Cleared up: 6 common misconceptions about vitamins

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The word vitamin was coined in 1920 by the Polish biochemist Casimir Funk. He called the substances “vital amines” and combined the two words. The word was derived from the Latin vita, meaning life and amine, because vitamins were initially thought to be amino acids. A lot of time has passed since then, and countless scientists have studied the substances and published their study results. Among them, however, are also wrong assumptions.

  1. The human body cannot generate vitamins. Even though our bodies cannot generate the vital substances themselves, that does not mean they do not have any vitamins. Vitamin D3 is one of them. This is important for calcium balance and bone formation and is formed in the skin when exposed to UVB radiation from the sun.
  2. Regular outdoor activity is enough for the body to be supplied with vitamin D. When the sun shines with all its power, many believe it is enough to go outside for some time to replenish its vitamin D store. However, at our latitudes, the skin cannot produce vitamin D due to the low angle of incidence of solar radiation.
  3. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system. A rather persistent misconception is that vitamin C strengthens the immune system. No studies have conclusively demonstrated that increased vitamin C administration protects against respiratory infections. There are only indications that the prophylactic intake of increased amounts of vitamin C can shorten the duration of a cold.
  4. Fruits and vegetables are used to contain more vitamins. Many people consider the vitamin content of today’s fruits and vegetables when they say, “Everything used to be better in the old days.” But this is not true. Because plants still need the substances just as urgently to live as people do. If they suffered from a vitamin deficiency, they would not thrive. There are natural fluctuations in vitamin content today and in the past.
  5. Vitamin pills are beneficial for health. Disease-causing vitamin deficiency is rare in Austria, yet the business with vitamin pills is flourishing. However, some vitamins can harm us if they are overdosed. For example, if taken in large quantities, vitamin E increases the risk of cancer. Too much vitamin A, on the other hand, damages the skin, can lead to headaches and often ends in hair loss. Also, too much vitamin D can cause health damage like heart, kidney and lung calcification.
  6. Only vegan-nourishing humans need B12 preparations. A varied diet provides just about all the vitamins that people need. However, B12, which is essential for blood and nerves, is only found in animal products in a form that humans can use – not least because the substance is fed to animals, and humans absorb it through meat consumption. Because the B12 store is also running out of stock, not only vegans should keep an eye on it. A deficiency can also affect people who eat little to no meat.
  • source: freizeit.at/picture:
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