Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has numerous biological functions. Foremost, it is essential for the synthesis of collagen and glycosaminoglycans which are the building materials of all connective tissues, such as skin, blood vessels, tendons, joint cartilage and bone. Vitamin C is the required coenzyme for two groups of enzymes that catalyze the crosslinking of collagen fibers – lysyl hydroxylases and prolyl hydroxylases. As such, vitamin C is essential for normal wound healing and capillary health. It also participates in the biosynthesis of carnitine, serotonin, and certain neurotransmitters, including norepinephrine. Vitamin C is among the most powerful antioxidants in humans and animals. It is a water-soluble, chain-breaking antioxidant that reacts directly with superoxide, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. Vitamin A (retinol) is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for vision, growth, reproduction, cell division, and the integrity of the immune system. Minerals play a variety of essential roles throughout the body. Calcium is the principal mineral constituent of bone and is thus essential for healthy bone structure and function. Calcium also participates fundamentally in blood clotting, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction. Magnesium is involved in energy metabolism, and is notably important in the heart, skeletal muscles, and nervous system. Manganese is essential for antioxidant systems in the body, bone growth, fat metabolism, and protein, nucleic acid, and cartilage synthesis.
Zinc is important for growth, immune system function, protein synthesis, antioxidant mechanisms, and wound healing. In the human body, iron is present in all cells and has several vital functions — as a carrier of oxygen to the tissues from the lungs in the form of hemoglobin (Hb), as a facilitator of oxygen use and storage in the muscles as myoglobin, as a transport medium for electrons within the cells in the form of cytochromes, and as an integral part of enzyme reactions in various tissues. Today, scientific research supports horsetail grass™ use as a wound healing agent, particularly for the repair and maintenance of connective tissue. Horsetail grass™ high content of silicon as silica is responsible for these therapeutic effects. Connective tissue, e.g. bone, tendon, cartilage, blood vessels, and skin, contains most of the silicon found in the body. Silicon’s primary role in the maintenance and repair of these tissues is thought to involve their structural framework as silicon appears to be an integral part of their supporting protein and glycosaminoglycan complexes. A deficiency of dietary silicon negatively affects the structure of this supporting matrix, i.e. collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans, more than the mineralization process itself. Phosphatidylserine, a phospholipid nutrient found in lecithin, is active in cell membranes and is the major acidic phospholipid component in the membranes of the brain.