What Are Vitamins And Why You 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 vita- mins can and certainly often do the work of both medicine and drugs, they are neither. Quite simply, vitamins are organic substances necessaryfor 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 quanti-ties in all natural food. We must obtain vitamins from these foods or fromdietary 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 stilljust food substances, and, unless synthetic, are also derived from living plantsand 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, vit- amins 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 vita- mins 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 func tioning at high performance. Compared with our intake of other nutrients like proteins, fats, and carbo hydrates, 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.