Why Vitamins Are So Important

By H&W on 5th Mar 2018

Vitamins mean “Vital to Life”

Quick Facts:

  • Vitamins are organic.
  • There are 13 vitamins that are essential to health:
    • A, D, E, K
  • Fat-soluble- require bile* for absorption, stored in fat, risk of toxicity is greater, but usually rare. (*Bile is made by the liver and is mostly cholesterol.)
    • C, B- complex
  • Water soluble (9) readily excreted
    • B Vitamins: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic acid, Biotin, B6, Folate, and B12
  • Vitamins are important in helping chemical reactions take place in the body (help to unleash stored energy).
  • Produce red blood cells, which maintains skeletal, nervous, and muscular systems.
  • Balanced diet = no deficiencies
  • If you cut out a food group, you start to see deficiencies.
  • Deficiencies are also seen in low economic groups, alcoholics, binge drinkers (usually college students), and the elderly.
  • Supplements are generally not needed if a balanced diet is consumed.


Vitamin Fact Sheets:

Vitamin A & Beta-Carotene, Functions & Benefits

  • Vision-maintains surface lining of eyes.  Helps the retina of the eye to work properly.  Keeps photoreceptors healthy (allow you to see at night)
  • Bone Growth
  • Reproduction & Breast-Feeding require Vitamin A
  • Immune System- helps white blood cells fight off infections
  • Skin- reverses signs of photodamaged skin, enhances skins elasticity and thickness
  • Cell Division
  • Respiratory, Urinary, Intestinal Tracks – maintains surface lining to prevent bacteria from entering and causing infections


Caused by poor diet, chronic diarrheas, excess alcohol (alcohol removes vitamin A from storage in the liver)

  • Vision Problems
  • Problems with Bone/Teeth Development
  • Irritability
  • Skin Rashes
  • Hair Loss
  • Dry Eyes
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Recurring Infections
  • Unable to fight off infections of the lung or complications with measles


  • Eat 5 Fruits and Vegetables of Dark Colors daily
  • Eat balanced amounts of fortified Breakfast Cereals, Breads, Cracker, and Animal Products
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption


B Vitamins

Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Biotin, Pantothenic acid, B6, Folate, and B12

Functions & Benefits

  • Coenzymes- facilitates the work of every cell.
  • Active in fat, carbohydrate, and protein metabolism. (Release energy, build cells to deliver oxygen and nutrients)
  • Active in making new DNA
  • Maintains healthy skin
  • Work together, therefore they depend on each other to function properly.

Deficiencies (usually seen in alcoholics)

  • Disorientation
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Jerky Eye movement
  • Damage to nervous system, heart and muscles
  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Dermatitis
  • Dementia


  • Consume animal products, milk and dairy
  • Whole Grains
  • Enriched bread and cereal
  • Green Leafy veggies
  • Beans, Legumes


Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

  • Easily destroyed by heat and oxygen
  • Lost in cooking and in storage unless the container is air tight


  • Antioxidant- defends the body against free radicals
  • Protects tissues from oxidative stress (helps prevent disease)
  • Helps fight a common cold
  • Helps with nasal congestion
  • Repairs scar tissue (active in collagen formation, collagen helps put separated body tissues back together)
  • Aids is absorption and conversion in iron


  • Anemia
  • Fragile Bones
  • Depression
  • Muscle Denegation
  • Rough Skin
  • Gums bleed


  • Consume Fruits rich in Vit C: oranges, orange juice, tomatoes, mango, cantaloupe, pineapple, watermelon, kiwi, and cranberry juice
  • Consume Vegetables rich in Vit C: broccoli, potatoes, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, peas, and corn
  • Shrimp is also a good source of Vit C.
  • Vitamin C is water-soluble so when too much is consumed it is excreted.  It is best to take small amounts throughout the day as opposed to one large dose.


Vitamin D, “The sunshine vitamin”

The body can produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.  10-15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of Vitamin D.


  • Promotes the body’s absorption of calcium
  • Maintains healthy bones and teeth
  • Maintains blood levels of calcium and phosphorus


  • Softening and weakening of bones
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dental deformities
  • Impaired growth


  • Dairy Products
  • Fish
  • Oysters
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Sunlight


Vitamin E

Fat-soluble, exist in eight different forms. Despite marketing claims from health and beauty sites, vitamin E does not improve physical performance, enhance sexual performance, slow aging, or prevent skin wrinkling.


  • Antioxidant
  • May delay cataract growth
  • Helps prevent chronic disease by destroying free radicals in the body


  • Premature infant (low body weight)
  • Anemia


  • Healthy Fats/Oils
  • Meats
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Supplements for Vitamin E are not recommended


Vitamin K

Important for blood and bones.


  • Activates other proteins to assist in blood clots
  • Helps to make bone proteins (stronger bones)
  • Helps to prevent osteoporosis
  • Helps to prevent heart disease by reducing a hormone that increases inflammation throughout the body
  • Reduces build-up of calcium in arteries (could cause arteriosclerosis otherwise)
  • Regulates calcium in and out of bones and arteries


  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding gums
  • Easy bruising
  • Prolonged clotting times
  • Skeletal weakness
  • Birth Defects


  • Yogurt
  • Leafy greens (cauliflower, cabbage, spinach, asparagus)
  • Fortified cereals
  • Soybeans
  • Cheese
  • Liver
  • Coffee
  • Bacon
  • Green Tea
  • Fish
  • Potatoes

Vitamins are essential for our growth and function.  The best way to ensure that you are getting all the vitamins that your body needs is by eating a variety of real, whole foods.

Karina Hammer is a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach, Co-Host of the Magnetic Heart Radio Show, Wellness Expert, Writer, Speaker and Educator. She is dedicated to supporting busy professionals who suffer from chronic digestive issues overcome the confusion of what to eat every day so they can finally order from the menu with confidence and never feel frustrated or embarrassed at a lunch meeting again.  

Do you need help discerning which vitamins are right for you and your family?  Schedule a complimentary 30 Minute Assessment with Karina at www.karinahammer.com.

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