Vitamins and other dietary supplements are used by over 75% of the American population. Vitamins carry out several different functions in the body, from helping with metabolic processes in the body to fighting off illnesses.
With so many different types of vitamins, it’s important to know what each one does. In this short guide, we’ll take a look at the main vitamins for health and the benefits of taking them
The Different Types of Vitamins
There are two main types of vitamin:
Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues, where they can be held by the body for a longer period and used gradually. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are not absorbed as well by the body and need to be taken more regularly.
It’s important to not get confused between vitamins and supplements. A great explanation is that Vitamins are technically supplements, but they are specifically found in foods. Supplements are a broader category for anything that adds nutritional value to your diet or improves your health.
There are 13 main vitamins that your body needs to function
Vitamin A is found in fish, eggs, and dairy products. Vitamin A is essential for several processes in the body including:
Immune system function
Healthy growth of muscle tissues
Maintenance of internal organs
Reproductive system function
The recommended dosage of vitamin A for adults is 700 µg a day for men and 600 µg a day for women.
B vitamins are the most diverse group of vitamins and can be further broken down into:
Pantothenic acid (B5)
B vitamins are found in a variety of different foods including fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. They carry out several functions in the body, including producing red blood cells, converting carbohydrates and fats into energy, and maintaining nerve cell function.
Vitamin C is most commonly found in citrus fruits and several vegetables. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and an essential vitamin for immune system function. It is also crucial for the formation of iron, which the body uses to drive oxygen around the body.
Healthy adults should make sure they get between 70-150mg of vitamin C daily.
Vitamin D is the one vitamin that isn’t obtained from food. We get vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. It is recommended that people get around 10-30 minutes of direct exposure to midday sun 3-4 times a week.
Vitamin D deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency affecting over one billion people worldwide.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells against free radicals. It is found in nuts, oils, and margarine. The recommended dose for vitamin E is around 150mg a day for adults.
Vitamin K is responsible for the proper coagulation of blood. Deficiencies can lead to internal blood clots and bleeding. It is mainly found in green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.
Vitamins for Health
These different types of vitamins are all essential for overall health and well-being. You should try and get most of your vitamins from your diet. If you do show any signs of vitamin deficiency, then it’s important to consult with a health professional.
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