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Essentials: ABC's of Vitamins

What are vitamins? Those who don't get enough vitamins naturally can take vitamin supplements, but there can be effects of vitamins.

What arevitamins and how do they work? There are 13 vitamins that are essential to your health, and can be classified as A, C, D, E, K or B. They are broken down into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble. 

Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and need to be replenished frequently because they are always getting flushed out of your body while fat-soluble vitamins are stored in your body longer so they don't need to be replenished as often. 

If you eat a well-balanced diet, you normally can get all the vitamins you need. Also, your body can create vitamins D and K on its own. However, if you don’t get enough vitamins from food, you may need vitamin supplements, so it is best to consult your doctor. While supplements are helpful, consuming vitamins directly from food is best, as you will get the other added benefits contained in the food. Yet, there can be side effects of vitamins that are taken in high quantities, so it is best to consult your doctor about what is ideal for you.


Lynn Goldstein, MS, RD, CSO, CDN

This video features Lynn Goldstein, MS, RD, CSO, CDN. Lynn Goldstein is a registered dietitian with a masters of science degree from New York University. She is board certified in oncology nutrition and is the clinical nutrition supervisor for Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Duration: 3:41. Last Updated On: Nov. 8, 2017, 6:14 p.m.
Reviewed by: Preeti Parikh, MD . Review date: May 18, 2014
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