Vitamins are organic substances that are generally classified as either fat soluble or water soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K dissolve in fat and tend to accumulate in the body. Water-soluble vitamins like C and the B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B6, B12 and folate must dissolve in water before they can be absorbed by the body, and therefore cannot be stored. Any water-soluble vitamins unused by the body are primarily lost through urine.
Minerals are inorganic elements present in soil and water, which are absorbed by plants or consumed by animals. Besides calcium, sodium, and potassium, there is a range of other minerals, including trace minerals like copper, iodine and zinc that we need in small amounts.
Vitamin & Mineral Complexes: Difference
Vitamins are made by living things, while minerals are found in the earth. For example, carrots produce beta carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A; minerals, such as iron and copper, can be found in soil and rock. Vitamins are much more delicate than minerals and can break down with heat or age, and they are organic; minerals are inorganic, making their chemical form more simple than that of vitamins.
Important Minerals: Calcium & Iron
Calcium is necessary for strong bones and health, it is needed for blood to clot, and helps nerves to send messages and muscles to contract.
Iron is necessary for transporting oxygen in the blood and is important for generating energy from nutrients. It is an essential mineral naturally present in some foods, such as lean meats and seafood, nuts, beans, and fortified foods.
Antioxidants are substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage by counteracting free radicals or chemicals that can harm cells. Examples of antioxidants include vitamins A, C, and E; beta carotene; lycopene; and selenium. Antioxidants have been credited with a number of health benefits ranging from reducing the signs of aging to preventing certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Vitamin A: Widely known for improving vision, Vitamin A is also important for building a good immunity system and necessary for a healthy pregnancy.
- Vitamin B: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B8 and B12 are what Vitamin B complexes are made of. Each of which performs a different important function throughout the body.
- Vitamin C: It is necessary for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, green peppers, spinach, and tomatoes.
- Vitamin D: It helps build strong bones and plays an important role in preventing and treating a number of serious long-term health problems, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, some cancers, and multiple sclerosis. The best dietary sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel; fortified dairy products; and breakfast cereals.
- Vitamin E: It is used for cell communication, to strengthen the immune system and to form red blood cells. Vitamin E is found naturally in foods and is added to some fortified foods like vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, green vegetables, and enriched cereals.
- Vitamin K: It is the group name for a number of compounds that help the body make proteins necessary for blood clotting. Because of this role, vitamin K is used to reverse the anticoagulant effects of blood thinners when too much is given.
Thus, vitamins and minerals are important for the proper functioning of the body. Without the complexes or the deficiency of either one will make the body fall ill in some way of the other.