When it comes to Vitamins there exist some common principles that the Health Guardian can use as a fundamental bases to define proper nutritional strategy.
- Most tissues need most nutrients.
- Inadequate intakes of most nutrients impair the function of most systems.
- The classical deficiency diseases occur at only the extremes of “inadequacy”.
- The role of nutritional status as a key factor of successful aging is very well recognized.
- Adequate” adult nutrition can be best conceptualized as preventive maintenance.
Vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air, or acid. Minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure. This means the minerals in soil and water easily find their way into your body through the plants, fish, animals, and fluids you consume. But it’s tougher to shuttle vitamins from food and other sources into your body because cooking, storage, and simple exposure to air can inactivate these more fragile compounds.
Water-soluble vitamins are packed into the watery portions of the foods you eat. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream as food is broken down during digestion or as a supplement dissolves. Because much of your body consists of water, many of the water-soluble vitamins circulate easily in your body. Your kidneys continuously regulate levels of water-soluble vitamins, shunting excesses out of the body in your urine.
Rather than slipping easily into the bloodstream like most water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins gain entry to the blood via lymph channels in the intestinal wall. Many fat-soluble vitamins travel through the body only under escort by proteins that act as carriers.
Fatty foods and oils are reservoirs for the four fat-soluble vitamins. Within your body, fat tissues and the liver act as the main holding pens for these vitamins and release them as needed.
To some extent, you can think of these vitamins as time-release micro-nutrients. It’s possible to consume vitamins every now and again, perhaps in doses weeks or months apart rather than daily, and still get your fill. Your body squirrels away the excess and doles it out gradually to meet your needs.