The human body requires vitamins and minerals to survive. Vitamins are nutrients found in plants and animals that the body needs to maintain good health.
There are two types of vitamins. Water soluble and fat soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are easily absorbed by the body. These types of vitamins are not stored in the body, and excess amounts of the vitamin are eliminated in the urine. Water-soluble vitamins include the B vitamins and vitamin C.
Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the body with the use of bile acids, which are digestive fluids used to absorb fat. The body stores this type of vitamin in its fat stores for use as needed. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D and E.
Nutritional minerals are inorganic substances found in the earth and water that are also required for good health. Nutritional minerals include iron, magnesium and calcium.
Most vitamin and mineral nutrients can be obtained in a well-balanced diet. However, the modern diet of processed, over-cooked, and sometimes irradiated foods can lack essential nutrients.
Therefore, many people choose to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Dietary supplements are products taken by mouth that contain dietary ingredients intended to supplement the diet. Supplements come in many forms, such as pills, gel caps, powders, energy bars, and beverages.
As with all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, it is important to let your physician to know of all supplements and vitamins that you are taking.