Vitamins: Essential Nutrients
Vitamins are organic compounds crucial for body functions. Unlike macronutrients, they're needed in tiny amounts. They don't provide energy, instead, they regulate metabolic processes. Deficiencies or excesses can cause health issues.
Vitamin Discovery History
The term 'vitamin' was coined in 1912 by biochemist Casimir Funk. Originally described as 'amine of life,' the name reflected the belief that these compounds contained nitrogen. This was later proven incorrect for some vitamins.
Steroids: More Than Muscles
Steroids are a large family of lipids, including hormones like testosterone and cortisol. They regulate diverse physiological functions, from anti-inflammatory responses to stress management, not just muscle growth.
Vitamin D: The Sun Hormone
Vitamin D is synthesized from cholesterol under the skin via sunlight exposure. Surprisingly, it's a steroid hormone, involved in calcium absorption, immune function, and mood regulation.
Steroids in Medicine
Steroids can be life-saving in medicine. Corticosteroids mimic cortisol, treating conditions like asthma and arthritis. Anabolic steroids, related to testosterone, aid in tissue repair and muscle wasting diseases.
Vitamin C's Hidden Talents
Vitamin C is renowned for its role in immune support. But it's also a potent antioxidant, aids in neurotransmitter synthesis, and is pivotal in collagen formation, impacting skin health and wound healing.
Fat-Soluble vs Water-Soluble
Vitamins are categorized by solubility. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) are stored in body fat and thus can accumulate to toxic levels. Water-soluble ones like B vitamins and vitamin C can't be stored and are excreted more readily.