Medical Perspectives | Others

July 30, 2021

CHANCES ARE YOU START YOUR DIET WITH AT LEAST ONE NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT: a tablet of Vitamin C for the busy professionals or a capsule of glucosamine for the arthritis-challenged. These vitamins and minerals are intended to address deficiencies in our bodies, and augment the nutrients that are ingested from the food we eat.


From the earliest age, we are all taught to eat a healthy balanced diet, to get the proper nutrition that our body needs. But research shows that most people are getting less than the required dietary dosage of essential vitamins and minerals, which has led to the rise in the use of dietary supplements.


Nutritional supplements are add-ons that support overall health & wellness goals. Simply put, nutritional supplements add to the nutrients that we ingest from the food we eat, such as vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, and the like.


#1: There are different categories of NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

  • Vitamins: an organic compound and an essential nutrient, it usually comes from food
  • Herbs or herbal supplements: also called botanicals, these are used for additional nutrition or as medicine; herbs are sources of phytochemicals, materials found in plants that have significant effects on the body
  • Meal supplements: serve to fortify or replace meals, and are designed for those with special needs or illnesses that affect digestion
  • Minerals: micronutrients that help body systems function properly, minerals are part of the basic composition of cells in the body
  • Sports nutrition products: designed specifically for the needs of athletes, whose activities require higher levels of certain nutrients
  • Specialty & other products such as glucosamine, probiotics and fish oils


#2:  There are 13 known VITAMINS




Vitamin A

Helps eye health, boost immunity and foster cell growth


Liver, cod liver oil, carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, butter, spinach, egg, milk

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Helps with digestive problems, immune system,  heart disease, alcoholism, aging, and vision problems

Yeast, pork, brown rice, asparagus, kale, potatores, oranges, liver, eggs

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Helps in breaking down food components, absorbing other nutrients, and maintaining tissues

Asparagus, bananas, okra, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish, green beans

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Helps improve cholesterol levels, ease arthritis, and boost brain function


Live, chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, milk, eggs, avocadoes, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, mushrooms

Vitamin B5 (Panthotenic acid)

Helps in making blood cells and converting food into energy

Meats, broccoli, avocadoes, royal jelly, fish ovaries

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Helps in maintaining heart health, the digestive tract, muscular function, energy, proper brain development and production of hemoglobin

Meats, bananas, vegetables, nuts

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Helps in processing glucose, metabolizing proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, maintaining hair, skin and mucous membranes, and nervous system function

Egg yolk, liver, some vegetables

Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)

Helps numerous body functions including DNA synthesis and repair, cell division, and cell growth

Leafy vegetables, legumes, liver, sunflower seeds, several fruits, beer

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Helps nerve tissue health, brain function, and the production of red blood cells


Fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products, some fortified cereals, and soy products

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Helps in formation and repair of body tissue, protect against heart disease, absorption of iron, prevent scurvy

Fruits and vegetables

Vitamin D

Helps maintain bones and teeth, the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system

Exposure to ultraviolet B through sunlight, fatty fish, eggs, beef liver, mushrooms

Vitamin E

Helps as an antioxidant, protecting cells from the damage caused by free radicals, repairs damaged skin

Kiwi fruit, almonds, avocacdo, eggs, milk, nuts, leafy green vegetables, unheated vegetable oil

Vitamin K

Helps in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels

Green leafy vegetables, avocado, kiwi fruit


#3: There are 16 Essential Minerals, divided into two groups.







Helps proper fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contraction

Table salt, soy sauce, processed foods


Helps proper fluid balance, stomach acid

Table salt, soy sauce, processed foods


Helps proper fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contraction

Meats, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables


For healthy bones and teeth, muscle relaxation and contraction, nerve functioning

Milk and milk products, canned fish with bones, fortified tofu and fortified soy beverage; broccoli, mustard greens


For healthy bones and teeth

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, processed foods


For making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health

Nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, seafood, chocolate, artichokes



Part of protein molecules

Protein in meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, nuts






Part of hemoglobin in red blood cells

Organ meats, red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish, egg yolks, dark leafy greens, iron-enriched breads and cereals


Part of enzymes and needed for protein and genetic material production

Meats, fish, poultry, vegetables


Part of thyroid hormone, which regulates metabolism and development

Seafood, iodized salt, bread, dairy products



Meats, seafood, grains


Part of enzymes

Nuts and seeds, whole grains, organ meats, drinking water


Part of enzymes

Various food types, especially plant foods


For formation of bones and teeth

Drinking water, fish, tea


Works with insulin to regulate glucose

Liver, whole grains, nuts, cheeses


Part of enzymes

Legumes, breads and grains, leafy green vegetables, milk, liver


The variety of nutritional supplements can and will help in your overall health and wellness goals. To ensure proper and beneficial choices, the advice of a medical professional is a good way to start on this path of wellness.




Dietary Supplements: What You Need to Know. (2011, June). Retrieved from


Vitamins: What are they and what do they do. Nordqvist, C. (2017, September). Retrieved from


Minerals: Their Functions and Sources. (2017, May). Retrieved from

Simple Guide for the Timing of Nutritional Supplements. (2018, January). Retrieved from

About Natural Health Products: Facts and Figures. (2018). Retrieved from


Vitamin A Benefits Eye, Skin & Bone Health. (2018). Retrieved from


Thiamine. (2018). Retrieved from


Benefits and sources of vitamin B2

Nordqvist, C. (2017, March). Retrieved from


9 Science-Based Benefits of Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Jennings, K. (2016, December). Retrieved from


What Does Vitamin B5 Do?

Morris, R. & Nicholls, E. (2017, January). Retrieved from


The Health and Brain Benefits of Vitamin B6

Lee, K. (2017, September). Retrieved from


Why do we need biotin, or Vitamin B7? Nordqvist, C. (2017, February). Retrieved from



What to know about folic acid

Nordqvist, C. (2017, October). Retrieved from


Everything you need to know about vitamin B-12.

Nordqvist, C. (2017, November). Retrieved from



Vitamin C Benefits

Weil, A. & Becker, B. (2012, October). Retrieved from


What are the health benefits of vitamin D?

Ware, M. (2017, November). Retrieved from


Vitamin E Benefits the Skin, Hair, Eyes, Heart & More. (2018). Retrieved from


Health benefits and sources of vitamin K. (2018). Retrieved from


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