Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that are essential for the body to perform its normal functions. While they are both considered micronutrients, vitamins and minerals differ in basic ways. Vitamins are organic compounds that can be broken down by heat, air, or acid. On the other hand, minerals are inorganic and maintain their chemical structure.
Vitamins and minerals are both needed in small amounts for the body to stay healthy. Examples of necessary minerals include calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, and zinc. These micronutrients can be found mainly in meat, cereals, fish, milk and dairy products, vegetables, nuts and nuts. Table 1 provides a comparison of vitamins and minerals.
Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K can be stored in the liver and in the body's fatty tissues. Vitamin C is widely known for its importance for good vision but it also supports the immune system and is necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Vitamin A is also added to fortified cereals and is part of most multivitamins. The mineral content of soil and water varies from place to place so the mineral composition of food and water also varies depending on geographical location.
For example, carrots produce beta-carotene which the body converts into vitamin A; minerals such as iron and copper can be found in soil and rocks. Vitamin B9 (folic acid) helps prevent congenital abnormalities of the brain and spine known as neural tube defects. If you are on a restricted diet or have certain health conditions you may need a multivitamin or other dietary supplements. The elderly, vegetarians, vegans, and people who have had weight-loss surgery are at risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin K is used to reverse the anticoagulant effects of anticoagulants when overadministered. It is also known as the group of several compounds that help the body produce the proteins needed for blood clotting.