Vitamins - Minerals Information


The supplement market has been dominated by vitamins for years but vitamins and amino acids are useless without minerals because all enzyme activities involve minerals. Minerals are needed to maintain the delicate cellular fluid balance, to form bone and blood cells, to provide for electrochemical nerve activity and to regulate muscle tone and activity. This includes key organ muscles like the heart, stomach and liver.

Minerals are primarily stored in bone and muscle tissue so toxicity is a possibility. Toxicity risks increase when one isolated mineral is ingested without any supportive cofactor nutrients. Such situations of mineral toxicity are quite rare, because toxic levels accumulate only if massive overdoses persist for a prolonged period of time.

Learn how vitamins and minerals affect your body and your health.

Vitamins

Vitamins are micronutrients that are essential to life and healthy living. They are natural substances found in living things such as plants. Vitamins must be obtained  from foods or supplements as they cannot usually be produced by the body. Everyone should be aware, failing to get the necessary amounts of specific vitamins can cause deficiency states that are unhealthy and even dangerous. Getting your vitamins from whole foods is preferred since our body will recognize nutrients from whole foods more readily than synthetic vitamins.

Governmental regulation of vitamin supplements

Most countries place dietary supplements in a special category under the general umbrella of "foods," not drugs. This necessitates that the manufacturer, and not the government, be responsible for ensuring that its dietary supplement products are safe before they are marketed. Unlike drug products that must implicitly be proven safe and effective for their intended use before marketing, there are often no provisions to "approve" dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer. Also unlike drug products, manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are not generally required to report any claims of injuries or illnesses that may be related to the use of their products  Some manufacturers of vitamin supplements claim that there are no side effects, and few, if any, provide warning labels. In reality, side effects have been reported from supplements containing close to 1 RDA of B-complex vitamins. More troublesome, some of these reports demonstrated that people can take daily supplements for months or even years before the side effects emerge.

Vitamin Information

 

Minerals

Minerals are found in plants. Plants get minerals from the soil — soil gets minerals from water washing over rocks. For vitamins to do their job, they require minerals. Minerals must also be obtained from food or supplements.

Dietary minerals are the chemical elements required by living organisms, other than the four elements Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and Oxygen which are ubiquitous in organic molecules. They can be either bulk minerals (required in relatively large amounts) or trace minerals (required only in very small amounts).

These can be naturally occurring in food or added in elemental or mineral form, such as calcium carbonate or sodium chloride. Some of these additives come from natural sources such as ground oyster shells. Sometimes minerals are added to the diet separately from food, as vitamin and mineral supplements and in dirt eating, called pica or geophagy.

Appropriate intake levels of each dietary mineral must be sustained to maintain physical health. Excessive intake of a dietary mineral may either lead to illness directly or indirectly because of the competitive nature between mineral levels in the body.

Where do vitamins and minerals go in the body?

Vitamins and minerals go from your stomach to your intestines. They then go through a very complex allocation system whereby the body distributes certain vitamins and minerals to parts of your body based on its own priority system. If a nutrient is needed in a certain organ that the body deems more important, it will take the nutrient from a less important organ, and allocate it to a more important organ. It basically robs Peter to pay Paul. That’s why it is critical to maintain proper vitamin & mineral levels.

Vitamins and Minerals in your body should not be viewed independently. They are a cooperative network of nutrients that work together. When any nutrients are missing it throws the entire network of nutrients out of balance and can cause a negative affect on the body.

Mineral Information

     

    How Do Vitamins and Minerals leave the body?

    Vitamins and Minerals are processed and used by the body. As they perform their bodily function, they use themselves up in the process. This is especially true with the most critical disease fighting anti-oxidants.

    Even when you are thinking about stuff is using vitamins and minerals in the body. Exercise and stress will use up a lot vitamins and minerals. Substances like drugs, alcohol, coffee, tea and sodas increase the discharge of urine and washes vitamins and minerals out of the body. This can create vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can create major health problems. Tobacco and alcohol can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals or accelerate the loss of them.

    Vitamin & Mineral supplementation is necessary for the following reasons:

    1. Crop nutrient losses — Decades of agriculture have overworked and depleted soils of minerals necessary to be in our foods.

    2. Poor digestion — Eating too much or too quickly and stress can cause indigestion. Indigestion reduces absorption of vitamins and minerals.

    3. Over-cooking  — Can easily destroy valuable food nutrients.

    4. Microwave cooking — Some studies suggest that microwave cooking alters the nutritional structure of food.

    5. Food storage — Length of storage and freezing deplete the nutritional value of most foods.

    6. Food selection — Eating a too limited range of different food groups will result in nutrient deficiencies.

    7. Food omission — Allergies to foods, crash dieting and poorly designed vegetarian diets omit significant dietary sources of nutrients.

    8. Environmental factors Herbicides and Pesticides are used on crops, leaving them with lower nutritional value.

    9. Antibiotics — Antibiotics interfere with the intake of essential nutrients.

    10. Poor lifestyle habits — Smoking, alcohol and caffeine can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals or accelerate the loss of nutrients.

    11. Stress — Be it physical or emotional, can increase the body’s requirement of vitamins and minerals.

    12. Out of balance —The level of each vitamin and mineral in the body has an effect on others, so if one is out of balance (missing all are adversely effected. With antioxidants, one is not nearly as strong as several combined as each greatly enhances the power of the others.

    13. Nutrient variance —There are substantial differences between one fruit or vegetable and another. One tomato can have 10 times more nutritional value than another - which tomato did you eat?