What Are Vitamins, Minerals, And Supplements?
There are nine water-soluble vitamins – 8 of which are B vitamins, and the remaining being vitamin C. The B vitamin group includes folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. As they are water-soluble, they can be filtered in the kidneys and any extra can be easily excreted.
There are four fat-soluble vitamins – A, E, D and K. Some fat is required in the diet to absorb these vitamins. Fat is also needed to store amounts that aren’t used immediately. A limited amount of vitamin D can be stored in the body, which is then used during the colder months.
There are a variety of minerals, referred to as either ‘major’ or ‘minor’, depending on their importance. The common minerals include calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, selenium, iron, iodine, fluoride, selenium, and zinc. Each of these has its own beneficial properties and different functions, often providing support for the functioning of a different vitamin or mineral.
Supplements are often used to boost the intake of a particular vitamin or mineral. They can also be used to help maintain already healthy levels.
Why Do We Need Vitamins, Minerals, And Supplements?
The body has to create energy at a cellular level, in order to produce enough energy for us to move, breathe and even think! Energy is created by the production and hydrolysation of a molecule called ATP. Many vitamins (especially vitamin B) are involved in the energy production process.
The exact role of vitamins and minerals in the immune system is still uncertain. However, deficiencies of some vitamins can increase the risk of certain diseases and overall illnesses, including autoimmune diseases.
Daily damage from modern lifestyles can lead to a build-up of ‘free radicals.’ These are particles within the body that can cause destruction to existing cells, leading to inflammation. Vitamins and minerals contain anti-oxidant properties that help to fight against free radical inflammatory damage.
It is not only our lungs that help us to breathe – oxygen is essential for this process and is usually bound to iron in the bloodstream. Low levels of iron equate to a reduced oxygen binding capacity, resulting in lower levels of oxygen available for transfer. This can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath or light-headedness.
The blood-brain barrier acts as a filter to protect the brain from harm. However, the brain still requires certain nutrients to function and these need to be able to cross the barrier for maximum effect. Certain vitamins and minerals are able to do this; these help support brain function and maintain overall brain health.
Over most joints in the body lies a layer of cartilage. This acts as a barrier to prevent bones from rubbing together, wearing them down and causing pain. Certain vitamins and minerals are needed to help maintain these barriers, allowing for pain-free and easy movements.
The mood is closely linked to the immune system, hormone levels, energy levels and gut health. An imbalance in any of these can affect physical health, with a knock-on effect on mental health. Having the correct levels of vitamins and minerals can help to support good mental health.
What Vitamins Should I Take?
Don’t worry if you’re unsure of which supplements to choose. We have a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and supplements to suit your needs:
- Best Vitamins For Immunity
- Best Vitamins For Your Hair, Skin, And Nails
- Best Vitamins For Your Bones And Joints
- Best Vitamins For Energy And Focus
- Best Vitamins For Digestion
- Best Vitamins For Sleep And Relaxation
- Best Vitamins For The Brain
- Best Vitamins For Sexual Health
- Best Vitamins For Older Adults
- Best Vitamins For Menopause
- Best Vitamins For Training
- Best Vitamins For Vegans
Best Vitamins For Immunity
Supporting innate immunity and helping to fight infection, vitamin D also plays a role in gut health, which is also strongly linked to immune status. Vitamin D is usually absorbed through the skin from sunlight; however, during winter months supplementation is recommended due to reduced sun exposure.
Helping to support the immune system by fighting destructive free radicals, vitamin C is high in antioxidants, which supports the immune system and reduces inflammatory damage caused by free radicals.
A blend of vitamin C, B6, B12, zinc and selenium, Myvitamins Defence Shots are essential for innate immunity and are needed for the normal functioning of macrophages. These are the immune cells that trap and help to destroy invaders! Vitamin C of course is high in anti-inflammatory properties, whilst B vitamins help to support energy levels.