Vitamins are for growth, metabolism and decent health. Their task is to metabolize other nutrients to provide energy and generate stability within the body.
They are found in vegetables, fruits, and other foods, but might be missing because of some unforeseen circumstances. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) advocates a bare minimum requirement of vitamin supplements to prevent deficiencies.
There are two different kinds of vitamins categorized according to their solubility. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, E, D, and K, and they inside the body. They contain hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. The fat-soluble vitamins include potassium, and sometimes sulfur, along with those three.
Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C, and ascorbic acid and vitamins of the B category include vitamin B1, thiamine, vitamin B2, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine or vitamin B6, biotin, vitamin B7, folate/folic acid, vitamin B9 and vitamin B12. They are not within the body.
It’s important to be aware of the multiple features of vitamins and consequences of deficiencies to understand the function of vitamin supplements.
Vitamins make it possible for nutrients to be consumed and digested and convert carbohydrates and fats into energy. They help metabolize nutrients, create antibodies to strengthen immunity and generate resistance to diseases.
Vitamins fortify cells, bind tissues, form bones, blood cells and genetic material, hormones and chemicals of the nervous system and combine with proteins to create enzymes. All group of vitamins plays numerous roles.
Vitamin A is essential for immunity, eyesight, bones, cells, reproductive health, skin and body linings. Vitamins B complex group are for several body functions. Folate/folic acid is essential at each stage of life because it is in charge of DNA, RNA and protein production. Vitamin C helps build and maintain tissues, healthy bones, blood vessels and skin and strengthen immunity.
Vitamin D controls the calcium levels in the blood and prevents bone loss, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases. It’s essential for proper absorption of calcium and regulation of the rate at which it gets excreted.
Vitamin E plays protective functions; it stops tissue damage by free radicals and protects intracellular membranes. What’s more, it reduces the risk of jaundice and other liver-related diseases and neutralizes the ill effects of the long-term use of antibiotics.
Vitamin K is responsible for the metabolism of the bones and clotting of the blood.
Deficiency of vitamins has severe consequences. Lack of vitamin A leads to night blindness, retarded growth of the skeleton and issues on the skin and gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin B1 deficiency causes muscular weakness, leg cramps, digestive, irritability problems.
Mouth ulcers, inflammation of the tongue, weakness, low blood counts and dandruff are one of the symptoms of lack of vitamin B2.
Insufficient vitamin B3 causes pellagra, while a deficiency of vitamin B6 could lead to skin problems, emotional confusion, and reduced immunity. Vitamin B5 is an antioxidant necessary for reproduction, development and bodily processes.
So, a deficiency of it can create heart problems and depression. Inadequate vitamin B12 causes pernicious anemia, while scurvy and rickets are the main signs of a lack of vitamins C and D respectively.
Vitamin E deficiency affects the nervous system and leads to fatigue, vision-related issues and loss of muscle mass. Finally, easy bruising and gastrointestinal bleeding are symptoms of vitamin K deficiency.
Given the above mentioned, it is essential to recognize the circumstances when there is a deficiency of one or more necessary vitamins.
Various studies have shown that many adults are deficient in vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, vitamins D and E. The diet might not be balanced, and lacking in the required quantities of the vitamins.
Those on a macrobiotic diet plan or weight loss program frequently lack a balanced diet plan. Even multivitamins may fail to provide the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D and E. Therefore these have to be taken separately. Moreover, nutrient levels deplete by active pursuits.
Some people are more vulnerable to dietary deficiencies because of a range of factors. This group includes people living alone, pre and postmenopausal women and the elderly. The latter generally eat less milk and may also have limited exposure to sunlight, both of which can be sources of vitamin D.
Vegetarians and especially vegans could be missing vitamins such as B12, which is in dairy products and non-vegetarian food. Older adults, especially drinkers, frequently suffer from gastrointestinal disorders due to a restricted diet, and this hinders absorption of vitamin B12.
What’s more, some kinds of medication also interfere with vitamin B12 absorption from food. Vitamin B6 deficiency occurs among older adults, especially when the diet is of inferior quality or restricted over a very long duration.
Alcoholics are at higher risk, as alcohol contributes to decreased absorption of the vitamin. Even a standard diet may lack the requisite amount of 2 milligrams, taking supplements is the remedy.
People that are reluctant to fruits and vegetables are prone to suffer from vitamin C deficiency, whereas calcium deficiency is possible if milk products are missing from the diet, because of conditions like flaxseed.
Since deficiencies can result in multiple health problems, it is vital to include all the vitamins from the diet. The RDA or Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamins is set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council.
It’s the average daily nutrient intake level sufficient for nutrient demands of (97%-98%) healthy individuals in particular sex and period of life. However, since nutrients may be missing from the diet, supplements have been prescribed to fill the gap.
Folic acid is the supplemental type of folate; 400 mcg is your daily requirement, but it is frequently missing in a balanced diet. It’s very essential for pregnant women, as its lack can cause congenital disabilities.
Due to this, it is in items like cereals, pasta, and bread. Beta-carotene supplements boost white blood cells, promote immunity and prevent cancer. Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur because of a range of reasons, but everyone can consume artificial vitamin B12 in fortified vitamin and food supplements.
Supplements of vitamin B advanced help to satisfy the requirements of the B group. Vitamin C is in additives food and different types. Vitamin D is essential for absorption of calcium, so the two are usually combined as a supplement; 400 IU of Vitamin D and 1200 milligrams of calcium needed daily.
Vitamin D is also required to maintain the correct levels of phosphorus and calcium in the bloodstream. Therefore supplements are given to strengthen bones and prevent fractures.
Vitamin K supplements enhance post-menopausal bone loss. Vitamin E is not generally present in the diet, but it’s an essential antioxidant and prevents arteriosclerosis. A mixture of zinc and antioxidants is provided as a supplement to prevent age-related macular degeneration.
The best vitamin supplement is that the only one with 100% daily value for most vitamins. It is crucial to check the daily value on supplemental details level, as well as the amount per serving and serving size.
Liquid nutritional supplements have a 98% absorption rate as against 10% for pills, as they don’t have to undergo a digestive process, and can quickly absorb into the bloodstream. Furthermore, they are easy to take and do not cause any irritation in the stomach.
On the other hand, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate or utilize supplements to treat, except for soy. That is because vitamin supplements are considered foods products rather than drugs.
Supplements can influence individuals differently. Hence, there is need to take certain precautions. Primarily, be advised to bring them under the guidance of an expert or doctor. They should not be taken along with prescribed drugs for diseases, as there could be severe side effects caused by drug interaction.
Secondly, high doses may be poisonous. Therefore the RDA should not be exceeded. Finally, an individual needs to check the reputation of the producer, and confirm the ingredients of the supplement.
Vitamin supplements are better absorbed if taken with meals. However, this does not have to be a complete meal; a few bites are sufficient. If considerable quantities of a vitamin supplement have to be taken, dividing the dose into 3 or four times a day ensures better absorption and lesser odds of excretion.
Vitamin supplements are a simple and cheap means to satisfy dietary deficiencies. Based on research by the Harvard School of Public Health, vitamin supplements prevent cancer and cardiovascular ailments.
They are also antioxidants and neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals. Eventually, they are required to help digestion, carry out biological functions, improve immunity, promote growth and improve psychological and cognitive capabilities.
Vitamin supplements can help in alleviating certain conditions like osteoporosis, though they cannot take care of an illness or disorder. But it has to be remembered that vitamin supplements are merely that, and not substitutes for a balanced diet.