Vitamins: Essential for Nutrition, Health and Weight Loss

Why should I know about vitamins?

If all of us had eaten naturally-that is-what nature had intended us to eat, we probably never would have to worry about what vitamins are and why supplements are necessary for some people. The problem is, due to rampant urbanization and industrialization, we do not have enough time to choose between natural and processed foods. Most of us settle for low nutrient processed foods like pizzas, burgers, biscuits, French fries and other fast food items. It is therefore necessary to have some basic knowledge of vitamins and other essential nutrients.

If you are suffering from a degenerative disease like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease etc, then vitamins are even more important for you; next only to controlling your disease. (That is bringing blood sugar or blood pressure or cholesterol within normal range).

What are vitamins?

Vitamins are a group of nutrients that are essential for maintenance of  normal health. They regulate metabolism, growth and development, Vitamins mainly act as a catalysts in our body.

All vitamins are natural organic compounds that are found only in living organisms: plants and animals. Except a few vitamins, our body cannot synthesize vitamins. Therefore vitamins have to be consumed through natural food or by taking dietary supplements.

As mentioned above, vitamins regulate metabolism and also help convert fat and carbohydrates into energy. They assist in the formation of healthy bones and tissues. Without vitamins we can hardly feel vitality and general well being. If one is having the deficiency of vitamins due to inadequate dietary supply or for whatever reason, he or she will develop unhealthy signs of vitamin deficiency. Again vitamin supplements have to be supplied to the affected person to treat the deficiency.

Although vitamins are very important for the maintenance of normal health and vitality, vitamins alone cannot replace the food we take.

What are the RDA values of vitamins?

The RDA values are recommended dietary allowances. RDA is the amount of a nutrient, such as a vitamin, mineral or protein, needed to prevent a deficiency in 97 to 98 percent of a population, as determined by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council.

In the following chart, the RDA values have been reproduced:

RDA values of some common vitamins
VitaminRDA
B1 (Thiamin) 1.2 mg
B2 (Riboflavin) 1.3 mg
B3 (Niacin) 16 mg
B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 5 mg
B61.7 mg
B122.4 mcg
Beta Carotene (Precursor of Vit-A) NA
Biotin30 mcg
Folic acid 400mcg
VitaminC90 mg
Vitamin D 600 IU
Vitamin E 22 IU