Supplements vs Vitamins: The Differences Explained

Supplement vs. Vitamins

 Is living a healthier lifestyle on your list for the new year? Are you wondering about adding vitamins and supplements into your nutritional regimen?

Living healthier is a worthy goal since heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death in the United States. A healthy lifestyle reduces your chances of dying from these, and other, diseases.
There are several things you should know when comparing supplements vs vitamins. Take a look at this guide for a better understanding of the difference between supplements and vitamins.  

What is a Vitamin?

All vitamins taken in pill or liquid form are supplements. They're taken in addition to your normal diet.

Vitamins are organic compounds occurring in fruits, vegetables, and other dietary products. Our bodies can't function well when we're vitamin deficient.

It's crucial we get the right amount of vitamins in our diet. Unfortunately, many people don't eat a healthy enough diet to ingest sufficient amounts of vitamins.

There are 13 recognized vitamins necessary for optimum health. These include:

• Vitamin A

• Vitamin C

• Vitamin D

• Vitamin E

• Vitamin K

• Thiamine

• Riboflavin

• Pantothenic acid

• Niacin

• Biotin

• Folate

• B6

• B12

Each vitamin plays a specific role in your body. Without adequate levels of vitamins, you can get sick and even die. Here's a quick look at their functions.  

Questions about Vitamins?

The stuff they call Vitamins!

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is key when it comes to your eyesight. It's also important for a healthy immune system and plays a role in bone growth.

Orange vegetables, such as carrots, are rich in beta carotenes which convert to vitamin A in your body. Cheese, eggs, and oily fish also contain good amounts of vitamin A.  

The B Vitamins

Thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, niacin, biotin, folate, B6, and B12 all belong to the family of B vitamins. You need them for brain function, red-cell production, and metabolism.

What are some good sources of B vitamins? Salmon, leafy green vegetables, chicken, turkey, beef, and legumes.  

Vitamin C

Vitamin C increases your immune response, helps you absorb iron, and prevents oxidative stress.

Vitamin C is also great for your skin because it helps in the production of collagen. Adequate levels of vitamin C help reduce your risk for breast, mouth, stomach, and esophageal cancer.
A few good sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, strawberries, and broccoli.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for strong and healthy bones and teeth as well as gene regulation. Vitamin D deficiency is a problem of epidemic proportions. The sun is one of the best sources of vitamin D.

Unfortunately, getting enough vitamin D isn't as simple as standing outside in the sun for a few minutes every day.

The angle of the sun, time of year, altitude, and pollution all factor into whether your body makes vitamin D from the sun. Vitamins and vitamin-fortified foods are a more reliable way of ensuring vitamin D intake.

Vitamin D is one vitamin everyone should take in supplement form! 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, also called alpha-tocopherol, neutralizes damaging molecules in the cells. For this reason, it's called an antioxidant.

Some scientists believe adequate levels of vitamin E can reduce cognitive decline and even Alzheimer's. Nuts, avocados, sunflower seeds, and spinach are good sources of vitamin E. Salmon and trout are other good sources of vitamin E. 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for the body's blood-clotting mechanism. Your body needs vitamin K to heal wounds. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables for lots of vitamin K. 

Supplements and Vitamins

The stuff they call Supplements!

What is a Supplement?

Vitamins are supplements, but a supplement is NOT always a vitamin. Let's take a look at what supplements are and what they can do for your body.

Supplements are as the name implies. They're meant as an addition to your diet. There are thousands of supplements on the market.

You can find supplements for improving skin, joints, your mood and more. Some supplements also contain vitamins while others are herbs or other botanicals.

Some popular supplements include calcium, fish oil, and probiotics. These all work to complement your diet.

Keep in mind that no supplement should replace a good diet. If you're not eating healthy foods, a supplement may help but don't rely on supplements instead of healthy foods.

A good example of an effective supplement is folic acid. Folic acid deficiency in a pregnant woman can result in neural tube defects (NTD) in the baby. Studies reveal that women with a previous NTD birth reduce their chances of a second NTD birth by 70% with folic acid supplementation.   

Modern Agricultural Methods

It's unfortunate but true that many of our modern agricultural practices deplete the soil in which our fruits and vegetables grow. This leads to fruits and vegetables that aren't as nutrient-rich as those of our ancestors.

Synthetic fertilizers decrease the natural diversity found in soil. This also affects the soil and resulting crops. Most vegetables grown today have less calcium, phosphorous, iron, and B and C vitamins.  

Vitamins and Cancer

Diet plays a major role in preventing some cancers. Studies show that vitamin and mineral deficiencies can even result in DNA damage. That's why eating enough vegetables and fruits is so important - because they're high in vitamins and minerals.

It's not always easy eating enough fruits and vegetables to get your daily intake of vitamins and minerals. This is when a supplement is a big help. The supplement doesn't replace your diet but it can help fill in the gaps.  

An Explanation of Supplements VS Vitamins

Now you know what to look for when comparing supplements vs vitamins. Vitamins are supplements but not all supplements contain vitamins. Both vitamins and supplements complement your nutritional intake.

Due to modern agricultural methods, it's a good idea to take a daily multivitamin to ensure you're getting enough vitamins in your diet. Look for a daily multivitamin that also contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.  

Stay safe and healthy!

If you're looking for a subscription vitamin service that also contributes to the greater cause of fighting cancer, please contact us here or visit our product pages. Don't forget to hit the like button as this drives us to create more advertising free articles that we hope you find useful!

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