Vitamins and their usefulness

This article was originally written by Ric Wiley

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What is a vitamin? Well a vitamin is an organic compound which is vital for the growth of your body. Put in simpler terms, that means it’s just a natural chemical. There are 13 essential vitamins and each one has a special purpose in your body. The lack of one vitamin will lead to a vitamin deficiency
There are two distinct types of vitamins, those soluble in water and those soluble in fats. Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K are fat soluble vitamins and the water soluble vitamins are Vitamin C and Vitamin B although there are different types of Vitamin B. Vitamins A and D are water soluble vitamins and they are not as easy to store in your body as the fat soluble vitamins.
A normal well balanced diet should provide a good daily intake of the correct levels of vitamins and this is usually the case but care must be taken to ensure that you do have a well balanced diet. There are times when you may need to supplement your normal intake of vitamins and this is where vitamin supplements can be useful. This list gives an indication of where you may need a little help.
Dieting May lack vitamin B complex and Vitamin C
Heavy smokers May lack Vitamin C
Heavy Drinkers May lack some Vitamin B’s and Vitamin C
Elderly people May lack vitamin B complex and Vitamin C
Vegetarians May lack Vitamin B12 which is often found in meats
Night shift workers May lack Vitamin D (which is made in your body when it is exposed to sunlight
People who are suffering from stress, overworked or under pressure may be lacking Vitamin B complex or Vitamin C.
There are few ways that Vitamins can get into your body and these are usually by oral means. Things such as Vitamin B12 can be taken by injection but this should only be carried out by a qualified medial practitioner. One of the problems with vitamins though is that they are easily destroyed by the acids in your stomach so that much of what you take is lost due to stomach acids.
I have probably spoiled your views on vitamins but what you have to remember is that your body needs a well balanced diet which is rich in vitamins as some can be destroyed by the natural process of your body. Lightly cooking foods will help to preserve their vitamin content and eating fresh foods will again increase your intake of vitamins.
If you are worried that you have a deficiency in any particular vitamin then you can supplement your diet with the use of vitamin supplements which you will usually find in the form of tablets. These can be single vitamins or a multi vitamin tablet. Unless you have been advised by your doctor that you need to take a specific vitamin, then the decision if yours as to what vitamins you need. Many people routinely take Vitamin C, especially in the fall and winter to help keep the common cold away as this has been shown to benefit the body in fighting this ailment.
However, although these are natural products it is important to remember that as with anything Vitamins need to be taken as part of a well balanced diet and they also need to be taken in moderation. Just as with other products you can take too much of a good thing and vitamins are just the same. Take your vitamins sensibly and do not take more than you need