Vitamins are compounds necessary for life. Eating a healthy and diverse diet is usually enough to secure a sufficient intake of vitamins for the body’s needs. In some situations the body may need some outside help to ensure a sufficient intake. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, imbalanced diet, certain medication, celiac disease and limited access to sunlight are all factors which affect the need of certain vitamins. Vitamin intake can conveniently be secured with supplements.
Vitamins play a role in all the metabolic processes such as digestion, energy production, cell division, growth, tissue repair, immunity and endocrine system. They participate in carrying oxygen and excreting metabolic waste in the body and affect for example sight, sensory perception and mental state.
Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins
Vitamins are divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Solubility refers to how different vitamins are stored in the body and how they exit the body. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble whereas vitamins B and C are water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed with fats in the diet. They are stored in different parts of the body and absorbed into blood circulation from intestines. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the body for a long time. Water-soluble vitamins however excrete in urine which is why you need a continuous supply of them in your daily diet so that no deficiencies can arise.
Should vitamins be taken with food or not?
It is best to take fat-soluble vitamins with food which contains fat to ensure that they are absorbed as well as possible. Water-soluble vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach.