Resources & Glossary

In this section, you'll find posts with resources on eating, cooking and living healthier - including a glossary for all vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is best known for its role in bone health. It facilitates calcium absorption from the digestive system, normal calcium and phosphate in blood, and bone mineralization. Vitamin D is also involved with cell differentiation and immune function.


Selenium is a mineral nutrient that is a key component of several enzymes, some of which are important antioxidants. One of these antioxidants protects developing sperm from oxidative damage, while another selenium-containing protein appears to be involved with sperm production.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, plays a critically important role in numerous metabolic processes. These reactions control synthesis of fat, hormones, cholesterol, neurotransmitters and hemoglobin. B5 is a cofactor for energy metabolism and gene expression.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a cofactor for enzymes that control DNA and RNA metabolism, energy production and the synthesis of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in red blood cells.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There are 3 nutritionally significant omega-3 fats: 18-carbon alphalinolenic acid (ALA), 20-carbon eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 22-carbon docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While carbon chain length varies, all omega-3 fatty acids share a unique basic shape, making them perfectly suited for their metabolic functions.


Sodium is one of two key electrolytes, along with potassium, that keeps fluids in balance between cells and the fluids outside cells, such as blood. The balance has to be maintained in order for cells to function properly, and to keep blood from being too concentrated or too dilute.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Niacin is a key structural component of two coenzymes, which play a vital role in numerous reactions that turn carbohydrates, fats and protein into energy. Niacin coenzymes are also involved with cell signaling, gene transcription and cell differentiation.

Vitamin A

The term vitamin A refers to several different molecules, which are chemically related. Forms from animal sources are called preformed vitamin A. Carotenoids from plant foods are called provitamin A. Alpha- and beta-carotene are two examples of provitamin A.