Found in dark leafy green vegetables, yellow and orange vegetables and some dairy products, vitamin A is essential to vision, as it helps your eyes adjust to the dark. Vitamin A also promotes healthy skin, resistance to infections and growth and development. Deficiencies of vitamin A are not common in the United States; however, premature babies and people with cystic fibrosis may be in need of additional vitamin A.
Vitamin B is actually a group of eight nutrients that together form what's called the "B complex." The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health estimates that as many as 15 percent of all adults are deficient of one B vitamin known as B-12. The nutrient is involved in many key reactions, and those who are lacking in it may feel run down or tired, experience a loss of appetite or develop tingling sensations in their extremities. The elderly and people who have undergone gastric bypass surgery are most likely to develop vitamin B deficiencies.
Vitamin C is known for its role in the functioning of the immune system, while vitamin E assists with nervous system processes and the activities of some muscles. Severe vitamin C deficiency is very rare, but some people take supplements to bolster the immune system or to address other health care concerns. Many people don't get enough vitamin E daily, but severe deficiency is not common. People with Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis and other medical conditions may be advised to take a vitamin E supplement due to their medical concerns.
Vitamin D promotes strong, healthy bones and teeth and is needed for the body to absorb calcium. Most vitamin D comes from food, but our bodies can produce limited amounts when our skin is exposed to the sun. People who do not get enough sunlight because they have limited mobility or are otherwise shut in may develop vitamin D deficiencies. Individuals who are obese, those with Crohn's disease, dark-skinned people and breastfed babies are also more prone to not having enough vitamin D in their bodies.
If you're unsure whether or not you're in need of a vitamin supplement, visit your doctor. He or she will be able to do blood work to determine if you are short of any nutrients. Depending on the findings of the exam and tests, your physician can then recommend what type of vitamin supplement is best for you and what dosage you should take on a daily basis. Once you have your doctor's suggestions, search drugstore.com and find the perfect supplement here in our vitamins A to K collection.
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