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Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients found in the foods you eat. You can also buy them as dietary supplements. Learn more about these little nutrients, what they do for your body, and where to find them in your diet.
  1. Vitamin Glossary (12)
  2. Deficiencies and Toxicities (20)
  3. Mineral Glossary (15)

Vitamins and Minerals
Although you only need small amounts of vitamins and minerals, they're crucial for good health. Learn more about the different types and functions of these little nutrients.

The Water-Soluble Vitamins
These are the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. Here I've listed all of the water soluble vitamins, with links to descriptions and food sources.

Basic Nutrition: Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K. I've got them all listed here, along with descriptions and major food sources.

10 Quick Facts About Magnesium
Magnesium is essential for a large number of biochemical reactions. Here's what you need to know about this important mineral.

Trace Minerals
You only need a small amount of these minerals. Here's a list of the trace minerals, what they do in your body and which foods have the most of each mineral.

Ten Quick Facts About Vitamin D
Vitamin D includes a group of compounds that your body needs for strong bones and a healthy immune system. Learn more about vitamin D.

10 Quick Facts About Vitamin E
Vitamin E refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins called tocopherols. Learn more.

The Major Minerals
The major minerals are the ones you need in the largest amounts. I've got them listed for you, along with how they help your body and which foods offer the most of each mineral.

10 Facts About Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is one of the B-complex vitamins. Unlike other B vitamins, you can only get B-12 from foods of animal origin.

10 Facts About Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the water-soluble vitamins you need to get from your diet.

Calcium and Vitamin D Recommendations
In 2011, the Institute of Medicine's updated their recommendations for calcium and vitamin D. Here's the latest information.

10 Quick Facts About Vitamin A
Vitamin A is found in both plant and animal sources of foods. Learn more about this important vitamin.

How Much Sun Exposure Do I Need for Vitamin D?
There aren't many foods that contain vitamin D, mostly fish oils and fortified foods. You need sunlight for your body to produce vitamin D. Only a few minutes a day will do it.

What are the Chemical Forms of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D really refers to four different compounds, and they all contribute to bone health. Here's a look at the four forms of vitamin D: cholecalciferol, ergocalciferol, calcidiol and calcitriol.

What Are the Different Forms of Vitamin K?
A look at the two forms of vitamin K: menaquinone and phylloquinone. Find out what type is used in dietary supplements and which form is in the food you eat.

Will B Vitamins Give Me Energy?
B-complex vitamins are needed for energy metabolism, but taking extra B vitamins won't give you any additional energy. Learn more.

Which Form of Vitamin D is Better, D2 or D3?
Cholecalciferol (D3) and ergocalciferol (D2) are two natural forms of vitamin D and both can be used in dietary supplements. Learn more about the two forms and find out if it matters which one you take.

Nutrition and Health: Calcium and Vitamin D May Not Prevent Fractures
Calcium and vitamin D supplements are often prescribed for keeping bones strong, but it takes more than that. Find out what else you need to do to prevent fractures.

What's the Difference Between Folate and Folic Acid?
Folic acid is the synthetic counterpart to folate, a member of the B-complex. Learn more about folic acid and folate.

What is a Niacin Flush?
Niacin is a B-complex vitamin and can be taken in large doses to treat elevated cholesterol levels. But it causes a very irritating (and sometimes scary) side effect called the niacin flush.

Dietary Mineral Quiz
Take this quiz to see what you know about minerals.

Magnesium Deficiency Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency.

How to Increase Your Calcium Intake
My tips for getting more calcium from the foods you eat every day.

What Can I Eat for Vitamin D?
There aren't many foods that contain vitamin D, mostly fish and fortified foods.

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