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The body only needs small amounts of vitamins and minerals to play a big important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Usually vitamins and minerals are regularly available from a balanced healthy diet, the usual amount of food that is consumed by an average adult per year is 820kg only 350 grams of this vast amount is actually vitamins and minerals, so that supports my original fact that we only need a small amount of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins do not contribute to the supply of either energy or body mass, they do however supply to the immune system and protect us from getting as ill as people used to before the 20th century. Vitamins that a child is born with are usually genetically sent down the family tree by the parents of that child, and should protect the child a little, but if there is a deficiency in the child then they can become ill and get diseases easily, even minor deficiency within vitamins can still cause long term permanent damage. Vitamins in general help the growth and development of any child or any human being, but once you have grown they still continue to work away, but rather than extending growth they now remain essential nutrients for the healthy maintenance of the cells, tissues, and organs that make up what is inside our bodies, they also enable a bacteria to efficiently use chemical energy provided by food it eats, and to help process proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Vitamin D is the only one that can be produced by the human body, therefore the rest have to be obtained by the food and drink that we consume, although saying this if you for some unknown reason have a deficiency in vitamin D you can always find vitamin D within the sun. There are 13 different vitamins within us, or that we can consume, for these 13 vitamins there are 2 types, these types are known as water soluble, and lipid soluble.

The term Lipid soluble vitamins means vitamins that are known to join onto the fats within our bodies, these lipid soluble vitamins are are vitamins A, D, E and K. it is recommended that you eat and drink vitamins everyday, but for lipid soluble vitamins it is not necessary that you have them everyday, simply because some are stored in the fatty tissue of our body, therefore meaning because they are stored it is almost like a vitamin reserve. Both vitamins A and D are most commonly stored within the liver. Vitamin E is distributed throughout the fatty tissue within our bodies. Vitamin K is also stored in the liver, but only in very small amounts, if you consume too much vitamin K, lets say 1000 times your daily amount, it can cause kidney failure and you can die from this, and it would become a poison to the body, however on the bright side it is not easy to consume 1000 times more, youd have to eat something like 25 bananas a day before it actually affected you, and nobody in their right mind would eat 25 bananas a day because of how potentially harmful it could become. Although saying that, somebody has once done this, thats how we know the fact is true. Too much vitamin D can also cause kidney damage. Lipid soluble vitamins are most commonly found in foods that contain quite a lot of fat, such as meat. Vitamin K is most commonly found in leafy green vegetables like spinach and turnip greens. Vitamin D is most commonly found within things like milk and other sources that contain calcium. Vitamin E is usually found within things like chips, fish, breakfast cereal and most importantly oil, an interesting fact about it being in fish is, when the fish eat the vitamin it goes into their fat stores in their liver, then when we eat cod liver oil, it goes into our livers, so when we consume we are basically eating, fish fat oil. Vitamin A is found within liver, mangoes, carrots, melon, milk, egg yolks so everywhere you find vitamin A is in healthy foods.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A has a couple of physiological functions, these are basically functions that help the body, the functions vitamin A performs are, helping to form skin and mucous membranes and keep them healthy, vitamin A also helps bone and tooth development, so a deficiency in vitamin A can lead to stumped tooth and bone growth, although this would have to be quite an extreme deficiency to go this far, if you are going to consume vitamin A via a caplet or tablet make sure you look for vita carotene which isnt harmful, it helps protect your body against cancer a little bit. Vitamin D: Vitamin D increases both bone and tooth strength, this is mainly because most sources of vitamin D are found in products containing calcium and calcium is known to improve bone and tooth growth within the body, another interesting function that the body pulls off to do with calcium is that if you fall over or cut yourself deep enough into the bone or break a bone then calcium re-patches you and repairs your bone, making it more in-accessible to hurt, break or ruin again. without vitamin D it can cause severe rickets within children. Vitamin E: Vitamin Es job is to protect both vitamins A and C, and protect the fatty acids amongst our bodies, it also prevents cell damage to membranes, and performs as an anti-oxidant, a possible deficiency is anaemia in babys that do not weigh a lot. Vitamin K: Vitamin Ks good side helps blood to clot and is good for thickening the blood rather than having it all thin and watery but you do not want it to thick because otherwise it will cause a clot which can lead to cardiac arrest etc, the deficiency is it can cause excessive bleeding when you cut yourself or have a wound. A sportsman generally will not need any more vitamins than the average person because it has no effect whether you are a sportsman or not, however they do need more sodium, chlorine, and potassium because these three vitamins make up salt, and athletes sweaty more than the average human so therefore they will lose more salt.

Water soluble vitamins are, as you will have probably gathered, what join onto our bodies water supply and disperse through that into our bodies, water soluble vitamins are also the type of vitamins that you can buy in supermarkets and put into a glass of water then they dissolve so you can drink them, the term water soluble is a relatively obvious one because it kind of sounds similar to solve so think of dissolve. Water soluble vitamins latch onto other compounds that are used throughout the body, a prime example of this would be energy making. As mentioned above water soluble vitamins dissolve into the blood flow and water stores, so they are not stored as such. Any excess vitamins that we may have within us are disposed of through urine, water soluble vitamins usually begin to wear off about 8-14 hours after consumption. Roles of vitamins in the body: Vitamins themselves do not actually produce energy but they are a vital part to the process that produces energy, vitamins are what dictate how fast or how slow we grow and how much we grow. Obviously growth is quite often inherited as well, so therefore that means the dna of our vitamins must also be inherited, not all vitamins would be but the immunities to them are likely to come from our parents or perhaps grandparents.

The majority of the time athletes do not need anymore, the reason being the amount they consume can usually be used over and over again, this isnt just for athletes, this occurs to the average person or the non-athletic person. However some athletes do struggle from insufficiencies in vitamins, as non athletes do, this can be down to inheritance of vitamin immunities or how susceptible your relatives are to vitamin in- sufficiency's. so if there is an athlete that has an in-sufficiency to a particular vitamin type then they should look to supplement there bodies with vitamin tablets, capsules, or even vitamins that are water soluble. Obviously only take the relevant vitamins, there'd be no point taking extra vitamins for the same type that you can already consume. Megavitamins: There is little harm in taking megavitamins, as long as you only take one per day at the absolute maximum, a megavitamin is as youd imagine, is a bunch of vitamins just shoved into one caplet or tablet, but the problem with taking these is that the body disposes of most of the vitamins, this is simply because they arent required by the body and are not deemed as useful. The reason they are not needed is because the diet of an athlete would usually be healthy enough. If you take too many vitamins, like 1000 X your recommended daily amount then it can be harmful to the body and can cause health issues. Methods of reducing vitamin loss then when cooking: tear leaves dont cut them, prepare them just before you cook them rather than a while before you cook them, cook in a minimum of water for a short time, dont keep the food hot, always steam or microwave vegetables. Surprisingly frozen vegetables contain more vitamins than freshly grown and eaten vegetables.

The roles of minerals within the body are vital ones, stated below are what these roles are: They cope with the formation of the bone structure, so they are what keep the bones in shape and in correct order. They maintain good well paced steady heart rhythm and muscular contractility, this means that there are certain muscles that are allowed to contract due to the minerals that represent them so without these minerals, our muscles would not be able to contract either easily, un-painfully and they would not be able to do it frequently. Regulation of cellular metabolism (controlled energy production) , this is where the energy production either high or low is controlled and the production for energy takes place.

Calcium: Calcium combines with phosphorus to form bones, calcium also heals bones when you break them or knock them, the calcium forms and holds the bone back together which makes it less susceptible to breaking again. 1% of calcium used for muscle traction, and used for nerve traction. Essential for blood clotting, and transports fluids across cell membranes, if you have a shortage or sufficiency of calcium then you can get a disease called osteoporosis which is basically brittle bone disease, this usually occurs in older people rather than younger, although here is the rare case where young people do get it. If you have low calcium levels then consuming some and taking part in a small amount of exercise can help. Phosphorus Phosphorus is what helps develop the strengthening of your teeth and your bones, it also plays a massive part in energy production, you can receive or consume phosphorus by eating nuts, beans, meat and some green vegetables such as cabbage or pak choi. Magnesium Magnesium has three main functions, these functions are : To regulate energy production To help store glucose as glycogen within the muscles To help break down fatty acids, amino acids and glucose in energy production Foods that contain magnesium are, dark green vegetables, fruits and vegetables including potatoes with the skin, bananas, avocados, raisins, figs, sweet potatoes with the skin and broccoli. Nuts are high in magnesium as well as high in phosphorus. Iron Iron helps to increase the amount of oxygen we can breathe in and carry around our blood, therefore we can sustain our performance during aerobic exercise for longer, 3-5 grams of iron is available within our bodies just from eating meat and bread. Women need more iron than men because they lose allot of iron when they have their period(s). Anaemia is a disease that can be caused by like of iron, anaemia makes you feel tired all the time and you have a loss of appetite, athletes can suffer from a different type of anaemia which cannot be helped, the way this happens is they lose iron through sweat, so after your exercise you would have to replenish your hydration system.

There are 3 minerals in our body known as the electrolytes! These 3 minerals are sodium/potassium and chlorine, which are the three minerals that make up salt. We often lose most of our salt when we exercise, we lose it due to sweat, we therefore need to keep a good imbalance of electrolytes flowing through our bodies at all times, as you may have seen recently, Powerade brought out a newer version of there product containing four ionic substances that help your hydration system functioning, these ionic substances are known as electrolytes. Both sodium and chlorine have a major role to be played in the sense that they are both cellular regulators of the fluid exchange, potassium is of an intracellular nature. All three play a part in the transition of electrical nerve impulses, these functions that they perform will be part of the reason they are known as electrolytes, too much sodium can cause hypotension and stress. I myself suffer from a very small time dysfunction called postural hypotension which I believe is the opposite, I was told I need to eat more salt , but also drink more water.

BY JACK CHESHIRE