DIFFERENT TYPES OF VITAMINS
Vitamins can be divided into two groups – fat-soluble and water-soluble. The body has different ways of dealing with an excess of vitamins from each group.
FAT-SOLUBLE VITAMINS – VITAMINS A, D, E AND K:
• Stored in the body.
• Excessive intake can lead to high levels in body tissue.
• Toxic side-effects, including aching joints, headaches, nausea and fatigue.
WATER-SOLUBLE VITAMINS – B-COMPLEX VITAMINS, VITAMIN C:
• Eliminated in urine.
• Supplies need to be replenished regularly to maintain good health.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are excellent sources of certain micronutrients (vitamins. minerals and trace elements). They also contain important substances (called phytonutrients) thought to help prevent disease and maintain long-term health. A sufficient intake of certain micronutrients is essential for growth and the maintenance of health and wellbeing.
HOW MINERALS PASS DOWN TO HUMANS
Minerals move along the food chain from soil to the human diet and may be consumed either directly or indirectly.
Macrominerals and trace elements originate in soil and water. –>
The minerals contain microorganisms that make them soluble so that they can be extracted from the soil by plants.
–> 1. Humans receive minerals by eating the plants directly.
–> 2. Animals consume the plants and the minerals pass into their flesh. –> Humans receive the minerals by eating animal flesh.
CIGARETTE SMOKING AND VITAMIN REQUIREMENTS
Cigarette smokers are at risk of vitamin C depletion because smoking robs the body of this vitamin, making smokers prone to signs of deficiency. Nutritionists say that smokers need to consume more than 200mg of vitamin C every day (four times the recommended daily amount) in order to maintain the same vitamin C blood level as a non-smoker. Vitamin C-rich fruits, such as kiwi fruit and oranges, can be included in the diet, and some smokers may decide to take food supplements.
Because smoking creates free radicals in the body, some experts suggest that smokers should take antioxidants in the form of beta-carotene to reduce the risk of lung cancer. However, research evidence in this area is inconclusive.