Facts About Vitamins

We hear about the importance of vitamins all the time, but many of us don't really have as many facts about vitamins as we need...

Since having knowledge is empowering and knowing more about something either makes it more pleasurable or more useful: sometimes both. So, without further ado, let's delve into some of the facts about vitamins.

  • According to the Medical Encyclopedia, "vitamins are organic components in food that are needed in very small amounts for growth and for maintaining good health." The word "vitamin" comes from the precursor word "vitamine" (vital amine), which got changed to the modern spelling in 1911 after it was discovered that not all vitamins are amines --that is, they don't all contain nitrogen.

  • The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. We mainly get these vitamins from meats, fish, vegetable oils, dairy products, and animal fats. True to their name, they get transported throughout the body in fat. The body stores the excessive amounts of fat-soluble vitamins in fatty tissues and in the liver. Since these vitamins are stored in the body, ingesting their sources every single day is not necessary for the average person.

  • The water-soluble vitamins are B, C, and folic acid. These are also found in meat and fish, but also in fruits and veggies and whole grains. Since they are transported throughout the body in water, the body can't store them, but instead urinates or sweats out any excess.  So, these vitamins' food sources, or supplements that contain them, are needed every single day. Also, water-soluble vitamins are destroyed by too-high temperatures, so steaming and grilling over low flame are the preferred methods of preparing their food sources when you are concerned about ingesting these vitamins.

Known Vitamins

  • The best way to take vitamin supplements, which almost all of us need these days no matter how well we eat, is to ingest them with meals, preferably breakfast or lunch. If you take vitamin supplements on an empty stomach, you'll just urinate most of them out of your system.
  • Vitamin supplements should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place so that they don't "spark" (think of fruits in a bowl in the summertime) and therefore lose their beneficial value.
  • Vitamin supplements are necessary for most people to maintain optimal health, youthfulness, energy levels, and longevity. It is arguable whether or not there was a time when people could ingest all of the vitamins they needed just from the foods they ate, but that time seems past if it ever existed. It is best to take vitamin supplements that are potent with just one or a few vitamins, rather than a so-called "multivitamin" which is too diluted with low mixtures of ingredients. (more about Daily Vitamin Supplements)

  • Spirulina, or blue-green algae, supplements are among the very best such supplements that you can take.

I hope that these facts about vitamins have helped you out with your nutritional knowledge. Knowing the facts about vitamins as you do now should enable you to be able to make much more informed decisions about your lifestyle and health matters. (See What Vitamins Should I take)

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