The importance of supplying your body with the right amount of vitamins, combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet, cannot be emphasized enough. Vitamins perform a variety of biochemical reactions necessary for optimal functioning of all physiological systems. People prescribed vitamin supplements by their physician may need them for:
- Mineral metabolism regulation similar to certain hormones
- Enhancing tissue and cell growth
- Promoting antioxidant activity
- Acting as vital enzyme precursors
- Maintaining efficient brain functions important to cognition and awareness
Types of Vitamin Supplements
Vitamin K–bone metabolism and blood clotting are two of the most important roles played by vitamin K in the human body. Vitamin K supplements are often prescribed for postmenopausal women who suffer reduced bone mineral density and vulnerability to hip fractures. This vitamin also inhibits calcification (hardening) of soft tissues and arteries, which is one of the many undesirable effects of aging. Because the pancreas contains large amounts of vitamin K, doctors think that vitamin K also influences blood sugar regulation as well.
Vitamin E-–obtained primarily from supplements and foods such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains and nuts, vitamin E contributes to heart, muscle, skin and nerve health. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E can reduce aging issues related to cell damage caused by free radicals as well as inhibit development of skin cancer (melanoma) and lower cholesterol levels.
Vitamin D–like vitamin K, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in foods and in the chemical process performed by the skin when it synthesizes sunlight into vitamin D. The liver and kidneys convert vitamin D to calcidiol and calcitriol, two usable substances that the body needs to promote bone and teeth growth as well as immune system functioning, neuromuscular activity and inflammation reduction. Elderly individuals, children and pregnant women especially need the benefits provided by the calcidiol and calcitriol found in vitamin D.
Vitamin C–may help protect against eye diseases (especially macular degeneration), impaired immune system functioning, cardiovascular disease and prenatal disorders.
Vitamin A–important for optimal functioning of the eyes, mucous membranes and skin, vitamin A, also called retinol and beta carotene (converted to vitamin A once inside the body), also contributes to the elimination of free radicals damaging to tissues and cells.
Vitamin B–this vitamin supplement enhances nervous system functioning, stimulates hormone production and can help prevent devastating neural tube defects during fetal development. Benefits of the B complex also include synthesis of DNA and RNA for healthy cell reproduction contributing to proper maintenance of hair, nails and skin.
Vitamin Supplements Are Vital to Your Health if Your Doctor Prescribes Them
The list of diseases caused by vitamin deficiencies is endless–from type 1 diabetes to brain damage to onset of blindness. If you need to take vitamin supplements, trust Pill Pal to remind you when to take your supplements to maintain your health and active lifestyle.