Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins are organic compounds that our organism requires in small quantities for conduction of vital chemical reactions. Minerals are main elements such as iron, copper, calcium, etc. See the table.
In our body vitamins play a very important role of specific regulators and catalysts. Even in spite of the fact that our organism can synthesize some vitamins on its own in case of rational, correct and balanced nutrition, vitamins remain mostly irreplaceable food components.
Vitamin needs increase in winter period and during intensive trainings.
These are ‘life substances’ (‘vita’ in Latin means ‘life’) that are present in food products in small quantities but influence the most important functions of our organism: harmonic balance, immunity, vision and many others. Vitamins appear to be a necessary additional factor of the majority of chemical reactions controlled by ferments. That’s why avitaminosis (shortage of a certain vitamin) can cause a serious disease: for example, deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy, riboflavin – to nyctalopia, etc.
Vitamins are divided into water-soluble (vitamins of group B, ascorbic acid, vitamin PP, etc.) and fat-soluble (vitamins of groups A, E and prostaglandins). Water-soluble vitamins can be found in fruit, berries and vegetables as well as in brewer's yeast (group B); fat-soluble – in cod-liver oil and in sturgeon caviar (vitamin E).
Can reasonable nutrition provide our organism with all necessary vitamins? – In principle, a daily balanced nutrition ration meets the demand of a human organism in vitamins and minerals. Still, in lots of cases we have to use special vitamin drugs and supplements that contain either missing vitamins or vitamin and mineral complexes.
Minerals are such low-molecular substances, salts and salt ions that support many vital functions of our organism even in microquantities. Thus, calcium ions provide bone solidity; correlation of potassium and sodium ions determines muscle tone; iron concentration influences haemoglobin level and so on. In total, there are about 30 minerals and microelements, without which normal functioning of our organism is simply impossible.
The situation with minerals resembles the situation with vitamins: quite often food products that we consume don’t provide our organism with required amount of certain minerals. In this case mineral balance is broken and we need to use special supplements to replenish it. Most often poly-vitamin complexes also contain supplements of necessary minerals and microelements.
Don’t neglect multi-vitamin complexes; otherwise your sport achievements can be significantly limited.
Written by: Dennis Borisov
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