Vitamins and Other Dietary Supplements

Vitamins are organic substances that are required to keep our bodies healthy and are necessary for cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 essential vitamins: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate. Vitamins belong to one of two groups: fat soluble (A, D, E, and K) or water soluble (the remaining nine). All water-soluble vitamins (except B12) wash through the body and are eliminated in urine. Vitamins are either derived naturally from food or created artificially.

With the rise of agriculture, the human diet came to be based more on vitamin-sparse grains such as wheat and corn and less on green plants and fruits. High levels of processing, exposure to light, temperature changes, ...

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