A vitamin is one of a group of substances made up partly of carbon that are essential in small amounts for normal bodily functioning and chemical processes in the body to take place. If one does not get enough vitamins in the diet, various types of diseases and deficiencies can occur in the body, specific to the type of vitamin that is lacking. However, when the vitamin that is lacking is administered to a person with a vitamin deficiency, the symptoms associated with the lack of that vitamin usually improve. While vitamin deficiency can be dangerous, vitamin toxicity (taking vitamins in excess) can also be dangerous.
Vitamins are present in various types of foods and dietary supplements. We must get vitamins from these sources because the body cannot make all of the vitamins it needs by itself, although there are a few exceptions. There is no single food source that contains all of the vitamins people need. Vitamins are classified based on various factors such as: (a) their chemical makeup, (b) their effects on the body, and (c) how readily they dissolve in fat. Vitamins that dissolve in water are the B complex and C vitamins. Vitamins that dissolve in fat are vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin comes from the Latin word "vita" meaning "life," and the German word "amin" referring to the false notion that these substances all contain amino acids.
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One of the best ways to get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs in one place is to take a well rounded multivitamin or specially formulated women's vitamin. The best vitamins contain a balance of pure antioxidants, multiple vitamins, and minerals like iron and calcium.