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Vitamins and Dietary Supplement Essay

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Updated: Oct 24th, 2021

This is the time of when it pays to be health conscious. In the pre-modern age there was no need to be extra careful in what one eats. But in the 21st century a less vigilant person can be in deep trouble because changes in the atmosphere and the availability of food an easily make a person sick. This is because his system is already in need of vitamins and minerals that are no longer available in his or her diet. The solution of course is to eat vegetables, fruits and meat sources such as beef, chicken, fish and lamb that can supply the required daily allowance needed for optimum growth and repair of body tissues. But before this can be done there is a need to understand what the difference between vitamins and dietary supplements.

According to one report, “Vitamins do not share a common chemistry, but they do share certain characteristics. They are all organic nutrients that are necessary in small amounts for normal metabolism and good health” (Nidus, par. 1). Still there is still confusion when asked to compare Vitamins and dietary supplements. The capsules taken in as dietary supplements are similar looking to the vitamins in capsule forms that are also readily available in drugstores and pharmacies. Moreover, the nutritious component of fruits, vegetables and meat products are also called vitamins. It is common to hear someone say that carrots are rich in Vitamin A and that citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C.

In order to clarify this matter there is a need to break down related concepts into the following:

  • There are naturally occurring vitamins found in plant and animal sources;
  • Dietary supplements are products containing vitamins, minerals, herbs etc.

According to the Dietary Supplement Health Act of 1994 dietary supplements it must be one or any combination of the following substances:

  • a vitamin;
  • a mineral;
  • an herb or other botanical;
  • an amino acid;
  • enzymes or tissues from organs or glands;
  • a concentrate, metabolite, constituent or extract.

Examples of Vitamins Examples of Minerals

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • VitaminB12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

There are two kinds of vitamins and dietary supplements. As far as human consumption is concerned there are two kinds of vitamins, the first type are those that can be found as naturally occurring organic nutrients that can be found in plants and animals. The second type of vitamins are those that can be manufactured by the human body such as Vitamin D, K, and B). When it comes to dietary supplements there can be also two types. The first one contains only one vitamin and the second type contains multiple ingredients that may include a vitamin, a mineral or enzymes.


Vitamins and dietary supplements can be understood from the point of view of human consumption and what is needed for healthy living. When it comes to vitamins there are those that can be manufactured by the human body. Therefore those vitamins that cannot be manufactured by the body must be acquired through the eating of fruits, vegetables and meat products. The consumption of these types of food is called the diet. Therefore those essential vitamins and minerals that are not included in the diet must be acquired using dietary supplements.

As the name implies dietary supplements is needed to supplement the diet. Whatever is missing in the daily food intake must be supplemented by dietary supplements. Depending on the need of the person the dietary supplement can contain one vitamin or a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc. This is the basic description of what constitutes a vitamin and a dietary supplement.

Works Cited

Nidus Information Services, Inc. “What Are Vitamins, Carotenoids and Pythochemicals?” New York City.

Nidus Information Services, Inc. “Report #39: Vitamins.” New York City.

Office of Dietary Supplements. “Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Fact Sheets.” National Institute of Health. 2009. Web.

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