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Vitamins and Their Role in Good Health

Vitamins are a group of organic substances that can be found in a wide variety of natural food. Because these substances play a critical part in normal metabolism, not having enough of them can cause illnesses or medical conditions.

As organic compounds, vitamins contain carbon, an essential nutrient that the body does not produce enough of, thus the need to obtain them from food. However, unlike proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins do not give you energy, although they do help the body grow and function optimally.

There are thirteen essential vitamins that offer various health benefits, such as immunity boost, stronger bones, faster wound healing, enhanced eyesight, better use of food-sourced energy and many 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. Fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E and K – remain in the body for a maximum of about six months and are stored in fat tissue.

On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins, which include vitamin C plus the B vitamins – B6, B12, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin, folate and biotin – are circulated around the body through the blood. Because your body doesn’t keep these water-soluble vitamins, you need to replenish your stores on a regular basis.

Essential Role

All thirteen vitamins have their own specific functions, but they can also work together to benefit your health. Apart from stronger bones, teeth and immunity, vitamin A also gives you better eyesight and glowing skin.

Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, boosts immunity and promotes good tissue development. Vitamin D, together with calcium (another mineral), also has a role in bone health and immunity. Vitamin E helps your body make use of vitamin K, and this is involved in blood-clotting and bone health maintenance, and also plays a part in essential red blood cell formation.

Of course, the B vitamins have their own work to do, most of which is related to metabolism, cellular maintenance, heart and brain health and hormone production.

Results of Vitamin Deficiencies

Insufficient vitamin intake puts your health at risk, specifically in relation to heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer. A deficiency in vitamin B in particular can lead to irreversible nerve damage and anemia.

When you take too little vitamin C, your system will not produce enough of the body’s primary tissue known as collagen. In prolonged cases of vitamin C deficiency, a person can develop scurvy, whose symptoms include gingivitis, skin hemorrhage, anemia and general weakness.

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.

There is so much information you can read these days about the importance of vitamins. The above can put you on the right track.