Vitamins are essential nutrients found on foods. The requirements are small, but they perform specific and vital functions essential for maintaining health. Vitamins are divided into two groups: water-soluble (B-complex and C) and fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K). Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are not stored. They are eliminated in urine. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. They are eliminated much more slowly than water-soluble vitamins. (J. Anderson and L. Young, 2008).
According to Leslie Bilderback, Vitamins are necessary components of a healthy diet. They are considered essential nutrients because our bodies either do not make them, or do not make enough of them. They are essential for normal body functions like cell growth, blood cell production, hormone and enzyme synthesis, energy metabolism, and proper functioning of the body systems, including the immune system, nervous system, circulatory, and reproductive system. (www.netplaces.com)
Water-soluble vitamins are very important. Eight of the water-soluble vitamins are known as the B-Complex group: thiamin (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin, Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid. Vitamin B-Complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, good vision, a healthy nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin C helps to hold your body’s cells together, aides with the healing process, helps with tooth and bone development, strengthens the walls of your blood vessels, improves iron absorption, and essential for your immune system to function properly. (FITDAY, 2000-2001).
Fat-soluble vitamins are also important. Vitamin A helps your eyes adjust to light changes, and plays an important role in bone development, tooth development, cell division, gene expression and reproduction. Vitamin D helps to form and maintain your teeth and bones, and increases the amount of calcium that your small intestine absorbs. Vitamin E...
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