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What is a multivitamin?

How to combat stress and fatigue

Often we hear of vitamins, but few of us know exactly what they are. They are macronutrients that human body is unable to synthesise and that, consequently, must be introduced by means of a healthy and balanced diet. The term comes from vitamine (vit- from Latin vīta life + -amin from amine) so named by Casimir Funk, who believed the substances to be amines (literally the "spirit of life"). They are organic substances essential for maintaining life activities, crucial and irreplaceable for life, which human beings and most of the animals take with food.

 What do vitamins do in the body?

Vitamins (alone or in groups) have a specific role for the proper functioning of the various activities of the human body and vitamin deficiencies in the body can promote the onset of various problems. As a matter of fact, vitamins can:

  • support the proper functioning of the immune system;
  • promote the nervous system function;
  • improve bone and eye health;
  •  counteract physical weariness and fatigue.

Under "normal" conditions, a balanced diet should be sufficient to ensure all the nutrients our body needs.

Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins: different but equally useful

How do we classify vitamins? They are divided into two groups, according to their solubility: there are water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. The first (Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins) can dissolve in water, cannot be accumulated in the body and must be introduced daily with food; the second (A-, E-, D-, K-complex vitamins) can dissolve in fats and be stored in the liver where they become a sort of "reserve" for our body.

When do we need a multivitamin supplement?

It is not always possible to meet the entire demand of vitamins, because of excessive dieting or following special conditions, such as liver problems or other diseases, or due to medications that interfere with the proper absorption of vitamins. In all these cases, resorting to multivitamin supplements can be a valuable support!

However, even in "normal" conditions and therefore in the absence of particular problems such as those mentioned above, the intake of multivitamin supplements can help: just think of those who work out a lot or to the stress caused by the hectic pace of modern life.

Unlike mono-vitamin supplements, multivitamins, as you can guess from the name, are all food supplements containing a concentrate of all the essential vitamins, designed to meet the specific needs of people, according to age group. This is because the amount of nutrients recommended daily (NRV= Nutrient Reference Values) for children and adolescents in the growth phase is different from that of an adult. The best products are those that with one single daily dose can ensure the intake of 100% NRV (remember that, contrary to what many think, the 100% NRV is the minimum amount of nutrients taken daily for general wellbeing). Thanks to these products, it will be possible to effectively supplement valuable nutrients, which we too often lack, due to external factors or an improper lifestyle.

 


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