By Ketna Volcy
Special to CSMS Magazine
Vitamins refer to vitality and life, which encapsulate healthiness. Our wholeness of being – including our mind, body, and spirit – depends on providing the necessary tools: nutrients to support the continual regeneration of our bodies.
Vitamins are nutrients that serve many key roles to promote normal body functions. For example, (1) folate helps nerves communicate with the brain and muscles, improves thinking, and improves moods when supplemented by people with deficiency ;
(2) vitamin B12 was found to be more effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathic pain compared to the drug nortriptyline ; and (3) vitamin D deficiency correlates with heart problems  and poor bone health .
For the most part, our bodies cannot generate vitamins; therefore, we access them through the food that we eat, the sun, or supplements.
Out of the thirteen essential vitamins, four are fat-soluble (vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K), while the remaining seven are water-soluble (biotin, folate, Niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), thiamine (B1), pyroxidine (B1), vitamin B12 and vitamin C).
The fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in our fat tissue for later use when consumed in excess; on the other hand, the water soluble vitamins must be consumed daily because excess get flushed from our bodies through the kidneys. As such, deficiency in water soluble vitamin is common; therefore, a look at your diet to ensure that it is rich in B-complex vitamins and vitamin C that are crucial to provide antioxidant that can protect your body from toxins and to promote an overall healthy body that is reflected through glowing skin, hair, and nails. Some common foods that are good sources of multiple B-vitamins include: Beans, peanuts, dairy, eggs, green leafy vegetables, oranges, and meat.
The availability of vitamins for use by our bodies (bioavailability) can be influenced by medication , age  and bodyweight ; therefore, maintaining a normal weight can facilitate the optimal use of the nutrients accessibility by the body. Although the ideal source for vitamins is food sources, it can be difficult for many people to include all the diverse food products required to get enough of all the vitamins that the body needs daily in their diet. The alternative can be vitamin supplements, which may derive from either synthetic or organic sources.
Assuring that we get the recommended levels of vitamins can seem daunting, but it is a worthwhile exploit, if the goal is to have a long and healthy life. Detailed information about vitamins and their food sources can be found at Medline (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vitamins.html).
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Note: Ketna Volcy is our new contributor. She lives and works in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.