Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients required by the body for proper functioning, but in much smaller amounts than macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates). Vitamins and minerals are structural components of the body’s tissues and facilitate biochemical reactions within the body.
Some vitamins are water-soluble, others fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins, including B vitamins and vitamin C, are absorbed into the bloodstream and require daily replenishment though diet or supplementation. Fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K, are stored in body fat, primarily in the liver, and absorbed into the lymphatic system.
All essential vitamins and minerals have a daily recommended allowance set by the federal government. In addition to vitamins, there are many minerals required for human health, including calcium phosphorus, iodine, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. In addition to their contribution to general wellness, many of these micronutrients offer specific health benefits. For example, vitamin C supports immune function, vitamin E is critical for heart health, iron is required for healthy blood, and calcium is necessary for bone health.