50:1. Therefore, although omega-6 fats are essential in the right quantities, most people in the developed world should aim to reduce their omega-6 intake or increase Omega-3 intake. There is one omega-6, however, called gamma linolenic acid (GLA) with an impressive set of disease-fighting powers. 

P

Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5 (a B vitamin), is a water-soluble vitamin. Pantothenic acid is an essential nutrient. Animals require pantothenic acid in order to synthesize coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to synthesize and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. 

Peppermint oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It can be used aromatically, topically and internally to address a number of health concerns, from muscles aches and seasonal allergy symptoms, to low energy and digestive complaints. It’s also commonly used to boost energy levels and improve both skin and hair health.

Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a phospholipid attached to a choline particle. The terms phosphatidylcholine and lecithin are often used interchangeably, although they’re different. Foods that contain lecithin are the best dietary sources of PC. PC helps support many of your body’s functions, ranging from fat metabolism to maintaining cell structure.

Phosphatidylserine is a type of fat compound called a phospholipid, which can be found in your brain. Phosphatidylserine supplements could improve your thinking skills and memory. They could also help combat the decline in brain function as you age.

 
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is required by every cell in the body for normal function. Certain health conditions (such as diabetes and alcoholism) or medications (such as some antacids) can cause phosphorus levels in your body to drop too low. You need phosphorus to keep your bones strong and healthy, to help make energy, and to move your muscles.

Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body (after calcium and phosphorus). It is an important mineral that functions as an electrolyte. It helps the body regulate fluid, send nerve signals and regulate muscle contractions. 

Prebiotics are classified as the non-digestible food ingredients that probiotics can feed off. They are used in the gut to increase populations of healthy bacteria, aid digestion and enhance the production of valuable vitamins. The major source of prebiotics is dietary fiber. They occur naturally in fruits and vegetables. 

Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when ingested, provide numerous health benefits. Probiotics are effective against various digestive problems, including antibiotic-associated diarrhea and IBS. Different probiotics address different health conditions. Therefore, choosing the right type — or types — of probiotic is essential.

Proline is a proteinogenic amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Proline plays important roles in molecular recognition, particularly in intracellular signalling.

Proteins are made of small compounds called amino acids. Hundreds of amino acids exist in nature, but the human body only uses 22 of them. Protein is a  building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Food sources of protein include meat, fish, dairy, lentils, beans, and other plants. Insufficient protein can lead to low growth and a weakened immune system while excessive protein may lead to weight gain and liver problems.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)  is a vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. The body needs vitamin B6 for more than 100 enzyme reactions involved in metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy as well as immune function.

Pyruvate is an important chemical compound in biochemistry. It is the output of the metabolism of glucose known as glycolysis. Pyruvate is used for weight loss and obesity, high cholesterol, cataracts, cancer, and improving athletic performance. 

Q

Quercetin is a plant pigment (flavonoid). It is found in many plants and foods. Quercetin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which might help reduce prostate inflammation. It is used for treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels, diabetes, cataracts,, etc.

R

Raspberry ketone is the compound that gives raspberries their strong aroma and flavor. A synthetic version of it is used in cosmetics, processed foods and weight loss supplements. Some studies in rodents show that raspberry ketones can protect against weight gain and fatty liver disease.

Red clover is a flowering plant, a type of legume. Red clover contains isoflavones, a type of phytoestrogen, which have a similar chemical makeup to estrogen, the female hormone that declines with menopause. For this reason, it may have benefits for menopausal symptoms. People sometimes take it for bone density loss, hot flashes, night sweats, and/or high cholesterol.

Red yeast rice is produced by fermenting rice with a specific species of mold. It contains the same active ingredient as cholesterol-lowering medications and has been studied for other benefits as well. It may also have the potential to reduce triglycerides and blood pressure when combined with statins.

The reishi mushroom (lingzhi) is a fungus that grows in various hot and humid locations in Asia. Within the mushroom, there are several molecules, including triterpenoids, polysaccharides and peptidoglycans, that may be responsible for its health effects.  It can enhance immune function through its effects on white blood cells, which help fight infection and cancer. Studies have shown that reishi mushroom could decrease anxiety and depression as well as improve quality of life in those with certain medical conditions.

Resveratrol is an antioxidant-like compound found in red wine, berries and peanuts. Resveratrol supplements may help lower blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide. As an antioxidant, they may also decrease LDL  and cholesterol odixation.  Resveratrol has shown exciting cancer-blocking activity in test tubes and animal studies.

Riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2) is one of the B vitamins and is naturally present in some foods, added to some food products, and available as a dietary supplement. This vitamin is an essential component of two major coenzymes, flavin mononucleotide (FMN; also known as riboflavin-5’-phosphate) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). These coenzymes play major roles in energy production; cellular function, growth, and development; and metabolism of fats, drugs, and steroids.

Ribose (d-ribose) is a type of simple sugar, or carbohydrate. It is an essential component of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which supplies energy to our cells. The ribose supplement helps increases endurance and energy, reduces muscle fatigue, and may improve heart function and quality of life for people with coronary artery disease.

Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb. Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.

Rutin is a bioflavonoid, or plant pigment, that is found in certain vegetables and fruits. Apples are full of rutin. Rutin has powerful antioxidant properties. It also helps your body produce collagen and use vitamin C. Rutin can help strengthen and increase flexibility in blood vessels, prevent blood clots and lower cholesterol.  

S

Sage is part of the mint family. There are more than 900 species of sage. Sage is a staple herb in various cuisines around the world. Sage can help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals due to its high antioxidant capacity. Studies show that sage may improve memory, brain function and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a compound found naturally in the body. SAMe helps produce and regulate hormones and maintain cell membranes. SAMe appears to be safe and might be effective in treating osteoarthritis and depression. However, SAMe might interact with use of antidepressants. Don’t use SAMe and prescription antidepressants together.

Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to the southeastern US. Extracts of the fruit of saw palmetto are used in tablets or capsules as a dietary supplement for urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate gland as well as for chronic pelvic pain, decreased sex drive, migraine, hair loss, and other conditions.

Selenium is an essential mineral, meaning it must be obtained through your diet. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that fights oxidative stress and helps defend the body from chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.  It plays a critical role in metabolism and thyroid function. 

Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, is used to treat or prevent excess acid in the blood or urine, a condition affecting some children who have had a liver transplant. It also can reduce stomach acids, and therefore can be used as an antacid to treat heartburn or indigestion.

Soy is a plant in the pea family. Soy contains “isoflavones” which are changed in the body to “phytoestrogens,” which are similar to the hormone estrogen. Soy products are used for menopausal symptoms, bone health, improving memory, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.

Stevia is an herb, originally from South America, is naturally very sweet and considered 100 to 200 times sweeter than sugar, but it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels like sugar and other artificial sweeteners do. 

St. John’s wort is a plant with yellow flowers. Currently, St. John’s wort is most often used as a dietary supplement for depression. However, the results of studies on the effectiveness of St. John’s wort for depression are mixed.  Be cautious that St. John’s wort can weaken the effects of many medicines, including crucially important medicines.

T

Tart or sour cherry contains many nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Compared to sweet cherry, it may also contain higher levels of certain nutrients. Tart cherry juice may reduce muscle strength loss and soreness. It may also speed up recovery. It can even help increase the body’s melatonin levels.

Taurine is a type of amino acid found in many foods, especially animal meat, and often added to energy drinks. Taurine may benefit people with diabetes, potentially lowering blood sugar levels and improving various risk factors for heart disease. 

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. All types of tea come from the same basic plant, the Camellia Sinensis plant. The differences between teas arise from processing, growing conditions, and geography. It has less caffeine, contains antioxidants, may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, and may help with weight loss.

Theanine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) found in green tea. People use theanine for treating anxiety and high blood pressure, for preventing Alzheimer’s disease, and for making cancer drugs more effective.

Thiamin (or thiamine) is one of the water-soluble B vitamins. It is also known as vitamin B1. Thiamin is naturally present in some foods, added to some food products, and available as a dietary supplement. This vitamin plays a critical role in energy metabolism and, therefore, in the growth, development, and function of cells.

Typical vitamin E supplements contain only alpha-tocopherol, the best known member of the eight-member vitamin E family. The less known member, tocotrienol,  due to small but important structural differences, can get more involved in profound biological processes, such as modulating gene expressions and regulating vital enzyme functions. 

Tocotrienols have potent antioxidant effects and may have anticancer and anti-diabetes abilities. It is now apparent that studies showing little or no effect from vitamin E supplementation failed in part because they used only alpha-tocopherol, rather than also including tocotrienols.

Tribulus terrestris is a small leafy plant that has been used for a variety of potential health benefits for many years. It is popular as an ingredient in testosterone booster supplements. Preliminary evidence shows that Tribulus terrestris may improve blood sugar control and cholesterol in people with diabetes.

Trimethylglycine (TMG) is also called glycine betaine. It is a molecule that regulates water balance in cells. Betaine can directly methylate homocysteine, which is cardioprotective. It also indirectly affects folate and SAMe metabolism to support whole body methylation.

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.  Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation.  In lab tests, curcumin seems to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors. One study showed that turmeric extract containing curcumin could — in some cases — stabilize colorectal cancer that wasn’t helped by other treatments.

Tyrosine, or L-tyrosine, is an amino acid that the body produces from phenylalanine. Supplementing with it is thought to increase important brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), which affect your mood and stress response. 

U

Ubiquinol is the electron rich, active form of CoQ10. Compared to conventional CoQ10, ubiquinol is more bioavailable and is directly utilized by the body for its metabolism support.  Experts encourage “older” adults take CoQ10 supplement in ubiquinol format.

V

Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. Its root has been used to promote relaxation and sleep.  Valerian root contains valerenic acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants that may help promote calmness by reducing GABA breakdown, improving stress response and maintaining adequate levels of mood-stabilizing brain chemicals.

Valine is one of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) alongside leucine and isoleucine, to promote normal growth, repair tissues, regulate blood sugar, and provide the body with energy. Valine helps stimulate the central nervous system, and is needed for proper mental functioning. 

Vanadium is a trace mineral. There is some evidence that vanadium might act like insulin, or help to increase the effects of insulin. Vanadium is used for treating prediabetes and diabetes, low blood sugar, high cholesterol, heart disease, water retention, and for improving athletic performance in weight training.

Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and several provitamin A carotenoids. Vitamin A has multiple functions: it is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision.

Thiamin (or thiamine) is one of the water-soluble B vitamins. It is also known as vitamin B1. Thiamin is naturally present in some foods, added to some food products, and available as a dietary supplement. This vitamin plays a critical role in energy metabolism and, therefore, in the growth, development, and function of cells.

Riboflavin (also known as vitamin B2) is one of the B vitamins and is naturally present in some foods, added to some food products, and available as a dietary supplement. This vitamin is an essential component of two major coenzymes, flavin mononucleotide (FMN; also known as riboflavin-5’-phosphate) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). These coenzymes play major roles in energy production; cellular function, growth, and development; and metabolism of fats, drugs, and steroids.

Niacin is a type of B vitamin. It is water-soluble, which means it is not stored in the body. Niacin helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function. It is also important for converting food to energy.

Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5 (a B vitamin), is a water-soluble vitamin. Pantothenic acid is an essential nutrient. Animals require pantothenic acid in order to synthesize coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to synthesize and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. 

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)  is a vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. The body needs vitamin B6 for more than 100 enzyme reactions involved in metabolism. Vitamin B6 is also involved in brain development during pregnancy and infancy as well as immune function.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is a water-soluble vitamin that’s a part of the vitamin B family. It’s also known as vitamin H. Your body needs biotin to help convert certain nutrients into energy. It also plays an important role in the health of your hair, skin, and nails.

Vitamin B9, more commonly known as folate (naturally-occurring form of B9) or folic acid (a synthetic form), is a water-soluble vitamin that is part of the B vitamin family. It is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. The nutrient is crucial during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine. Folate is found mainly in dark green leafy vegetables, beans, peas and nuts.

Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA. Vitamin B12 functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. 

Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component. Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters; vitamin C is also involved in protein metabolism.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in very few foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. It is also produced endogenously when ultraviolet rays from sunlight strike the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D obtained from sun exposure, food, and supplements is biologically inert and must undergo two hydroxylations in the body for activation.Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation.

Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities. Vitamin E is a nutrient that’s important to vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain and skin.Foods rich in vitamin E include canola oil, olive oil, margarine, almonds and peanuts. You can also get vitamin E from meats, dairy, leafy greens and fortified cereals. Vitamin E is also available as an oral supplement in capsules or drops.

There are two parts to vitamin E: tocopherols and tocotrienols. Unlike tocopherols which occur naturally in most common vegetable oils, tocotrienols are only found in select oils, such as red palm oil  and annatto oil. Thanks to their unique double-bond molecular structure, tocotrienols are superior antioxidants, possessing as much as 40 to 60 times the antioxidant power of tocopherols. 

Vitamin K refers to a group of vitamins that share a similar chemical structure. The two main forms found in the human diet are K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 and K2 are important for blood clotting, bone health and possibly heart health.

W

Whey protein is the protein contained in whey, the liquid  portion of milk that separates from the curds when making cheese. Whey protein contains an incredible range of essential amino acids, which are absorbed quickly. Numerous studies show that it can help you increase strength, gain muscle and lose significant amounts of body fat. Whey protein is commonly used for improving athletic performance and increasing strength. 

White kidney bean extract is used as a natural, non-stimulant ingredient in nutritional and weight loss supplements. The key benefit of white kidney bean extract is that it delays digestion and absorption of carbohydrates by blocking an enzyme, alpha amylase, which enables digestion of carb in the small intestine.

X

Xylitol occurs naturally in some plants like birch and corn.  Though it looks and tastes like sugar, it has 40% fewer calories. Unlike sugar, xylitol has negligible effects on blood sugar and insulin levels.  Xylitol can starve the harmful bacteria in your mouth, reducing plaque buildup and tooth decay. This can help prevent dental cavities and inflammatory gum diseases.

Y

Yerba mate is a plant with its leaves are used to make medicine. Yerba mate contains caffeine and other chemicals which stimulate the brain, heart, muscles lining blood vessels, and other parts of the body. 

Yohimbe is an herbal supplement that is used to treat erectile dysfunction and promote weight loss. The main way that yohimbe works in the body is through blocking alpha-2 adrenergic receptors. Some studies have found that taking yohimbine led to greater weight loss and decreases in body fat. 

Z

Zeaxanthin is a carotenoid, and more specifically a xanthophyll, similar to lutein. Zeaxanthin is found in dark green vegetables and also in yellow-orange fruits and veggies. It can also be found in the yolk of eggs. As lutein and zeaxanthin are highly protective in the eye, and the eye is intimately connected to the brain, it is thought that these carotenoids are also protective of the brain.

Zinc is an essential mineral that your body does not make on its own. It aids growth, DNA synthesis, immune function and more. Zinc may effectively reduce inflammation, boost immune health, reduce your risk of age-related diseases, speed wound healing and improve acne symptoms.

The combination of zinc and carnosine is three times as effective as zinc sulfate or carnosine alone. The two ingredients team up to help treat gastritis, dyspepsia, and stomach ulcers. Zinc carnosine also has a restorative effect on bone loss and can prevent age-related and post-menopausal osteoporosis.

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