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Vitamins: What is it?

Vitamins: What is it?

Vitamins are substances without caloric value needed in very small amounts for growth and proper functioning of the body.

Vitamins include: vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamins C, D, E, H and K.
Vitamins should be provided by the diet because the body can not synthesize them (except vitamin D).
A balanced diet that provides five fruits and vegetables per day provides all the vitamins and achieves 80% of the recommended daily intake.

What difference is there between soluble and water-soluble vitamins?

Vitamins are classified according to whether they are soluble in fats and oils or in the body of water (water):
- Soluble vitamins (B vitamins, vitamins C and H) soluble in water are fragile and can be damaged by cooking and light;
- Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K), soluble in fats, are more stable and less degraded by the usual methods of preparation and cooking.

What are the effects of vitamins on the body?

Vitamin A (retinol) plays an important role in vision.

It exists in the form:
- Retinol (retinoid family) directly usable;
- Provitamin A (precursor of vitamin A) which is part of the family of carotenoids (plant pigments) some of which play an important role in the protection of the eye, including the retina.
Vitamins of group B, eight in number: B1, B2, B3 (or PP), B5, B6, B8, B9, B12 are involved in many functions and enzymatic reactions in the body.

Deficiency in vitamins B1, B3, B6, B9 and B12 manifested by nervous disorders (polyneuropathy), especially in case of chronic alcoholism.

Vitamins B1, B2, B5, B8 are useful in case of hair loss.
Pregnant women, supplementation with vitamin B9 (folic acid) reduces the risk of neurological malformation in the fetus (spina bifida).
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a vitamin tone. It stimulates the body's defenses and promotes iron absorption in the body.
Needs are greater in the case of smoking, fractures, infections, alcohol, intense physical activity, sports, pregnancy ...
Vitamin D (calciferol) can fix calcium in the bones and teeth.
It is the body that synthesizes largely under the action of ultraviolet rays, providing 50-70% of needs.
Vitamin E (tocopherol) is a vitamin "antioxidant", that is to say who has the ability to trap and prevent the spread of free radicals (harmful substances on cells). It plays an important role in host defense.
Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting.

What should I be wary?

Food supplements rich in vitamins can be useful when feeding unbalanced or deficient. But be careful not to take more food supplements and not exceed the recommended dose.

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