Did you know that more than 77% of people in the United States take vitamin supplements on a regular basis? These supplements range from multivitamins to individual vitamins and supplements, such as vitamin C and D, zinc, turmeric, calcium, omega-3 fish oil, and more.
It’s obvious that people want to improve their health and quality of life by taking vitamins, but do they work? And if they do, what are their benefits?
It’s important to know why you should take vitamins and how they interact with your body. Isn’t understanding how vitamins work better than taking them just because you heard they were healthy?
Vitamins are more than attractive bottles in health stores or pills to thoughtlessly swallow. If you’re conscious about your health and want to know if the benefits of vitamin supplements are worth it, then you’ve come to the right article.
Here we’ll explore some of the most popular vitamins and what they do to your body to improve your health. Without any further ado, let’s explore the world of vitamins.
The General Benefits of Vitamin Supplements
Before getting into specific vitamins, let’s take a look at the general vitamin supplement benefits. Vitamins work because the human body, in order to function on a cellular level, needs a certain amount of nutrition. You can see this concept in action when looking at the nutritional table on any food product.
This will allow you to check what percentage of a certain vitamin contributes to your daily intake when consuming particular foods. It is important to note that vitamins cannot take the place of nutrition obtained from food.
One of the benefits that many vitamins share is healthy aging. When your body is lacking certain vitamins, you can run into problems as you start to age. These problems usually include bone and skin weakness, poor eyesight, and cardiovascular issues.
By consuming an adequate amount of vitamins, your body will function ideally. As with any vehicle or machine, if you take good care of it, it will function perfectly even as it gets older.
Another general benefit of vitamins is that they can help strengthen your immune system. Hundreds of years ago when people were often malnourished, the flu could be fatal. Luckily, in today’s modern age, we have the proper nutritional strength to fight off colds and flu with minimal consequences.
When your body isn’t beaten down with common illnesses and general weakness, it will survive the test of time and remain strong even into old age. Moving on, let’s take a closer look at the more specific vitamin supplement advantages.
The Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the vitamin you get from the sun. More accurately, your skin creates vitamin D in response to sunlight. There are actually three different types of vitamin D including D1, D2, and D3.
Vitamin D is very important when it comes to the strengthening of bones. This is not because vitamin D contains calcium, but rather allows calcium to be absorbed into the body to strengthen bones and teeth. This vitamin is especially important for women who are more prone to osteoporosis in old age than men.
By taking vitamin D vitamins in their younger years, women can keep the development of osteoporosis at bay or, at the very least, keep osteoporosis from becoming severe. In addition to fighting against osteoporosis, vitamin D can help strengthen your immune system against other health conditions.
Most notably, in some studies, vitamin D seems to have important implications in lowering the chances of developing heart disease and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D may help improve mood regulation and depression as well.
Taking these supplements is obviously beneficial, but what happens if you’re lacking vitamin D? Those who do not have enough vitamin D in their bodies are more prone to bone fractures in the lower part of the body, particularly in the hips and legs. Those deficient in vitamin D may also feel general malaise and fatigue.
Vitamin D deficiency can be diagnosed through routine blood tests and remedied with more sun exposure and the consumption of vitamin D supplements.
The Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the best vitamin supplements you can take. Why might this be? Because vitamin C is required for the human body to create collagen. Collagen is one of the most important components in the body because it is needed to build and repair everything from bones and teeth to skin and cartilage.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants have powerful implications in preventing the development of cancer cells and certain inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Vitamin C is great for the skin. It is often found in skincare products because of its ability to promote faster skin healing and reduce dark spots.
Vitamin C can be consumed from a variety of foods. These foods include cantaloupe, kiwi, tomato juice, and citrus fruits like oranges. It is next to impossible to overdose on vitamin C, but too much can cause stomach trouble.
The consequences of not consuming enough vitamin C manifests in the form of scurvy. While many are familiar with scurvy as the adverse health condition pirates used to get, the details of scurvy are often not well understood.
With a lack of vitamin C comes a lack of collagen, which, as mentioned before, is important in repairing and developing body tissues. The symptoms of scurvy include widespread bruising, bleeding, and especially weakened gums. This often causes the loss of teeth since the gums are no longer strong enough to hold them in their sockets.
The Benefits of Zinc
Zinc is a nutrient that must be obtained from your diet. This makes it an “essential” nutrient, meaning that the body cannot store it or create it on its own. Even though it is a trace mineral, meaning it occurs in very small amounts in the body, it is still very important to normal body functions.
The benefits of vitamin supplements like zinc are crucial when it comes to DNA synthesis. Without DNA synthesis, cell repair is next to impossible. Since the body’s cells are constantly repairing and replacing themselves, a lack of zinc would obviously mean bad news.
Zinc, like vitamin C, is very helpful for skin health. Not only does it allow injuries to heal faster, but it is believed it can ward off acne thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Much of the zinc in the body is actually in the skin in amounts as high as 5%.
Zinc, like other vitamins, can help improve the strength of your immune system. More than that, zinc can also help fight off infections and the common cold.
Zinc deficiency is not very common in the developed world, but those that have it suffer from serious health effects. Those with zinc deficiency often have skin rashes, poor wound healing, and developmental issues. These developmental issues can include delayed growth in height and delayed onset of puberty.
In developed countries, zinc deficiency is more commonly found in those with gastrointestinal conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome. These conditions make it hard for the body to absorb important nutrients.
The Benefits of Fish Oil
Fish oil primarily consists of omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t consume fish on a regular basis, that is, around 2 to 3 times per week, you should consider adding fish oil supplements to your diet.
The main reason is that studies have shown that fish oil may have great implications in improving heart health. This is because, although it does not lower the body’s amount of bad cholesterol (LDL), it can increase the amount of good cholesterol (HDL).
Some studies have found that fish oil may even be able to lower triglycerides by as much as 30%. Fish oil has applications in preventing the formation of blood vessel plaque and plaque hardening. This is beneficial in avoiding strokes and heart attacks.
Considering that fish oil is mostly fat and your brain is 60% fat, fish oil may have advantages when it comes to brain health. Studies have found that many people who suffer from a variety of mental disorders tend to have lower concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids compared to those without mental disorders.
While more studies are required, it is believed that fish oil can help improve the symptoms of serious mental conditions, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. More than that, fish oil may even be able to prevent the development of some mental disorders.
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin Supplements?
Even though this article only covers a select group of vitamins and supplements, you can see how important proper nutrition is to the body. The benefits of vitamin supplements should not be ignored if you value your health.
This is because vitamin supplements health benefits are many, and on the other hand, vitamin deficiencies can seriously dampen your quality of life. To learn more about health and nutrition, explore more of our site.