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Vitamins & Minerals Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and minerals, also known as micronutrients, are substances your body needs in small amounts for normal growth, function and health.  It is essential to have the right balance of vitamins and minerals.  Prolonged vitamin or mineral deficiencies can cause specific diseases or conditions.  Poor diets can contribute to deficiencies. 

Vitamins:

Vitamins are needed for normal body functions, resistance to infections, and mental alertness. They enable our bodies to process carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.  Certain vitamins also help us produce blood cells, hormones, and genetic material.  There are 14 vitamins, which fall into two categories:

  • Fat -soluble vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E, and K; stored in body's fat
  • Water-soluble vitamins: Vitamin C, choline, biotin, and the seven B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folic acid/folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12).

A "Harvard School of Public Health report" indicated that while most people get enough vitamins to avoid the classic deficiency diseases, relatively few get enough of five key vitamins that may be important in preventing several chronic diseases. These include: Folic acid, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E.  We offer multivitamin and vitamin B complex supplements which contain, in addition to the key vitamins, other vitamins that may help provide a nutritional safety net.  Experts agree that it is worth taking a multivitamin for insurance.  Links to latest scientific news on benefits of vitamin D, chromium picolinate and folic acid can be accessed via our Health Bulletin (vitamins & minerals tab).

Minerals:

Our body needs minerals for various cell functions, normal growth and health.  Major minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride.  Calcium, phosphorus and magnesium are important in the development and health of bones and teeth.  Sodium, potassium and chloride, known as electrolytes, are important in regulating the water and chemical balance in our body.  Additionally, our body needs smaller amounts of other minerals such as selenium, chromium, and zinc.  Links to latest scientific news on benefits of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and chromium picolinate can be accessed via our Health Bulletin (vitamins & minerals tab).

Related Research Reports:

Multivitamins and minerals may boost mood in elderly  August 6, 2007
A daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may improve depressive symptoms amongst the elderly, suggests a new trial from the University of Sheffield.

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