The 13 Essential Vitamins: What You Need to Know

Vitamins are organic substances that are essential for the body to function properly and stay healthy. There are 13 essential vitamins, which can be divided into two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, D, E, and K) dissolve in fat and tend to build up in the body, while water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and B vitamins) must be dissolved in water before they can be absorbed by the body and cannot be stored. Any water-soluble vitamin not used by the body is mostly lost through urine.

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that the body needs in small amounts to perform hundreds of functions, such as shoring up bones, healing wounds, strengthening the immune system, converting food into energy, and repairing cell damage. If you eat a balanced and healthy diet, you're likely getting adequate amounts of the essential nutrients your body needs. However, if you follow a restricted diet or have certain health conditions, you may need a multivitamin supplement or other dietary supplements. It's important to speak with a doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplement to avoid consuming too much of a good thing.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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