Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts to work properly.
Each vitamin and mineral performs a number of functions in the body, acting as co-factors in processes required for normal bodily function.
For example, iron has several important roles in the body, such as making red blood cells, calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth, vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system (amongst other functions) and vitamin D contributes to healthy bones, teeth and muscle function.
As our diets change and we move to eating more processed foods, we do not always achieve the required levels of vitamins and minerals from our food.
Supplementation can thus help us to achieve these levels and may be particularly appropriate if somebody is eating a restricted diet.
Vitamins are organic substances made by plants or animals.
There are 2 types of vitamins; fat soluble and water soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins are mainly found in fatty foods such as butter, vegetable oils and dairy foods etc. They are: vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. It is suggested that these vitamins should be taken alongside food containing fat as this may help with absorption.
Water-soluble vitamins are not stored within the body therefore more frequent supplementation is necessary. They are: vitamin C and the B vitamins – B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B4 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) biotin, folic acid and B12.
Vitamin D is probably best known for its role in bone health, particularly the prevention of the childhood condition rickets. However, evidence suggests that vitamin D has broad effects on health and wellbeing, and is associated with a reduced risk of a range of conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, multiple sclerosis and several forms of cancer. There is also evidence that many of us have sub-optimal levels of vitamin D throughout the year, and this situation generally becomes more acute during the winter.
While vitamin D can be found in some foods (e.g. oily fish), most of our requirements for it come from the action of sunlight on the skin. As a result, vitamin D levels in the UK tend to climb through the spring and summer, before declining again during the autumn and winter.
As it is difficult to get the required amount of vitamin D from the sun in the Autumn and Winter months in the UK, the Government now recommends that everybody (from newborn babies to the elderly) takes a daily supplement during these seasons.
Vitamin D in supplements comes in two forms: ‘D2’ and ‘D3’. It is generally accepted that D3 is the preferred form, no least because it has been shown to raise vitamin D levels more effectively than the D2 form.
Minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals.
The body needs larger amounts of some minerals to stay healthy and these are known as macro-minerals – calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulphur.
The other group of minerals is known as trace minerals and these are also required by the body, but in smaller amounts – copper, chromium, fluoride, iodine, iron, molybdenum, manganese, selenium and zinc.
Dietary supplements may help some people get enough of certain essential nutrients to support their diet, improve their nutrient intake and be in their best health. Dietary supplements should never be taken in place of a balanced meal, but should be an addition to a balanced diet and lifestyle.
Food supplements should be taken with food, unless directed otherwise by your healthcare professional.
The NRV is the Nutrient Reference Value, which has replaced the RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) as the level of intake of essential nutrients (including vitamins and minerals) that the government considers adequate to meet the known nutritional needs of the average healthy person.
No, we do not use any GMOs in our Vega products.
Pro-Ven Probiotics is a sister brand to Vega. Cultech Ltd, the company that owns Vega is a world-renowned supplement manufacturer, which specialises in the production of probiotics for companies all over the globe.
Probiotics are live bacteria that are increasingly being shown to support the health of the microbiome in babies, children and adults and as a result help to support digestion, immunity and general health.
As a research-led company, Cultech has developed its own group of probiotic strains, known as Lab4 and the Pro-Ven Probiotics products contain this group of four probiotic bacterial strains. Lab4 and Lab4b (for pregnancy and infancy) are the most researched groups of live bacteria in the UK and are subject to ongoing research and clinical trials.