Vitamins and Minerals are both needed by humans and animals for survival, but what is the difference between a Vitamin and a Mineral? What are the different types of Vitamins? What are the different types of Minerals?
Vitamins and minerals; we know we need them, but what are they, and what is the difference between vitamins and minerals?
One of the simplest ways to explain the difference is that vitamins are organic, they come from plants or animals, while minerals are not organic and come from the soil or water.
Vitamins are important for things like sight, skin health, digestion, and so forth. Some act as antioxidants, or to help protect against disease. Vitamins are complex, organic compounds.
Vitamins are found in the foods we eat but can be destroyed by heat (cooking), air, chemicals, and/or even sunlight. They are lumped into two types; water soluble, and fat soluble. The water soluble vitamins are taken with water and are not stored in the body. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body.
The essential vitamins are:
- Vitamin A, Retinol – fat soluble
- Vitamin B1, Thiamine
- Vitamin B2, Rhiboflavin
- Vitamin B3, Niacin
- Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid
- Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine
- Vitamin B7, Biotin
- Vitamin B9, Folic Acid
- Vitamin B12, Cyanocobalamin
- Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid.
Vitamin D, Cholecalciferol – fat soluble
- Vitamin E,Tocopherols – fat soluble
- Vitamin K, phylloquinone – fat soluble
- Folic Acid
Minerals are important for things like bone growth, muscle health, and so forth. They tend to be more important to the structure of the body and to helping body systems work correctly. Minerals are single elements as found on the periodic table.
Minerals are not destroyed by cooking, chemicals, or the sun. There are two groups of minerals; the macro minerals and trace minerals, sometimes also called major, and minor, minerals. This classification refers to the quantity in which they are needed for humans. There are more than twenty minerals known to be important for humans and other mammals.
The major minerals are:
The minor minerals are:
What is confusing for some people is the fact that minerals can be found in many plants and in some meats (or dairy products), which is said to be a feature of vitamins. Minerals are found in plants because the plants absorbed them from the soil, in other cases, as when minerals are found in meat or dairy products, it is because they moved up in the food chain when animals plants.
Other Information on Vitamins and Minerals
Typically a good diet provides enough vitamins and minerals for the average individual, however some people metabolize minerals differently, and there are different needs according to age and gender. Many people supplement their diet with vitamins and, or, minerals, such as those from iSupplements and LifeExtension.