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Vitamin supplements can be a much needed and vital addition to your diet. Ideally you want to get as many nutrients and as much nutrition from you diet as possible. Food is the healthiest and safest way to get vitamins and minerals (Nature, April 20, 2007). But the truth is that today's Western diet is usually poor, consisting of a lot of over cooked and processed foods that have been stripped of their enzymes and nutrients. Ideally, the best vitamin supplements are derived from whole foods and herbs and are naturally chemically complete components, not synthesized in a lab.

Most vitamins cannot be fully utilized by the human body unless their natural counterparts are present thus making them a whole, complete, molecular complex. Generally speaking, many vitamin supplements are synthetic (not from whole foods) and thus fractionated meaning they are incomplete. Your body will excrete most components of synthetic vitamins as if they were chemicals.  Additionally, your body will seek out the missing nutritional counterparts to make the remaining components of "vitamins" still in your body whole again. This can actually lead to nutritional deficiencies and imbalances. The process to create real, whole-food organic supplements must be behind what vitamins you put in your body. This may make whole food, organic supplements more expensive but they are infinitely more effective and healthy for you. Read labels and ask questions before you purchase. Ideally don't self-prescribe but work with a qualified alternative healthcare practitioner to determine what your body needs. Vitamins and herbal supplements can help you obtain balance and wellness and when properly prescribed by an alternative healthcare practitioner should have no side effects like some pharmaceutical drugs. A good reference cite on pharmaceutical drug side effects is

The following is a list of the more prevalent supplements and their generally recognized benefits that they are generally recognized as

Essential Vitamins
Vitamin What It Does For The Body
Vitamin A (Beta Carotene) Promotes growth and repair of body tissues; reduces susceptibility to infections; aids in bone and teeth formation; maintains smooth skin
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin) Promotes growth and muscle tone; aids in the proper functioning of the muscles, heart, and nervous system; assists in digestion of carbohydrates
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin) Maintains good vision and healthy skin, hair, and nails; assists in formation of antibodies and red blood cells; aids in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism
Vitamin B-3 (Niacinamide) Reduces cholesterol levels in the blood; maintains healthy skin, tongue, and digestive system; improves blood circulation; increases energy
Vitamin B-4 Discovered in the 1930s it is known as the anti-paralysis vitamin.
Vitamin B-5 Fortifies white blood cells; helps the body's resistance to stress; builds cells.
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine) Aids in the synthesis and breakdown of amino acids and the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates; supports the central nervous system; maintains healthy skin.
Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) Promotes growth in children; prevents anemia by regenerating red blood cells; aids in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; maintains healthy nervous system.
Biotin Aids in the metabolism of proteins and fats; promotes healthy skin.
Folic Acid (Folate, Folacin) Helps the liver eliminate toxins Promotes the growth and reproduction of body cells; aids in the formation of red blood cells and bone marrow.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) One of the major antioxidants; essential for healthy teeth, gums, and bones; helps to heal wounds, fractures, and scar tissue; builds resistance to infections; assists in the prevention and treatment of the common cold; prevents scurvy.
Vitamin D Improves the absorption of calcium and phosphorous (essential in the formation of healthy bones and teeth) maintains a healthy nervous system; strengthens the immune system.
Vitamin E A major antioxidant; supplies oxygen to blood; provides nourishment to cells; prevents blood clots; slows cellular aging.
Vitamin K (Menadione) Prevents internal bleeding; reduces heavy menstrual flow. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in green plants and is used by the liver to activate blood-clotting factors. The body relies upon vitamin K2 to place calcium in bones and teeth and keep it out of areas where you don’t want calcium deposits to form such as the eyes (cataracts), kidneys (kidney stones), arteries and joints.