Vitamins and their importance!
What are vitamins,which is the origine of the term "vitamin" and many kinds of them do we count?
Vitamins are some natural ingredients present in almost all foods. Although in small quantities they are essential for all body functions, including tissue regeneration and maintenance of human health.
A Polish scientist named Casimir Funk (1884-1967) first used the term "Vitamin" after its discovery of some essential ingredients in foods that are fundamental to the maintenance of health. The word "vitamin" comes from the Latin word "Vita" (life) and the biochemical term amine nitrogen compound. But not all vitamins contain nitrogen.
Our body uses vitamins every day during the normal biochemical processes of life. Taking vitamins from food, helps in releasing energy from our body and in the processes of growth and regeneration of tissue.
So far there are 13 types identified: A, C, D, E, K and 8 of Group B. Group B complex includes: thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5) pyridoxine (B6), Cyancobalamina (B12), folic acid (folate folacin) and Biotine (H).
What is the difference between water-soluble vitamins,and fat soluble vitamins?
Vitamins are divided into two groups: water soluble and fat solbule.The water soluble ones (vitamins C and B Complex) are easily absorbable by the human tissues.Human body can not store or accumulate water soluble vitamins and therefore their daily intake is necessary to meet the needs. Vitamin B12 makes an exception to this rule. If it’s untake has been immediate by liver can maintain it for several months.
Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) can be stored in the liver for a long time so their untake in a single dosage is sufficient.
Can vitamins be synthesized by our bodies themselves; do vitamins release energy; and do they make us fat?
In some cases, yes!
Vitamin K is produced by some certain bacteria present in the human body (microflora). Newborn children do not have this type of bacteria and therefore they require an intake of vitamin K until this bacteria starts to grow.
Also, vitamin D and niacin B3 can be produced by the body, but in small quantities. So again there is a need of their untake through outer ways .
Vitamins themselves do not release energy.Vitamins help in converting food into energy which the body needs to stay warm, active and healthy.Thus people who take an unbalanced diet may suffer from fatigue and frequent viral and bacterial infections and therefore the intake of vitamins and other elements can help to maintain the energy needed.
Vitamins have no caloric value and are not source energy, however vitamins help the body to use or release the energy present in foods. Some vitamins may be sugar collected which can give them 1 calory or maximum 2.
Why do we often find vitamins in cosmetics ingredients?
Vitamin A, E and panthenol are important to skin health. Vitamin A improves skin cell regeneration. Vitamin E helps to protect against the negative effects of ultra violet rays, reduces rashes from exposure of the skin and retains moisture. Panthenol derivative of panthotenik acid protects the skin from drying, soothes inflammation and adds shine and softness to hair.
When is it recommended to take vitamins?
Besides a healthy diet that is recommended for any age group, there are several stages of life during which the doctor recommends to increase the amount of vitamins that are taken by mouth:
- For adults over 50 years, it recommended intake of vitamin B12, to add to the diet food products that have in their content vitamin B12.
- For adults or people who have dark skin and do not get sunlight at least 15 minutes a day, they should take vitamin D or to add to their diet food products that have in their content vitamin D.
- For pregnant women or planning to have children soon, it is advised to take folic acid.
Researches prove that folic acid is especially needed for the fetus during 30-60 days after fertilization. It reduces the risk of birth injury and anencephali including spina bifida. Even to prevent these injuries, nutritient experts recommend taking it at least three months before conception. Pregnant women and their children are particularly at risk from the use of vegetarian food (no meat, eggs, milk).
Studies have shown that both mother and child, often suffer from anemia and this implies the preservation of bone as result of deficiency of vitamin B12 that has not been taken during pregnancy.
Is it necessary that certain drugs be accompanied by vitamins?
Use of certain medications can disrupt vitamins balance in the body by changing opportunity of absorption , use and storage of vitamins. Eg Oral contraceptives reduce folic acid, neomycin and cholestyramine affect vitamin B12, etc ...
For all of these, it is necessary to consult a doctor.