When you see information about vitamins, you often see the word ‘essential' right before ‘vitamins'. Have you ever wondered why? It's actually quite simple. Our bodies require vitamins and minerals to function at optimum efficiency. It's interesting, then, that our bodies are incapable of producing most vitamins and minerals for themselves. Instead we have to source these necessary vitamins and minerals from outside sources.
Vitamins occur naturally in many of the foods we at, as they are organic compounds. You can also get vitamins in the form of a vitamin supplement. A staggering thirteen vitamins are considered necessary to perform crucial functions in the body such as provide protection against infection and diseases, helping the body grow, helping the body's metabolism and the removal of waste products.
The body uses vitamins a little like building blocks. It puts all the different blocks together in different combinations to produce the hormones and enzymes that control things such as heart rate, glucose levels, blood pressure and other chemical reactions.
Can I Have Too Many Vitamins?
Over the years, guidelines for the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of each vitamin and mineral have been formulated. These take into account a person's age, gender, and current state of health. A pregnant woman, for example, needs a certain combination of vitamins in order to protect the fetus from birth defects. An adult man requires different types and amounts of vitamins to an adult woman. Also, the nutritional requirements of children, teenagers and the elderly are quite different.
Food basically acts like fuel for your body. If you give your body the best type of fuel it will be able to perform at optimum levels. Give it dirty or bad fuel, and you'll begin to notice a decline in performance levels.
What Happens If I Don't Have Enough Vitamins?
Vitamin deficiencies tend to grow over time, so the first signs may be hardly noticeable. However, down the road they can lead to serious health issues. Not enough people eat a nutritionally balanced diet nowadays. It's common for adults to have very poor eating habits. Healthy, natural foods have been replaced by processed foods, high fat foods, fast food and restaurant food.
Unfortunately we can't take a look inside our body and see what exactly is going wrong in there thanks to our poor dietary habits. Most people don't even think about what they're eating until they start to put on excess weight and it becomes very noticeable. Excess weight is often one of the later signs, and by the time you notice the extra weight, there could already be serious trouble brewing inside.
A lack of Vitamin C can lead to tiredness, weakness, sore muscles and bleeding gums. If you're low on Vitamin D, you can end up with weak or possible even deformed bones. Not enough Vitamin E can cause the destruction of vital red blood cells. In extreme cases vitamin deficiencies can even lead to death.
If you're concerned you may be lacking some essential vitamins thanks to bad eating habits, than a vitamin supplement can be a good way to fill the gaps. The only way to know for sure if your body isn't getting enough vitamins is to have a blood test. Generally, though, if you think you might not be getting enough vitamins, you're probably right. Try a daily multivitamin supplement and you might just be surprised at how much better you feel overall.
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