Vitamin Cofactors

By Nathan Mandigo ABT

There has been a lot of talk about supplementation in the media and we at Pulse thought it time to give a little coverage to the topic.  Generally, with a varied diet including a wide selection of vegetables and grains, the need for supplementation is small.  But when it is necessary, how do you maximize your bodies ability to absorb those pesky nutrients?  The answer is cofactors.

Cofactors are other vitamins, minerals, or substance that need to be present for the body to absorb and use a particular vitamin or mineral.  Cofactors are not to be confused with chelation, which is a process whereby a mineral is attached to an organic compound to make it more bio available.  Besides cofactors we need coenzymes, which are usually present in whole foods, and are not being covered in this article.

There are two different types of cofactors, dependant and supplemental (my choice of terms that were more clear than some of the scientific ones).  Dependant cofactors are just as they sound, they have to be present in order for the body to process the vitamin or mineral.  Supplemental cofactors aid adsorption but are not specifically needed for the body to take in the vitamin or mineral.

In doing research for this article I discovered that, if there is a single table listing out this information on the web, I could not find it.  So for, possibly, the first time on the web, here is a simple table of vitamins and cofactors.

For purposes of organization, the table is divided in fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins.

Also, though every effort has been made to get as many cofactors listed as possible, there are others not listed here.

Fat Soluble Vitamins Dependant Cofactors Supplemental Cofactors
A (beta-carotene or retinol) Bile Salts (excreted by the Gallbladder or can be supplemented), B-complex,
calcium, phosphorus, zinc
Vitamins C and E
D (calciferol) Bile Salts, vitamins A and C, Essential Fatty Acids Calcium, Phosphorus
E (tocopherol) Bile Salts, vitamins A and C, Manganese Selenium, avoid taking with Iron
K (clotting vitamin) Bile Salts, vitamin D and its cofactors Healthy gut bacteria
Water Soluble Vitamins Dependant Cofactors Supplemental Cofactors
B1 (thiamine) All other B vitamins, vitamins C and E, Manganese Calcium, Healthy gut bacteria
B2 (riboflavin) All other B vitamins, vitamins C and E, Manganese Calcium, Healthy gut bacteria
B3 (niacin) All other B vitamins, vitamins C and E, Manganese Calcium, Healthy gut bacteria
B5 (pantothenic acid) All other B vitamins, vitamins C and E Healthy gut bacteria
B6 (pyridoxine) All other B vitamins, Potassium, Magnesium, vitamin C, Zinc Healthy gut bacteria
B12 (cobalamin) All other B vitamins, Calcium, Iron, Folic Acid Healthy gut bacteria
Biotin Healthy gut bacteria (produced by, supplementation rarely needed) none
Folic Acid All other B vitamins, vitamins B12, C and E Testosterone, Estradiol, Sam-E
C (ascorbic acid) Calcium, Magnesium Bioflavinoids
By |2016-12-29T12:24:17+00:00September 30th, 2014|Categories: Blogs, Nutrition Articles|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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Pulse Holistic Health is a made up of independent, self-employed holistic healthcare practitioners that choose to work together for mutual benefit. Individual posts on the Pulse site may be written by a particular practitioner or as a collaborative effort. The views and opinions in Pulse post's, although approved by the group, may not reflect all the views and opinions of the individual practitioners. Members services include: Asian medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, Amma therapy, massage therapy, holistic nutrition, acutonics, holistic health education, and more.