Why are vitamins important?
Vitamins are essential nutrients that enable your body to work properly and to stay healthy.
Most vitamins can be found in the food that we eat or from vitamin supplements.
The role of vitamins
The nutrients that you get from vitamins helps your body to carry out essential functions such as:
- Production of skin, bone and muscle
- Strengthening of the immune system
- Maintenance and repair of cells, tissues and organs
- Converting food into energy
There are a wide range of vitamins with most of them having multiple functions. Some of the most commonly known types are: Vitamin B9, B12, C, D and K.
Fat-soluble vs water-soluble vitamins
The solubility of a vitamin determines how that vitamin acts within the body, they can either be fat-soluble or water-soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins are soluble in lipids (fats). They are absorbed in fat globules that travel into general blood circulation through the lymphatic system of the small intestine.
Once within the body, usually stored in the liver and fatty tissues, they tend to stay there for future use.
Fat-soluble vitamins are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, meaning the body needs a continuous supply of them in order to get the required nutrients.
Once the nutrients are absorbed the excess is excreted from the body.
Water-soluble vitamins are:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1 / B2 / B3 / B6 / B12
- Pantothenic Acid
- Folic Acid (Also known as B9)