Vitamins can be defined as potent a organic compound which is fond in variable and minutes quantity, and must be supplied to the living organisms from external sources for performance of specific physiological functions, vital to life. Each of essential vitamins has a specific function in the body, but is effective only when taken with one another and in combination with proteins, fat and carbohydrates. Vitamins taken as drug as drug can correct deficiencies treat diseases and make recovery faster.
The Vitamins are widely distributed in nature-both in animal and vegetables sources. All vitamins are manufactured in plants. The animals can manufacture a few only but can store all too some extent. Generally all common food articles contain more than one Vitamin. The daily total requirement of Vitamins is small as they work in very low concentration. The daily need to any Vitamin for an individual varies according to the rate of metabolism.
Thus it is required in larger quantity for people doing heavy muscular work, pregnancy, lactation, growing children etc. Vitamins can be stored in the body to some extent, like fat-soluble in liver and subcutaneous tissues, and water-soluble in adrenal cortex etc. Vitamins are partly destroyed and are partly excreted. Some Vitamins are synthesized in the body, like Vitamin A from carotene, Vitamin B complex by micro-organisms in the intestinal tract, Vitamin C in some animals like rat, and Vitamin D for sun-rays. All vitamins when given orally are effective since they are absorbed as such, and are not destroyed in digestive process. Take vitamin supplements always with meals, as a little fat is needed to absorb vitamin A, D, E, and K.
Vitamins act as a coenzyme of other metabolic enzymes. This explains why the deficiency of a particular vitamin affects some systems and tissues (since it acts as a coenzyme of the specific enzymes of those tissues) and spares others more or less unharmed. The vitamins are not antigenic (foreign substance like toxins). Most of the vitamins have been artificially synthesized. The international unit (IU) is a unit of measurement for vitamin potency. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is the amount of vitamin or mineral that is required to meet basic nutritional needs, as determined by the National Research Council.
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Dr John Anne
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