Vitamins – substances of organic nature, coming from the outside or synthesized in the body, are involved in the construction of enzymes and hormones, which in turn play the role of regulators of various biochemical processes.
Vitamins and nutrients are essential ingredients for the proper functioning of the body. A person consists of many tiny building blocks – cells. These cells have a specific structure, differ depending on their location and purpose.
Together, they form tissues, such as muscle, nervous. Tissues form organs and organ systems. Interacting with each other, using complex biochemical reactions, they form the most complex structure – the human body. And so, just for the correct and long-term functioning of this complex biological structure, the supply of vitamins and nutrients from the outside is necessary.
Vitamin deficiency is thought to underlie many chronic ailments and infections. It is very important to note that vitamin deficiency is almost always multiple, that is, the apparent deficiency of any one vitamin is associated with a general lack of vitamins in the body. Hypo- and avitaminosis are a consequence of either insufficient intake of vitamins into the body (unbalanced nutrition), or a violation of the utilization of vitamins in the body (diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, and so on), or an increase in the need for them during pregnancy, stress, intensive growth, overload, and other conditions.
Vitamin preparations are taken both for prophylactic and therapeutic purposes for many diseases associated with or accompanied by metabolic disorders. Medicinal doses of vitamins are usually higher than prophylactic ones. They are prescribed by a doctor, and the appropriate medications are also administered under strict medical supervision.
Some vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin A, vitamin E) are not synthesized in the human body at all, others (cyanocobalamin, folic acid, and others) are synthesized by the intestinal microbial flora, but not always in sufficient quantities and must be additionally supplied with food.
WHAT VITAMINS ARE THERE?
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Thiamine is converted in the body into the co-enzyme cocarboxylase, which is necessary for the proper absorption of carbohydrates and the provision of energy to tissues, especially nervous and muscle. Thiamine improves blood circulation, increases cognitive activity and mental activity, it is necessary to maintain the muscle tone of internal organs. Possessing antioxidant properties, it protects against metabolic disorders associated with age, alcohol consumption, and smoking. When this vitamin is deficient, a disease is known as beriberi (from Sinhalese beri – weakness) develops. The main manifestations of this disease are peripheral nerve damage (hence the “waddling” gait), heart failure, exhaustion, physical weakness, and edema. Beriberi disease was more often observed in the countries of South and East Asia, where they traditionally ate polished rice, poor in thiamine and other B vitamins. When it was replaced with dark unprocessed rice, the disease disappeared. It turned out that thiamine is found mainly in rice bran, and not in the grain itself.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Riboflavin, like thiamine, is converted in the body into a coenzyme form and is involved in the reactions of carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism. It plays an important role in preserving vision, maintaining the normal state of the mucous membrane of the digestive tract, in the synthesis of hemoglobin, promotes the absorption of oxygen by the tissues of the skin, nails, and hair, and improves the absorption of iron and vitamin B6. Vitamin B2 is involved in the transformation of energy in cells. Deficiency of this vitamin leads to the development of angular stomatitis (cracks and crusts in the corners of the mouth, or the so-called “seizures”), seborrheic dermatitis (an increased function of the sebaceous glands, especially on the face), dryness and redness of the tongue, predisposes to weakening of vision. Photophobia, pain in the eyes, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the outer membrane of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid), headache, decreased appetite, decreased body weight, and weakness develop. As a rule, a lack of riboflavin in the body is associated with general hypovitaminosis and is caused by malnutrition.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Pyridoxine is essential for the normal functioning of the nervous system, it affects the state of physical and mental health. He participates in most processes in the body, activating the exchange of amino acids and histamine. Promotes the absorption of vitamin B12, affects immunity and the production of antibodies. Increases the body’s resistance to the development of atherosclerosis, is useful for preventing the formation of kidney stones. It has a weak diuretic effect. Pyridoxine is recommended in the complex therapy of allergies, arthritis, bronchial asthma. Deficiency of this vitamin manifests itself as anemia, seizures, headache, nausea, flaky skin, loss of appetite, depression, irritability, memory impairment, hair loss, and many other symptoms.
Vitamin Sun (Folic acid)
Folic acid was first found in spinach leaves. This acid belongs to the B vitamins and is inactive by itself, but in the body, it turns into an active coenzyme form. It is essential for normal cell formation and division. Together with vitamin B12, it stimulates blood formation. Participates in the synthesis of amino acids and other biologically active substances in the body, in the metabolism of choline. Folic acid is considered by many to be “food” for the brain. It is very important during pregnancy because participates in the formation of the fetal nervous system.
Folic acid deficiency is characterized by anemia, apathy, indigestion, graying hair, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, impaired memory, weakness, and so on.
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Cyanocobalamin is necessary to prevent anemia and, together with folic acid, participates in the formation of blood cells and improves the absorption of iron. It is required for normal digestion, food absorption, protein synthesis. Has a beneficial effect on liver function. Prevents damage to nerve tissue, the protective sheath of nerves. Participates in the synthesis of acetylcholine, a mediator of the nervous system, which is involved in processes associated with memory and learning. Vitamin B12 is partially synthesized by the intestinal microbial flora, the rest comes from food, mainly of animal origin. As a rule, its reserves in the body are sufficient. It has been established that if you were a meat eater yesterday, and today switched to a vegetarian diet and stopped eating foods containing vitamin B12, then it will take you almost 10 years to use all the vitamin accumulated in the body. The normal need for this vitamin is only 2 mcg per day (about 3000-5000 mcg is stored in the liver of an adult) and its deficiency occurs, first of all, when the absorption mechanism in the body is disturbed, which is most typical for the elderly and patients with diseases of the digestive system. Deficiency of vitamin B12, as well as deficiency of folic acid, leads to the development of anemia, a decrease in the formation of leukocytes and platelets, and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. It can also cause neurological disorders. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include gait disturbance, chronic fatigue, constipation, depression, enlarged liver, hallucinations, eye diseases, and others.
Vitamin PP (nicotinic acid, nicotinamide, niacin)
Nicotinic acid and its amide play a significant role in the life of the body, participating in the formation of enzymes that serve as carriers of hydrogen and phosphorus in biochemical reactions, and in the processes of energy conversion in cells. Both of these substances are specific means of treating pellagra, which is why they got their name – vitamin PP (pellagra preventive). Pellagra is a common disease that develops with prolonged fasting, malnutrition with a predominance of carbohydrates in the diet, and severe digestive disorders in diseases of the stomach and intestines. Interestingly, before the discovery of corn, Europe did not know what pellagra was. Maize was introduced to Europe during the time of Columbus and soon became a very popular product. It is very nutritious, but the nicotinic acid it contains is poorly absorbed by humans. The indigenous people of the American continent cooked corn with lime juice, which helped the absorption of niacin. The Europeans didn’t know about this at first, so those who ate mainly corn developed pellagra. When they decided to fortify food with a substance that prevents pellagra, a problem arose. The fact is that nicotinic acid and nicotine sound almost the same, and people began to think that tobacco would be added to their products. Then, to calm people down, niacin was coined with the name niacin.
Pellagra begins with the appearance of fatigue, weakness, apathy, decreased appetite, increased irritability. As it develops, diarrhea occurs, the tongue becomes inflamed and red, gastritis appears, skin rashes (redness), aggravated by the sun, many have central nervous system disorders (low mood, depression, and even psychosis).
Biotin promotes cell growth, participates in the synthesis of fatty acids, in the assimilation of other B vitamins. It is necessary, first of all, to maintain healthy skin and hair, normal functioning of sweat glands, nervous tissue, and bone marrow. Biotin deficiency is rare, as biotin is synthesized in sufficient quantities by the intestinal microflora. Biotin deficiency is possible with a morbid addiction to egg whites since raw eggs contain a protein that binds biotin in the intestine. There is a known case when one fan of egg whites ate from 2 to 10 raw eggs a day, and soon his skin began to peel off, there was depression, nausea, and he lost his appetite. He recovered only when he gave up his addiction to egg whites.
Pantothenic acid is found in sufficient quantities in food and is partially synthesized by the intestinal microbial flora. It participates in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, the synthesis of acetylcholine – one of the main mediators of the human nervous system, stimulates the formation of hormones important for us – corticosteroids.
Choline is a substance from which acetylcholine is formed in the body. It is part of lecithin and other structural elements of all cells of the body, participates in the metabolism of fats and cholesterol. Prevents the accumulation of fat in the liver.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Ascorbic acid is the most important antioxidant in our body, binding free radicals formed during redox reactions. It is necessary for the normal growth of tissues and the course of recovery processes in them, strengthening the body’s defenses. Participates in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism, blood clotting, the formation of steroid hormones, in the exchange of folic acid and a number of essential amino acids; increases iron absorption. One of the important functions of ascorbic acid is participation in the synthesis of collagen – the main protein of connective tissue, as well as in the normalization of capillary permeability. The action of ascorbic acid as an antioxidant is enhanced when combined with vitamin E, which traps free radicals in cell membranes.
Functionally, the so-called bioflavonoids, a group of vitamin-like substances, often referred to as vitamin P, are closely related to ascorbic acid. These substances, in combination with vitamin C, reduce capillary permeability and fragility. In addition, vitamin P protects ascorbic acid from oxidation. The main representatives of the vitamin P group are rutin and quercetin.
Vitamin A (retinol)
Vitamin A is involved in the formation of visual pigments that regulate the eye’s adaptation to darkness. Therefore, one of the first signs of a deficiency of this vitamin is night (“night”) blindness (hemeralopia). Vitamin A ensures normal growth in children, normalizes metabolic processes in the skin, and mucous membranes of various organs. Increases immunity, promotes healing of ulcers, participates in the formation of bones and teeth, promotes the deposition of fats. It acts as an antioxidant, slows down the aging process, participates in protein absorption.
The natural precursor to vitamin A is beta-carotene, which is found in many plant foods. Beta-carotene is an orange-yellow pigment to which carrots owe their color. And he “took” its name, since the Latin carota means carrot. In the human body, beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A.
Large doses of vitamin A taken over a long period of time have toxic effects. This is due to the ability of vitamin A to accumulate in the liver. Signs of an overdose are drowsiness, general malaise, painful swelling around the bones, gait disorder, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, enlarged liver, and others.
It is known that the Eskimos never eat the liver of a polar bear, considering it poisonous. And the reason for this is the increased content of vitamin A, which is 100 times higher than the highest therapeutic dose. It is not surprising that a person who had a good dinner with this liver soon begins to feel lethargic, then he has a headache and vomiting, and the skin begins to peel off. Another example is with carrot juice, which is known to contain carotene. One patient was advised by the doctor to regularly drink carrot juice. Overdoing it, she began to drink up to 1.5 liters of this juice a day. After some time, severe damage to the liver and pancreas occurred, which eventually led to death. Fortunately, most vitamins in overdose are not so toxic and do not have this ability to accumulate in the body.
Vitamin D (as ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol, dihydrotachysterol, alfacalcidol, calcitriol)
Vitamin D is called two substances that are close in structure and action – ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (cholecalciferol or vitamin D3). Vitamin D is partially formed in the skin by exposure to sunlight, but most of it comes from food.
The biological role of vitamin D is to regulate calcium and phosphorus metabolism in the body. Together with it, the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus is controlled by parathyroid hormone and calcitonin, which we mentioned in the section on hormones. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of these minerals from the intestines, accumulates in the bones, and prevents them from being washed out of the bones. Moreover, it is not ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol that act in the body, but the active product of their transformation – calcitriol. Dietary vitamin D is activated in two stages: first in the liver and then in the kidneys. In kidney disease, the second stage is impaired, and the use of ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol becomes ineffective.
Osteomalacia can affect women who exhaust themselves with unbalanced diets, as well as women who have given birth a lot since the growing fetus and the baby receiving breast milk consume vitamin D and calcium from the mother’s body. However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, osteomalacia is not a consequence of vitamin D deficiency (maybe, with the exception of the starving population), but develops due to metabolic disorders, in particular, in renal failure. Osteomalacia can also develop in patients with epilepsy, which is associated with an increase in the activity of enzymes involved in the metabolism of vitamin D.
For the treatment of these diseases, many preparations containing vitamin D have been developed. In the case of osteomalacia and impaired absorption of calcium from the intestine, large doses of this vitamin are required, many times higher than preventive ones. In addition to ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol, structural analogs of vitamin D, dihydrotachysterol and alfacalcidol, are used as drugs, which do not require kidney involvement in their activation. Their conversion to biologically active calcitriol occurs in one stage in the liver, therefore these agents are especially suitable for patients with renal insufficiency.
Vitamin D preparations are widely used for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, in which there is a thinning and resorption of the structural elements of the bone, and other diseases associated with impaired calcium metabolism, as well as in some diseases of the thyroid gland.
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that protects cells in the body from free radicals. Free radicals are normally formed during metabolism and, if not inactivated, can interact with lipids of cell membranes, destroying them and damaging cells. Therefore, the role of vitamin E, which absorbs free radicals, is so important in the life of the body.
Skeptics often say that vitamin E cannot find a disease that it can treat. And this is partly true since this vitamin is involved in a variety of processes in our body. It improves blood circulation, is necessary for the recovery processes in tissues, helps to lower blood pressure, plays a role in preventing the development of cataracts, is important for the normal functioning of the nervous system, maintains healthy hair and skin, slows down the aging process, promotes absorption and protects other fat-soluble vitamins. And the list goes on.
Vitamin K (phylloquinone, menaquinone, phytomenadione, menadione sodium bisulfite)
Vitamin K (the first letter of the German word – coagulation, or coagulation) is called antihemorrhagic, or coagulation vitamin, as it participates in the synthesis of prothrombin and other factors that help the blood to clot.
For the first time, vitamin K was discovered in experiments on feeding chickens. We mentioned this in chapter 3.6, devoted to drugs that affect the blood and hematopoiesis processes.
In humans, vitamin K is synthesized in the body by intestinal bacteria or comes from food. As a rule, vitamin K supplied with food is enough to prevent bleeding, but under certain conditions, a deficiency of this substance may occur in the body. Vitamin K exists in two natural forms – vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone), which are fat-soluble substances that require fat intake and bile secretion to be absorbed. The utilization of vitamin K occurs in the liver, so liver failure can lead to a decrease in prothrombin levels. Vitamin K deficiency can also occur with changes in the microflora in the intestine, in newborns, with prolonged antibiotic treatment, with jaundice and other diseases that reduce the flow of bile into the intestine, with impaired absorption in the small intestine.
VITAMINS AND THEIR ROLE IN METABOLISM
Metabolism or metabolism is a set of chemical processes responsible for the processing of components that enter the body with food. For the normal course of these processes, several conditions must be met. This includes vitamins – they are necessary for proper metabolism, and if they are lacking, it can be seriously impaired. Consider the role of vitamins in metabolism, as well as what substances are most significant.
Vitamins are organic compounds of different chemical nature, which are distinguished into a separate group due to their important role in several biochemical and physiological processes in the body. Most of them are not synthesized by the body, or synthesized insufficiently, so they must be supplied with food. Vitamins can belong to different groups of chemical compounds, therefore they are classified according to their solubility. They are fat-soluble (vitamins A, E, D, K) and water-soluble (vitamin C, group B, P). Unlike proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which also enter the body with food, vitamins must be supplied in small quantities. This is due to their high biological activity. Vitamins have no energy value, and they are not included in the composition of tissues, but their role in the body is very great. They are responsible for some important functions and are involved in almost all body processes. Metabolism is no exception. Consider why vitamins are needed for metabolism: Vitamins are catalysts of metabolic processes. Many water-soluble and some fat-soluble vitamins are found in enzyme systems. Some of them are converted to coenzymes. The latter are understood as substances that bind to enzymes for their greater activation. Enzyme complexes accelerate various chemical reactions in the body. They regulate metabolism, start various processes, promote the breakdown of some substances and the synthesis of others. Coenzymes in action are very effective, and in very small quantities. This explains the fact that vitamins are needed in small quantities for the normal functioning of the body. Also, the complexes “enzymes plus coenzymes” take part in the energy exchange process and the synthesis of protein molecules of complex structure. Vitamins are antioxidants. Some of them have antioxidant properties, which is also important for the normal course of metabolic processes. Due to the excess amount of free radicals in the body, oxidation processes are accelerated, the risk of various diseases increases. Vitamins C, E and P. have antioxidant properties.
Vitamins take part in the creation of signaling molecules. With the help of signaling molecules, cells can transmit and receive signals. This is necessary for the manifestation of a reaction to changes in the environment. To do this, signaling molecules come into contact with receptor molecules, and they, in turn, already trigger the necessary chemical reactions. Vitamins are responsible for the transport of substances. Some vitamin components are needed to transport other substances through cell barriers. This helps some substances to get inside the cells, while others – to go beyond them into the intercellular space. Vitamins are actively involved in the synthesis of amino acids. It is also important for normal metabolic processes.
Also, other vitamins are needed for metabolism and fat burning: Vitamin A. Its daily norm is on average 800 mgk. It can vary depending on age and other characteristics of the body. The role of vitamin A in metabolism is quite high, so it is important to observe the indicated dosages. Sources of retinol are cottage cheese, butter, carrots.
Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid plays an important role in metabolism. Its sources are sorrel, currants, citrus fruits.
Vitamin E. Normalizes the work of the gastrointestinal tract and helps to digest food. This substance is especially useful for women, as it has a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin, hair, nails. Contained in the yolks of eggs, fish, liver.
Vitamin D. The role of vitamin D in metabolism should not be underestimated. He takes part in the assimilation of protein, has a beneficial effect on the skeletal system. Often, people with various degrees of obesity have a lack of this particular vitamin. Fish oil contains a large amount. Also, in addition to vitamins directly, it is important to pay attention to the following substances that play a significant role in the normalization of metabolism:
Chromium. Promotes the burning of subcutaneous fat. Its highest concentration is found in barley and beans.
Protein. The body spends a lot of energy on protein processing, which speeds up the metabolism. Therefore, those who are losing weight actively eat chicken breast, cottage cheese, boiled eggs. Plant food. Helps to accelerate metabolism and saturate the body with vitamins.
Cellulose. This substance, together with complex carbohydrates, helps to accelerate metabolism, better assimilation of food and cleanse the body. The best sources of dietary fiber are vegetables and fruits, especially pears and apricots.
Omega-3. Unsaturated fatty acids affect the rate of metabolic processes in the most direct way. With a sufficient amount of them, fats are burned quickly, with a shortage, they are actively deposited in problem areas. Fish, especially salmon and mackerel, are rich in omega-3s.
Iodine. It is necessary for the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, and normal metabolism depends on it. Contained in kelp and apples, especially their seeds.
Knowing which vitamins accelerate the metabolism, you can create a diet so that it includes the necessary components. But this does not always work, besides, some substances are poorly absorbed. Then special vitamin and mineral complexes can come to the rescue.
WHAT IS THE THREAT OF VITAMIN OVERDOSE?
Before taking vitamin preparations, make sure that your body needs them. An overdose of vitamins can be more threatening than a lack of them. Hypervitaminosis is a group of symptoms caused by an excess of vitamins in the body, most often as a result of an overdose. It concerns, first of all, fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E and K. With too much intake of water-soluble vitamins, the body can cope by excreting them along with urine. Another situation arises with an excess of fat-soluble vitamins, they cause hypervitaminosis.
Excess vitamin D – has a very dangerous effect. In adults, it manifests itself as nausea, vomiting, itching of the skin, head and eye pain, diarrhea, increased urination, and the deposition of excess calcium in soft tissues, in the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. The consequences of an overdose of vitamin D in pregnant women and lactating mothers are dangerous. They cause fetal deformities, bone disease in newborns. Too large doses of vitamin E can cause gastrointestinal upset, feeling tired and weak, as well as drowsiness, headaches, muscle weakness, and diplopia.
An increased supply of vitamin E has fewer side effects than many other vitamins. An overdose of this vitamin occurs, but rarely.
Vitamin A in too large doses can cause nausea, blurred vision, fatigue, heaviness, irritability, lack of appetite, vomiting, headache, hair loss, itching, cracked and bleeding lips, stunted growth in children, flaky skin, ulcers, bone damage, bleeding, deformity of the skull and face, dysfunction of the heart, kidneys, fibrosis of the liver and central nervous system. To an excess of vitamin. And most often the unlimited use of food additives leads.
An overdose of vitamin K, which regulates blood clotting, leads to the breakdown of red blood cells and therefore anemia. The consequences of an excess of this element are sweating and a feeling of heat, and in newborns – jaundice, and even damage to brain tissue! The human body is especially sensitive to an overdose of vitamin C (the so-called ascorbic acid), which is found mainly in vegetables and fruits. Its excess can lead to crystallization of salts and the formation of kidney stones, and taking very large doses can lead to disturbances in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system. Also, excess vitamin C causes skin breakouts. Its consumption in large doses has a bad effect, especially on the following category of people: pregnant women with diabetes mellitus, in people with lens cataracts and thrombophlebitis, it causes hypervitaminosis.
In addition to the harmful effects, an excess of some elements provokes a decrease or loss in the body of other substances it needs. Thus, in addition to the consequences of hypervitaminosis, there is a deficiency of minerals and other vitamins that affect the processes occurring in the body. A proper diet will help you avoid taking special supplements and hypervitaminosis. Nutritionists all over the world claim that we can get all the necessary elements for the full functioning of the body with our daily food.
But if proper nutrition is not possible, a general practitioner can prescribe vitamin preparations, usually from domestic manufacturers. These drugs are created for the inhabitants of the region, who have the same needs for elements. These drugs are strictly controlled and tested so that they do not lead to hypervitaminosis.
There is a category of drugs where the daily intake of vitamins can be ten, or even twenty times higher. They cannot be used without consulting a doctor, otherwise an overdose of vitamins cannot be avoided. Therefore, before you include vitamin supplements in your daily diet, you should consult a specialist. You shouldn’t use additional supplements all year round. It is acceptable to use them in winter and autumn: during the rest of the year, our diet does not need to include vitamin supplements. It is also recommended, in taking synthetic vitamins, to take breaks every three to four weeks, since the constant intake of special supplements can provoke hypervitaminosis.
HOW DO SPORTS VITAMINS DIFFER FROM NORMAL?
Today in pharmacies you can see a large variety of vitamins from different manufacturers, with different compositions, and, of course, differing from each other in price categories.
But experts in dietetics and sports nutrition recommend taking exclusively complexes designed for athletes. It does not matter at all whether a person is engaged in professional sports or not. The fact is that these products have significant differences from vitamins intended for general use.
Benefits of sports vitamins
The main difference between sports vitamin complexes and those that can be bought at the pharmacy are as follows:
• sports complexes have a special composition optimized for the female or male body, thus, the action of all components is the most effective and brings maximum benefit to the body;
• the formulas contained in the composition of these food supplements have been developed taking into account increased physical activity;
• food supplements contain a full range of vitamins and minerals that the body does not receive even in the process of eating healthy, balanced food.
That is why the intake of such vitamins is recommended not only for professional athletes or people whose activities are associated with constant stress but also for everyone who wants to maintain good physical shape and excellent health.
How to take sports vitamins?
Before taking these or those vitamin complexes, you should consult a specialist. In most cases, it is recommended to take the supplement for the first month, then take a short break and continue taking vitamins in accordance with the instructions.
What to look for when buying vitamins for athletes?
A complex of vitamins for athletes is a high-quality product, the use of which almost immediately affects the appearance and activity of everyone who takes them. The main thing is to purchase an original product from trusted manufacturers, which is why the choice of vitamin complexes for sports nutrition should be approached with special responsibility.
What are the benefits of vitamins for sports nutrition?
Specially developed vitamin complexes for sports nutrition have the following benefits for the human body:
• normalization of metabolic processes, which promotes the assimilation of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats;
• control of biochemical reactions;
• strengthening of bone, cartilaginous, muscle tissues;
• strengthening general immunity, reducing the effects of oxidative processes;
• normalization of muscle contraction, which improves the endurance of the musculature and promotes its intensive growth;
• strengthening the heart muscle, which also has a positive effect on increasing the body’s resistance to physical exertion and related processes;
• complexes contribute to weight gain by increasing muscle and bone mass;
• the process of losing excess fluid in the body is accelerated, due to which there is a rapid loss of excess weight.
WHEN TO TAKE VITAMINS FOR BETTER BODY USE?
To get the most out of vitamins and supplements (vitamin D, magnesium, iron, B vitamins, etc.) take them at the right time of day as this can make a big difference, and do not exceed the recommended dosage indicated on the package if required. not advised by a nutritionist or physician.
This guide summarizes the results of many studies showing which combinations to avoid, which to take with meals, which in the morning on an empty stomach, and which in the evening before bed.
Iron is the main component of hemoglobin. Low iron levels can lead to fatigue and weaken the immune system. It is best to take iron on an empty stomach. Do not take it with tea or coffee, as tannins and caffeine can interfere with iron absorption. Calcium also interferes with iron absorption, so don’t take them at the same time.
Supports normal functioning of the immune system, increases energy, a strong antioxidant. Vitamin C is retained in the body for only a few hours, so it is best to split the dose over the whole day. Start taking it in the morning and set reminders to remember to take it throughout the day. Nutritional supplements and medication reminders can be easily added to my merge – Appstore health app.
They help to ensure normal metabolism of energy production, contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system, help reduce fatigue, and contribute to normal psychological functions. Take B vitamins with breakfast to increase and maintain energy throughout the day.
Protects cells in the body from damage caused by free radicals. Essential for maintaining cardiovascular health. Better absorbed when taken with fats such as yogurt, milk, nuts, or avocados.
Promotes energy processes in cells, delays the aging of the body improves the body’s defenses, i.e. immunity, increases physical endurance. It is found in almost all cells, most of all in organs that require a lot of energy to work – in the heart, brain, liver, kidneys. Coenzyme Q10 is better absorbed when taken with dietary fats – ideally at breakfast or lunch to avoid negative effects on sleep.
Zinc contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system, fertility, and the reproductive system. Zinc is an essential mineral. It is found in large quantities in foods rich in protein – fish, seafood, nuts, seeds. Take zinc during the day with meals, as it can cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach. Do not take it along with calcium or iron.
Iodine takes care of the synthesis of thyroid hormones and skin health. Iodine does not accumulate in the body, so it must be taken regularly. Iodine is a trace mineral found naturally in or added to food. The richest sources of iodine are seaweed, shrimp, cod liver, and milk. Studies have found iodine boosts energy, so take it in the afternoon to boost your energy levels.
DAY / EVENING
Vitamin D is important for bone health, immunity, and lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. It is very important for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Forms naturally in the skin when exposed to sunlight, but only if the UV index is higher than UV3. This means that during the period from October to April, the sunlight in Latvia is not intense enough for the synthesis of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is best absorbed from food in the presence of dietary fats. Some studies have found that it can leave a negative effect on sleep, so take vitamin D right after lunch.
Helps in the process of blood clotting, aids in wound healing help maintain healthy bones. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. Most of all found in broccoli, cabbage, spinach, beets, parsley, and vegetable oils (soybean, rapeseed). Vitamin K can be taken at any time, but is best with vitamin D, calcium and vitamin C. Absorbed best when taken with food with dietary fats.
Contains essential omega-3 fatty acids for the body, which are essential for normal brain function, heart and eye health, growth, and development of the body. The body itself does not produce omega-3 fatty acids; they can only be obtained from food or nutritional supplements. It is best to take fish oil with meals for better absorption.
Calcium is the most important mineral for the body. Large amounts of calcium are found in bones and teeth. It is used in conducting nerve impulses and for muscle function. Many people advise taking calcium in the evening because it is then absorbed best.
The fourth most important mineral in the body, 50% of magnesium is found in bones. Promotes healthy bones and teeth. It also has a calming effect on the muscles and the nervous system. Research shows magnesium improves sleep, so it should be taken in the evening before bed.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE VITAMINS FOR SLIMMING
Any diet aimed at weight loss is stress for the body. To minimize this stress, nutritionists recommend including vitamins for weight loss in the diet. Thanks to them, the hormonal background is normalized, the correct functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems is ensured. Also, some vitamins help accelerate metabolism, prevent the formation of fatty deposits, converting glucose into energy. Their use allows you to achieve results much faster.
How and what vitamins affect weight
Vitamins in the diet should promote weight loss. Experts identify the most effective of them:
ascorbic acid – C;
riboflavin – B2;
niacin – B3 or PP;
pyridoxine – B6;
pantothenic acid – B5;
choline – B4;
tocopherol – E.
B vitamins help accelerate metabolic processes in the body, provide energy for digesting food, support the functionality of the thyroid gland, the disruption of which leads to excess weight gain, promote the formation of fatty acids and cholesterol, accelerate the production of hormones responsible for the breakdown of fats.
• acts as a catalyst for the conversion of sugars into energy rather than fat;
• lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood;
• participates in the formation of norepinephrine, a hormone that performs a supportive function during stress.
Vitamin E for weight loss is used in combination with retinol and zinc. Eating it in this form helps to reduce appetite. Besides, tocopherol:
• improves skin condition;
• strengthens hair and nails;
• prevents the formation of cholesterol plaques inside the vessels;
• promotes tissue regeneration;
• participates in muscle activity;
• normalizes metabolic processes in the body;
• promotes the supply of cells with oxygen;
• prevents the formation of edema and the formation of bags under the eyes.
A large amount of vitamin E is found in nuts, some varieties of sea fish, in all seafood, herbs, vegetable oils, viburnum, sea buckthorn and rose hips.
The gelatin capsules available in pharmacies contain different dosages of vitamin E in solution. Also, many vitamin complexes are actively used for weight loss during diet therapy.
Vitamins for metabolism in the body are included in effective diets for weight loss.
Top best vitamin complexes for weight loss
For men and women who want to lose weight, special vitamin and mineral complexes have been developed. “Solgar” for weight loss produces a large number of supplements, each of which contains all the vitamins and minerals necessary for weight loss. The most popular are:
L-Glutamine. The drug helps to improve immunity, normalizes metabolism in the body. Its feature is the ability to reduce appetite.
Chromium picolinate. The supplement normalizes blood sugar levels, helps to reduce appetite, helps to control the amount of food consumed, and nourishes muscle fibers, preventing their atrophy during weight loss.
Omega-3 Fish Oil. This drug normalizes metabolism, helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels, supplies body tissues with omega acids, and reduces the desire to eat sweets.
Lecithin. Available in encapsulated form. Has the ability to absorb and remove fat from the body. It is used in combination with inositol or choline. Helps to get rid of fatty deposits in the waist and hips.
WHAT VITAMINS ARE NECESSARY FOR PREGNANT WOMEN?
The answer is unequivocal – yes. However, some people believe that this is not necessary. They argue their opinion approximately as follows: “Our great-grandmothers did not take pills and easily gave birth to several children.” And this is true, but let’s look at the situation more broadly. The lifestyle of our contemporaries is fundamentally different from the lifestyle of our ancestors. This applies to physical activity and environmental conditions, but above all nutrition. Indeed, it is from food that we get most of the vitamins and minerals necessary for our health.
Fresh air, sun, moderate physical labor, organic vegetables and fruits, meat and milk without antibiotics and hormones, as well as no sugar, preservatives, dyes, semi-finished products, trans fats. Not surprisingly, 50-70 years ago, women were stronger. Also, do not forget that in those days no one kept statistics of adverse pregnancy outcomes and did not study their causes. Therefore, we cannot say with confidence that a few decades ago women did not feel the need for additional vitamin support. But today, thanks to evidence-based medicine, we have research results that demonstrate the importance of vitamins and minerals for the normal development of the baby and the healthy course of pregnancy.
Essential vitamins for pregnant women
From the first days of pregnancy, against the background of hormonal changes, many biochemical processes in the body of the expectant mother change. The need for essential vitamins and minerals increases dramatically. True, this does not apply to all nutrients, otherwise, there would be no sense in specific vitamin and mineral complexes for pregnant women. Then one could simply take a double dose of the usual multivitamin preparations. The need for substances is increasing disproportionately. And if for the normal development of the fetus a pregnant woman needs 2 times more vitamin B9, then iodine consumption needs to be increased only by 30%. These nuances are taken into account in the complexes for expectant mothers.
Let’s take a look at the different groups of vitamins and minerals and learn about their role in the process of carrying a baby.
Folic acid and other B vitamins
Perhaps this is the most important group of vitamins for pregnancy. Especially vitamins B6, B9, B12. All of them play an essential role in the development of the child’s nervous system, especially during embryogenesis (in the first trimester).
• Vitamin B6 is involved in the production of amino acids, the process of hematopoiesis, the formation of the neural tube of the embryo.
• Vitamin B9 (folic acid) is essential for the proper development of the brain and peripheral nervous system of the fetus, as well as the proper functioning of the placenta.
• Vitamin B12 is also important for placental circulation (in the second and third trimesters), as well as the function of hematopoiesis and ovulation. B12 deficiency is a common cause of disturbance in the ovulatory phase of the cycle, which in turn leads to the inability to become pregnant.
According to studies, a lack of one or more vitamins of this group can provoke gross malformations of the fetus, involuntary termination of pregnancy, placental insufficiency, and severe toxicosis. It is worth noting here that a considerable percentage of women, due to genetic characteristics, may have difficulties in assimilating the synthetic forms of these vitamins. This can be expressed in the form of toxicosis, gestosis, and various problems with the placenta. In this case, they are advised to take methylated forms of B vitamins.
Iodine and selenium
A sufficient amount of iodine is necessary for both the expectant mother and the child. Without this element, the work of the thyroid gland is disrupted, on which the synthesis of hormones, the formation of the skeleton, and the central nervous system of the child depend. Taking iodine should be started from the first days of pregnancy. This recommendation is especially relevant for those living in iodine-deficient areas. If the inhabitants of coastal cities have the opportunity to saturate the body with iodine through the air they breathe, then the inhabitants of areas remote from the coast are often diagnosed with iodine deficiency.
In conjunction with iodine, it is necessary to take selenium, it plays an important role in the transformation cycle of thyroid hormones.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium is necessary for the unborn baby not only for the formation of the skeleton in the third trimester but also for the proper development of the nervous and cardiovascular systems in the first and second trimesters, as well as for the growth of muscle tissue. If a pregnant woman consumes an insufficient amount of this mineral, then the mechanism of feeding the fetus with calcium from the mother’s skeleton is activated. In this case, a woman may develop a deficiency with its inherent symptoms – brittle nails, hair loss, problem skin, caries, osteoporosis.
Do not forget that for adequate absorption of calcium by the mother’s body and the baby in the womb, vitamin D is needed. In the winter-spring period, we, as a rule, experience a deficiency in it. Therefore, a pregnant woman needs a vitamin D supplement.
Hemoglobin is responsible for providing oxygen to all organs and tissues of the expectant mother and child, which has a directly proportional relationship with the iron entering the body. Lack of this element can lead to uterine bleeding and fetal hypoxia. Also, the child’s immunity depends on iron. Throughout pregnancy, it is necessary to monitor the level of hemoglobin and maintain it with the help of preparations containing iron.
A zinc deficiency in the first trimester can have very serious consequences for a child’s health. Its lack is associated with neural tube defects, resulting in malformations. Later in pregnancy, zinc is essential for normal intrauterine growth and weight gain, and the formation of a healthy immune system. For a pregnant woman, zinc deficiency is dangerous due to possible complications of childbirth – weak labor, bleeding.
This vitamin is involved in many biochemical processes in the body. For the expectant mother, vitamin C is important in that it is an active participant in the absorption of iron and the metabolism of folate. Also, the pronounced antioxidant properties of the vitamin become a kind of shield for the health of a pregnant woman and her baby.
Vitamin E also has antioxidant properties. Besides, it participates in energy metabolism and tissue respiration of the fetus. But in the case of vitamin E, it is very important not to overdo it. Since its excess can negatively affect the development of the child’s cardiovascular system.
Vitamin A is also important for the full development of the fetus. There is enough of it in the food we are used to. However, here the question arises: is it assimilated? After all, this requires the presence in food of a sufficient amount of fats, proteins, and vitamin E. Therefore, it is better to insure yourself with a supplement containing this vitamin. In this case, Vitamin A in the preparation must be in the form of carotenoids.
WHAT DOES A LACK OF VITAMINS LEAD TO?
Vitamin deficiency, or vitamin deficiency, can manifest itself as hypovitaminosis or vitamin deficiency.
Man is one of the few living creatures that are themselves unable to synthesize ascorbic acid and are completely dependent on its content in food. In addition to humans, monkeys, guinea pigs, an Indian bat and several species of Persian songbirds can also get sick.
Ascorbic acid deficiency is accompanied by bleeding gums, a predisposition to infections, especially colds and respiratory diseases, joint pain, weakness, indigestion, and other symptoms.
Vitamin A deficiency is manifested by dry hair and skin, mucous membranes of the eyes and cornea, night blindness, and stunted growth in children. Sleep disturbances, frequent colds, weight loss, and other symptoms are possible.
The deficiency of vitamin D is the reason for the development of rickets in children since growing bones without this vitamin are not calcified. In adults, an inadequate intake of vitamin D over the years leads to the decalcification of the bones (osteomalacia).
Deficiency of vitamin E can lead to infertility, neuromuscular disorders, cause spontaneous abortions, be a prerequisite for the development of oncological, cardiovascular, skin, and other diseases.