Vitamins are vital for the body’s metabolism. Metabolism is something that your body does in order to maintain life.
What this means is that when you eat food, your body uses that food in two ways: Catabolism and Anabolism
- Catabolism is the term used when the body breaks down substances from the food for energy. An example of catabolism is the breakdown of glucose into energy.
- Anabolism is the term used when the body creates substances taken from the food for growth and tissue repair. An example of anabolism is the formation of muscle proteins from amino acids.
How Does This Vitamin Thing Work?
Plants produce their own vitamins. Animals produce some of the vitamins they need, while the ones they don’t produce, they must get from outside means.
To get the vitamins that they can’t produce, they must eat plants and animal protein. So is the case with human beings (Vegetarianism is another topic.)
What Is Meant By “Water-soluble” and “Fat-soluble” and does it matter?
Yep, it matters! Vitamins basically come in 2 forms:
The two different classifications refer to the differences within the structure of the vitamin. The term soluble refers to a condition in which the vitamin will dissolve.
So the easiest to first understand are the water-soluble vitamins. They get this name because they dissolve in water.
Unused water-soluble vitamins pass through your body quickly via everyday elimination. Your body cannot store them. So water-soluble vitamins that your body can’t use, leaves the body through the urine. Since your body doesn’t store them, you need a continuous supply of such vitamins.
Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are just a bit more complicated. Though they are dissolved in fat, they not easily removed from the body. They are actually stored in fat. There are exceptions when fat-soluble vitamins are eliminated quickly such as with: alcoholism, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease.
Vitamin and Supplement Dosages
If you are interested in the current Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for any particular vitamin or mineral, please refer to the governments Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) which is the updated version of the familiar RDA.
However, for the purposes of Online Holistic Health, it is my belief that the current standards are far to low and do not take in account nutrient deficiencies due to:
- Over farming
- Irradiation of foods
- Fruits and vegetables routinely picked before ripening due to shipping
- Added preservatives, chemicals, dyes and waxes
- Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs
- Fast and processed foods
Other Related Articles