A skeptic may think that vitamin supplements are a company’s marketing gimmick to get more customers. They may point out that these products were not around a couple of generations ago and people lived much longer and healthier back then!
But that argument does not describe a situation that has stayed constant; whereas people of several generations ago may have gotten enough vitamins and minerals from the food they eat, today’s average person spends much time wolfing down junk food while chasing after success. The presence of fast food chains may have made things more convenient, but doctors actually say that the food they serve offers no nutritional value whatsoever, or at least none that can make any difference in one’s health. This is the basic reason why this generation needs vitamin supplements all the more. To give you a brief idea of what each vitamin does to our body, a quick list is outlined below. This may perhaps bring you back to science classes during your student years, but it is always good to be reminded:
1. Vitamin A – This vitamin is well known for improving our eyesight as well as our skin. Common food sources are carrots and squash. Since these vegetables rarely make their way into our daily meals, and less likely to be in any substantial amount, Vitamin A has become a popular food supplement. Take note though that Vitamin A is fat-soluble, and not water-soluble, meaning it should not be overdosed. A deficiency in this vitamin results in eyesight problems.
2. B Vitamins – Vitamins B1, B2, B6, and B12 give a combination of benefits, including improving one’s digestive system by enhancing production of hydrochloric acid as well as help the body to break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It also results in healthy hair, nails, and skin, thanks to their assistance in correct RNA and DNA synthesis and subsequently cell reproduction. They are collectively known as B complex vitamins, and are commonly prescribed for pregnant mothers, along with iron, in order to assure healthy growth of both the mother and the baby. For children, these vitamins are also known to improve height development. Deficiency in any B vitamin can result in a poorly functioning digestive system, as well as skin problems like dermatitis, acne, wrinkles, and falling hair.
3. Vitamin C – This vitamin is perhaps the most well-known in terms of raising immunity and improving one’s skin. This means it helps ward off common coughs and colds. Best sources include citrus fruits. It is also responsible for making wounds heal faster. This vitamin is water soluble and has been proven to be safe for daily consumption. A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to frequent sickness as well as scurvy.
4. Vitamin D – This vitamin, which is directly linked to the sun, helps our bodies absorb calcium effectively, which makes it a necessity for optimum bone health. People living in tropical countries typically do not require much extra food supplements of vitamin D as they can get it from the sun, but for those in countries with less sun, the best food sources include oily fish like mackerel and salmon, as well as fortified milk products. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are recommended to get more than the regular dose of vitamin D.
5. Vitamin E – This vitamin is comprised of eight antioxidants. It is a fat soluble vitamin that helps keep vitamin A as well as essential fatty acids from oxidizing in the cells. It also prevents body tissues from breaking down, making it perfect for high stress lifestyles. It has been proven to help tremendously in preventing heart disease by helping limit the oxidation of bad cholesterol. Although the link to preventing cancer has not been proven directly, its antioxidant function can be said to fight against cancer to some extent.
Perhaps this has reminded you of the benefits that come from having ample supply of these vitamins. Since you probably well know that you most likely do not get enough of them from your daily intake of food, now you can perhaps consider getting food supplements to make sure you get your daily dose of these beneficial vitamins for optimum health