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Vitamins and Minerals: What they’re actually doing in your body

Vitamins and Minerals: What they’re actually doing in your body

This week’s newsletter comes as a guest post from Megan Kizer.  Megan is very close friend of mine who is currently studying Biochemistry at Binghamton University.  Megan will be routinely posting to our blog to help illustrate the science behind the processes occurring in our bodies.  Megan has already begun her first weekly series with us titled “SuperFood Saturday,” to view yesterday’s SuperFood Saturday post on Kiwi’s click here.  We hope you enjoy Megan’s post, and learn a little something about how vitamins and minerals actually affect our health…


I remember growing up and my parents telling me to take my vitamins every morning so I could grow ‘big and strong.’  At the time I fussed about eating the almost-stale tasting gummy bear because I didn’t believe my parents. But I’ve come to learn through my studies that it’s no myth or hoax, vitamins and minerals, among other essential nutrients, are important for growth and good health. But what makes these particular chemical compounds so special?  Why have we been hearing about their significance for all our lives?  To fully understand the role vitamins and minerals play, we need to take a step back, and cover two major concepts about human biology: metabolism and enzymes.

The term metabolism encompasses all bodily reactions which allow us, as human beings, to sustain life.  These reactions, encompassing everything from breaking down food to neuronal impulses, to regeneration of cells, require enzymes to occur.  Enzymes are large proteins in the body that speed up the metabolic reactions.  These specialized proteins sometimes need extra compounds called coenzymes in order to function or to be more efficient, and this is where our vitamins and minerals come into play.

Vitamins and minerals are small molecules, organic and inorganic, that act as sidekicks to enzymes to carry out hundreds of roles in the body. Without these nutrients, many bodily reactions cannot occur, which can slow metabolism and have adverse health effects. Below are a few examples of vitamins and minerals, what types of roles they assist with, and some foods you can find them in.

In short vitamins and minerals are essential to a healthy lifestyle as they are necessary for enzymes to function. You can find many of these compounds in the right foods, but try as we might, sometimes it’s just not enough. This is when a supplement can come in handy to help speed up your metabolism and promote good health!  If you’re coming up short on your daily vitamins, take a look at the multivitamin supplement I am currently taking:  OptiHealth Products’ XtraVite

XtraVite contains all of the above vitamins and more, check out the supplement facts for XtraVite below…

Other Ingredients: Fructose, Citric Acid, Glucose, Maltodextrin, Lemon-Lime Flavor, Apple Pectin


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