Wonder or Wander of Vitamins
Everybody knows about vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, but their definite functions in the body are shrouded in mystery. We still need to study and analyze more about vitamins. We only knew that vitamins have healthy effects in many angles. We have various vitamin supplements in every drugstore, but we really do not know how these vitamin supplements work in the body. There sure have been many misunderstandings about vitamins.
VITAMIN C AND COLLAGEN
One of the most popular vitamins around is vitamin C. We know that vitamin C makes collagen in the body, prevents aging process, and keeps you young and healthy. We were taught that collagen is produced by taking vitamin C.
The collagen is a connective protein found in skin, bone, cartilage, tendon, and other connective tissue that yields gelatin when boiled in water. It is the most abundant protein in the human body, making up almost 30% of the total protein content.
In addition, the collagen is utilized not only in the human body but for industrial and medical uses as well. Gelatin, a semi-solid protein, is extracted from the collagen inside animals' connective tissue.
Now, we tried to experiment to take vitamin C supplements in large quantities for 2 – 4 weeks. However, collagen density in the skin did not increase at all. From this experiment, it is apparent that vitamin C alone is not enough to make collagen in the body, and vitamin C from foods you eat daily is enough. This means that it is almost useless or unnecessary to take additional vitamin C supplements.
Vitamin C works as "an instrument" in order to process collagen. Amino acids and enzymes are the materials for the process. As for enzymes, unless there is a vitamin C, it is not possible to make the collagen. Even if you take large quantities of vitamin C, there will be no change in density of the collagen. Excessive vitamin C will be just discharged with urine.
COFACTOR (ENZYME PARTNER)
A cofactor is a non-protein chemical compound that is bound tightly to an enzyme and is required for speeding up chemical reactions. They can be considered "helper molecules/ions" that assist in biochemical transformations. The main function of vitamin is as cofactors for enzymatic reactions. Among the 13 kinds of vitamins, 10 of them functions as a cofactor.
Producing collagen requires vitamin C as a cofactor. Collagen is essential for healthy skin and strong bones. When there's a deficiency in vitamin C, the skin and bones become weak.
To tell the truth, not only the skin and bones get weak. We believe that vitamin C has the most significance for the general health condition of the body. It means that when there's a vitamin C deficiency in the body, people get sick or weak easily. It is not conclusive, but we believe that vitamin C has something to do with aging and senility.
We also know that something may occur when vitamins are taken in large quantities. For example, vitamin C has a high level of antioxidants. Vitamin A, E, and others protect the cell from active oxygen that causes cancer and heart attack. Some scientists believe that large quantities of vitamin may prevent such fearful diseases. However, studies we conducted did not prove the fact.
There are vitamins that are easily discharged in the body. They are the vitamin B group (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9), and C. These vitamins are not stored in the human body in significant amounts, and may easily cause deficiency.
There are vitamins that are stored in significant amounts in the body, and they may do some harm instead of doing well when consumed too much. They are vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12.
There is one exceptional case on B12. Vitamin B12 is water soluble, but since it is stored longer in the human body, physical problems may sometimes occur.
People who eat a varied diet are unlikely to develop vitamin deficiency, as it will have more than enough vitamins to maintain good health. However, old or sick people who cannot take enough food should consult their doctors for prescription of multivitamin supplements in order to prevent getting ill.
Conclusion: Don't be confused by various advertisements about vitamins on TVs, radios, magazines, newspapers, billboards, even on the bottles of soft drinks and cans, as if all of us luck vitamins. Most of us don't really need extra vitamin supplements if we are eating a variety of foods regularly. Vitamin supplements are only for sick people. Hope that you won't be misled by such advertisement.
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