Vitamins and Vitamins Supplements
The term 'vitamin' is derived from 'vital amine'. They are a group of substances required in small amounts for growth and development but which cannot be manufactured by the body.
Without vitamins the human body would not survive. We all need vitamins in order to live a long and healthy life. Vitamins serve crucial functions in almost all bodily processes (immune, hormonal and nervous systems) and must be obtained from food or supplements as our bodies are unable to make vitamins. Studies have shown that being well nourished with vitamins and minerals can lower cholesterol levels, help wounds heal faster, raise your sperm count and make you more resistant to colds and flu, asthma, cataracts, and even gum disease.
Vitamins are classified as either water soluble, meaning that they dissolve easily in water, or fat soluble, and are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of lipids.
Dosages and RDAs
Recommended dosages for nutrients should be followed carefully. With vitamin supplements it's not the case that more is better; exceeding recommended doses can be dangerous. However, therapeutic doses are usually significantly higher than official recommended daily allowances (RDAs).
Vitamin side effects
All vitamins have well documented side effects. Like drug side effects, vitamin side effects also increase in severity with increasing dosage. At high enough dosages vitamins can cause extreme side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
How to take and store vitamins
Store vitamins in a cool dark place, or they will 'go off', just like apples in a bowl. The best place to store vitamins is in the refrigerator - make sure there is a lid on the container.
Take vitamin supplements at room temperature with cool water. Hot drinks can destroy nutrients; iced drinks slow absorption.
Take the vitamin supplement with or without food or according to the health care provider.
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