What are vitamins? Vitamins are a potent, indispensable compound that performs various bodily functions that promote growth, reproduction and maintain health. Vitamins and minerals make people's bodies work properly. Although you get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat every day, some foods have more vitamins and minerals than others. There are two classifications of Vitamins and two types of Mineral classifications; Water-Soluble and Fat-Soluble, and Major Minerals and Trace Minerals.
Here is a very basic table of the different characteristics between Water/Fat Soluble Vitamins.
A very good food source guide to Vitamins
Absorbed from the digestive tract with the aid of fats in the diet and bile produced by the liver.
Transported by protein carriers in the bloodstream. Stored in the liver and body fat:
Do not need to consume daily.
Here is a general chart guide to Vitamins and Minerals
- Potential role as a chronic-disease fighter stems from its workings as an antioxidant.
- Antioxidant: a substance, such as a vitamin, that is “anti-oxygen” – that is, it helps to prevent damage done to the body as a result of chemical reactions that involve oxygen.
- It’s role in preventing the common cold is insignificant.
- Widespread in the food supply but deficiencies do occur.
People who run the risk of deficiency:
- Premature infants who are born before vitamin E is transferred to them from their mothers.
- Those who cannot absorb fats as a result of diseases.
- Those with certain blood disorders.
Vitamin A Precursor: Beta Carotene
- Beta-carotene is a member of the carotenoid family.
- The carotenoids possess antioxidant properties.
- May help prevent age-related macular degeneration and lower risk of cataracts.
- Beta-carotene: an orange pigment found in plants that is converted into vitamin A inside the body.
- Coenzyme with many functions in the body.
- Important in the synthesis of DNA and the formation of red blood cells.
- A deficiency makes the red blood cells misshapen and unable to carry sufficient oxygen: Causing a certain kind of anemia. Anemia: any condition in which the blood is unable to deliver oxygen to the cells of the body
- Maintains the sheaths that surround and protect nerve fibers
- Works closely with folate enabling it to manufacture red blood cells
- Functions as a coenzyme
- Helps makes hemoglobin for red blood cells
- Play a role in protein metabolism
- Key function: its role in the blood-clotting system of the body
- Works with vitamin D to help regulate the calcium levels in the blood
- Is obtained both in the diet and via the intestinal bacteria, making deficiencies rare.
- The body's oxygen carrier: bounds into the protein hemoglobin in red blood cells, hemoglobin in the oxygen-carrying proteins of the blood; found in the red blood cells.
- Iron helps transport oxygen of energy from fuels to the cell's work.
- Found in every cell of the body and present in enzymes that regulate cell multiplication and growth, metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, fat, and alcohol, disposal of free radicals.
- Involve in utilization of vitamin A, taste perception, thyroid function, wound healing, and zinc's role in preventing colds has been inconclusive.
- behavioral and sleep disturbances, dandruff, delay in wound healing, diarrhea, different kinds of skin lesions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, growth retardation, hair loss, hang nails, hyperactivity, increased allergic sensitivity, inflammation of your nail cuticles, inflammatory bowel disease, loss of appetite, loss of senses of taste or smell, loss of sex drive, mild anemia.
- Assists the absorption of dietary calcium.
- Helps to calcium and phosphorus available in the blood so these minerals can be deposited into bone
- Acts much like a hormone, exerting influence on other organs like kidneys and the intestines
- Works in conjunction with vitamin D to synthesize a bone protein that regulates the calcium levels in the blood
- Bones store 99% of the body's calcium which plays two roles; supports and protects soft tissues, and serves as a calcium bank, providing calcium to body's fluids.
- Calcium is essential for nerve impulses muscle contraction, heartbeat, maintenance of blood pressure and blood clotting.
- Calcium serves as a cofactor for several enzymes
- Phosphorus is found in virtually all foods and the requirements is easy to meet. A high intake of phosphorus can interfere with calcium absorption.
- Contraction and relaxation of muscles
- Function of certain enzymes in the body
- Production and transport of energy
- Production of oxygen
- Thiamine (vitamin B1) helps the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2) works with the other B vitamins. It is important for body growth and red blood cell production and helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.
And finally, a guide to the Vitamins and Minerals for Healthy Bones
- Niacin assists in the functioning of the digestive system, skin, and nerves. It is also important for the conversion of food to energy.