Vitamins are organic substances present in small amounts in natural foodstuffs. Because these substances play a critical part in normal metabolism, not having enough of them can cause illnesses or medical conditions.
Carbon is a main component of vitamins, being organic compounds; and because the body produces insufficient amounts of them, it is necessary to obtain them from food. But in contrast to proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins supply no energy, although they are do help the body work and grow at optimal levels.
There are thirteen essential vitamins offering an entire variety of health benefits like better eyesight, stronger bones and immunity, better energy absorption from food, and more. Without enough vitamin intake, you could be vulnerable to many different diseases or medical conditions.
Types of Vitamins
Depending on how the body stores or uses them, vitamins can be fat-soluble or water-soluble. There are four fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E and K – all stored in fat tissue for up to as long as half a year.
Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, include vitamin C and the B vitamins (B6, B12, riboflavin, biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid and thiamine), which are distributed by the blood all over the body. Because your body doesn’t keep these water-soluble vitamins, you need to replenish your stores on a regular basis.
All the thirteen vitamins have their own individual functions, but they can work as a group as well in improving your health. Vitamin A gives you better skin, bones and teeth, aside form good eyesight and immunity.
Vitamin C also strengthens immunity, encourages good tissue development and helps the body in absorbing iron. Vitamin D, together with calcium (another mineral), also has a role in bone health and immunity. Vitamin E aids in your body’s use of vitamin K, which affects bone health and blood-clotting mechanisms, and contributes to optimal production of red blood cells.
Of course, the B vitamins have their part to play, mostly in relation to better central nervous system functions, hormone synthesis, cardiac operation, basic cellular maintenance, brain activity and body metabolism.
Results of Vitamin Deficiencies
Inadequate intake of vitamins leads to health risks associated with osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. Insufficient vitamin B intake sets the stage for anemia and irreversible nerve damage.
When you take too little vitamin C, your system will not produce enough of the body’s primary tissue known as collagen. When vitamin C deficiency is severe, a person can have scurvy, with symptoms including gum disease, anemia, muscle and joint fatigue and skin hemorrhage.
Lastly, vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets, which manifests as bone pain and deformation, and overall poor growth in children, and as poor bone health, hypertension, and autoimmune diseases in adults.
If you’re really interested about the importance of vitamins, there is a lot of information available today. With the above, you can begin on the right track.