Posted by: wildflowerz | February 21, 2010

Your smile’s like the sun come to earth for a day. You brighten my blackest of skies.

One of my goals is to take a vitamin every day.  I have a really hard time remembering this.  I think it’s because I was taking the One-A-Day Weight Smart vitamin and it has to be taken with food or it makes you nauseous.  The last time I ran out of vitamins, however, they no longer had the Weight Smart at the grocery store.  I ended up with the Women’s Active Metabolism.  According to their website, this is different from your average multivitamin because it helps with:  bone strength with more calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D;  breast health with the more vitamin D; and metabolism energy with “key ingredients” including B vitamins.

I hate vegetables.  I want to like them and I want to eat them more, but honestly, I can’t be assed to try and find creative ways to make them most of the time.  So the extent of my vegetable consumption is usually what I get in salads…which isn’t a lot.  So, it’s important that I have a multivitamin.  Here’s some information I’ve found out about vitamins and why we need them:

Vitamins are necessary in the production of red blood cells and in maintaining the nervous, skeletal, and immune system.  The minerals that are found in vitamins are also needed in small amounts to regulate body functions and to help in the growth and maintenance of the body as well as to aid in the release of energy.

Here is a brief list of  the major functions of some of the most important vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin A – Maintain vision, skin, linings of the nose, mouth, digestive and urinary tracts, and immune function
Vitamin D – Develop and maintain bones and teeth,  promotion of calcium absorption
Vitamin E – Protect and maintain cellular membranes
Vitamin K – Production of factors essential for blood clotting and bone metabolism
Biotin – Synthesis of fat, glycogen and amino acids
Folate – Amino acid metabolism, synthesis of RNA and DNA, new cell synthesis
Niacin – Conversion of carbohydrates, fats and protein into usable forms of energy
Panthothenic Acid – Metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins
Riboflavin – Energy metabolism, maintenance of skin, mucous membranes and nervous system structures
Thiamin – Conversion of carbohydrates into usable forms of energy; maintenance of appetite and nervous system function
Vitamin B6 – Metabolism of amino acids and glycogen
Vitamin B12 – Synthesis of blood cells, other metabolic reactions
Vitamin C – Maintain and repair connective tissue, bones, teeth and cartilage, promotion of healing, aid in iron absorption
Calcium – Formation of bones, control of nerve impulses, muscle contractions and blood clotting
Fluoride – Maintenance of tooth and bone structure
Iodine – Essential part of thyroid hormones, regulation of body metabolism
Iron – Component of hemoglobin, myoglobin and enzymes
Magnesium – Transmission of nerve impulses, energy transfer; activation of enzymes
Phosphorus – Bone growth and maintenance, energy transfer in cells
Potassium – Nerve function and body water balance
Selenium – Defense against oxidative stress, regulation of thyroid hormone action
Sodium – Body water balance, acid-base balance; nerve function
Zinc – Synthesis of proteins, RNA and DNA, wound healing, immune response, ability to taste

But the question is how do you know what to look for in a multivitamin?  The vitamin and mineral industry is not regulated, so those companies can put whatever they want in whatever amount they want and what’s listed on the label can’t be trusted to be what’s in the vitamin.  So, with all that in mind, what do you look for?  You should look for a vitamin that follows Good Manufacturing Practices and is NSF Certified.  Choose a well known brand that’s widely available and is trusted.

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