A vitamin is an organic compound that your body needs to thrive and function normally. There are 13 different vitamins (A, D, E, K, C and B group). These can normally be found in adequate amounts in a balanced diet or be synthesized by the body. There are two main types of vitamins - either water or fat soluble.

Water soluble vitamins can be lost through cooking methods. They are not stored in the body and therefore we need to consume them regularly. The body can get rid of the excess through urination and therefore they are generally not harmful. This does not mean, however, that they should be ingested in excessive amounts. Vitamin C and the B group of vitamins are water soluble. Vitamin C is important in the functioning of the immune system and absorption of iron. The B group of vitamins are important for releasing energy from the food we eat and proper formation of blood cells.

Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K. Unlike water-soluble ones, these are kept in the body in fatty tissue and in the liver for future use. This means that they can build up to harmful levels if there is too much in storage. More is not always better in healthcare. Each fat-soluble vitamin also has an important role and being deficient in them, or having too much, can lead to specific health problems. Here is a brief table to illustrate the importance of each fat-soluble vitamin:

Multivitamins are generally recommended in adults over 50 years of age, pregnant women or those who don’t get enough sunlight exposure. It is important to remember that a multivitamin can’t take the place of a good diet. It is difficult to enumerate exactly how much a person would need of each vitamin as this can change not only with different states of health but also at each stage of life. Different brands also have their own standards of manufacturing which can be confusing for most people. For these reasons, it is best to get the advice of a health professional. Contact one of our many consultants on the RingWell platform for expert opinions.