Glossary S-Z


SAMe – is used for numerous conditions such as depression, anxiety, heart disease, fibromyalgia, abdominal pain, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, chronic lower back pain, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, slowing the aging process, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), improving mental performance, liver disease, and Parkinson’s disease.  It affects the breakdown of many processes in the body.  SAMe also stimulates cartilage growth.  The body produces SAMe and supplements can be purchased.  Doses of 200 to 1,600mg are generally safe and should be taken on an empty stomach in divided doses.

Sarsaparilla – a tropical vine whose root has been used to flavor root beer.  Consumption may cause side effects of intestinal discomfort.  Currently banned by the FDA in single form use.

Saw Palmetto – The saw palmetto extract has used for urinary treatments of enlarged prostate, chronic pelvic pain, and other conditions.  It is safe to use with some mild side effects such as dizziness, headaches, constipation, and diarrhea.  There are no food sources but there are supplements.  Normal doses are 150-300mg per day.  Not to be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Schisandra – is a berry plant used as a stabilizer for resisting disease and stress, increasing energy, treating liver and stomach disorders, and increasing physical performance.  Excessive use can produce unpleasant results – BEST NOT TAKEN.

Selenium – is a mineral found in soil, water, and some foods such as Brazil nuts, fish like tuna, liver, poultry, beef, and wheat.    Selenium stimulates the immune system and makes the body function better.  It is important in supporting and treating chronic kidney disease.  Daily recommended consumption is 55mcg but can be taken in doses up to 400mcg for very short periods of time.  Long term excessive intake can become toxic and not advised for pregnant or breast feeding women.  Excessive supplementation over long periods has been linked to an increase in type 2 diabetes.  Keep track of other sources you may be getting selenium from, most multi-vitamins already have as much as 200mcg.  (RDA 55mcg/55mcg)

Serine – a critical amino acid needed for the metabolism of fats, muscle growth, a healthy immune system, brain matter, and the myelin sheaths covering nerve fibers.

Shiitake – a mushroom that combats fatigue, lowers cholesterol, promotes a healthy heart and improves circulation, boosts immunity, lowers blood pressure, and fights viral infections.

Silica – supplies silicon to aid in calcium absorption.  Also acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Slippery Elm – is a tree but its’ inner bark is used for medicine.  Uses of slippery elm include sore throat, cough, and numerous stomach, bowel, and urinary ailments.

Sodium – Regulates blood pressure but too much is seriously the reason for high blood pressure.  Nutritional levels are 200-250mg but more than 2,000mg is a serious concern.  Potassium intake should exceed sodium content.

Soy – staple source of plant protein.  A bean used for soy milk and other food products.

Spirulina – a form of algae full of nutrients such as protein (16 grams!), riboflavin, thiamine, iron, and copper.  Not used particularly to supplement but contains an array of vitamins and minerals like a multi-vitamin.  Chlorella is a similar food source but has greater vitamin A and iron.

St John’s Wort – Do not consume.  BEST NOT TAKEN!!

Stevia – is an artificial sugar substitute 200 to 350 times sweeter than sugar.

Sulfur – Maintains hair, cartilage, nails, liver, and nervous system.  Too much sulfur can restrain copper absorption.

Sugar – Sugar is rough on the body. Sugary drinks drain minerals from the body such as calcium and spike insulin thus creating an environment conducive to developing diabetes.  The body even recognizes artificial sweeteners as a sugar (since it is mimicking sugar sweetness) and spikes the insulin response.  This action, in turn, can create blood sugar issues and weigh gain because the body thinks it’s taking in real sugar and the insulin is telling the body to store energy as fat. Avoid sugary drinks such as sodas including diet sodas and sweet ice tea.


Taurine – is an essential amino acid occurring naturally in the brain and muscles but can be taken thru herbal supplementation.  It supports the central nervous system and eyes, maintains proper hydration, supplies electrolytes, boosts metabolism, and regulates the immune system and antioxidant function.  Taurine is found in meat, fish, and dairy.  Common doses are 500-2,000 mg.  Taurine with caffeine in an energy drink can be overwhelming.  Supplementation in males has shown a reduction in HBP but significantly raises female high blood pressure otherwise no concern in taking high doses for males.

Thiamine (B1) – helps breakdown of carbohydrates from foods.  Thiamine is primarily used to treat B1 deficiency especially a long term condition called beriberi.  Found in nuts, meat, beans, and grains.

Threonine – is an essential amino acid responsible for balanced protein in the body. It helps in the formation of collagen and aids liver function when combined with other amino acids.

Trans fats – raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol.  It can be harmful to your heart.  Partially hydrogenated oils and saturated fats are in the same category.

Tryptophan – is an essential amino acid which is critical to producing niacin (B3) and serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for restful sleep.  Major food sources are meat, peanuts, cheese, and rice.

Tyrosine – is an amino acid.  It is made from phenylalanine.  As a dietary supplement it is used to improve alertness and focus.  Tyrosine makes hormones and other substances to regulate brain function, adrenaline glands, thyroid glands, and melanin – the pigmentation in your skin.  No negative side effects.  It is found in cheese, fish, turkey, chicken, and any high protein food like eggs, almonds, and yogurt.  The FDA has tested doses at 68 mg per pound of bodyweight without any problems.

Turmeric – contains an ingredient called curcumin that is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemical.  A turmeric supplement should contain 400-600mg of 95% standardized turmeric/curcumin twice per day.  The supplement should also have 10mg of BioPerine® for absorption.   An additive supplement of Boswellia is also important for immunity.  Helps boost immunity, brain function, digestive health, health joints, and blood pressure. Curcumin shows promise as a cancer treatment.  Studies suggest it has protective effects against, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma.


Uva ursi – is a shrub that grows berries that are widely used in Europe as a treatment for bladder infections.


Valerian – is an herb that promotes relaxation and sleep.

Valine – is an essential amino acid with a stimulant property to promote muscle metabolism, one of the three branched-chain amino acids like isoleucine and leucine.

Vanadium – is a mineral that assists in lowering blood sugar and, thus reducing the need for insulin in diabetics when taken in high doses.  Vanadium should not be taken in high doses for extended periods because of toxicity.

Vitamin A (Beta carotene) – Develops and protects vision and improves night vision, immunity, reproduction, and growth.  Also protects and maintains the lining of the colon.  Builds the immune system and helps growth of bones, and teeth.  (RDA 700-900)

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) – Supports energy metabolism.  B1 improves nervous system and mental functions.  (RDA 1.1-1.2mg)

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Supports energy metabolism.  Helps eye system and cellular repair. (RDA 1.1-1.3mg)

Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Niacinamide) – Supports energy metabolism and aids the nervous and digestive processes by reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  (RDA 14-16mg)

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid, Panthethine) – B5 supports protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism and nervous system function.  Helps relieve stress. (RDA 5mg)

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – Supports the immune and nervous system function.  B6 supports protein and fat metabolism, aids in the absorption of B12, and reduces heart disease risk.  (RDA 1.3-1.7mg)

Vitamin B7 (Biotin) – B7 effects protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism; beneficial for healthy hair, skin, and nails.  No established minimum.

Vitamin B9 (Folate, folic acid) – B9 is activated by B12 to develop red blood cells.  Helps make DNA and RNA in forming new cells.  Included in many multi-vitamins at 400mcg (RDA). Do not exceed 800mcg.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – B12 rich foods include fish, beef, and fortified cereal.  Vegetarians and vegans tend to be low in B12.  It helps DNA form new blood cells, activates folate, and protects nerve cells.  It also wards off pernicious anemia.   (RDA 2.4mcg)

Vitamin B Complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, & B12) – Is a complex of multi-vitamins of the b vitamins in higher doses usually 50mg plus to reduce fatigue, improve circulation, normalize mental performance, and numerous other cellular functions.  Activates many enzymes needed for healing.  Vitamin B increases energy levels and normal brain function.  Relieve oxidative stress, a major factor in many human diseases.  It is needed for cellular repair.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid or with rose hips) – can be found in citrus fruits, melons, and tomatoes.  It improves circulation, collagen synthesis, and fights inflammation.  Vitamin C is a major antioxidant for improving the immune function to fight inflammation and other conditions.  Vitamin C is important to the healing process of injuries.  Vitamin C from rose hips is an excellent supplement.  Take a moderate dosage of 250 to 500mg RDA on a daily basis or as much as 3,000 to 5,000 in divided dosage for treating a condition that needs extra vitamin C such as colds and flu.  (RDA 90mg/75mg)

Vitamin D (cholecaliferol) – Is a very important vitamin and is supportive for numerous conditions.  It helps build bones (along with calcium and phosphorous), strengthen and slow down the aging of bones, improve immunity, moderate depression, support heart health, diabetes, inflammation, fatty liver disease, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, regulate blood pressure, and even hold back cancer risk.  Vitamin D is abundant in salmon, tuna, sardines, yogurt, milk, liver, egg, and cereals. A little sunshine also helps keep you D count up.  RDA tables indicate 600 IU for children and adults under 70 and 800 IU over 70 years of age.  Recent research indicates that larger amounts are safe and more effective for bones and immunity. (See Vitamin D3 below)

Vitamin D3 – advanced form of vitamin D necessary for calcium and phosphorous absorption to build bone density and strengthen immunity.  Doses from 600 to 2,000 IU are taken to build adequate D levels in the blood.  After acquiring an acceptable level for strong immunity response,  (a vitamin D blood level of 20ng/ml to 30ng/ml), a maintenance dose of 600 to a 1,000 IU can be taken.  Check with your physician concerning your bodies’ Vitamin D levels.  Doses in excess of 5,000 IU for periods of time can be detrimental to your health i.e. … falls and fractures.

Vitamin D3 – levels are gaining importance with this Covid-19 virus.  Patients with high D levels recovered faster than the average patient.  A goal of more than 30 ng/mL of serum D has shown impressive defense against several common health issues.

Vitamin E (tocopherois) – (Use d-alpha-tocopherol) – Improves circulation.  It serves as an anti-oxidant and may reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping blood vessels dilated and preventing clotting. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 15 mg (18 IU alpha form) for adults.  1,000 mg (1,490 IU alpha form) is the top of the tolerance range but more than 180 mg (400 IU) can affect medicines and cause bleeding if you are taking aspirin as a supplement.  400 IU (180 mg) can be an acceptable level of intake if you are athletic and looking for improved performance.  Food sources of vitamin E include wheat germ oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, kiwis, abalone, tomatoes, spinach, and avocado. (RDA 18/18IU)

Vitamin K (menquinone) – is essential for calcium absorption and bone cell regeneration, preventing fractures, and assisting in blood coagulation.  60-120 mcg (RDA) is recommended for supplementation.  Vitamin K, calcium, and vitamin D are used in treating bone density loss.  Leafy greens, beef liver, chicken, pork chops and kiwi are excellent food sources.  Anyone taking a blood thinner should avoid taking vitamin K in excess of the DAI (daily allowance intake or RDA) guideline.  Consult with your physician.


Water – it is recommended to drink 64 oz. of water or water equivalent liquids.  Nobody knows where that came from or justification for it but not a bad idea.  Water with electrolytes support brain function, cell hydration, healthier skin, and increased metabolism, such water can be purchased in your local grocery store.

Whey Protein – Contains a load of macronutrients for weight control, lower blood pressure, treat diabetes, and reduce inflammation.  Great drink after a hard workout to replenish the muscles with muscle growth amino acids.


Xanthophylls – Antioxidant group known to fight free radicals that attack the eyes.


Zeaxanthin – is a carotenoid pigment that protects the eyes from bright light such as sunlight. It also guards against free radical oxidation.  A typical dose of 2mg a day in a multi eye pill is recommended for eye care.

Zinc – is important for absorption of calcium and activating B vitamins.  Zinc is also needed for repair of skin tissues.  Lozenges are great for sore throats.  Food sources include meats, liver, eggs, seafood, oysters, and whole grains.  Zinc helps the immune system function, the healing process, and may resist covid – 19; however, high doses can also actually weaken the immune system.   (RDA 11mg/8mg) 50mg max daily from all supplements with zinc present.

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