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Nutrient - Vitamins - An Introduction

By Nutri People

Vitamins are essential for life. They are called ‘micro-nutrients’ because we need them in tiny amounts in our diet. Vitamins come in two groups – water-soluble and fat-soluble:

  • Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body but are quickly and easily lost. For this reason, we need these vitamins every day.
  • Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, mainly in the fat cells and liver. Taking very large amounts on a long-term basis is not always recommended.

 In the body, vitamins act as co-enzymes.  Co-enzymes are substances that form part of enzymes and are needed for these enzymes to work properly. Enzymes are substances that speed up the many thousands of chemical processes that continually occur in the body. Without vitamins, many enzymes would not be able to work and so normal bodily processes would simply not occur. You would not be able to digest your food or see at night, for example.

 Many vitamins work together, and with minerals, each supporting the other’s actions in the body. For example, vitamin D is essential for the efficient absorption and distribution of calcium.   Vitamins have many roles to play in the body.

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