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The Vitamin Breakdown


Vitamins are organic compounds that the human body cannot produce and therefore must acquire through the diet. To help maintain good health, humans need 13 different vitamins. These include: vitamin A, the various B and D vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Deficiencies of these essential vitamins can cause the body to enter a diseased state. Deficiencies of different vitamins manifest themselves with differing diseased states. For example, night-blindness is linked to vitamin A deficiency, while Rickets is linked to vitamin D deficiency.

The relationship between foods and maintaining health has been recognized for centuries. For example, in 1747, Dr. James Lind discovered that citrus fruits prevented scurvy. Some stores of vitamins within the body can last well over a year, as is the case with vitamin B12. Others can deplete more rapidly-lasting only a couple of weeks. A vitamin can be either fat or water soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body. Often they need to be replenished more frequently. Fat-soluble vitamins, however, are stored in the body. Excessive intake of fat-soluble vitamins can cause toxicity in the body. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, E, D and K.

Today there is debate among experts over the benefits of vitamin supplements. Some believe supplements must be taken in conjunction with the daily diet. This is because many foods are processed and artificially enriched-which can reduce the nutrient level naturally found in these foods. Moreover, even fresh fruits and vegetables are picked prematurely and shipped long distances before arriving on grocery shelves. For this reason, some physicians recommend taking vitamins.

The US RDA is a standard set forth by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council to help Americans determine a proper level of daily vitamin intake. It is important to note, however, that these levels are sometimes quite modest- intended to meet the nutrient needs of already healthy individuals. For some, these amounts may be lower than optimal. For example additional amounts of vitamins may be needed during illness. Consequently, the Board has also set two other values: the tolerable upper intake levels (UL) and the adequate intakes (AI). The UL values are designed to help people avoid over consumption. AL values are established when there is not enough scientific evidence to set an RDA.

It is important to note that different developmental stages and physiologies may require varying vitamin intakes. Children, adolescents, women, and men all have differing needs. Consulting a specialist is the best way to determine personal vitamin needs. Moreover, some supplements may negatively interact with prescription drugs. Therefore, all supplemental intakes should be discussed with a physician.

A proper balance of vitamin intake can enhance personal health and increase energy levels. These essential nutrients aid in the regulation of many bodily functions and can prevent illnesses. Their value must not be underestimated.

Ruth Stattmiller enjoys writing about the benefits of vitamins. Learn more at http://www.myvitaminguide.com/.


MORE RESOURCES:

KSL.com

Sen. Hatch disputes HBO story on dietary supplements
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SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Orrin Hatch is rebutting an HBO "Real Sports" story that ties him and a law he championed to several soldiers who died after taking dietary supplements sold on their bases. In a segment that aired Tuesday, correspondent Soledad ...
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Deseret News

Sen. Orrin Hatch calls HBO story on dietary supplements 'inaccurate'
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Orrin Hatch is rebutting an HBO "Real Sports" story that ties him and a law he championed to several soldiers who died after taking dietary supplements sold on their bases. In a segment that aired Tuesday, correspondent Soledad O'Brien reported that ...
Senators Urge Justice Department to Step Up Actions against Adulterated ...Natural Products INSIDER (blog)
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Today.com

Are you getting enough? 5 important things to know about vitamins
Today.com
Once upon a time, the only source of vitamins was from food. Now shelves are filled with all kinds of vitamin supplements, with choices ranging from pills and chewables, to gummies and liquids. While the goal of taking vitamin supplements is to promote ...
Do We Need Food Supplements?The Jewish Voice

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Philly.com (blog)

What I learned from taking Viviscal hair supplements for 190 days
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My journey with Viviscal, the vitamin supplement specifically formulated for promoting hair growth, began in February. After reading how models and celebrities such as Lauren Conrad and Gwyneth Paltrow all used the product for beautiful, healthy hair, ...



Natural Products INSIDER (blog)

Keeping Sports Nutrition Supplements Clean
Natural Products INSIDER (blog)
With sports nutrition supplements, the end users are a dynamic bunch composed of well-informed—and sometimes well-misinformed—goal-oriented, diligent fitness enthusiasts. They have an insatiable appetite for peak performance through regimented ...



Health.com

Well | Many Probiotics Taken for Celiac Disease Contain Gluten
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Now these experts say they may know why: More than half of the top-selling probiotic supplements they analyzed contained gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that is harmful to people with celiac disease. The authors of the study found ...
Some Probiotic Supplements May Contain Unlabeled Traces of GlutenHealth.com
Probiotic Supplements May Contain Traces of GlutenHealthDay
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Parade

Get Ready for Summer with 5 Healthy Supplements
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When it comes to health products on the market, really, it's hit or miss. There are so many options; new brands, new products…drinks, shakes, supplements, YIKES, how do you get past the hype? Well, I tried a ton of new healthy offerings the last few ...



Salt Lake Tribune (blog)

HBO report links Orrin Hatch's dietary supplement legislation to military ...
Salt Lake Tribune (blog)
In a segment that airs in Tuesday's episode of "Real Sports" (11 p.m., HBO), Soledad O'Brien reports on the deaths of several members of the U.S. military tied to dietary supplements sold at their bases — and ties those deaths to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R ...



What is the Best Prostate Supplement or Formula on the Internet?
PR Newswire (press release)
Best Prostate ®, IMS Supplements, Inc. recommends consumers take care in researching prostate supplement products online. Consumers, who have searched the internet, find it confusing with alleged comparisons and about thirty or more prostate products ...

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Fox News

Healthy woman's stroke linked to drug in sports supplement
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"This is the first time that we have been able to clearly link BMPEA supplement use with a very serious health consequence," said Dr. Pieter Cohen, a co-author of the report and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. [Wishful ...
Here's Why FDA Is Ordering BMPEA Supplements Off The MarketForbes
Amphetamine-like stimulant in dietary supplement linked to strokeCBS News
FDA Wants BMPEA Sports Supplements Pulled From Store ShelvesTech Times
Medical Daily -Science Times -Times Gazette
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