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What Are Vitamins?

What Are Vitamins?


What You Didn’t Know Explained

Vitamins are nutrients that are essential to life — also called micronutrients because they are needed in relatively small amounts.

They are organic compounds that occur naturally in plants and animals. They function as co-enzymes by helping enzymes break down proteins into amino acids.

After a vitamin is absorbed, they are either used immediately or stored and utilized over some time.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins such as B and C stay in your body for two to four days. These vitamins are used the moment they are absorbed and must be replenished regularly.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K stay in your body for a more extended period. Most fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fat (hence their name) while some are stored in the liver and other organs.

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While it is rare, it is possible to have an adverse reaction to large doses of fat-soluble vitamins since they are stored. Water-soluble vitamins are not saved and are excreted just as quickly as they are absorbed. There is no known evidence of their adverse effects at this time.


While a Paleo diet provides the bulk of your nutrients, you may not be getting your full daily dose. Foods can lose its nutrient density by being stored insufficiently and shipped incorrectly. Meals can also lose their nutrients during the cooking process.

For these reasons, some individuals may turn to supplementing.

How to Take Supplements

Your body can only absorb and use so many nutrients at one time. To increase the effectiveness of a vitamin, try to divide the dosage throughout the day. Vitamin supplements should be taken with a meal to improve absorption efficiency.

Remember not one amount fits all. You must take into consideration your lifestyle, food preferences, and habits.

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The Take-Away

I encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about the use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health before making a decision.

Are you looking for a Primal Health Coach to help you transition and maintain the Paleo lifestyle? Schedule your first session with me free.


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