What are Vitamins and Minerals

    In addition to carbohydrates, protein and fat (macronutrients), humans need vitamins and minerals (micronutrients).

    Vitamins and minerals are involved in numerous metabolic processes and can also be a component of enzymes. Among other things, they play a major role in electrolyte and water balance, are essential for the immune system and for the structure and function of bones, muscles and teeth. They are needed for the process of vision and the nervous system and are also involved in blood clotting and in processes of reproduction, cell division and differentiation.

What are Vitamins and Minerals?

What are Vitamins?

    Vitamins are organic compounds that the human organism cannot produce, or can produce only insufficiently. Since they are vital (essential) for humans, vitamins must be ingested with food. They are formed by plants and microorganisms and are mainly found in plant food - fruits, vegetables, cereals. They enter the animal organism via animal feed and are therefore also present in meat, fish, eggs, milk and products made from them.

    Based on their chemical properties, vitamins are divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins include the vitamins: A, D, E and K. The water-soluble vitamins include: C, B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid. Unlike fats, carbohydrates and proteins, vitamins are not used as building blocks or for energy production.

What are Minerals?

    Minerals are inorganic food components found in plant and animal foods. Since our body needs them in different amounts, they are divided into bulk or trace elements. We need them for many different tasks, e.g. for the optimal functioning of the metabolism.

    The important minerals in the body include calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, with calcium being the heavyweight - its content in human bones alone is about 1 kg. The content of the other minerals is much lower, but they are by no means less relevant. Without potassium and sodium, for example, our nerves would not function.

    However, there are numerous other minerals - such as the trace elements nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum and ultra-trace elements such as arsenic, lead, boron, silicon, etc. - that are also present in the body.

Vitamins and Minerals Deficiency

    A low intake of vitamins or minerals, e.g. due to an unbalanced diet, reduction diets, reduced absorption in the intestine (in the case of illness), or increased requirements (e.g. in pregnant and breastfeeding women) increases the risk of an undersupply.

Excessive intake of vitamins and minerals

    Excessive intake of vitamins and minerals and the resulting oversupply can be virtually ruled out via the normal diet of foods such as fruits, vegetables, bread, meat or cheese. However, if high-dose dietary supplements are taken and additionally fortified foods are consumed, high intakes may occur, increasing the risk of oversupply of the micronutrients concerned.