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
(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