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Vitamins and Their Role in Good Health

Vitamins are a group of organic substances that can be found in a wide variety of natural food. Since these are essential to the normal metabolism of the body, not having enough can lead to 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. However, unlike proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins do not give you energy, although they do help the body grow and function optimally.

There are thirteen essential vitamins offering an entire variety of health benefits like better eyesight, stronger bones and immunity, better energy absorption from food, and more. Without enough vitamin intake, you could be vulnerable to many different diseases or medical conditions.

Types of Vitamins

Vitamins are either fat soluble or water-soluble, depending on body storage. There are four fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E and K – all stored in fat tissue for up to as long as half a year.

Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, include vitamin C and the B vitamins (B6, B12, riboflavin, biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid and thiamine), which are distributed by the blood all over the body. Because your body doesn’t keep these water-soluble vitamins, you need to replenish your stores on a regular basis.

Essential Role

All thirteen vitamins have their own specific functions, but they can also work together to benefit your health. Vitamin A gives you better skin, bones and teeth, aside form good eyesight and immunity.

Vitamin C also strengthens immunity, encourages good tissue development and helps the body in absorbing iron. Vitamin D paired with the mineral, calcium, also plays a big role in immunity and bone health. Vitamin E helps your body make use of vitamin K, and this is involved in blood-clotting and bone health maintenance, and also plays a part in essential red blood cell formation.

The B vitamins, for their part, play a role in optimal metabolism, brain function, hormone production, cardiac activity, central nervous system functions, and cellular maintenance.

Consequences 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. Vitamin B deficiency in particular can cause anemia and permanent nerve damage.

When you take too little vitamin C, your system will not produce enough of the body’s primary tissue known as collagen. In prolonged cases of vitamin C deficiency, a person can develop scurvy, whose symptoms include gingivitis, skin hemorrhage, anemia and general weakness.

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.

There is so much information you can read these days about the importance of vitamins. This article can help you start off on the right foot.