Vitamins are essential organic compounds that are required by the human body in minute quantities. Vitamins have a wide range of biological functions. Vitamins may also act as hormones such that they regulate the absorption of certain minerals a good example of such a vitamin is vitamin D.
Vitamins C and E act as antioxidants while B complex vitamins act as enzyme cofactors catalyzing metabolic processes. Since the 1930’s vitamins have been extracted from various ingredients and sold as dietary supplements.
Nowadays vitamin supplements have become very important. There are many reasons why vitamins are now becoming more popular than they used to say a century ago. One of the major reasons for this is the fact that many of the foods available on the market today have been over processed such that they cannot supply ample quantities of vitamins. Therefore it is essential that we supplement our diets with vitamins so as to avoid deficiencies. Vitamin deficiency can cause the body to malfunction since they are involved in many metabolic processes and play important roles in the immune system.
Vitamins can be taken as multivitamin supplements.
Multivitamin supplements are good for they can supply all the essential vitamins at one go helping you avoid the need to take several single vitamin supplements. Multivitamin supplements can also be taken by children to help them grow and develop well. Multivitamin supplements don’t only contain vitamins but they also contain minerals such as calcium and iron which are very important in the body’s metabolic and respiratory systems.
There are also specialized vitamins.
Specialized vitamins are vitamins that have been designed for a specific purpose. For instance there are vitamins designed for children, men and women and those for the elderly. Vitamins for children are designed to supply children with all the essential ingredients so their brains and bones can develop to the fullest potential. Vitamins designed for women contain more iron as iron is essential for women as they lose lot of iron during menstruation. Vitamins for the elderly may contain more vitamin D and calcium as the elderly are more prone to osteoporosis.
Vitamins are very important and it is also important to know that there are vitamins that can be taken during pregnancy to help reduce the chances of deformation in a developing fetus. Vitamins for pregnancy can also be taken to reduce the chances of miscarriage.
Although vitamins are very essential they can also be toxic to the body if taken in large amounts. Vitamins are naturally found in food in minute quantities however with supplements it is possible to take more than the recommended level. Vitamin supplements therefore come with recommended daily allowances passing the daily allowance means overdosing. An overdose of vitamins can destroy essential body organs such as the liver and kidney and at times may even be fatal. Therefore although it is important to supplement our bodies with vitamins, we also have to make sure that we stay in constant touch with our doctors so as to avoid over use of vitamins.

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