Vitamins are organic compounds that contain carbon and are needed in small quantities to sustain life. Vitamins could very easily be considered one of the most necessary nutrients that our body needs to be at optimal health. We need to have a daily intake of vitamins. This is because our bodies can either not product enough of what we need, or it doesn’t produce it all. Your body needs vitamins because they are essential to balanced metabolism and health, without them you may develop deficiencies that can lead to health problems or diseases. They can be consumed through natural foods, supplements, or even produced by the body naturally.
Types of Vitamins
Typically all vitamins are broken down into two types:
Fat-Soluble Vitamins - vitamins that are stored in our bodies’ fat tissues as well as the liver.
Fat-soluble vitamins differ than water-soluble because one, they are easier to store in the body, and two, they can remain in our body for days or even months as reserves.
Water-Soluble Vitamins – vitamins that do not stay in the body for a long period of time.
Because of this, water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced more frequently, however, do not necessarily need to be consumed in higher amounts.
There are 12 different recognized vitamins:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B7
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
All of the B and C vitamins are water-soluble, whereas vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. The most popular recognized vitamins tend to be vitamins C, D, E, A, and Vitamin B12. This is because they are found in a lot of foods that are common in our diet.
What Are Some Common Vitamin Deficiencies
If you were to develop a deficiency in any of these vitamins you would typically start to see problems arise such as:
- Eye disorders
- Anemia Dermatitis
- Certain pregnancy deficiencies
- Bleeding diathesis
Each vitamin carries its own benefits and rewards and are all needed to for our bodies to stay at optimal health.
How Can You Consume Vitamins?
Vitamins can be consumed through a variety of different ways. Most are consumed through natural food sources such as green vegetables, citrus fruits, meats, dairy, root vegetables, and basically every type of naturally grown food. If you are curious to see the breakdown many websites dedicated to vitamins will have a vitamin wheel, showing you which food group belongs to each vitamin.
Vitamins and Supplements
Another way vitamins can be consumed is through supplements. If you decide to get your vitamins through a supplement there a few key things you’ll want to remember. Follow the proper dosing procedures. While vitamins are essential and nutritional, sometimes an overdose of a certain vitamin can cause more harm than good. If you are on any other medications and you decide to take a supplement, consult with your doctor first to make sure it is safe to mix the two.