Be it in early childhood or late teens, or adult life, you all must have heard about vitamins and their importance in your daily life. There is a high abundance of sources of vitamins, both natural and artificial. Along with these natural sources, many individuals go for dietary supplements for their bodies. Similarly, there are many interesting facts and myths about vitamins and supplements in the world.
But what are vitamins, and what are the different types of vitamins?
Vitamins are a class of organic aggregates classified as essential nutrients. They fall under the category of micronutrients. The body generally synthesizes few vitamins; most of the vitamins come from external sources.
Vitamins are divided mainly into two groups-
- Fat-soluble vitamins- Vit A, Vit D, Vit E, Vit K
- Water-soluble vitamins- Vit B group, Vit C
Each vitamin has its particular or mutual set of functions and deficiencies of which may cause several diseases. For some vitamins (such as Vit E), no such particular deficiency disease is known yet. The minimum intake for maintaining health regarding many of the vitamins has been determined, but the optimum intake remains somewhat speculative.
Benefits of having Vitamins?
1.Protect your eyesight- Vitamin A in reasonable amounts helps keep your eyesight healthy and prevent night blindness or nyctalopia. Vitamins are essential for the functioning of rhodopsin pigment found in the eye. Other than this, beta carotene of vitamins helps in age-related macular degeneration disease.
2.Immunity booster- Vitamins always help in boosting your immunity and provide better resistance to microorganisms. Vit C, which acts as an antioxidant, is considered one of the biggest immune supporters. Vitamins play an excellent role, especially around gut flora.
3.Decrease risk of cancers- Vitamins such as Vit A influence growth and development of cells, thereby maintaining their uncontrolled growth. This controls the risk of cancers in many susceptible individuals.
4.Bone health development- Vitamins such as Vit D helps a lot in maintaining your bone density and bone growth. Vit D stands against osteoporosis and bone casting activity.
5.Healthy metabolism- Vit B group vitamins like folate, biotin, thiamine interact with other enzymes and help to metabolize energy from fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Now, what are dietary supplements?
As per the name says, a supplement is food or product that supplements your nutrition. It contains one or more dietary ingredients like vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, etc. It is generally intended to be taken orally as a tablet or liquid unless otherwise stated. Dietary supplements are not generally standardized but assure to maintain quality. The article talks of vitamin supplements as the primary basis. Supplements are mainly artificial and can be found in vitamin supplement stores across places.
While supplements are believed to be of nutritional value, they do not intend to cure any ailment or disease. It is generally not advised to take supplements over natural healthy diets. Supplements can act to fill the nutritional gaps in your diet.
Who needs vitamin dietary supplements?
- Pregnant women or breastfeeding women
- Infants who are unable to be breastfed
- Patients suffering from vitamin deficiencies
- Patients undergoing bariatric surgery or gastric bypass surgery
These supplements are readily available in any reputed vitamin store.
Astonishing facts and myths regarding vitamins and supplements–
1.Vitamin supplements better than natural vitamins?
The human body can make only Vit D and K; the rest of the other vitamins must be consumed to have proper body functioning. But still, having a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits is always better than supplements. Supplements may be helpful in particular cases but generally not for a healthy body.
2.Vitamins provide energy and cure disease?
According to many medical reports and journals, vitamins or their supplements have not been shown to prevent or cure diseases. They can increase your immunity, though. Also, vitamins are not the exact source of energy. However, Vit B groups help in catalyzing the release of energy.
3.Vitamin and supplement for nutritional insurance?
– If you want your body to have nutritional insurance, you have to rely more on fruits, grains, cereals, vegetables, etc. Vitamins are required in the body in significantly fewer amounts. Also, the chances are high that taking extra vitamins can disrupt the functioning of many enzymes, thereby causing toxicity. Also, remember that Vit B and C are not stored in the body and must be taken daily for essential functioning.
4.Do vitamins help in reproduction?
– Vitamins, mainly Vit A, are quite crucial for the reproductive functioning of your body. It ensures the normal development and growth of the embryo and fetus in a pregnant mother. A vitamin deficiency can also cause infertility due to reduced egg quality or underdeveloped sperm cells. But also, you should keep in mind that excess vitamins, on the other hand, can cause many congenital disabilities.
5.Vitamins are essential for the body; let’s take some more?
– In quest of more nutrition, you may buy excessive products from vitamin supplement stores and take them. But taking antioxidant Vit supplements of Vit A, C and E can cause low blood cholesterol and low blood sugar. Hypervitaminosis is a disease that is caused by excessive intake of Vit A. You may also suffer from nausea, dizziness, headaches, pain, etc. So it’s always better to take vitamins and supplements in a limited and specified amount.
6.Can’t vitamins be kept in humid places?
– A study in 2010 found that vitamins, when kept in humid places like the kitchen or near the bathroom, may cause them to lose their efficiency and nutritional value. Try to keep them in a dry and cool place. Also, long slow cooking of food and vegetables can waste vitamin content.
So you can see how vitamins are so crucial for the body and how they can affect regular functioning. You see how vitamin supplements are readily available in vitamin stores and how they help to fill the nutritional gap in your diet. The recommended daily requirement of this vitamin and supplement varies from person to person and their lifestyle changes.