An Essential Guide to Vitamins

| May 24, 2018

We write a lot about vitamins, because we recognize the primary role they play in the maintenance of optimal health.

Vitamin deficiency is a risk factor that underlies the vast majority of ailments and health conditions—and thus, a growing body of research demonstrates that vigilant monitoring of vitamin intake can help successfully prevent or even reverse health problems.

But the world of vitamins can be overwhelming. Have you ever stood in front of a wall of vitamin bottles at your local health food store, completely unsure of which one to choose?

It helps to have a basic understanding of vitamins and their applications, so that you can build a regimen that works for you. To that end, we’d like to share a wonderfully helpful infographic, courtesy of 16Best.

The infographic below lays out all the basic details you need to know about the “classic” vitamins: vitamin A, all the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. You’ll learn what makes each of these vitamins essential, how much of each vitamin the body needs, which ones are water soluble and which are fat soluble, why some of the letters in the “vitamin alphabet” are missing, and much more.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you peruse the infographic.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Obviously, there are many other nutrients that are worthy of your time and attention, but this infographic should help you get your foot in the door of the vitamin world. If you feel called to explore deeper, there are plenty more articles on our site featuring nearly every major vitamin and nutrient under the sun.

“Daily Minimum Intake” represents just that—the minimum. This infographic discusses the “Daily Minimum Intake” of each vitamin. This terminology is a remarkable improvement over “Recommended Daily Allowance,” which makes it sound like this amount is all we ever need to take. As we’ve written about in past articles, it can often be incredibly beneficial to take doses higher than the RDA for specific vitamins. This is partially because RDAs are far too low in some cases (according to the opinion of many doctors and experts), and partially because the therapeutic mechanisms of vitamins can shift and deepen when higher doses are consumed.

Two prominent examples are vitamin C and vitamin D, both of which exhibit remarkable healing benefits when safely taken at higher doses. When trying out higher doses of supplements of vitamins, though, remember these few rules of thumb: talk to your doctor first, do your own research, and listen to your body.

Some vitamins work better together. Finally, while this infographic presents each vitamin in isolation, it’s important to remember that some are safer and more effective when taken together. For example, you shouldn’t take vitamin D without vitamin K, as doing so can cause your lead to use calcium improperly.

In other cases, vitamin deficiencies can make it difficult for your body to absorb other vitamins. For example, a vitamin D deficiency (as well as mineral deficiencies) can make it harder to absorb vitamin B12 (a nutrient that many people already have trouble absorbing). Therefore, it’s beneficial to take both vitamins (from food sources and as supplements), even if you think you’re only deficient in one.

So without further ado…may this infographic serve as your introductory guide to the world of vitamins!


References

Infographic source

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