Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that each perform vital roles in your body. They help bone growth/strength, heal any wounds you might have, and support your immune system to name just a few. Vitamins and minerals also help convert the food we ingest into energy and repair any cellular damage. They are really quite remarkable.
So let’s get a clear understanding of some of the better-known vitamins and minerals and what they do.
Together, vitamins A, D, E, and K help keep your eyes, skin, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and nervous system in good health. These four vitamins also build bones – vitamins A, D and K are responsible (in part) for bone formation. Vitamin A helps keep cells healthy and protects your vision. Vitamin E protects your body acting as an antioxidant. In fact, without vitamin E your body would have trouble absorbing and storing vitamin A so they actually need each other for the body to function properly.
Major minerals, which you are probably most familiar, include calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. A key task of these is to maintain the correct balance of water in the body. Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are also important for healthy bones and sulfur helps stabilize protein structures including some of those that make up your hair, skin, and nails.
A multivitamin will provide you with a sufficient amount of both vitamins and minerals that your current diet might not be providing, but the key to remember when choosing vitamins is that the old adage of ‘you are what you eat’ is no longer true. However, you are what you absorb. Choosing a nutrient with the highest absorptive forms of each specific nutrient will ensure optimal absorption and utilization. Some common forms to look for to “grade” your nutrient contain magnesium oxide, calcium carbonate, cyanocobalamin, pyridoxine HCl, and ergocalciferol. These are lower absorptive forms, and will usually be the cheapest cost wise. Another thing to remember is that iron or copper should never be included in your multivitamin. If they need to be taken, they should be done separately.
When it comes to supplementation, because it is not regulated by the FDA, usually you get what you pay for. Don’t bargain shop for you vitamins. If you have any questions about taking vitamins or minerals and how these might affect your recovery of an ailment or injury please do not hesitate to contact us to book an appointment.