What is a Vitamin, really?

Physician Recommended Vitamins
A vitamin is an organic substance; a molecule that helps you and your body to react in a certain way to stresses. The only way that you can get vitamins is from energy as in the sun, or from food and nutritional sources.
Unfortunately, our food is not often grown and eaten “fresh off the vine”. A tomato, for example, is picked while green in a country far away from us….then shipped cold….then exposed to ethylene gas to make it look ripe. It looks like a tomato…..it feels like a tomato…..but it is presented to you in a way that nature never intended. Nature never got the chance to imbue that tomato with the vitamins that are necessary to your health and well being.

How were Vitamins Discovered?

The first people to make use of vitamins without knowing it, were 18th century sailors. Sailors used to suffer from a very unpleasant disease called scurvy due to the fact that they were at sea for long periods of time and did not have any access to fresh fruits or vegetables.

Sailors at sea for long periods of time, would soon start to notice easy bruising and bleeding. Their teeth would fall out, as would their hair. Some would get psychiatric problems – a big problem at sea!

They soon discovered that by giving the sailor’s limes they could help to prevent scurvy and keep the sailors a great deal healthier. This is where the term, “limey” came from. The active ingredient that was helping to prevent the dreaded illness was eventually discovered to be vitamin C or ascorbic acid. It was not until the 1920s that vitamins were actually discovered in their own right.

What kinds of Vitamins are there?

Vitamins are actually divided into two very distinct groups, those that are water-soluble and those that are fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin B, vitamin C and biotin can be dissolved in water and thus it is very difficult to achieve too high a level of these vitamins as they can be passed out of the body rather easily. With fat-soluble vitamins on the other hand, it is possible to take too much of them as they are more likely to be retained in the body whether or not they are needed.

But if you want to know what is a vitamin and what its effects are on your overall health the answer is very simple. You need the right amounts of vitamins to help to maintain your natural bodily processes.

The best way to make sure the you have a good supply of vitamins and minerals available for your body is to eat a good healthy diet containing all the essential ingredients such as fresh fruit, vegetables, grains and proteins. If you are in any doubts as to what constitutes a good diet the best person to ask is your doctor. They can give you a good diet that encompasses most foods and will make sure that your body is supplied with all the essential nutrients.