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Vitamins and their colorations.

Vitamins And Their Colorations

Vitamins and minerals come in many colors. Understanding these colors can be helpful in identification of vitamins, and for other factors which will be indicated in this article.

The most commonly used vitamins have specific coloring in their natural state. In their pure form, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are white. Other natural white vitamins include some members of the B Complex family, including Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide) and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) is pink in color. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is orange. Vitamins A and D may vary in their natural coloring.

In addition to vitamins having specific natural coloring, they may also result in certain color affects. These can be important in the following situations.

a) Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) can cause a normal color change in urine, causing it to be yellow or orange. Individuals who are not acquainted with this fact may become unduly alarmed upon noticing this urine color change, after taking Vitamin B2. Many nutritionists believe that vitamins (including Vitamin B2) may have beneficial effects on different areas of the body, even in the process of leaving the system. The urine color change simply indicates that the vitamin tablet has dissolved properly in the body and is now being excreted. (Note: Unrelated to vitamins, a red color in the urine may indicate internal bleeding and should be checked with a physician.)

b) Vitamin B3 (in the form of niacin) is sometimes used as an aid in circulation and in cholesterol control. Niacin (but not niacinamide, which is not useful in the level of cholesterol) often produces a pronounced red flush in the face and hands. This generally subsides within several minutes. As long as individuals are prepared for it, the flushing effect of niacin is generally harmless. The redness can usually be diminished by taking the vitamin with cold water, after a meal. In certain exceptional cases, when high doses of niacin are considered essential, the physician may suggest using an antihistamine to diminish undesired flushing. It may be noted that niacin may also cause stomach irritation. A buffering agent (such as calcium carbonate) may be used to protect sensitive stomachs.

c) Vitamin C creates a color effect which is not directly related to the body, but affects certain diabetic testing materials which monitor sugar levels. High doses of Vitamin C may alter the color changes of some of these tests. However, Vitamin C is not stored in the body and is excreted after several hours. It is therefore possible to work out a dosage schedule with a physician, allowing the patient to benefit from Vitamin C at a different time, when it will not conflict with sugar testing.

Minerals are found in their natural state in various colors. Regarding color effects of minerals, the most important change is the darkening of stool color which may result from ingesting certain iron preparations. This coloring is a natural harmless effect of iron. It may be less pronounced with organic forms of iron (gluconate or fumarate). Knowledge of the "technicolor" aspect of vitamins is helpful in the proper use of these vital substances.
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Title Annotation:natural coloring of vitamins and color effects
Author:Zimmerman, Philip
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Sep 22, 1989
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