What Are Vitamins And Why Do We Need Them?
We must obtain vitamins from natural foods, or dietary supplements in order to sustain life.
When I mention the word vitamin, most people think pill. Thinking pill brings to mind confusing images of medicine and drugs. Though vitamins can and certainly often do the work of both medicine and drugs, they are neither.
Quite simply, vitamins are organic substances necessary for life. Vitamins are essential to the normal functioning of our bodies and, save for a few exceptions, cannot be manufactured or synthesized internally. Necessary for our growth, vitality, and general well-being, they are found in minute quantities in all natural food. We must obtain vitamins from these foods or from dietary supplements.
What you have to keep in mind is that supplements, which are available in tablet, capsule, liquid, powder, spray, patch, and injection forms, are still just food substances, and, unless synthetic, are also derived from living plants and animals.
It is impossible to sustain life without all the essential vitamins.
What Vitamins Are Not
Vitamins are neither pep pills nor substitutes for food.
A lot of people think vitamins can replace food. They cannot. In fact, vitamins cannot be assimilated without ingesting food. There are a lot of erroneous beliefs about vitamins, and I hope this book can clear up most of them.
Vitamins are not pep pills and have no caloric or energy value of their own. Vitamins are not substitutes for protein or for any other nutrients, such as minerals, fats, carbohydrates, water—or even for each other! Vitamins themselves are not the components of our body structures.
You cannot take vitamins, stop eating, and expect to be healthy.
How They Work
If you think of the body as an automobile’s combustion engine and vitamins as spark plugs, you have a fairly good idea of how these amazing minute food substances work for us.
Vitamins regulate our metabolism through enzyme systems. A single deficiency can endanger the whole body.
Vitamins are components of our enzyme systems which, acting like spar plugs, energize and regulate our metabolism, keeping us tuned up and functioning at high performance.
Compared with our intake of other nutrients like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, our vitamin intake (even on some megadose regimens) is minuscule. But a deficiency in even one vitamin can endanger the whole human body.
But, you should always remember that supplements are supplements and not replacement of regular and healthy food. Without food, they will not work.