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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:

Newsweek

Omega-3 Supplements Are a Waste of Money
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Consumers worldwide spend more than $30 billion a year on omega-3 products and supplements, according to Packaged Facts, a consumer market research company. In surveys of 10,000 frequent supplement users conducted by ConsumerLab.com, fish oil ...
Omega 3 is still good for the brain. But 'fish oil supplements just don't cut it.'Washington Post
Study questions benefits of fish oil supplementsFox News
Omega-3 supplements won't help your memoryMother Nature Network (blog)
National Institutes of Health (press release) -TIME -Chicago Tribune
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Natural Products INSIDER (blog)

Federal Court Encourages Independent Tests on Supplements that NY Attorney ...
Natural Products INSIDER (blog)
For months, trade associations representing the U.S. dietary supplement industry have questioned the truthfulness of test results that implied botanical products sold at national retail stores including Walmart and Target don't contain the labeled ...



Workout Supplement Overuse a Novel Eating Disorder?
Medscape
Almost one third of men who use over-the-counter workout supplements to augment gym training are concerned about their use of the supplements, and almost 1 in 10 have been cautioned by their physician on this, a new study suggests. Richard Achiro, PhD ...



Horse health: Take a critical look at supplements in joint care
Daily Racing Form
Everybody has arthritis, or so it seems – even our horses. There are different types of arthritis, but the most common, called osteoarthritis, occurs as a result of constant wear and tear on the cartilage or a traumatic injury to the joint. Cartilage ...



NutraIngredients-usa.com

Amino acid supplements may boost vascular endothelial function in older adults ...
NutraIngredients-usa.com
Scientists from the University of Alabama report that a supplement containing HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate), glutamine and arginine (Juven by Abbott Nutrition) increased flow-mediated dilation (FMD - a measure of blood flow and vascular health ...



Madison.com

Dr. Zorba Paster: Bodybuilding supplements cause concern
Madison.com
What are his supplements? I can't tell from your letter, but if they're legal then they're often soy or whey protein or creatine. According to the FDA, these are “generally recognized as safe,” which means — in “FDA speak” — we don't see any red ...

and more »


NutraIngredients.com

Finland considers investigation into pharma-containing libido supplements
NutraIngredients.com
The Apollo+ supplement was available in the erotica high street and online store 'Hot Lips' but was recalled after a customs investigation found it contained the drug dithio desmethyl-carbodenafil – an analog of sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.



WBUR

Workout Supplements: Does Overuse Signal An Eating Disorder Among Men?
WBUR
Well, new research suggests that overusing popular supplements like whey protein and creatine to improve workout performance may signal an emerging eating disorder. Researchers presented their findings at the American Psychological Association's ...



NutraIngredients-usa.com

Trade associations call to elevate Division of Dietary Supplement Programs to ...
NutraIngredients-usa.com
Four of the five main trade associations for the dietary supplements office have written to the FDA to express their “interest in and support for” the elevation of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs (DDSP) to an 'Office' within the Center for ...
Associations Suggest Elevating Supplement's Position within FDANatural Products INSIDER (blog)

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Lompoc Record

Multivitamins and supplements: To take or not to take?
Lompoc Record
For some people, however, taking certain supplements may be the best way to get nutrients they may be lacking through diet. So, Harguth cautions, it's important to understand the exact impact supplements will have on your body before getting out your ...


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