Vitamin Supplements

Posted on April 18, 2010

Vitamin Supplements
Are you looking for vitamins? Supplementing your diet with Vitamins makes sense because it can help account for any deficiencies in your diet. Many people take a Multi-Vitamin in addition to eating as healthily as possible. However, if you know that you don’t get enough of certain food groups, you can take specific Vitamins to supplement your diet. For example, if you don’t get enough fruits/vegetables, some Vitamin C might be a good idea. This article details information about the most popular vitamin supplements available today. The information below is general information that can be obtained from any health publication. It should not be taken as medical advice.

What’s In A Vitamin?

Vitamins are a required component of any healthy diet because, in the most general sense, they aid the specific enzymes that are involved in producing cells, repairing body tissue and maintaining a steady metabolism.

Vitamin A is essential for bone development, reproduction, physical growth, night vision and healthy skin. In addition, like vitamins C and E, it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize oxygen-free radicals, which are created as a result of standard processes within the body. Radicals are considered unstable, and research supports the theory that radicals can be linked to several major health problems.

B Vitamins have a variety of functions. In general, they aid in the process of converting blood sugar into energy. B Vitamins are especially necessary for those who expend high amounts of energy throughout the day. Vitamins B, D and K are produced in the body.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is required for converting blood sugar into energy and for producing red blood cells. Thiamin is also involved in metabolic activities in nerves, muscles and the heart. Pork is an excellent source of Thiamin. Others include oatmeal, nuts, certain cereals and oatmeal.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is necessary for producing energy. Sources of Riboflavin include liver, yogurt and certain cereals.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) aids in converting blood sugar into energy. It also widens blood vessels in order to increase blood flow. Sources of Niacin include swordfish, certain cereals, pork, chicken, veal and salmon.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) contributes to the body’s well being by metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Sources of Pantothenic Acid include beans, milk, whole grains and eggs.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) affects multiple proteins within the body. In this way, it affects the nervous system and blood cell production. Sources of vitamin B6 include fish, chicken, whole grains, meats, bananas, peanuts and watermelon.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is required for processes within the nervous system, producing blood cells and building genetic material. Sources of vitamin B12 include meats, eggs, dairy products, and fish.

Biotin plays a role in producing amino acid proteins and fatty acids. Sources of Biotin include mushrooms, eggs, milk, whole grains, bananas, tomatoes and nuts. Biotin is also produced in the intestines.

Folate plays a role in building neurotransmitters, the body’s metabolic processes and heart disease prevention. Sources of Folate include orange juice, avocado, bananas, cereal, green vegetables and fruits.

Choline is of prime importance for memory and in the development of a fetus’ brain. Sources of Choline include peanuts, eggs, cauliflower, and meats.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) serves multiple purposes in the body. Like vitamins A and E, it acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize oxygen-free radicals, which are created as a result of standard processes within the body. Radicals are considered unstable and research supports the theory that radicals can be linked to several major health problems, including cancer and heart disease.

Vitamin C is also necessary for producing collagen, which is used to construct the body’s connective tissues. These include cartilage, bones, ligaments and tendons. C may boost the immune system as well. Sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, potatoes, broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, chili and bell peppers, and tomatoes.

Vitamin D plays a role in the absorption and metabolism of calcium. Because of this function, vitamin D is critical for the maintenance of proper bone structure. It is manufactured in the body and can also be ingested through vitamin D milk, egg yolk, and liver.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol), like vitamins A and C, acts as an antioxidant. It helps prevent cell membrane damage and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Antioxidants neutralize oxygen-free radicals, which are created as a result of standard processes within the body. Radicals are considered unstable, and research supports the theory that radicals can be linked to several major health problems. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, potatoes, nuts and soybeans.

Vitamin K is known for its role in blood clotting. It also contributes to the maintenance of healthy bones and healing fractures. Sources of vitamin K include canola and soybean oil, and cruciferous vegetables.

You should consult your physician before taking vitamins. This is primarily because no national standards for any vitamin’s effectiveness have been established. Vitamins are regulated by the government, but as “foods.” Also, the quality of what you purchase will vary by manufacturer. This makes it extremely difficult to compare brands. Further, there is very little information available regarding the side effects and potential risks of various vitamins.

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