Get to Know Your Vitamins and Minerals

Here is a fast break down of your vitamins and minerals and levels of toxicity.

The vitamins that stay in the body for a short period of time, two to four days, are called water soluble vitamins. The B vitamins and vitamin C belong to this group. Water soluble vitamins begin to be utilized by the body from the minute they are absorbed through the intestines and must be replenished regularly. Since they are not stored, but quickly excreted from the body, toxicities are virtually unknown.

Fat soluble vitamins, on the other hand, stay in the body for a longer period of time. Vitamins A, D, E, and K belong to this group. They are usually stored in fat tissue, but some may also be stored in some organs, especially the liver. Therefore, you can have toxicity problems with some of the fat soluble vitamins, but only when you take very large doses.

Minerals also belong to two groups: the macro or bulk minerals and the micro or trace minerals. Macro minerals are needed in larger amounts than the micro minerals. The macro minerals include calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. The micro minerals include zinc, iron, copper, manganese, chromium, selenium, iodine, and potassium. Minerals are stored in various parts of the body – primarily in bone and muscle tissue. Therefore, it is also possible to overdose on minerals if you take extremely large doses.

However, you must remember that there is no vitamin or mineral that is as toxic as most of the drugs you can buy over the counter, including aspirin. In order to reach toxicity, you must go out of your way to abuse supplements by taking massive amounts, usually for a prolonged period of time. 

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