Vitamins and Their Role in Good Health
Vitamins are organic substances present in small amounts in natural foodstuffs. Because of the crucial role these substances play in normal metabolism, a lack of them can cause a whole range of medical conditions.
Being organic compounds, vitamins contain carbon, which is an essential nutrient that the body produces in inadequate amounts, hence the need to source it from food. But in contrast to proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins supply no energy, although they are do help the body work and grow at optimal levels.
There are thirteen essential vitamins offering an entire variety of health benefits like better eyesight, stronger bones and immunity, better energy absorption from food, and more. Without enough vitamin intake, you could be vulnerable to many different diseases or medical conditions.
Types of Vitamins
Vitamins are either fat soluble or water-soluble, depending on body storage. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, and this means that they are stored in fats, where they stay for up to about six months.
On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins, namely vitamin C and the vitamin B series (B6, B12, pantothenic acid, folate, biotin, thiamine and niacin) are all distributed all over the body through blood circulation. Because your body doesn’t keep these water-soluble vitamins, you need to replenish your stores on a regular basis.
All the thirteen vitamins have their own individual functions, but they can work as a group as well in improving your health. Vitamin A gives you better skin, bones and teeth, aside form good eyesight and immunity.
Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, boosts immunity and promotes good tissue development. Vitamin D paired with the mineral, calcium, also plays a big role in immunity and bone health. Vitamin E aids in your body’s use of vitamin K, which affects bone health and blood-clotting mechanisms, and contributes to optimal production of red blood cells.
Of course, the B vitamins have their own work to do, most of which is related to metabolism, cellular maintenance, heart and brain health and hormone production.
Consequences of Vitamin Deficiencies
Without enough vitamin intake, you can be at risk of various medical issues, specially those linked to cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. Insufficient vitamin B intake sets the stage for anemia and irreversible nerve damage.
Too little vitamin C diminishes your ability to produce collagen, your body’s primary tissue. In prolonged cases of vitamin C deficiency, a person can develop scurvy, whose symptoms include gingivitis, skin hemorrhage, anemia and general weakness.
Lastly, vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets, or the softening and weakening of bones in children, and the existence of autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure and poor bone health in adults.
If you’re really interested about the importance of vitamins, there is a lot of information available today. The above can put you on the right track.