Vitamins and Their Role in Good Health
Vitamins are organic substances present in small amounts in natural foodstuffs. Since these are essential to the normal metabolism of the body, not having enough can lead to medical conditions.
Carbon is a main component of vitamins, being organic compounds; and because the body produces insufficient amounts of them, it is necessary to obtain them 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 that provide a whole range of health benefits, including better eyesight, a stronger immune system, stronger bones, faster wound healing process, and several others. Inadequate vitamin intake can make you more likely to develop illness, from mild to life-threatening.
Types of Vitamins
Depending on how the body stores or uses them, vitamins can be fat-soluble or water-soluble. 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.
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. As water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, it is important to replenish your stores regularly.
All thirteen vitamins have their own specific functions, but they can also work together to benefit 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.
Results of Vitamin Deficiencies
Insufficient vitamin intake puts your health at risk, specifically in relation to heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Insufficient vitamin B intake sets the stage for anemia and irreversible 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 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 can lead to rickets, or the softening and weakening of bones in children, and the existence of autoimmune diseases, high blood pressure and poor bone health in adults.
If you’re really interested about the importance of vitamins, there is a lot of information available today. The above can put you on the right track.