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  • Selenium

    Selenium

    Why do I need selenium? You probably don’t spend much time thinking about selenium, a rare metal that shows up in tiny amounts in all sorts of foods. There isn’t very much selenium in your body, either, but its doing an important job. The mineral is a key ingredient to powerful antioxidant enzymes that protect

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  • Sugar Substitutes and Diabetes

    Sugar Substitutes and Diabetes

    Some sugar substitutes, including saccharin and aspartame, are man-made chemicals. Others, such as sucralose, are modified versions of real sugar.

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  • Valerian

    Valerian

    What is valerian? Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is an herb that has been used as a sleeping aid for more than 1,000 years. Many people (especially in Europe) still take it before going to bed. It’s also an ingredient in many over-the-counter sleep products in this country. Does it really help promote sleep? Several small

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  • Vegetarian Diets

    Vegetarian Diets

    What is a vegetarian diet? Once a fringy, unpopular notion dismissed by some as downright unhealthy, eating your vegetables is now a mainstream idea. If you’re skipping meat entirely, you’re in good company: More than 7 million Americans say they never eat red meat, poultry, or fish. Instead, they fill their plates with plant-based foods,

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  • Vitamin A

    Vitamin A

    Why do I need vitamin A? You’ve probably heard that the vitamins in carrots can help you see in the dark. That old tale is actually true — the beta carotene in carrots and many other vegetables is converted in the intestines to vitamin A (also known as retinol), and vitamin A is undoubtedly good

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  • Vitamin D

    Vitamin D

    Why do I need vitamin D? Vitamin D — also called the sunshine vitamin because your body makes it naturally when exposed to sunlight — is perhaps best known for its ability to help build strong bones. Children with a serious shortfall of vitamin D can develop rickets, a condition that deforms growing bones. But

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  • Zinc

    Zinc

    Why do I need zinc? Zinc may come last in any alphabetical listing of nutrients, but it’s one mineral that your body absolutely can’t do without. It plays a key role in your immune system and wound healing. It’s also important for fertility and growth. Severe cases of zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, impotence,

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