We have read about vitamins in every science book when we were young. Basically, we all know about vitamins and their uses. But do we know the more detailed information about vitamins? Every little child knows what vitamins are. Vitamins are essential nutrients for our body. These are sustainable tools for good health. Vitamins work to protect our body, build our body and heal our body.
Body important vitamins can be broken down into 2 main categories: fat and water soluble. Water soluble vitamins can stay in the body only a few hours, while fat soluble vitamins stay in the body ranging from 15 hours to 3 months depending on the vitamin.
Though the importance of vitamins is immense, yet it is mostly ignored. There is a large population that suffers from numerous diseases caused by vitamin deficiency due to a lack of adequate knowledge of vitamins. Also, the curiosity of knowing about how vitamins work in our body and how long it stays in our body. Well, the functionality of vitamins is quite complex and essential for the growth and development of our body.
There are a lot of questions out there about vitamins such as “why do we need to take vitamins?”, “what happens if we take less or more vitamins?” or “how long do vitamins stay in the system?” and more. Well, we are here to answer the most asked questions out there to make it easier to evaluate how important vitamins are for our body. In this article, we will try to cover every detail you need to know about vitamins.
What Are Vitamins?
If we want to describe what vitamins are, we can say in short vitamins are the tools for a better and well-developed body. Vitamins are a group of substances that work together to build, heal and develop the cells of our body. These substances are consumed in small amounts that work for the benefit of our bodies. There are 13 types of vitamins that help our body to function generally and build a stronger immune system.
Our body cannot produce its own vitamins so we need to consume vitamins from natural sources or in the form of supplements. They in fact play a major role in numerous biological functions of our body such as growth and development, repair and healing wounds, maintaining healthy bones and tissues, for the proper functioning of an immune system, and more.
Types Of Vitamins
Mainly there are two types of vitamins. They are fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. These two sectors of vitamins are very different in function from each other. And they are discussed in the following
- Fat-Soluble Vitamins – These vitamins are soluble in fat. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored as fat or lipids in the cells of our body. These vitamins are absorbed by our body with the help of fat. The fat-soluble vitamins are:
– Vitamin A
– Vitamin D
– Vitamin E
– Vitamin K
- Water-Soluble Vitamins – Our body cannot store water-soluble vitamins. As by the name, we can understand that these vitamins are soluble in water. Because of the water solubility, most of these vitamins are emitted through sweat and mostly urine. Thus, we need to consume water-soluble vitamins more frequently to fill the vitamin requirements of our bodies. The water-soluble vitamins are:
-Vitamin B1 or Thiamin
-Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
-Vitamin B3 or Niacin
-Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic
-Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
-Vitamin B7 or Biotin
-Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid
– Vitamin C
Uses And Benefits Of Vitamins
Generally, there can be few people found who don’t know the benefits of vitamins to our body. Vitamins play an important role to help our body to build and repair itself. These organic nutrients also make our immunity system stronger.
As we know, a sound body gives a sound mind. Consuming vitamins to our body requirements can help us stay happy and healthy. We get strong bones with the help of vitamin D. Vitamin A improves our eyesight. Vitamin C is the magic for getting beautiful and flawless skin. This amazing vitamin also helps you get young and whiter skin. More benefits of vitamins include,
- Strong immune system
- Helps to get healthy hair, nails, and skin
- Helps to grow to strengthen bones
- Helps to have a healthy metabolism
- Improves the production of RBC and hemoglobin in the blood
- Helps in the process of blood clotting
Why Do We Need To Take Vitamins?
Our body needs nutrients to function in harmony. Some of the nutrients are produced in our body, while some aren’t. Our body needs vitamins to maintain the balance between metabolic functions. Vitamins help our body to build and heal itself from the damages caused by dead cells. But, unfortunately, our body cannot produce vitamins. For these reasons, we need to consume vitamins and other required nutrients that our body cannot produce to stay healthy and function properly. Our body needs small amounts of vitamins to develop itself and thus we need to consume these nutrients from natural sources or supplements.
How Are Vitamins Absorbed Or Used In Your Body?
As we know, vitamins are of two types which are water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. These two types of vitamins are absorbed differently in our bodies.
Firstly, the vitamins are broken down in our stomach. Later on, this is sent to the small intestine where the vitamins are absorbed. The small intestine is the place where all vitamins are absorbed. As by the name, fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed in fat and are stored for a longer time. On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are directly absorbed by the blood and also are excreted by urine or sweat. Water-soluble vitamins stay in our bodies for a lesser period than fat-soluble vitamins. That’s why we need to consume water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin B and C more frequently.
How Long Do Vitamins Stay In Your System?
Vitamins are essential for the proper development and function of the body. The duration at which vitamins stay in your body mainly depends on the category it falls into. Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins stay in your system for different periods of time. These vitamins work differently in your body.
Your body can store fat-soluble vitamins for a longer period than water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fats or lipids in the body cells which are absorbed by the small intestine. The duration of stay of fat-soluble vitamins lasts from approximately 15 hours to a couple of months. Vitamin D can be stored for about three months to keep our bodies nourished. Again, when we consume vitamin K-rich foods, the extra vitamin is stored in our liver. Again, our body internally produces its vitamin K by the bacterias existing in the small intestine. In this case, the extra vitamin K is also stored in the liver. Our body uses fat-soluble vitamins as per its requirement and the excess vitamins are stored in the fat cells and sometimes in the liver. Our body will keep on storing the fat-soluble vitamins until it is used, so it is quite dangerous to consume large amounts of fat-soluble vitamins.
On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are directly used up by our body. As by the name, we understand this category of vitamins can dissolve in water. They get excreted from our bodies via sweat or urine. Thus, they are not stored in our body for a large amount. Well, vitamin B12 is an exception to this. This vitamin is stored in the liver for some time. Again, vitamin C can be stored in the adrenal glands for three to four months. But mostly, our body uses the required amount of water-soluble vitamins and excretes the extra vitamin via sweat or urine. So we must consume more water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin B and C-rich food frequently so that our body gets an adequate supply of vitamins.