Vitamins
Essential nutrients for health, vitality, beauty and sense of well-being.
Vitamins

VITAMINS

WHAT ARE VITAMINS?


Vitamins are a group of chemically unrelated organic nutrients that are absolutely important to our bodies’ normal metabolism, growth and physical well-being. They are essential for normal body functions, mental alertness and resistance to infection. There are 13 major vitamins (all vitally important). Four of these vitains can be produced in our bodies: biotin (H), pantothenic acid (B5), and vitamin K are made in the intestines. Vitamin D is produced from sunlight on our skin. (That's why vitamin D is sometimes called the sunshine vitamin.)

 

   
 

Each vitamin (and mineral) meets a specific body need that one of the other vitamin or mineral cannot meet. That is why we need to have a balanced diet especially our daily 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Due to the time taken to get these foods from the farm to our tables, and also our cooking of these foods, they may have reduced levels of the important vitamins that they contain. Supplementation may be a viable option to achieve optimum levels of the nutrients in our bodies.

All the vitamins can be divided into two groups: fat-soluble and water-soluble.

Fat Soluble Vitamins
When we eat foods that contain fat-soluble vitamins, the vitamins are stored in the fat tissues in our body and in our liver until our body needs them. Fat-soluble vitamins can stay stored in our body for a while - some for a few days, some for a few months. When it's time for them to be used, the lymphatic system in our bodies will take them to where they're needed. These fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K.

In general, fat-soluble vitamins are involved in maintaining the structure of cell membranes. Excessive intake of fat-soluble vitamins (esp. vitamin A & vitamin D) can accumulate in our bodies and reach toxic levels. So be careful here and try not to megadose on this group of vitamins.

Water Soluble Vitamins
Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand are quite different in their movement through our system. These vitamins don't get stored as much in our body. Instead, they travel quite quickly through our bloodstream. And whatever our body doesn't use comes out when we urinate. As this type of vitamins is excreted very easily from our system, they need to be replaced more often. The water-soluble vitamins are Vitamin C and the B group of vitamins: vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, Folic Acid, vitamin B12, Biotin (a.k.a. Vitamin H), and Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5).


Many vitamins can be destroyed by caffeine, sugar and alcohol. If you really must drink coffee, tea or alcoholic beverages, please try to delay consumption at least 2 hours after ingesting vitamin supplements. More info on Nutrient Destroyers

Next> Vitamin A ('The Eye Vitamin')
 
 
 

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