The Basics of Water Soluble Vitamins

There are two types of vitamins that the human body uses. They are water-soluble and fat-soluble. Nutrition experts generally agree that there may be a need for supplementing water-soluble vitamins. These vitamins dissolved in water and hence are called water-soluble vitamins. This implies that does not store them. So, you must consume foods that are rich in these type vitamins daily to fulfill your body’s needs.

The water-soluble vitamins include the B-complex vitamins (B1-thiamine, B2-riboflavin, B3-niacin, B5-pantothenic acid, B6-biotin, B12-cobalamins, and folic acid) and vitamin C. The B-complex vitamins assist various bodily functions, including energy production, nerve cell, and carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolizing. Most people who eat a normal diet containing a variety of foods do not have a problem in getting enough of these vitamins everyday. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is vital for avoiding the buildup of free radicals in the system. Ensuring that your body gets sufficient amounts of vitamin C can lower your risk of heart disease and cataracts.

There are certain standards for the required amount of these vitamins depending on where you live. The recommendations for the B-complex vitamins vary. In general, your body needs 50 milligrams of vitamin C daily. This could be lower or higher depending on your age, sex, health status, and if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. This amount is only a guideline. It is always advised to consult a doctor to better understand the specific body needs.

Green vegetables, organ meats, and citrus fruits are the most common foods that are rich in vitamins C. While, the B-complex vitamins are a large group and hence a regular diet that includes a variety of foods including nuts, beans, whole grains, organ meats, fish, and poultry should be able to give you the sufficient amount of B-complex vitamins.

Vitamin C and the B-complex vitamin supplements are available in mega doses. Excessive amounts of water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine; however, it can also result in an upset stomach and other unpleasant side effects. You should never exceed the recommended amount of vitamins without approval from your doctor. If you are diagnosed for vitamin deficiency by a doctor, you can consider supplementation.

Len Gibb is one of the editors at a series of nutrition web sites, We offer a free health book for subscribers to our websites newsletter.

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