Vitamins are a class of essential nutrients that cannot be synthesized (either at all or in sufficient quantities) by a given organism and must be taken (in trace quantities) with food for that organism's continued good health. Humans require 13 different vitamins. The term vitamin is not used for other classes of essential nutrients including dietary minerals, essential fatty acids or essential amino acids.
Vitamins are complex organic substances that are needed in very small amounts for many of the processes carried out in the body. Usually only a few milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mg) are needed per day, but these amounts are essential for health. Most vitamins cannot be made by the body, so have to be provided by the diet, although vitamin D can be obtained by the action of sunlight on the skin, and small amounts of a B vitamin (niacin) can be made from the amino acid (tryptophan).
When choosing the right vitamin for you, start by thinking about what your lifestyle is like. If you’re pregnant, then you should be taking a folic acid supplement to prevent birth defects in your child. You’ll also want to take folic acid if you are trying to get pregnant.
Beta-carotene is another good choice that offers many different benefits of vitamins. Researchers believe it even protects against cancer and heart disease. Beta-carotene is a very powerful antioxidant, which means it also provides many other benefits, like controlling free radicals, which cause aging. Beta-carotene has also been shown to improve vision and fight skin problems like psoriasis.
One of the most important benefits of vitamins is that they tend to ward off Alzheimer’s disease. There is so much that we still don’t know about Alzheimer’s, but we do know that proper nutrition and plenty of brain food can fight it. Taking a daily vitamin supplement can go a long way toward helping prevent Alzheimer’s, so you should start at a young age.
Another vitamin that has a lot of health benefits is Vitamin B-12. It keeps your nerve system functioning in good order and can prevent nerve damage, weak muscles and many other problems. Vitamin B-12 can keep you from becoming depressed and fatigued, in addition preventing anemia. Other benefits of vitamins like B-12 include the upkeep of blood cells.
Vitamin C is another important building block for your body. It plays an important role in your immune system and keeps you from getting sick all the time. Vitamin C is also one of the building blocks of collagen, which helps to repair wounds and prevents you from getting a scar. Vitamin C has also been show to prevent cataracts.
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