Vitamins & Supplements – The meaning of the term

Supplements are usually regarded as vitamins, fibre, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids apart from a few other substances. In the US, supplements are also considered as dietary supplements whereas these may be considered or regarded as products or even classified drugs elsewhere.

Let us now take a look at the different types of supplements and vitamins available for the public at large:

Anti-oxidants – These are substances like the Vit – A, C, E as well as beta carotene that enable the human body to recover the damage that are caused by free radicals. In simpler words, it assists in rebuilding.

Amino acids – These are the building blocks of the human body that make up the proteins. The human body needs 20 different kinds of amino acids for proper functioning. Of these, a few are produced within the body while the others called as essential amino acids are obtained from food.

Botanicals – These are the substances that have been obtained from plants to be used as supplements, personal care products or maybe pharmaceutical products. These are commonly referred to as plant medicine or herbals.

Daily value – This information is available on the labels of various food and drinks. The given information or number indicates the percentage of the recommended dietary allowance for a single service of that particular product.

Fat Soluble vitamins – The body stores excess fat soluble vitamins in the liver and in the form of body fat. These are used up depending on need. Consuming more than the required amount can lead to toxicity. These can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, heart and liver complications. The fat soluble vitamins are Vit – A, D, E, and K.

Herb – These are plants that are used as spices and flavouring in cooking. These can also be used as supplements for medicinal or health reasons.

Megadose – These are supplements that provide excess of 100% of the daily requirement of minerals and vitamins of the body.

Micronutrients – These are minerals and vitamins that the body needs in very small amounts. These are extremely vital for the body to process the macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Examples would be zinc, selenium and chromium.

Minerals – These are absorbed by plants and then animals for adequate nutrition. The minerals are the main component of bones and teeth and also help to build cells. Calcium and magnesium are the best examples.

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