Vitamin Series: An Overview

Welcome to the Vitamin series! Every  week, we will be outlining the details of essential vitamins, their function, details about their benefits, signs of deficiency and more! Education about your health and wellness is the number one thing you might need to make sure you are on track to live your as healthy as possible. To kick-off the vitamin series, we will begin with an overview education on vitamins as a whole and why we need them!

So, what are vitamins?

Vitamins are supplemental substances that your body needs to grow and develop normally and properly. They are truly essential to our diet and in our bodies and each vitamin of the 13 your body needs has a very specific job which we will explain as we introduce a new vitamin each week. While vitamins are available in pills and in supplement form, however, the best way to consume your vitamins is through a balanced diet, right in fruits and vegetables.

There are two kinds of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble. While there are many difference in how each vitamins interacts in the body, this difference is a large determinant. Fat soluble vitamins are soluble in lipids (fats).  When fat soluble vitamins are consumed, they are typically absorbed in fat globules that travel through the lymphatic system of the small intestine and into general circulation throughout the body.  Unlike water soluble vitamins that are able to be excreted, once fat soluble vitamins are stored in tissue, they remain there. For this reason, consuming too high concentrations of fat soluble vitamins can cause a person to develop hypervitaminosis (too much vitamin in the body).

Water soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are carried to tissues, dissolve quickly in the body and cannot be stored. Because of this, any excess amount of water soluble vitamins is excreted.  Additionally, because they are still essential to daily function, these vitamins need to be consumed on a regular basis to maintain adequate levels within the body.

Throughout the Vitamin Series, we will detail how vitamins are absorbed, their job once released into the body, how they effect vein health and the best food sources of each. Stay tuned next week for Vitamin A!

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