Everyone is well aware that a well balanced diet can provide them with they should be taking multivitamin/mineral supplement, but not many fully understand why. The minerals in your food are obtained from minerals in the soil, but if the soil is depleted there will be little to no minerals in the soil. Vitamins are formed naturally in plants, but no one food has all the vitamins you require on a daily basis. Everyone should take a supplement to fill in the gaps, and to promote health and vitality. However, not all supplements are created equal, and many forms of minerals and vitamins may not be absorbed. We will begin with the vitamins and their essential roles in human health. Adult personals

Vitamins are classified into one of two groups, fat-soluble or water- soluble, and the group a vitamin belongs to is determined by how the vitamin is absorbed. How each vitamin is absorbed is complex, but can be simplified. If absorbed directly through the intestinal lumen into the blood stream, the vitamin is classified as water-soluble. If absorbed along with dietary fat, and transported to the liver before entering the bloodstream, the vitamin is considered fat-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins can only enter the bloodstream via the lymphatic system. Vitamins are responsible for hormone production and regulation, cellular functions, and overall homoeostasis of the body. Each vitamin has a specific function in the body and if the vitamin is absent, an individual can become ill, and possibly even die.

Water soluble vitamins are more numerous than their fat-soluble counterparts and include vitamin C and the many different types of vitamin B. Many water-soluble vitamins are heat-sensitive, and can be destroyed by cooking or processing, thus eating fortified or raw foods is important to getting enough of these vitamins.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is the most well known vitamin and obtained from many fruits and vegetables, such as berries, citrus fruit, and brassica vegetables. Ascorbic acid is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and utilized by the body, thus is a highly bio-available vitamin. Vitamin C is important in collagen production and rejuvenation, keeping skin and tissues healthy, metabolism of proteins and fats, and is a potent anti-oxidant. An adult should get at least 60mg a day to prevent deficiency, which can lead to a disease known as scurvy.

Vitamin B has many different forms, each with a specific yet vital function in the human body. Vitamins B1, B2, and B3, also known as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin respectively, each play a specific but functionally different role in glucose metabolism and cellular energy production. Thiamin is found in low concentrations in many foods, and fortified in milk, milk alternatives and cereal grain products. Beri beri is the disease caused by thiamin deficiency, and can cause edema, and/or mental and cardiovascular problems. The average adult should consume 1.3mg of thiamin daily to prevent deficiency. Riboflavin has an additional function as B6 cannot be converted into a useable form without the presence of riboflavin. Riboflavin is present in milk and milk alternatives, liver and meat, and fortified grain flour. 1.6mg of riboflavin is required daily to prevent deficiency symptoms. Riboflavin deficiency is not fatal but can cause skin problems, such as lesions and dermatitis. Niacin is available as nicotinic acid or nicotinamide, the common supplemented form being nicotinic acid. Aside from niacin’s metabolic role, niacin can have a positive impact on overall cardiovascular health and has been shown to lower blood pressure. Tryptophan, an amino acid, is converted to niacin, thus the daily intake is expressed as niacin equivalents, or NE, and 1NE of niacin is roughly equivalent to 60mg of tryptophan. Tryptophan can be found in all protein sources. Taking a high dose of niacin can cause an event known as a niacin flush, a reddening of the skin caused by blood vessel dilation just below the skin. Niacin deficiency causes a condition called pellagra, the symptoms progressing from dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia and eventually death.