Health is more than just going to our doctor in Mallorca or anywhere else in the world and having lab tests, it is also having a balance of vitamins and minerals in our body.
Last week we talked about aesthetic treatments so that you have all the information you need in case you are thinking about requesting one of these treatments for yourself. This week our team of medical care experts wants to share with you the importance of vitamins to reinforce your system, and mention the ones you should always take if you want a better lifestyle.
However, before starting with this article, we would like to remind you that before undergoing any treatment, you should consult your medical care specialist to make a diagnosis and find out if you have an imbalance, and from there, design a personalized treatment for your case.
What are vitamins?
First, what are vitamins? Most people know that vitamins are important to stay healthy, but not everyone knows what they are.
Vitamins are organic compounds essential for the normal growth and functioning of the body. They are required in small amounts and cannot be synthesized by the body in sufficient quantities, so they must be obtained from the diet or supplements. That’s why you need to request a lab test with your service of medical care in Puerto de Soller to view your vitamin status.
Types of vitamins
There are 13 recognized vitamins, which are divided into two categories based on their solubility: fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins.
1.- Fat soluble vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s fatty tissues and liver and can accumulate to toxic levels if consumed in excess. There are four fat-soluble vitamins which are:
1.1.- Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for a variety of bodily functions. It plays a crucial role in vision, immune function, and the development of healthy skin and mucous membranes.
There are two forms of vitamin A: retinoids, which are found in animal products such as liver, fish, and eggs, and carotenoids, which are found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
It’s important to note that while vitamin A is essential for good health, too much of it can be toxic. High doses of vitamin A can cause a condition known as hypervitaminosis A, which can lead to a variety of symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, as well as more serious complications like liver damage and birth defects.
1.2.- Vitamin D
Another fat-soluble vitamin is vitamin D. It is primarily known for its role in maintaining strong bones and teeth, since it helps for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that are crucial for bone health.
Vitamin D is also important for immune function, and research suggests that it may play a role in the prevention of a variety of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
The primary source of vitamin D is sunlight but can also be obtained from dietary sources such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods such as milk and cereal. Supplements are also available for those who need additional vitamin D intake.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include bone pain, muscle weakness, and an increased risk of fractures. If you are concerned about your vitamin D levels, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider, who can recommend appropriate testing and treatment options.
1.3.- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
We can find it in nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, leafy greens, and fortified cereals.
To have a deficiency in vitamin E is rare, but it can occur in people with certain genetic disorders or conditions that prevent the absorption of dietary fat. Its symptoms are muscle weakness, vision problems, and an increased risk of infection.
Also to have high doses of vitamin E can be harmful since it may increase the risk of bleeding or interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.
Vitamin K plays a critical role in blood clotting and bone health. It is essential for the production of several clotting factors, which are proteins that help the blood to clot and prevent excessive bleeding.
It is also important for bone health, as it helps to activate osteocalcin, a protein that is essential for bone formation. Studies have also suggested that vitamin K may have a role in preventing age-related cognitive decline and reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.
Vitamin K is found in a variety of dietary sources, including leafy greens such as spinach and kale, as well as fermented foods such as natto and sauerkraut. It is also produced by the bacteria in the gut.
2.- Water-soluble vitamins:
Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body to the same extent as fat-soluble vitamins, and excess amounts are excreted in the urine. There are nine water-soluble vitamins which are divided into vitamin B and vitamin C:
2.1.- Vitamin B
The vitamin B family is a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in different bodily functions. They are often referred to collectively as the B-complex vitamins, and include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12).
The B-complex vitamins are involved in many aspects of metabolism, including the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to produce energy. They are also important for the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, and eyes.
While each type of B vitamin has unique functions and sources, they often work together to provide the body with different effects that solve its deficiencies.
B vitamins are found in diverse sources, including whole grains, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and animal products such as meat, fish, and dairy. They are also commonly added to fortified foods such as cereals and energy bars.
2.2.- Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is perhaps best known for its role in immune function, as it helps to stimulate the production of white blood cells that fight infection and disease.
But it is also important for the production of collagen, a protein that is essential for the health of skin, bones, and other tissues. It acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals as we mentioned before, and may also have a role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
We can find vitamin C in citrus fruits such as berries, kiwi, tomatoes, peppers, and leafy greens. Low levels of vitamin C can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, and susceptibility to infection.
As you can see, all vitamins are important for maintaining our health, but they must be consumed in the right amount; that is why we recommend that you contact your medical care service company to schedule a consultation with a specialist to review your case and design a personalized vitamin plan for you.
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