The RA, Vitamin, Mineral, and Food Connection - Part 2

"The RA, Vitamin, Mineral, and Food Connection - Part 2" is part 2 of a 4-part article. If you have not done so, I highly encourage you to read, “The RA, Vitamin, Mineral, and Food Connection, Part 1". The first article lays the necessary groundwork to prepare you for this article.

In this article, we are going to explore the exact role that each of the vitamins that are commonly affected in RA patients, plays in the dance that happens in our body. Our body is so wonderful! So many things happen at one time. The dancers we are going to focus on are vitamins: how well they perform directly impacts how well our bodies perform.

The importance of vitamins

It is of vital importance that we understand what role each plays in our body. It is also equally important for us to understand why and how it is important to correct deficiencies through our nutritional intake and, if necessary, our physician-guided use of supplements. Vitamin’s specific dance role in the human body dance: the dancers.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 becomes a dance partner with our body, to make hemoglobin. Without Vitamin B6 our body would have a hard time making hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is in charge of carrying oxygen in our blood. It also has a lead dance role in producing neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters help nerve cells, neurons, and other cells talk to each other.

Foods high in Vitamin B6: Seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, bananas, poultry, and red meat.

Vitamin B12

Its role is to keep our bodies nerve and blood cells healthy. It is vital in helping our bodies make DNA. DNA is important because it contains genetic material in all of our cells. It also helps us to prevent specific anemia that can make us feel very tired and fatigued.

Foods high in Vitamin B12: sardines, tuna, cod, salmon, scallops, shrimp, poultry, eggs, organ meat.

Vitamin C

It’s an antioxidant, meaning that it helps our body fight against free radicals. We don’t want free radicals in our system, because they can potentially damage cells in our body. They are known to cause illness and aid in the aging process. Their role is essential in maintaining proper functioning of the immune system. They often are dance partners with enzymes. Enzymes help our bodies react in certain ways.

Foods high in Vitamin C: citrus fruits (oranges), strawberries, cantaloupe, dark green leafy vegetables, and bell peppers, organ meats.

Vitamin D

It has a role in our immune system function as it is known to reduce inflammation.  Vitamin D partners with our body to help absorb calcium, help with bone development, help balance cell growth and neuromuscular functioning. It also works with the sun and the body. It can be produced when the sun hits our skin.

Foods high in Vitamin D: mushrooms, liver, oily fish (mackerel, tuna, and salmon)

Vitamin E

Vitamin E has many roles. It is an antioxidant similar to Vitamin C in that it helps our body fight against free radicals. It helps boost our overall cardiovascular health.

Foods high in Vitamin E: avocados, olives, leafy green vegetables, and seeds and nuts.

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