Xanthomatosis

Xanthomatosis is a complication of excess cholesterol in the blood that settles in the skin. Small, fatty, yellow lumps appear that are almost on top of the skin. Xanthomatosis most commonly develop around the eyes, on the knees, elbows and buttocks. Diet and medication can lower blood cholesterol levels, but skin…

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Weight Gain

Weight gain (or loss) is really a function of energy (calories or kilojoules) in and energy out. If the energy in exceeds energy out, weight will increase, as food is merely a form of energy for our bodies, in the same way that petrol is the energy source for a…

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Weight Guide

As a guide to the healthy weight range, the following table can be consulted, but it should be used in conjunction with other measures such as body mass index, waist-hip ratio and skinfold thickness. The desirable weight varies with age and body build between the ranges listed below. A very…

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Weight Loss

Weight loss that is not easily explained is a significant symptom that needs to be investigated by a doctor. Diseases that increase metabolic rate (the rate at which the body’s basic functions work), a lack of nutrition, an increase in exercise, excessive sweating, an inability to absorb food (malabsorption), diarrhoea…

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Vegetarian Diet

Vegetarians eat mainly fruit, vegetables and cereals. There are far more vegetarians in the world than meat eaters. This is simply because vegetables, grains and the like are easier to keep without refrigeration and are usually more readily available. Though for many generations most of the developed world have been enthusiastic consumers…

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Vitamins

Vitamins are a group of totally unrelated substances that have only one thing in common – they are essential (usually in tiny amounts) for the normal functioning of the body. Most vitamins have been given letter codes, the series are due to substances initially having been identified as vitamins but…

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Vitamin A (Retinol)

A fat-soluble vitamin, retinol (vitamin A) is found in milk, butter, eggs, liver and most fruit and vegetables. Very high levels are found in orange-coloured foods, for example: pumpkin, carrots, pawpaw, etc. Vitamin A is essential for the normal function of the skin and eyes. It is vital for the…

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Vitamin B

Vitamin B is divided into several subgroups numbered 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 12. All are water-soluble and occur in dairy products, meats and leafy vegetables. Vitamin B1 has the chemical name of thiamine, B2 is riboflavine and B5 is pantothenic acid. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) may be useful in…

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Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid (vitamin C, sodium ascorbate) is water-soluble and found in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes and greens, but its level in food is reduced by cooking, mincing and contact with copper utensils. Vitamin C can also be synthesised from non-food sources, and the synthetic form cannot be differentiated from the…

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble chemical found in egg yolks and butter, and it may be formed by a reaction of sunlight on skin. It is essential for the balance of calcium and phosphorus in the bones and bloodstream, but it is not used routinely in the treatment of disease. Vitamin…

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