What are vitamins? In brief – they are organic matters, which are not synthesized by the human body, however, play a highly important role in biochemical and physiological processes of our organism. This makes vitamins different to other relevant organic substances like carbohydrates, fats and proteins which are used as structural elements and sources of energy for living forms. In simple words- vitamins are like something small but very very significant.
How to avoid vitamin deficiency? The answer is as easy as pie – variety of food. For healthy persons with normal physical activity enough to diversify his diet and eat adequate quantity of food made of variety of cereals, vegetables, fruits, meat and eggs. However, slight shortage of vitamins may have seasonal nature (actually it is connected with seasonal disappearance or relatively high price of some products). In this case multivitamin food supplements are advised.
There are two groups of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble.
Fat soluble vitamins can be accumulated in the body. Exaggerated consumption of vitamin supplements can cause hypervitaminosis. In case we consume fat reduced food we should take into account that natural concentration of fat soluble vitamins is also reduced (together with the fat). However, some food manufacturers restore natural level of fat soluble vitamins in fat reduced products.It must be indicated on the product packaging.
Water soluble vitamins are hardly accumulated in the body and their excessive quantity is removed with urine. This means that regular presence of water soluble vitamins in our meals is necessary.
|Fat soluble vitamins||Water soluble vitamins|
What do we have to know? Vitamins are not produced by the human body and must be consumed with food or supplements always in appropriate quantity. Why “always in appropriate quantity”? “Always” -because excess of vitamins of one group are easily excreted and there is no way to accumulate them; “appropriate quantity” because excess of vitamins of other group can be accumulated and cause hypervitaminosis.
Is consumption of vitamins the same for all people? Consumption of vitamins actually depends on gender, age, physiological condition, intensity of physical activity, kind of food we eat and climate where we live.