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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:

New York Times (blog)

GNC to Strengthen Supplement Quality Controls
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International Business Times

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Q&A on the Essendon supplements sagaHerald Sun
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Essendon players cleared: How the supplements saga played outThe Roar
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5 Natural Sleep Supplements That Help You Get Better Rest at Night
Newsmax
When the night is long and sleep is short many people turn to natural sleep supplements to help get a good night's sleep. While scientific research has shown there are few provable sleep benefits and some serious potential risks to the use of these ...

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Times Herald-Record

Cautionary tales and what you should know about supplements
Times Herald-Record
When I first started my holistic health practice, more than two decades ago, I would tell people to go out and buy the supplements they needed, based on my knowledge and training. But they often didn't get the results from supplements that I expected ...



ABC News

GNC to Toughen Supplement Testing Procedures
ABC News
GNC to Toughen Supplement Testing Procedures. More. The nation's largest seller of dietary supplements says its making the change to ensure quality and accuracy. 0:26 | 03/30/15. Share. Title. Description. Share From. Share With. Facebook. Tweet.

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Fox News

5 common myths about supplements, debunked
Fox News
As more aging adults consume supplements, an increasing number of myths have also begun to circulate online. For starters, many people who think that a specific supplement to aid an ailment coupled with a healthy diet provides adequate nourishment for ...



Business Insider

Americans are wasting billions of dollars every year on health supplements ...
Business Insider
Anyone walking into a grocery store can quickly see that dietary supplements are big business. Vitamins and herbal supplements command a significant chunk of floor space. The pills, capsules, and powders make up 5 percent of all grocery sales in the ...
Ask The Doc: Beware of Diet SupplementsThe Rockaway Times
The Hazards of Dietary SupplementsRapid City Journal
Use of dietary supplements requires caution, educationHawaii Army Weekly
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Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, GNC reach deal on supplements
Albany Times Union
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will outline an agreement his office reached with GNC to, the attorney general said, implement reforms in the authentication and testing of dietary supplements. The deal will be announced at 11 a.m.. Printable Version.



More Magnesium From Food, Supplements Could Benefit Diabetes Patients
Monthly Prescribing Reference
Dietary intake of magnesium from foods or from food and supplements is associated with improvements in diabetes-related outcomes, including metabolic syndrome, obesity or overweight, hypertension, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), ...

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New York Times (blog)

Safety of Herbal Supplements Pulls Prosecutors Together
New York Times (blog)
The coalition would signal a shift in the way law enforcement agencies ensure the safety of herbal supplements, a $5 billion-a-year industry that has been plagued by complaints of mislabeling. An investigation by the New York State attorney general's ...
Why the Supplements Industry Is So PowerfulTIME
States join to investigate herbal supplements; industry irateModernHealthcare.com
Heather Yakin: With dietary supplements, it's buyer bewareTimes Herald-Record
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