Vitamins are organic substances that are essential for the body's functioning and can be classified into two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E, and K) dissolve in fat and tend to accumulate in the body, while water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and all B vitamins) must dissolve in water before they can be absorbed and cannot be stored. Both types of vitamins are necessary for the body to perform hundreds of functions, such as shoring up bones, healing wounds, strengthening the immune system, converting food into energy, and repairing cell damage. The four fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin A is important for vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell division, and cell differentiation.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. The nine water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and all B vitamins.
Vitamin C helps with wound healing and tissue repair. B vitamins help with energy production and red blood cell formation. Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients because they work together to keep the body healthy. It is important to get enough of these nutrients from food or supplements to ensure optimal health.