Nutrition 101. Vitamins

Vitamins are organic substances that our bodies need in small amounts to maintain optimal health.

In future posts we will explore comprehensive scientific data and the fascinating ups and downs of some vitamins as they fade in and out of the spotlight. But today, let’s tackle some fundamentals.

There are 13 classified vitamins: A, C, D, E, K, and the B group which includes Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Pantothenic acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Biotin (B7), Folate (B9), and Cyanocobalamin (B12). Only Vitamin D can be synthetized in our body, all others vitamins must be consumed.

The thirteen vitamins are divided into 2 main groups:

Water-soluble vitamins (C and B group) are easily absorbed by the body and are not stored in our body to any great extent (exception B12). If our diet contains less than 50% of the recommended daily amount, vitamin deficiency symptoms can begin to show within 4 weeks.

Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are dissolved and stored in our body’s adipose (fat) tissue. Toxic reactions can occur at fold-excesses of the recommended daily amounts.

For your consideration:

It is important to decide what your Vitamin Strategy will be and run it by your primary care physician.

You can get the vitamins you need by eating a variety of Nutrient-dense Colorful Food. If a nutritional gap is found or you are in a sensitive population category (managing a medical condition, pregnant, older adult, immunodeficient etc.) your doctor can advise you to take vitamin supplements.

If you choose to take vitamin supplements on your own, it is safer to go with multivitamins as they will get you closer to the recommended daily amount (RDA) for each individual vitamin. If you are taking separate vitamin supplements, then YOU need to do all the calculations to ensure you do not exceed the tolerable upper intake level. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) refers to the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects.(Note that RDA guidelines are developed for healthy individuals).

Do not chase headlines. Solid medical research takes time and the efforts of many. Choose reliable sources to educate yourself!

Know that too much of a good things can be toxic.