PureMinerals.UK Vitamins Guide
Vitamins Guide – Introduction
Vitamins are naturally occurring biological or biochemical substances that are essential for life, especially human life. However, they are only needed in small amounts. In all, there are 13 major vitamins and three other vitamins. All must be obtained from our foods because most can’t be synthesized in the body. The only two that can be made in minute amounts are vitamin D and vitamin B3, but that is not enough to meet our needs.
What Exactly are Vitamins?
The word ‘vitamin’ comes from a combination of the words vital and amine. The Latin word “vita” means life. The shortened term “amin” comes from amine, from organic compounds containing the chemical functional group –NH2, as vitamins were once thought to have amino acids.
What Vitamins Do
Vitamins are involved in every bit of the body’s metabolic reactions. These are digestion, energy production, immune response, cell division, growth, tissue repair, reproduction, and hormone secretion. They are also involved in the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide waste in blood circulation and the five senses and mental alertness.
Vitamin deficiency is common worldwide, but it is only when vitamin intakes are consistently below recommended levels that various nonspecific ailments tend to appear. Examples are dry and itchy skin, wounds that take a long time to heal, lethargy and tiredness, frequent colds, conception difficulties, and a lack of energy.
Where the Body Stores Vitamins
The rate at which a particular vitamin deficiency will reveal itself as aliments depends on the level stored in the body and the rate at which supplies run out. In general, those fat-soluble vitamins are readily stored in the liver. On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are easily lost in the urine.
Which Vitamins Are Easily Lost?
The highly fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, the water-soluble B vitamins complex (but not vitamin B12), plus vitamin C, must be continuously replenished from the food we eat. Folic acid is water soluble, so a deficiency of this vitamin may develop during pregnancy. The danger of that is specific developmental abnormalities in the fetus. On the other hand, stores of fat-soluble vitamin B12 are pretty large in the body, so a deficiency of this vitamin can take years to develop. When it does, it results in pernicious anemia (a decrease in red blood cells when the gut can’t properly absorb the vitamin).
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