That Brilliant Vitamin: Vitamin BWritten by Charlene J. Nuble
Perhaps you first read riboflavin at back of a cereal box. Perhaps you first encountered folic acid from your first grade science teacher. Perhaps you first heard balanced diet from your mom. All that and more compose Vitamin B which is a group of eight individual vitamins, often referred to as B vitamins or B-complex vitamins. Vitamin B promotes normal growth and development, treats anemia and some types of nerve damage, helps mental and nervous conditions, improves resistance to infection and disease, increases appetite and energy, and improves memory. Vitamin B is also essential for breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, breakdown of fats and proteins, muscles in stomach and intestinal tract, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver.
As mentioned earlier, Vitamin B is a group of eight individual vitamins. These vitamins are thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin, pyrodixine (B-6), folic acid (B-9), cyanocobalamin (B-12), panthotenic acid, and biotin.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is essential for conversion of carbohydrates into simple sugars called glucose which produces energy. This Vitamin B is also essential for proper functioning of heart, muscles, and nervous system. Thiamine deficiency is rare but often occurs to alcoholics because alcohol oftentimes interferes with absorption of Vitamin B thiamine through intestines. There are also several health implications associated with being thiamine deficient. One is beriberi, a disease characterized by anemia, paralysis, muscular atrophy, and spasms in leg muscles. Other disorders associated with being thiamine deficient is Wernicke's encephelopathy which causes lack of coordination, Korsakoff's psychosis which affects short-term memory. Being thiamine deficient can also affect mouth resulting to increased sensitivity of teeth, cheeks, and gums as well as cracks in lips. Vitamin B thiamine can be found in whole-grain cereals, bread, red meat, egg yolks, and green leafy vegetables. High doses of thiamine has been found not to cause adverse health effects and excess of this water-soluble vitamin b can be excreted.
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin is important in breakdown of carbohydrates, and fats and proteins. It is also significant in maintenance of skin and mucuous membrane, cornea of eye, and nerve sheaths. Riboflavin deficiency can cause skin disorders and inflammation of soft tissue lining around mouth and nose. It can also cause eye to be hypersensitive to light. Like Thiamine, Riboflavin is found in whole grain products, milk, meat, and eggs. This is also excreted because it is a water-soluble vitamin although a little is stored in kidney and liver.
Vitamin B3 Niacin, also known as nicotinamide, is important in metabolism as well as in maintenance of healthy skin, nerves, and gastrointestinal tract. Niacin deficiency can result to a disease called pellegra. The symptoms of pellegra are sometimes called "Three Ds" - diarrhea, dermatitis, and dementia. The mouth is also affected by pellegra which causes inside of cheeks and tongue to become red and painful. Vitamin B3 can be found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meat, nuts, and eggs. Niacin can also be prescribed in higher doses as drugs to help lower cholesterol but this can cause side effects such as flushing of skin , itching, headaches, cramps, nausea, and skin eruptions.
Knowing Tooth Decay And Its Modern TreatmentsWritten by Charlene J. Nuble
"Tooth decay, also known as dental cavities, or dental caries, is a disease that is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever." -- Michael C. Alfano, Dean of New York University College of Dentistry.
As warned by World Health Organization, tooth decay is one of world's most prevalent health problems in industrialized and especially in developing countries. An estimate of 90% people in United States has at least one cavity. Children and senior citizens are two groups of people at highest risk.
In children, it usually happens when sugar-laden foods such as candies are frequently left on teeth. In mouth, there are bacteria that live in plaque (a sticky, whitish film produced by our saliva) that convert sugar into acids. These acids eat away tooth's protective coating also known as enamel. Excessive destruction of this outer surface of tooth results in tooth decay.
What makes adults also prone to being afflicted with tooth decay is when aging causes gums to move back from teeth. Combined with gum disease, this gum recession exposes tooth root to plaque. This will cause breakdown of tooth root. People who already have a number of dental restorations (fillings and crowns) may also suffer from tooth decay, especially around teeth's edges, or margins.
The cost of spoiling your sweet tooth. Tooth decay, particularly in front teeth, may become an impediment towards achieving a pleasing appearance, thus affecting self-esteem. Cavities can also impact an individual's emotional and social well being by causing pain and discomfort from toothache. In addition to this, it can also cause some serious health problem like malnutrition by interfering with an individual's ability to eat certain foods. If tooth decay is not treated early, complication from infection could cause swelling of face and neck, fever and blood poisoning.
Prevention is a lot less expensive AND less painful than treatment. Although tooth decay remains as one of most common chronic disease, today many people are in better oral health than before. The consolidated effort of dental associations and many other health organizations in raising oral health consciousness, support of government, and cooperation from public made this improvement attainable. Several community-based programs aimed at solving oral health dilemmas are carried out. These include extending fluoridated water and schools having sealant projects for children. However, these programs cannot reach many remote areas where ethnic minorities are and where many people are living in poverty. Their access to formal education and dental care is very limited. This shows need for more community-based dental programs to help people take care of their teeth.