Vitamins are organic, essential nutrients that are indispensable for the body. They play a role in growth, recovery and proper functioning of the body. They are also important for good health. Vitamins are naturally found in our food, but they are also added to dietary supplements.
There are thirteen vitamins: four fat-soluble vitamins and nine water-soluble vitamins.
The fat-soluble vitamins are mostly found in the fat of foods and can be stored in the body. These are the vitamins A, D, E and K.
The water-soluble vitamins are found in the fluid of foodstuffs. The body cannot properly retain these water-soluble vitamins and therefore they need to be replenished daily. They leave the body with the urine. These are the vitamins B and C. Vitamin B is a collective name for eight different vitamins and is also known as vitamin B complex.
Finally, there is beta-carotene, which is converted in the body into vitamin A.
The following vitamins are distinguished:
Vitamins originate from living nature and can be produced by some plants and animals themselves. Our body itself does not or insufficiently produce them. Synthetic vitamins are substances that are made in a laboratory. Although the origin of vitamins may be different, this needn’t affect their functioning, provided they have the same build and structure.
Vitamins are important for the body in order to function properly. In case of lack of vitamins, disturbances may occur and disease may develop. A responsible and varied diet and healthy lifestyle are sufficient for a proper vitamin content.
Vitamin shortage can, among other things, lead to skin defects, increased susceptibility to infections and increased bleeding tendency. A doctor can, on the basis of present symptoms and examination, determine the cause of the shortage. The (moderate) use of vitamins is best achieved with a proper varied diet.
- A person can do well to take extra vitamins by means of supplements. However, don’t take too much extra vitamins. This can be harmful, especially in case of vitamins A, D, E and K.