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Why You Need Vitamins for Good Health

Vitamins are organic substances present in small amounts in natural foodstuffs. Because of the crucial role these substances play in normal metabolism, a lack of them can cause a whole range of 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. But in contrast to proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins supply no energy, although they are do help the body work and grow at optimal levels.

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

Vitamins may be fat-soluble or water-soluble, depending on how the body uses them. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, and this means that they are stored in fats, where they stay for up to about six months.

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 Functions

All the thirteen vitamins have their own individual functions, but they can work as a group as well in improving your health. Vitamin A promotes good eyesight and immune function, as well as better skin, teeth and bones.

Vitamin C contributes to optimal tissue development, promotes iron absorption, and improves immunity. Vitamin D, together with calcium (another mineral), also has a role in bone health and immunity. 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.

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.

Consequences 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 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 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.