Multiples & Prenatal
The human body requires a broad range of essential and nonessential nutrients for general health and well-being, each of which has a specific function. Essential nutrients are ones that the body cannot manufacture or are produced in limited amounts; therefore, they must be obtained from the diet. These include carbohydrates, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and water.
Vitamins are essential organic (carbon-containing) nutrients that are found in food. They contribute to good health by regulating metabolism and assisting in the biochemical processes that release energy from digested food. Vitamins are classified as either fat- or water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E and K. The water-soluble vitamins include B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin, niacinamide, nicotinic acid), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine, pyrodoxine-5-phosphate, pyridoxamine), B12 (cobalamin, methylcobalamin), folate/folic acid, biotin, and vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid). With the exception of B12, water-soluble vitamins are stored in the body in limited amounts and are excreted within one to four days, so they must be replenished on a daily basis. Fat-soluble vitamins, however, are stored in the body’s adipose tissues and liver. These storage sites for fat-soluble vitamins may reduce the chance for a deficiency, but they still must be consumed on a daily basis in order for those storage sites to be replenished.
Minerals make up 60 to 80% of all the inorganic (noncarbon-containing) material in the body and fall into two categories: macrominerals and microminerals. There are seven macrominerals – also known as major or bulk minerals: calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur. They are present in virtually every cell in the body. In fact, the human body needs at least 100 milligrams (mg) of each every day – just for normal functioning and well-being. Microminerals, commonly called trace minerals, are required in smaller quantities. Still, some are considered “essential” for good nutrition. Essential microminerals include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Dietary minerals serve a life-sustaining function by helping the body operate properly and remain strong. Minerals not only build skeletal and soft tissues, they also regulate processes – such as heartbeat, normal blood clotting, internal fluid pressure, nerve reactions, impulse transmissions, muscle contractions, oxygen transport, acid-base balance to keep the body pH neutral, and enzyme and hormone systems.
In today’s fast-paced world, many individuals rely on fast food and a not-so-well-balanced diet. Consequently, most people do not get the daily recommended allowance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are required for optimal health and wellness. Both vitamins and minerals are fundamental in the growth, development, metabolism, maintenance and repair of tissues, coenzyme systems and general ongoing health. Multiple vitamin and mineral formulas help to bridge the nutrient gap in daily diets. So no matter one’s activity level, dietary habits, age, gender or health status, supplementing the diet with a multiple vitamin and mineral formula can provide benefits that the whole body can utilize.