Confused about some of the commonly used jargon concerning vitamin supplements?
Minerals – These are the main components of our teeth and bones. They also help in supporting nerves and cell-building. Minerals are nutrients that are usually absorbed by plants and animals for proper nutrition. The common examples of minerals are zinc, sodium and iron.
Multivitamin – This could come in the form of a pill or beverage, which contains more than one vitamin.
Antioxidant – Substances that protect your body from oxidation damage that is usually caused by free radicals, vitamins A, C and E are common examples of antioxidants.
Free Radicals – Atoms or molecules that have at least one or more unpaired electron causing them to be reactive, these free radicals could cause damage to cells or to DNA once bonded with the tissues in our body. Free radicals are usually produced when we are exposed to ultraviolet rays and air pollution caused by cigarette smoke and industrial fumes.
Vitamins – These are natural components that can be found in our food and drink. They are essential for growth and for maintaining good health. Some examples of vitamins include folate, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamins A, D, E and K and many others.
Micronutrients – This term is given to vitamins and minerals that are needed by the body in small amounts. Common examples of micronutrients are zinc, chromium and selenium.
Supplements – These are vitamins, minerals and other substances that are taken orally for the purpose of correcting dietary deficiencies.
Amino Acids – Organic acids that are considered to be the building blocks of proteins.
Daily Value – Giving you the percentage of the recommended dietary allowance from one serving of food, the daily value is usually found on the nutrition labels of food and drinks.
Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) – This is the amount of nutrients that the body requires on a daily basis to prevent the development of diseases.
Botanicals – Substances acquired from plants that have been used in the production of certain food supplements, pharmaceuticals or personal care products.
Phytochemicals – Compounds that are usually found in fruits, vegetables and other plants like lycopene and beta-carotene.
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