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Vitamin - Essential Nutrients for Health


Vitamins are the stars of the nutrition scene. Nutrition,the science of food, is the study of the nutrients andsubstances in foods. Scientists examine how the balancesof food compounds relate to health and disease, and explorehow they interact during the process of ingestion,absorption, utilization, and excretion.

There are six essential nutrients for health and bodymaintenance: vitamins, minerals, water, fats, proteins, andcarbohydrates. They are the building blocks of life, and weobtain them through our diet. Our bodies don't make them.

At this time, it is known that there are fourteen vitaminsrequired by humans. Vitamins, first discovered in thelate 1800s, are organic compounds found in foods. Sincethey are organic - containing carbon - they can bedestroyed by heat, unlike their companion essentialnutrient group, the incombustible minerals.

In the early 1900s, when scientists were continuing todiscover new vitamins, they named newly found compounds byalphabet: A, B, C, D, E~. K. Note: The compounds that hadbeen named F, G, H, I, J were later disqualified asvitamins, not fitting the definition: organic compoundsneeded in small quantities for life growth and maintenance.Compounds that have been given letters with numbers, B-1, B-2~ were originally thought to be one compound, but laterdetermined to be several different compounds with specificfunctions for each.

Vitamins are in one of two classes: fat soluble or watersoluble. Vitamin C and the B vitamins (such as niacin andriboflavin) are water soluble. Vitamins A, D, E, and K arefat soluble. Which type of solubility each vitamin haswill indicate which foods contain them. Basically, non-fatfood has no fat soluble vitamins. However, highly coloredvegetables like carrots do contain beta-carotene - a proto-vitamin which can be converted to active vitamin A.

Water soluble vitamins are easily shed by the body andlost from foods during preparation. Since they aren'tstored by the body, we need to ingest them every day.Nevertheless it is best to avoid taking them excessively.On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins are readily storedby the body. Thus caution is necessary to avoid excessivequantities; it is possible to build up toxic levels of thefat soluble vitamins.

People commonly wonder if they need to take vitaminsupplements, and which vitamins should be taken for goodhealth. The situation today is that our foods are comingto us from conditions that previously were never the casefor humans. Modern food is highly processed, and isfrequently grown in depleted soils. Our foods are pickedunripe and therefore incomplete from the standpoint ofnutrition. Then they are shipped and handled more than theideal. Therefore, it seems unlikely that the averageperson's diet provides sufficient amounts of necessarynutrients - vitamins and minerals in particular. Instead,we are consuming excessive amounts of harmful compoundslike preservatives and refined sugars.

A suggestion. Do your own research project. Keep trackof what you eat for a week or two. Eat normally, and justwrite down what you ate and how much of it. Then eitherbuy or check out from your library a book on vitamins thatwill tell you approximately what you got from each foodsource. Add it up and compare to the recommended dailyallowances. See how you're doing, and if you think it's agood idea to make some improvements, consult with aprofessional nutritionist, naturopathic physician, or otherhealthcare professional to come up with a good plan of dietand nutritional supplements. You'll see what a profounddifference good nutrition can make in your health.

Carina Snowden writes on topics related to vitamins. Herarticles are published in The News at Alta Vitaminthe single on-line resource for a world of news aboutvitamins. Be sure to refer to all Carina's articles athttp://www.altavitamin.com/


MORE RESOURCES:

Consumer Reports: The truth about weight-loss supplements
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Supplements. (Bonus: They can boost athletic performance too.) But not all vitamin D pills are created equal, as a recent review of 23 vitamin D-containing products conducted by independent testing company ConsumerLab.com found. (Shape readers can ...



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In the past few years, researchers have found evidence that taking dietary supplements of these pigments could help to reduce glare and improve many other aspects of visual performance: sharper colours, enhanced contrast, faster recovery time, quicker ...



Nutritional Supplements in the U.S., 6th Edition
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NEW YORK, Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. nutritional supplements market is going to maintain its average growth rate of just over 6% per year through 2018, hitting sales of $16.4 billion in that year. Growth in the market slowed in 2013 and the ...

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NutraIngredients-usa.com

Not kosher: N.J. supplement maker admits lying about ingredients
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NEWARK — The owner of a Flanders dietary supplement company pleaded guilty today to boosting his products with cheaper ingredients in a scheme to expand his profit margins, federal prosecutors say. Barry Steinlight, 69, of Hackettstown, also agreed to ...
Owner of dietary supplements firm admits lying about ingredients, faces 5-year ...Fox Business
Seller of supplements diluted with fillers pleads guilty, agrees to pay more ...NutraIngredients-usa.com
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Antenatal Micronutrient Supplements Don't Reduce Mortality
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In Bangladesh, antenatal multiple micronutrient supplementation is not associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality to age 6 months compared with iron-folic acid supplementation, according to a study published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the ...
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Forbes

Bee Pollen Supplements Stung By FDA, Contain Real Drugs
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If you're of a certain age, you may remember sprinters and short-distance runners taking bee pollen supplements around the time of the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics. Several U.S. and Scandinavian gold medalists touted the supplement as providing ...
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Doing your homework on nutritional supplements
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Patients need to recognize that supplements can be quite potent and may interact with other drugs. Physicians need to create an open environment where patients feel comfortable discussing their supplement choices. Here are some thoughts that can help ...



Managing your medicines and supplements
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While living a healthy lifestyle goes a long way toward successfully managing one's overall well-being, adding medications and supplements to the mix may be necessary and helpful, says Kaiser Permanente family medicine expert Dr. Khaled M. Khoury.


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