Monday, November 22, 2010

Before you Buy Vitamins – Do You Know What’s Essential?

Let’s talk about essentials. We’ve all heard that vitamins are important and necessary, but let’s talk science for a moment. If you are looking to buy vitamins, you may want to consider what vitamins or vitamin supplements are going to have the greatest positive impact on your health. Let’s start with the essentials. An essential nutrient is one that your body needs, but it can’t make it by itself. Therefore, it is essential that you obtain these vitamins from your diet. Different species require different essential nutrients. You must be careful though, because many essential vitamins are toxic if taken in too large a dose, while some can be taken without any harm. While essential nutrients can be vitamins, they can also be essential fatty acids, essential amino acids, and other essential minerals.

Let’s look at just the vitamins. This short guide will help you understand the 13 essential vitamins and will help you become an informed person as you buy vitamins in the future. So let’s begin with the essentials (vitamins):

B1 (Thiamine)
B2 (Riboflavin)
B3 (Niacin)
Folic Acid
Pantothenic Acid

Vitamins are grouped into two categories which are fat-soluble (in bold above) and water soluble vitamins. This is important to know because only fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body’s fatty tissue and used at a later time. The exception is Vitamin B12, which is water-soluble, but is able to be stored for several years by the liver.

So, we can get into more detail in future posts, but let’s recap what we’ve learned so far and how you can use this information to help you buy vitamins. In summary, our body needs essential nutrients to survive. Essential nutrients are those that cannot be produced by the body, so we must get them from our diet. There are 13 essential vitamins, of which some are fat-soluble and others are water soluble.

Have fun buying vitamins.