Vitamins play a diverse yet vitally important role in the functioning of the human body. Deficiencies in the levels of the various vitamins can severely disrupt the metabolic processes necessary for optimal action. Even a “healthy” daily diet may well not provide all the quantities necessary, especially during or when preventing illness. It may be difficult to eat enough food to ingest the most beneficial amount of each particular vitamin.
This may also disrupt complex inter-linked reactions. Vitamin D is vital for the body to be able to absorb calcium effectively, which in turn may help aide in the prevention of bone thinning and degeneration. Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, aids in ridding the body of harmful free radicals, which have been implicated in many afflictions. With adequate levels of vitamins, growth and development can be optimized and the body’s immune response system, metabolic system, nervous system, and various other regulatory mechanisms can perform fully.
Adequate levels of vitamins in the body need to be maintained on a daily basis. Excesses of the water-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin C, are excreted in the urine, whereas the fat-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin D, are stored. These water-soluble vitamins (excluding Vitamin C) allow the enzymes that break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates to function, thereby allowing the release and absorption of the energy within these micro-nutrients. The food we eat does not always provide the levels of nutrition expected. Fresh produce may be heat-affected, or stored for excessive amounts of time, so that little nutritional value is left. Medications, illness, or other food types can also affect the uptake of nutrients by the body. Dietary assistance such as vitamin supplements may help to balance these deficiencies, promoting a healthy body and increased energy.