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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:

New York Times (blog)

Dangerous Dietary Supplements Return to Store Shelves
New York Times (blog)
The new study, published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that out of more than two dozen supplements that were pulled from shelves after they were found to contain anabolic steroids or powerful prescription drugs ...
Tainted supplements sold after recalls, study saysUSA TODAY
Banned Drugs Still Turning Up In Weight-Loss SupplementsNPR (blog)
Unsafe, recalled dietary supplements still being soldCBS News
Reuters -Los Angeles Times
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Health.com

Recalled Supplements Could Still Be on Store Shelves, Study Finds
Health.com
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Two-thirds of dietary supplements recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they contained banned ingredients remained on store shelves at least six months after they were recalled, ...
More troubling news about dubious — and dangerous — practices in the dietary ...MinnPost (blog)
JAMA study: Recalled diet supplements still on store shelvesRick Kupchella's BringMeTheNews
Recalled supplements linger on US store shelvesFOX 13 Tampa Bay, WTVT-TV
Pharmacy Times -Clinical Advisor
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Presence of Banned Drugs in Dietary Supplements Following FDA Recalls
JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Prior research has found that even after FDA recalls, dietary supplements remain available on store shelves.4 However, it is not known if the supplements on sale after FDA recalls are free of the adulterants. In the present study, dietary supplements ...



Fox News

Study finds drugs in recalled supplements
Fox News
The tested supplements were recalled by manufacturers after FDA raised concerns about drugs in their products. This type of recall is usually voluntary, involving products that could potentially cause serious health problems and even death. The FDA's ...



Food Safety News

Dietary Supplements Contained Banned Drugs After FDA Recalls
Food Safety News
A new study finds that a high percentage of dietary supplements still contained banned drugs at least six months after being recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Approximately half of all FDA class-I drug recalls since 2004 have ...

and more »


Many Recalled Supplements Remain on the Market Months Later
Medscape
Many dietary supplements remain on the retail market months after they were recalled by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they contained banned pharmaceutical ingredients, according to a research letter published in the October 22/29 ...



Nutritional Outlook

DSHEA's 20th Anniversary: How DSHEA Defined the Dietary Supplements Market
Nutritional Outlook
In 1994, the year Congress enacted the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), I was finishing my final year of college at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Back then, DSHEA was the farthest thing from my mind, as I focused on ...
One law and a tale of two industriesThe Hill (blog)

all 2 news articles »


RedOrbit

Recalled Dietary Supplements Still Contain Banned Substances
RedOrbit
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has, in the past, used class I drug recalls to pull dietary supplements off store shelves if the agency determined there was a possibility of a product causing serious adverse health consequences or death. However ...



USA TODAY

Scientists warn about stimulant in workout supplements
USA TODAY
Makers of dietary supplements are at it again, putting a new chemical stimulant – untested on humans — into workout, weight-loss and brain-function products sold widely through retailers including Amazon and GNC. Yet federal regulators have taken no ...
Untested Stimulant Drug Found in 12 SupplementsLiveScience.com
Study warns about stimulants in diet supplementsCBS News
Beware of 'muscle-building' energy supplements targeting teensConsumerReports.org
Reuters -Vox
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Yahoo Health

10 Sports Supplements That Actually Work
Yahoo Health
Walk the aisles of any nutrition or health food store, and you're bound to be overwhelmed in less time than it takes to chug a protein shake. But not all supplements are bunk: Research shows that some can help you work out longer or harder, recover ...

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Google News


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