What You Should Know About Vitamins and Supplements
Getting the right vitamins and supplements can help you feel good and stay healthy. These are organic molecules that help your body function properly. There are two main types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble.
Water-soluble vs fat-soluble vitamins
Choosing the right vitamins for your diet involves understanding the role of each vitamin and how they act in the body. A healthy diet includes a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. You should also talk with a healthcare provider about which supplements may be right for you.
Both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins have their own unique functions and sources. The difference between them is the way they are absorbed. Aside from the source of vitamins, the amount you need to consume to avoid deficiency is also important.
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are transported in the bloodstream to the tissues of the body. The excess is flushed out by the kidneys. In most cases, you should consume these vitamins on a daily basis to maintain a high level.
However, a vitamin overdose can have harmful effects. One example is Vitamin D, which is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Too much of this vitamin can affect heart rhythms and blur your vision. You should only consume vitamin D within the recommended daily consumption range.
If you want to increase your intake of vitamins, you can buy multivitamins. They are a good option to fill the nutritional gaps in your diet. You can also purchase specialty formulas that contain vitamins. These are useful when you need a quick dose of vitamins or are unable to eat enough fresh food to meet your needs.
Vitamin B complex is essential for the formation of red blood cells. It also serves as a cofactor in biochemical reactions. These vitamins include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate.
These are just some of the vitamins that are considered water-soluble. There are other fat-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin A, which are stored in the liver and fatty tissue. These vitamins are absorbed along with the fats in your diet. They are primarily found in animal and plant foods. A fat-soluble vitamin may be able to help you to lose weight, but if you are overweight, it is important to know the best way to take them.
Functions of vitamins
Various types of vitamins and supplements are important for the human body. These organic compounds have many functions that include repairing cellular damage, keeping nerves and muscles healthy, and strengthening the immune system. However, the effects of vitamins and supplements can vary from person to person.
Vitamins and supplements can be divided into two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and are absorbed by the intestines through lymph vessels. The water-soluble vitamins are metabolized in the gastrointestinal tract and leave the body via urine.
These nutrients are found in foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. They can also be produced by the body. Calcium is a major mineral that is needed to maintain the structure and function of bones. Other minerals include potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfur. The kidneys continuously regulate the amount of these vitamins in the body.
Vitamins and supplements help the body to carry out hundreds of different functions. They act as antioxidants, neutralizing free radicals that can cause damage to the body’s tissues and proteins. They also help the body metabolize food and repair cellular damage.
Vitamins can be obtained through a balanced diet, although some individuals may require additional vitamin supplements. They are usually available in the form of fortified foods, which can be helpful for certain health problems or restricted diets.
The body can produce some vitamins, but most vitamins are essential. The body is not able to manufacture enough of these nutrients. Some of these nutrients are required in large amounts, while others are needed in smaller amounts.
Some people may require additional vitamin supplements if they have celiac disease or Crohn’s disease. These supplements can be used to increase the levels of some vitamins, such as thiamin. Folic acid is essential for the growth and development of the body’s hair and nails, as well as its DNA.
The sun provides the body with vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and promotes proper bone development. It can be obtained naturally through sunlight, fatty fish, and eggs. A balanced diet is the best way to get the recommended dosage of these vitamins and supplements.
Expiration dates for vitamins and supplements are important to know. Some vitamin companies voluntarily include an expiration date on their products. Others may list a manufacturing date instead. If you have questions about the date of a particular product, check out the manufacturer’s website.
Most dietary supplements have a shelf life of about two years. However, some vitamins have a longer shelf life. Some vitamins, like folic acid, may go bad more quickly than others.
Expired vitamins are usually safe to consume, but it’s not a good idea to throw them out. If they smell strange or have visible mold, they may be unsafe to ingest. If they end up in the water supply, they may contaminate the water.
The best way to store vitamins is to keep them out of direct sunlight and humidity. Storing them in an airtight container is the best way to prevent oxidation and mold growth.
Keeping an eye on the expiration date is important for both your health and the environment. Expired vitamins can potentially contaminate the water supply. They may also end up in lakes, rivers, and wastewater treatment plants.
If you’re still not sure about the validity of an expiration date on a particular vitamin or supplement, consult your pharmacist or doctor. They should be able to tell you if it’s safe to ingest.
Expiration dates on vitamins and supplements vary according to the form of the nutrient. For instance, gummy vitamins tend to degrade faster than pills. Powder and gelcap delivery forms are also less stable.
The best way to ensure the potency of your vitamins is to follow the manufacturer’s storage instructions. For instance, you can store liquid vitamins in a refrigerator. For unopened powder supplements, a sealed bag is the best option.
While there’s no official regulation governing the use of expiration dates on supplements, it’s a good idea to know about them. Most manufacturers voluntarily put expiration dates on their products. If you have questions about the dates on your supplements, ask the manufacturer. It’s not uncommon for retail stores to require you to buy a new product if you buy one that’s expired.
Taking too much of certain vitamins and supplements can lead to side effects. These side effects are common, but they are rarely life-threatening. However, if you have a history of these side effects, you should consult your physician.
The most common vitamin supplements include calcium, vitamin D, and multivitamins. Using these medications frequently can help prevent micronutrient deficiencies. They also can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Some vitamins and minerals are fat-soluble, which means they can build up in the body. This can be harmful, and an overdose can cause damage to the liver. These vitamins can also interact with prescription drugs and can increase the risk of drug interactions.
Some of the most common adverse side effects of vitamins and supplements are fatigue, nausea, and aches. These side effects typically go away as your body adjusts to the supplement. Some supplements, such as iron-containing multivitamins, can lead to an overdose. These products are especially dangerous for children, as they can exceed the nutrient UL.
Many of the side effects of multivitamins are related to the gut, and they can be quite mild. Depending on the formulation of the supplement, some may cause allergic reactions. There are also several other side effects, but these are usually minor.
There are also some reports of a relationship between the use of supplemental antioxidants and toxicity. For example, pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is linked to neurotoxicity, photosensitivity, and chronic sensory polyneuropathy in elderly patients. Some studies have also shown that women who take a supplement have a higher risk of dying.
Because many of these side effects are rare, it is difficult to determine whether they are safe or not. However, taking a multivitamin that provides 100% of the DRIs is usually safe.
The FDA estimates that between 2007 and mid-April 2012, there were approximately 6,300 reports of serious side effects associated with vitamin supplements. These reports were mostly for vitamin D and calcium. The types of problems reported included heart problems, kidney problems, and liver damage. The agency says these reports don’t prove that supplements caused the problems, but they can alert the public to potential problems.
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