Knowledge is power, right?! When it comes to the ingredients you put into your body, it’s worth the time and research to ensure you’re getting what you need. Every body, lifestyle, and diet is different. Knowing more about common vitamins and minerals helps you see where diet or supplements might fill gaps. It’s also good to make sure you’re not inadvertently consuming too much of something. So, here’s our easy guide to essential vitamins and minerals, from A to Zinc. You can bookmark this page for easy reference! If you want to add even more knowledge, check out the National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets.
A to Zinc Guide
There are 3 macronutrients necessary for life: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. There are also many micronutrients that the body needs to function well. As the prefix “micro” implies, these vitamins, minerals, and elements are only needed in small amounts. But they are still an important part of any healthy regimen.
The active form of Vitamin A, Retinol (“preformed Vitamin A”) is found in animal products, like meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. Carotenoids (“provitamin A”) are found in plant-based foods, with the most common type being the antioxidant beta-carotene. Vitamin A is fat-soluble and stored in the liver.
Vitamin A is well-known for its contribution to eye health and vision—that’s where the name “retinol” comes from! Maybe you grew up hearing that carrots would help your eyesight; beta-carotene is what gives those veggies their signature orange hue. This vitamin promotes good eyesight, especially in low light, and is beneficial during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
In general, the recommended amount of Vitamin A is the same for adults. However the recommendation does increase for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. A supplement can be beneficial in meeting these changing needs. New Chapter supplements with Vitamin A use sources that are 100% beta-carotene, including a source that is fermented for absorption.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Fans of the beauty industry may be familiar with this as a supplement. Water-soluble Vitamin B7, a.k.a. Biotin, supports your natural production of keratin, the building block of healthy hair and nails. Biotin can be found in eggs, fish, and meat (including organ meat). You can also get it from seeds and nuts, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
If your diet includes many of the foods above, but you want to do more for strong, healthy hair and nails, consider trying a Biotin supplement. New Chapter’s Fermented Biotin & Beauty Herbs supplement is formulated with fermented Biotin. This form is shown to be more active than the non-fermented form (in preclinical lab testing).
You may have heard of “miracle-working” Vitamin B12 shots said to provide a quick pick-me-up. Indeed, B12 is closely related to energy levels and helps support blood cells. It’s commonly found in animal products like milk, eggs, ground beef, and salmon, which is why a Vitamin B12 deficiency is often seen in those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. (If that’s you, keep an eye out for cereals fortified with Vitamin B12, or take supplemental B12.)
While a diet without animal products is often the cause of Vitamin B12 deficiency, some people can’t maintain the recommended amounts simply because it’s a water-soluble vitamin that takes two steps to absorb from the food you eat. That’s where supplements come in!
Taking a supplement allows your body to skip the first step it normally goes through when extracting this vitamin from food. New Chapter’s Fermented Vitamin B12 includes two forms of B12, fermented cyanocobalamin as well as methylcobalamin.
Other B Vitamins (Riboflavin, Niacin, B6, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamin)
This next group of B vitamins can be thought of as the crucial ingredients for brewing up energy in the body. Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, is the power we get from food, and it’s created in the cell mitochondria. Mitochondria can’t do their job, though, without a little help from these five B vitamins.
- Water-soluble Thiamin (B1) lends a hand when it comes to converting carbohydrates into energy.
- Riboflavin (B2) is a multi-tasker, participating in numerous metabolic pathways and in energy production. Our gut bacteria produce a very small amount of Riboflavin, and it cannot be stored in the body. (If you’re seeing especially yellow pee, it could mean that you haven’t absorbed the Riboflavin from a supplement.)
- Niacin (B3) is water-soluble and helps with nerve function and processing fats and sugars.
- Pantothenic Acid (B5) is key for breaking down fatty acids, like those found in fish, nuts, seeds, and oils.
- Water-soluble Pyridoxine (B6) pitches in when it comes to metabolizing amino acids and glycogen.
These five key vitamins can be found in well-rounded diets that include whole grains, meat, fish, and dairy products. (Vegans and vegetarians: You might need some extra help!) Several New Chapter multivitamin and B Complex supplements include these to help support your overall health, each fermented and formulated to help you get the most benefits from each tablet.
Everyone’s heard of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). While you might equate it with remedies for fending off a cold, here’s one thing you might not know: Most animals can actually make their own Vitamin C… but not humans. (Sad!)
The good news is that C is present in plenty of produce. It’s in citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, and much more. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can keep you stocked with plenty of water-soluble Vitamin C. Still, you might need to turn to supplements for help if you want to promote a healthy immune system, along with collagen protection and adrenal support.*
Vitamin C can be found in several New Chapter supplements, including daily multivitamins. We especially love the Immune Defense Vitamin C + Elderberry blend. It includes Ascorbic Acid from ferment media, to give you a reliable source of the same Vitamin C found in orange juice or broccoli.
Yes, Calcium is crucial for strong, healthy bones. It’s also important to many other parts of the body like muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Calcium helps release hormones and enzymes that affect all sorts of functions in the human body.
While dairy is a major source of Calcium for many people, it can also be found in dark leafy greens, canned fish with bones, and specially fortified foods. When our bodies absorb Calcium, it’s stored in our bones and even teeth.
New Chapter’s bone strength supplements provide whole-food plant Calcium that is comprised of organic calcium carbonate, plus Magnesium and 70+ trace minerals.
You may not have heard much about this mineral. Scientists are still studying its full benefits, like how it might help the body use carbs, fats, and proteins. Chromium III, specifically, is what is found in both supplements and foods like meats, fish, dairy, and whole grains.
New Chapter multivitamins are formulated with fermented Chromium chloride to give you a steady source of this micronutrient.
Did you know that Copper is present in some of the foods we eat? Shellfish, seeds and nuts, whole grains, and even chocolate can all contain this essential mineral. Copper is involved in energy production, iron metabolism, and nerve health. (Love a mineral that’s delivered by chocolate!)
Many New Chapter multivitamins and our Fermented Zinc Complex are formulated with fermented Copper sulfate anhydrous.
Also referred to as cholecalciferol, Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin. It promotes healthy immune systems and supports the heart, bones, and teeth. Vitamin D3 is found in fatty fish, meats and eggs, and fortified cow and plant milks.
New Chapter’s organic Vitamin D3 supplement features fermented cholecalciferol—the well-absorbed form of this “sunshine vitamin.”
Fat-soluble Vitamin E comes in many forms, such as tocopherols and tocotrienols. The most common form in food and supplements is d-alpha-tocopherol. All forms of this vitamin are absorbed by the liver, but it resecretes only alpha-tocopherol while other forms are excreted from the body.
An antioxidant, Vitamin E is crucial for cellular health. It can be consumed via nuts, seeds, oils, leafy green vegetables, and fortified cereals. Most Americans are getting less than the recommended amounts (though not necessarily deficient).
If you’re one of the many that could benefit from additional Vitamin E, try one of New Chapter’s many multivitamins, which include fermented alpha-tocopheryl acetate.
Also known as B9, Folate, or Methylfolate, Folic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin that aids in the metabolism of amino acids. It’s especially crucial for those looking to start a family; Folic Acid is often taken as a supplement before and during pregnancy to support the baby’s brain and spine development. To get more Folic Acid from your diet, opt for vegetables like asparagus and dark leafy greens, fruits, nuts, beans, and—if you’re feeling adventurous—beef liver.
New Chapter formulates multivitamins with fermented Folic Acid. We also include Methylfolate in our multivitamins for women.
Look for Potassium Iodide or Sodium Iodide if you’re on the hunt for Iodine—these can be found in iodized salt, seaweed, fish, eggs, and milk. Iodine is key because it helps support healthy thyroid function. The American Thyroid Association recommends that women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding take a daily supplement with 150 mcg of Iodine to be sure they’re meeting the recommended amounts.
New Chapter supplements include fermented potassium iodide and, in our Postnatal multivitamin, we add organic Kelp as well.
Iron is for healthy blood. Your body uses Iron to make hemoglobin and myoglobin, which are proteins found in the blood. The best, most well-absorbed food sources of Iron (heme Iron) come from animals. Non-heme Iron can be found in plants, but you need to consume 2x the amount.
The recommended daily amount of Iron varies by gender and age, and life stage can make a big difference. For instance, Iron is especially crucial for those who menstruate or who are pregnant. But women who are post-menopause do not require as much Iron, and men’s supplements may not include any Iron. New Chapter’s Iron-containing supplements are formulated to include fermented ferrous fumarate, which has been shown to be 12 times more active than non-fermented Iron (in preclinical lab testing).
Vitamins K1 & K2
Phylloquinone and menaquinone, also known as Vitamins K1 and K2 respectively, are fat-soluble vitamins. The K’s are important for both blood clotting and overall bone health. Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens and some vegetable oils, while K2 is present in fermented soy and—in small amounts—some animal products.
If you might not getting enough K from your diet alone, New Chapter supplements with fermented K1 and MQ7 K2 might be good additions to your daily routine. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking if you’re on blood thinners.
Magnesium comes in many, many forms—which make sense, because it helps with hundreds of different functions in the body, including those related to muscles, bones, the heart, and relaxation. Of the 30-40% of Magnesium that’s absorbed from our food, more than half is stored in our bones and the rest in our soft tissues.
Foods high in fiber—like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy vegetables—are often great sources of Magnesium. However, studies have found that many Americans consume less than the recommended amounts. If that might be you, you may want to boost your regimen with a New Chapter supplement that includes well-absorbed Magnesium bisglycinate (2.5x better absorbed than the leading form, and with lower risk of GI effects)!
This essential element is a cofactor for many enzymes, helping with metabolism, free-radical scavenging, and immune response. Manganese can be found in a wide variety of foods (from grain products to vegetables) and even drinking water, in small amounts. The body stores 25-40% of Manganese in the bones.
Manganese chloride from ferment media is included in many New Chapter multivitamin supplements.
Molybdenum (say that five times fast!) is an essential trace element that helps the body process proteins and DNA. It can help break down medications and toxins. The number-one food source of Molybdenum is legumes, but it can also be found in whole grains and nuts.
Sodium molybdenum from ferment media can be found in many New Chapter supplements.
Selenium is an antioxidant that supports whole-body health, including prostate health. It comes in various forms that are all good sources for humans. To get Selenium from your diet, reach for Brazil nuts, seafoods, organic meats, and more. New Chapter multivitamins and men’s health blends are formulated with fermented selenium dioxide.
Last, but not least! Zinc gluconate, Zinc sulfate, and Zinc acetate all support healthy skin. This mineral supports the resilience and integrity of skin and other mucosal membranes. It also supports the immune system. Find Zinc in oysters, red meat, poultry, and fortified cereals.
New Chapter supplements use fermented Zinc oxide that’s 1.6x better absorbed (compared to zinc gluconate).
What Form is Right to Take?
Ideally you would follow a balanced, well-rounded eating pattern to get your full daily allotment of vitamins and minerals. But we know that’s easier said than done. Time, dietary restrictions, and even food access can make it difficult to rely just on what we eat. That’s where dietary supplements come in. A multivitamin or targeted vitamin or mineral is a great way to ensure that you’re getting the right amount of something on a consistent, daily basis.
The common drawback with supplements is that they’re not always easy for the body to absorb. That’s why New Chapter carefully formulates each of our supplements so your body can really absorb the good stuff. We do this by setting nutrient amounts to levels your body will use effectively, by fermenting key nutrients to unlock and activate them, and by including key ingredients in whole-food forms that the body recognizes (our organic plant Calcium, for example). When your body doesn’t have to work as hard and can take in more of these crucial elements, you get to reap the maximum benefits.
How Much to Take?
In general, pay attention to the %DV, or the Percent Daily Value, that’s listed for a given vitamin or mineral. This number is found on the Supplement Facts Panel of dietary supplement products. It tells you how much of the daily recommended amount you’ll be consuming of that item. Women who are pregnant or nursing should pay special attention to nutrient recommendations, as they may vary for this stage of life. The Supplement Facts Panel also lists other crucial information like the active ingredients and their amounts, other ingredients, and any common allergens that may be present.
If you’re not feeling your best or want to do more for your everyday wellness, it’s a good idea to examine your typical intake of these crucial vitamins and minerals. Sometimes simply identifying and addressing a deficiency can make a major difference in how you look and feel! Then, turn to New Chapter to provide the forms and amounts of micronutrients that your body can actually use. We wish you well-rounded wellness from A to Zinc, every day of the year!