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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:

Philly.com

Fish Oil Has Little Effect on Irregular Heartbeat
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TUESDAY, Sept. 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High doses of fish oil supplements won't prevent the return of a common type of irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, Canadian researchers report. In fact, 64.1 percent of those taking fish oil ...
Fish Oil Supplements Don't Prevent Recurrence of Atrial FibrillationHCPLive

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Researchers Call on State Attorneys General to Increase Regulation of Dietary ...
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WASHINGTON—States should step up efforts to regulate a $32-billion-a-year dietary supplement market that is subject to lax oversight at the federal level, according to a paper published online Sept. 23 in the Journal of Public Health Management ...



New article shows daily use of certain supplements can decrease health-care ...
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Washington, D.C., October 1, 2014—Use of specific dietary supplements can have a positive effect on health care costs through avoided hospitalizations related to Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), according to a new article published in the Journal of ...

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Do cows need protein supplements on corn stalks?
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Two factors influence whether or not there is benefit to feeding cows a protein supplement when grazing cornstalks. Consider the following when determining whether or not the feeding of a protein supplement is needed. Aaron Berger, University of ...



NBC 10 Philadelphia

Better State Regulation of Dietary Supplements Needed, Temple Study Finds
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A public-health lawyer at Temple University says individual states need to step in and help in an area where the federal government has failed -- regulating the marketing of supplements sold for weight-loss and muscle building. Jennifer Pomeranz, from ...

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Supplements or food: How should you get your daily dose of probiotics?
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Yogurt is the most common among a number of foods that naturally contain probiotics, and it is not unusual for doctors to recommend eating yogurt while on a course of antibiotics to offset the medication's potential side effect of diarrhea. Probiotic ...

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The negative side of supplements
Quinnipiac Chronicle
There are many isolated ingredients in these supplements that can cause health issues. Kaplan University's Center for Health and Wellness website shares one case in 2010 that dealt with harmful levels of mercury, arsenic and lead in unwarranted protein ...



FDA warning about male enhancement supplements
AZFamily
PHOENIX -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a warning about supplements that claim to enhance male sexual performance. The FDA says some of those products are deceptive and potentially could even be deadly. The FDA warns that 20 herbal ...



When it comes to sex partners, men prefer younger women
FOX 11 Los Angeles
High doses of fish oil supplements won't prevent the return of a common type of irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, Canadian researchers report. High doses of fish oil supplements won't prevent the return of a common type of irregular ...

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MinnPost

Study ties herbal and dietary supplements to serious liver damage
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The number of liver injuries associated with supplements is still much, much lower than those attributed to conventional medications, but, proportionally, supplements are significantly more likely to lead to serious injuries that result in a liver ...


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