Nutrition & Supplements
Nutritional supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, meal supplements, sports nutrition products, natural foodsupplements, and other related products used to boost the nutritional content of the diet.
Vitamins are micronutrients, or substances that the body uses in small amounts, as compared to macronutrients, whichare the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that make up all food. Vitamins are present in food, but adequate quantities of vitamins may be reduced when food is overcooked, processed, or improperly stored. For instance, processing wholewheat grain into white flour reduces the contents of vitamins B and E, fiber, and minerals, including zinc and iron. Thebody requires vitamins to support its basic biochemical functions, and deficiencies over time can lead to illness and disease.
Minerals are micro nutrients and are essential for the proper functioning of the body. Cells in the body require minerals aspart of their basic make-up and chemical balance, and minerals are present in all foods. Minerals can either be bulk minerals, used by the body in larger quantities, or trace minerals, used by the body in minute or trace amounts. Bulk minerals include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Trace minerals include iron, zinc, selenium,iodine, chromium, copper, manganese, and others. Some studies have shown that the amount of minerals, particularly trace minerals, may be decreasing in foods due to mineral depletion of the soil caused by unsustainable farming practices and soil erosion. Supplemental minerals are available in chelated form, in which they are bonded to proteins inorder to improve their absorption by the body.