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Vitamins and Their Role in Good Health

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.

Being organic compounds, vitamins contain carbon, which is an essential nutrient that the body produces in inadequate amounts, hence the need to source it from food. Unlike carbohydrates, proteins and fats, however, vitamins don’t supply energy, but they help the body work and grow at best capacity.

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. If you don’t take in enough vitamins, you increase your risk of developing 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. Considering that your body does not retain water-soluble vitamins, you have to make sure that your stores are constantly replenished.

Essential Functions

Each of the thirteen vitamins comes with is own particular functions, but they can also work as a team to improve 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 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.

Effects of Vitamin Deficiencies

Without enough vitamin intake, you can be at risk of various medical issues, specially those linked to cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. A deficiency in vitamin B in particular can lead to irreversible nerve damage and anemia.

Too little vitamin C diminishes your ability to produce collagen, your body’s primary tissue. In extreme vitamin C deficiency cases, people can be afflicted with scurvy, which is characterized by overall weakness, gingivitis, anemia 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 keen on learning about vitamins and their importance, just look online and you find tons of information. This article can help you start off on the right foot.

Researched here: official statement