28 Jan Vitamins, the catalysts of life
Vitamins are organic molecules most of which are not produced by the human body and can only be obtained through our diet. Vitamins act as catalysts, namely they assist enzymatic reactions in our body so that it can work properly.
How do vitamins function in the human organism?
Vitamins possess diverse biochemical properties. While some like Vitamin A act as a regulator of cell and tissue growth and regeneration, others like Vitamin C and E function as potent antioxidants.
Many of the vitamins operate as cofactors for enzymes and many of the essential minerals are integral components of the hundreds of enzymes that function continuously in our cells. Therefore, vitamins and essential minerals must be taken in combination and in specific quantities, always prescribed by a specialist with the aim of therapeutic action.
Why do most doctors today recommend vitamin supplements?
Nowadays, as the enormous value of the presence of vitamins in the body and the consequences of their deficiency has been recognized, more and more doctors prescribe them to their patients.
The benefits of vitamins for the human body
They are essential for most human biological functions, the most important of which are:
- Regulation of metabolism through the production of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins
- Normal function of the immune system
- Absorption of nutrients
- Antioxidant action
- Bone strength and smooth skeletal development
- Maintaining the nervous system
- Cell growth and regeneration
- Anti-aging action
Inadequate intake of vitamins can result in:
- Increased vulnerability to various diseases
- Reduction of muscle mass
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nervousness, mental disorders and depression
- Hair loss
- Reduced stamina and performance
- Chronic diseases
Which Vitamins are suitable for me?
Every organism is unique in how it manages the various molecules that comprise its biochemistry. Knowing that a lack of vitamins can cause long-term morbidity which manifests itself in the form of metabolic and chronic diseases, it is vital to take the right amounts of vitamins which are either not received through daily diet or are taken in small quantities due to the poor quality of the food.
The correct intake of vitamins
In addition to usual blood tests that measure vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin C, etc. there are specialized molecular-level diagnostic tests that identify possible deficiencies of micronutrients of the human organism.
These tests analyze whether the various cellular pathways are performing properly. In that manner, they allow the physicians to gain a deep understanding of the cells’ status and furthermore find out which micronutrients are in deficiency. Then, the physicians can safely prescribe the correct combination and dosages of vitamins required and in a next level prevent the onset of chronic diseases due to vitamin deficiency.
Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.
Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine Dietary reference intakes for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and choline. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1998. Available from: http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309065542/html/.
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine Dietary reference intakes for vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2000. Available from: http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309069351/html/index.html.
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine Dietary reference intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2001. Available from: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309072794/html/.
- Scientific Committee for Food European Commission. Outcome of discussions. Available from: http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/scf/outcome_en.html.
- Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals Safe upper levels for vitamins and minerals. London: Food Standards Agency of the United Kingdom; 2003.
- Nordic Council of Ministers Risk evaluation of essential trace elements—essential versus toxic levels of intake. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers; 1995.
- International Programme on Chemical Safety Principles and methods for the assessments of risk from essential trace elements. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1999.
- Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances, Ministère du Travail et des Affaires Sociale, Ministère de l’Agriculture, de la Peche et de l’Alimentation Rapport sur les limites de sécurité dans les consummations alimentaires des vitamins et minéraux. Paris: Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances, Ministère du Travail et des Affaires Sociale, Ministère de l’Agriculture, de la Peche et de l’Alimentation; 1995.
- Council for Responsible Nutrition Vitamin and mineral safety. Washington, DC: Council for Responsible Nutrition; 1997.
- Toxicology of Micronutrients: Adverse Effects and Uncertainty A. G. Renwick The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 136, Issue 2, February 2006, Pages 493S–501S, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/136.2.493S Published: 01 February 2006
- Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products, and the Environment Annual report. London: Department of Health; 1997.
- Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine Dietary reference intakes for calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D, and fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1997. Available from: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309063507/html.
- European Federation of Health Product Manufacturers Associations Vitamins and minerals. a scientific evaluation of the range of safe intakes. Surrey, UK: The Council of Responsible Nutrition; 1997.
- Consumers for Health Choice A summary of the science of vitamin and mineral supplement safety. Brussels: Consumers for Health Choice; 1998.
- Renwick AG. Exposure estimation, toxicological requirements and risk assessment. In: van der Heijden K, Younes M, Fishbein L, Miller S. editors. International food safety handbook. New York: Marcel Dekker; 1999. p. 59–94.
- Hill AB. The environment and disease: association or causation? Proc R Soc Med. 1965;58:295–300.
- Beck BD, Conolly RB, Dourson ML, Guth D, Harris D, Kimmel C, Lewis SC. Improvements in quantitative noncancer risk assessment. Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1993;20:1–
- International Programme on Chemical Safety Assessing human health risks of chemicals: derivation of guidance values for health-based exposure limits: Environmental Health Criteria no 170. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1994.
- Vermeire T, Stevenson H, Peiters MN, Rennen M, Slob W, Hakkert BC. Assessment factors for human health risk assessment: a discussion paper. Crit Rev Toxicol. 1999;29:439–90.
- World Health Organization Principles for the safety assessment of food additives and contaminants in food: Environmental Health Criteria no. 70. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1987.
- Dourson ML, Stara JF. Regulatory history and experimental support of uncertainty (safety) factors. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 1983;3:224–8.
- Calabrese EJ. Uncertainty factors and interindividual variation. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 1985;5:190–6.
- Hattis D, Erdreich L, Ballew M. Human variability in susceptibility to toxic chemicals: a preliminary analysis of pharmacokinetic data from normal volunteers. Risk Anal. 1987;7:415–26.
- Renwick AG. Safety factors and the establishment of acceptable daily intakes. Food Addit Contam. 1991;8:135–50.
- Renwick AG. Data-derived safety factors for the evaluation of food additives and environmental contaminants. Food Addit Contam. 1993;10:275–305.