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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.

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 offering an entire variety of health benefits like better eyesight, stronger bones and immunity, better energy absorption from food, and more. If you don’t take in enough vitamins, you increase your risk of developing 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 Functions

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 coupled with calcium (another mineral), is vital to bone health and immunity as well. Vitamin E helps your body utilize vitamin K, and this improves bone health, blood-clotting mechanisms, and helps in the body’s production of essential red blood cells.

Of course, the B vitamins have their own work to do, most of which is related to metabolism, cellular maintenance, heart and brain health and hormone production.

Consequences of Vitamin Deficiencies

Inadequate intake of vitamins leads to health risks associated with osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. 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. With the above, you can begin on the right track.