What are vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds that the human body needs to stay healthy. Vitamins play a critical role in the body’s ability to maintain a normal metabolism, as the body cannot grow and develop naturally without them. There are 13 vitamins the human body needs:
- Vitamin A
- B vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Fortunately for us, most vitamins come from food, so you can usually get all your vitamins from the healthy foods you eat. The best way to get enough vitamins is to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods based on the Food Pyramid:
- Grains (Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pastas)
- Fats, Oils & Sweets
- Dairy (Milk, Yogurt, Cheese)
- Protein (Meats, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, Nuts)
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It’s been known for a while now that some basic fundamental problems exist concerning multivitamins. One of which is the fact that some of these hard pill vitamins have a bad habit of sliding right through your intestines before anything really happens.
Much of independent research has also shown that most multivitamins are not adequate enough for what experts agree is needed. What you are buying may be missing too many key ingredients or those ingredients are not packaged in a form that is readily usable by your body. Recently, leaders in the field of nutrition found that most multivitamins fall far short and even found that 21 of the 400 brands they looked at were determined to be unsafe!
According to ConsumerLab.com, less than half of the multivitamins sold in the United States and Canada actually contained the ingredients that were listed on the labels. One of the brands was even found to contain lead. One particular product was a vitamin supplement “Specially For Women”, which contained 15.3 micrograms of lead per daily dose. Lead in the body can lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure, slowed growth, hearing problems, and anemia. For children, lead can absorb easier than adults and can cause damage to their brain and nervous system. Higher levels of lead can cause a coma or death. Since the results were released in 2007, the product was removed from the shelves and a class action law settlement was reached.
Too Many Vitamins?
Some studies have also revealed that some of them may give you too much of a good thing, which can lead to health problems. Recent studies have found that large amounts of folic acid could be linked to prostate and colorectal cancers. Food companies have been adding it to certain products since the 1990s, so if you’re eating a healthy diet, you may be getting plenty of it from your food. The multivitamin then adds too much folic acid, increasing your chances of cancer.
Another well known multivitamin for children contained 216 percent of the amount of vitamin A that was indicated on the label. That’s more than double the amount of vitamin A that kids through the age of eight should be getting on a daily basis. Too much vitamin A in children can weaken their bones and potentially cause abnormalities in the liver.