Vitamins – How Important Are They?

Vitamins are organic compounds with no caloric value that are used to help regulate metabolic reactions in the body. They can not be synthesized by the body and therefore must be obtained through diet or supplementation.

Vitamins can be divided into two specific groups, water-soluble and fat-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins (B complex, C, and the bioflavonoids) are directly absorbed into the blood stream and are not stored in the body. For this reason it is important to replenish them daily. The fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) require fats or oil to be absorbed. When too many fat-soluble vitamins get stored, there is a potential for toxicity. Therefore, it is crucial not to megadose with vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Our current population may be seriously deficient in many vitamins due to numerous factors, some of which include:
1. Poor diet food choices.
2. The vitamin-depleted soils we use for our farming.
3. The myriad nutrient-depleting drugs we as a society are taking.
4. Higher levels of stress, for example, from urban living, resulting in increased smoking and alcohol consumption.
5. Higher intake of refined sugars.

In most cases people are not even taking a good multivitamin mineral supplement to combat the inadequacies of their poor nutrition habits. Research suggests that today's unhealthy diets can be directly linked to the increase in modern degenerative diseases.

If we neglect our vitamin deficiencies any longer, there could be a rise in some of the consequential effects, for example:
– Night blindness caused by Vitamin A deficiency.
– Pellagra, sensitivity to sunlight, aggression, and insomnia can be caused by Vitamin B3 (niacin) deficiency.
– Rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults, both a softening of bones, can be caused by a deficiency in Vitamin D.

There are many other important vitamins we need to supplement with in order to live an optimally healthy life. These include bioflavinoids, sometimes referred to as vitamin P and Coenzyme Q10.

Bioflavinoids are not vitamins in the strictest sense, but their role of increasing the absorption of vitamin C is crucial. Because our bodies can not produce bioflavinoids, we must take them in supplemental form together with vitamin C.

As for the vitamin-like Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also called ubiquinone, it is one of ten substances designated as Coenzyme Q but the only one found in human tissue. It plays the crucial role of energy production in every cell in our bodies. Also, current research suggests CoQ10 acts as an antihistamine, helping in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and immune system function. The deficiency of CoQ10 has been linked to diabetes, periodontal disease, and muscular dystrophy.

For the most part, people are not even aware of these issues. And these are but a few of the effects that a poor diet and lack of vitamin supplementation will have on the current population.