VITAMINS

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See the drop-down window on the menu bar above to locate each vitamin.

This website is not written by a professional nutritionist, dietician or food specialist.   It was written because I was so sick and tired of being told what to eat, what not to eat, what was going to cure-all my ills and what was going to kill me.  It is the research I have done to prove for myself what is in the food we eat and what it does in our bodies.

I spent long hours, months and several years digging into research done by governments and universities and put it all down here.  I try to upgrade it as often as I can.  Avoided are corporate research and the latest and greatest food fads and faddists.

Help yourself to bookmark it as a quick and easy reference site if you want….I do. 

It will tell you:

  1. How each nutrient is processed in your body
  2. What it does for you
  3. What happens when you don’t get enough
  4. What happens when you get too much and 
  5. Where you can get it

Not everybody cares about food or health but if you want some ammo to defend yourself against the endless windstorm of non-fact based ‘info’  that makes your head spin every time you open your inbox then this should help. 

P.S.  I start each page of the vitamins and minerals with a little story because I thought it would be fun and it might help me remember more… but mainly because it was fun. 

VITAMINS

The next thirteen pages are about vitamins;  what they are;  what they do for us;  what happens when we don’t get enough and finally,  where we get them.

Does the name Casimir Funk mean anything to you?  Yes? No?

Well just in case you’ve never heard of him,  he was a Polish-born American biochemist who discovered the first vitamin while studying the disease called beriberi.  He found out that beriberi could be prevented if this organic substance was ingested.  He named his new discovery ‘ vitamine‘.  The word vitamine was taken from the chemical word for the nitrogen-based organic compound, amine, and the Latin word for life ‘ vita.  In the end, however, the amine part of the equation did not fit and the word vitamine was shortened to vitamin.

‘Vitamine’ would later be called Vitamin B1 or thiamine and would be one of many organic compounds we now know as vitamins.

Vitamins are defined as organic chemical compounds, needed by the body in tiny amounts, that cannot be synthesized by the body in large enough quantities to support the body and therefore must be obtained from dietary sources.  Biotin or vitamin B7 is an exception and most Vitamin D is manufactured by the body by using the sun’s rays.

These organic compounds are either water-soluble or fat soluble.   Whether fat or water-soluble they are needed in small amounts by our bodies to maintain health.   Some vitamins act as antioxidants and vitamin D acts as a hormone.

The fat-soluble vitamins are necessary for the structural integrity of tissues and membranes throughout our bodies.  They are stored in our bodies.

The water-soluble ones generally act as catalysts and coenzymes in the metabolic processes which create energy in our bodies.  Usually, the excess amounts of these vitamins are excreted daily but sometimes some of them are stored in small quantities.

Vitamins are classified by their activity, not by their structure.  One vitamin can include several compounds.  For example, vitamin A includes retinol, retinal and several carotenoids.  Vitamin A, then, would be a generic name for compounds that perform the same types of activities in the body.  Somewhat like the term laundry detergent signifies what different name brands do for our clothes.

 

References:

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/vitamin

 IMPORTANT: The information on this site should never be used to self medicate or to self diagnose.  Always contact your health care provider before using any kind of supplementation or making any extreme change in diet.