Vitamins: FSA Eligibility
What is a vitamin?
A vitamin is an organic compound and a vital nutrient that we require in limited amounts. A vitamin is something we cannot synthesize on our own in sufficient quantities, and thus must be obtained through the food we consume. A lot of food, particularly fruits and vegetables, will supply the vitamins we need, but sometimes supplementation in the form of pills and other edible forms is important is required for us to be healthy and for the treatment of certain health problems. For someone who already has sufficient amounts of these nutrients, there is little evidence of benefits with additional intake (Medical News Today).
What do vitamins do for your body?
There are various types of vitamins that all have diverse biochemical functions. Most vitamins function as enzyme cofactors, playing a large role in assisting enzyme-substrate reactions in metabolism. Some have hormone-like functions as regulators of metabolism, cell and tissue growth, and differentiation. Others function as antioxidants, or substances that inhibit oxidation, a certain level of which one needs to maintain in the body system.
What are fat soluble versus water soluble vitamins?
Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract and stored in the fat tissues of our bodies, as well as the liver. These vitamins are easier to store than water-soluble ones, and can stay in the body or days, even months. Water-soluble vitamins on the other hand do not get stored in the body for long as they get expelled through urine. Thus these need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble ones. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble while Vitamins C and all the B vitamins are water-soluble (MedicineNet.com).