Vitamins are classed as essential simply because they ensure that our bodies function as they were designed to. However, as important as vitamins are, the human body has no means to produce its own. Instead, it must rely on outside sources to meet its nutritional needs. Vitamins are natural organic compounds that are found in many foods we consume and additionally in the form of a nutritional dietary supplements.
Fourteen different vitamins are needed to perform such crucial functions as helping protect against infections and disease, helping the bodies metabolism, helping the body grow and helping the body remove waste.
Vitamins can be compared to building blocks in as much that a healthy human body is able to put these blocks together to create the enzymes and hormones that, among other things, control blood pressure, heart rate, glucose levels and many other chemical reactions.
The recommended daily allowance or RDA of the various vitamins and dietary supplements is different depending on an individuals age and current state of health.
Pregnant women for instance need a different combination of vitamins and minerals to protect the fetus against birth defects. On the other hand, men have different requirements to that of women and depending on age younger and elderly adults have differing needs when it comes to nutrition.
As well as thinking of food as a source of fuel, you should also give your body the right type of fuel so that it will perform at optimum efficiency. Give the body the wrong type of fuel and it's performance will begin to decline.
Why take Dietary Supplements
Although it may not be noticeable at first, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to serious health issues further down the line. These days, very few people eat what could be considered as a nutritionally balanced diet. In fact, many people from all age groups have developed some very poor eating habits. Foods that are high in fat, processed foods and convenience food have all taken the place of healthy eating.
Because people cannot see what is going on inside their bodies, it is difficult to get a good understanding of the negative effects that a poor diet can have on the body. Generally, it is not until the body begins putting on excess weight that the effects start to become visually noticeable. However, trouble has already started building inside the body long before the excess weight shows on the outside.
Vitamin deficiencies can show up in various ways depending on the nutrition that your body is deficient in. For instance, low levels of Vitamin D can cause weak or even deformed bones whereas a Vitamin E deficiency can lead to the destruction of red blood cells. Low Vitamin C intake can cause ailments such as weakness, sore muscles, tiredness and can cause gums to bleed. Overall deficiency in all vitamins can even lead to death.
Nutritional dietary supplements are an effective way to fill in the nutritional gaps caused by poor eating habits. However, the only truly accurate way of knowing whether the body is getting enough vitamins is with a blood test.
If you consider that you are not getting enough vitamins then the chances are that you are not. Do yourself a favor and find out soon.