Micronutrients are more important than you think. They assist body functions such as energy metabolism and the formation and maintenance of healthy cells and tissues. Of the 13 vitamins recognized, as essential, humans only synthesize only small amounts of Vitamin D and K, so we must consume virtually all of the vitamins in our diets. Vitamin A, which assists with vision, cell differentiation, sperm production in men, contributes to healthy bone and immune system. Vitamin D regulates calcium levels and maintains bone health. Vitamin E – Assists immune system and improves absorption of vitamin A. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, enhances immune system, assists in collagen synthesis. These are a few of the functions of some vitamins but there are many more.
Minerals: Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Chloride – these minerals are responsible for fluid balance and are needed in large amounts (100mg/day). Calcium is a primary component of your bone which also assists with muscle contraction and acid-base balance. Iron, copper,zinc assist in many enzyme systems.
A number of research studies have suggested, but not proven, links between Vitamin C,D,E and K with lower disease risk. It is important to note, vitamins and minerals can have toxic effects especially if taken by supplements in the amount that’s more than required. Your government should have a health website with guidelines for the appropriate intake of each micronutrient. Even then, please see your health professional before taking any supplements.
1: Janice Thompson, Melinda Manore, Judy Sheesh – Nutrition: A Functional Approach
2: The Food and Nutrition Information Centernal.usda.gov/ndl
3: Office of Dietary Supplements – http://www.dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov
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