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Supplements- Vitamins and Minerals

Posted Mar 30 2009 12:00am

Vitamins and minerals are the most common health supplements. Vitamin are chemicals that are required by our body in tiny amounts. They have diverse functions in our body- Vitamin B helps to catalyse metabolism, C helps to raise immunity, D is used in hormones, E has antioxidants, etc. A deficiency of vitamins can cause a number of diseases, ranging from night blindness to scurvy. We recommend a daily multivitamin. Note that overuse of vitamins is harmful and causes diseases, so only take the recommended dosage- table below. Vitamins are good for you, but do not substitute essential dietary minerals. Read on to know about them..

Minerals, like sodium, potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, etc are also required by the body to perform biological functions. Similar to vitamins, lack or the excess of them can cause health disorders, so ensure you are getting the recommended daily intake (table below). Higher mineral requirements depend on your age, sex, occupation - women are at a higher risk of osteoperosis, so they are recommended to have calcium rich foods. Athletes sweat a lot, so they are recommended to get higher amounts of sodium ions to help maintain their blood pressure.

Note that vitamins and minerals are best obtained from foods that are rich in them. But since its very hard to maintain a diet that is completely balanced in all nutrients, so vitamins and minerals help us do just that.

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