Vitamins And Supplements

Vitamins and Supplements - What You Need and How to Get Them

In addition to starches, proteins, and a modest percentage of fats, your balanced diet must also feature an assortment of key vitamins. Vitamins are complex organic substances that help your body accomplish the metabolic processes necessary to good health.

Vitamins And Supplements

Vitamin K1, for example, promotes the clotting of blood when you have a cut, and other vitamins perform such unglamorous (but nonetheless vital!) tasks as fostering the passage of nutrients, oxygen, and waste through the walls of your blood vessels and ensuring that your cells replace themselves on a regular basis.

And while it may seem that we have known about vitamins since the beginning of time, the truth of the matter is that they were completely unknown prior to the early twentieth century. We are, in fact, still discovering new vitamins, and learning more about the properties of old vitamins every day.

Water Soluble And Fat Soluble Vitamins

For the purposes of our discussion, vitamins and supplements can be separated into two broad categories: water-soluble and fat- soluble.

In the first group, we may include vitamins C and B complex; in the second, vitamins A, D, E, and K. The distinction between the two types is crucial: water-soluble vitamins are discharged from our systems quickly through urination and perspiration and so require daily replenishment; fat- soluble vitamins-which are stored in bodily fats-exit at a much more leisurely pace, and so have the capacity to accumulate over time.

As a consequence, you can literally overdose on fat-soluble vitamins like A and D, which have been known to reach toxic levels in people who get too gung-ho in their use (or, more accurately, abuse) of dietary supplements containing them.

A Word About Vitamin Supplements

Generally speaking, we think it is far healthier, not to mention cheaper, to derive the vitamins and minerals you need from natural food sources than from over-the-counter supplements—an opinion still shared, despite the growing popularity of these products, by most of today’s medical community.

Though you may not realize it, vitamins and minerals are very potent. They occur in extraordinarily minute quantities in the foods you eat; yet anything close to a balanced diet will provide you with the recommended daily allowance (or RDA) of everything that counts, especially when you consider the large and ever-growing number of common grocery items that are now “fortified” or “enriched” with nutrients of all kinds.

What’s more, your body absorbs vitamins—as well as important minerals such as iron and calcium—much more efficiently when they are delivered in the form of food.

Supplements, by comparison, are an inefficient and, when misused, potentially harmful means of delivery. Look at it this way: You would be hard pressed to find a better or tastier source of vitamin C than a sweet, juicy orange, or a more productive source of calcium than a humble cup of nonfat yogurt.

So why in the world would you pay extra for a supplement that doesn’t do the job half as well as the natural option? It sure beats us!

But if you feel that your diet is dreadfully deficient in certain nutrients, please keep it simple when you supplement. A good multivitamin, taken once a day, ought to provide more than enough of whatever you might be lacking.
Make sue to get your vitamins and supplements!


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Vitamins And Supplements

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