A healthy diet is the number one form of good vitamin intake, although diet itself isn't sufficient for everyone. There are more than a dozen vitamins essential for good health.

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The 13 essential vitamins

Even healthy and fit people sometimes wonder if their body is getting enough vitamins, or if their recommended daily vitamin intake is being met. It can be difficult to be in tune with your body when there are so many moving parts, and sometimes a basic healthy diet using a variety of foods isn't enough.

Body needs vary from person to person, as do our particular diets, and vitamin supplements or dietary supplements can play an important role for bone health, the immune system, the nervous system, red blood cells and other areas supported by a balanced diet. So what are the most essential vitamins?

Vitamins are stored in a huge range of foodstuffs, although absorption uptake by the human body is not always optimal. Vitamins are an effective way to bridge the gap between your diet and your body needs. Health issues also impact vitamin uptake, and anyone using medicines or suffering health setbacks should speak to a health professional before making significant dietary changes. Here are 13 essential vitamins most people are familiar with.

  1. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for growth and cell development. Vitamin A promotes healthy skin, nails, hair, teeth, gums, bones and glands.

  1. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that assists with calcium absorption for building and maintaining strong bones and healthy teeth.

  1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E maintains muscles and red blood cells. It also protects fatty acids and acts as an important antioxidant.

  1. Vitamin K

A lesser known but also essential vitamin for body needs. Vitamin K can reduce blood clotting in the instance of an injury, along with general health.

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C strengthens blood vessels, promotes healing, supports immunity, helps prevent atherosclerosis, and works as an antioxidant.

  1. Thiamine (Vitamin B1)

Vitamin B1 plays a significant role in helping to maintain a healthy metabolism. Vitamin B1 also aids digestion, appetite and nerve function.

  1. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Vitamin B2 is important for energy metabolism. Vitamin B2 also assists adrenal function, while supporting vision and maintaining healthy skin.

  1. Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Essential vitamin B3 metabolizes energy and promotes healthy and normal growth. Niacin is also known to lower cholesterol.

  1. Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

Vitamin B5 is available in most foodstuffs. Pantothenic acid promotes better energy metabolism and improves blood sugar levels.

  1. Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)

Essential for good health, vitamin B6 promotes protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also improves nerve function and red blood cell health.

  1. Biotin (Vitamin B7)

Biotin is another lesser known essential vitamin that plays an important role in promoting and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

  1. Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Folic acid is especially important for pregnant women. Folic acid (vitamin B9) helps make red blood cells, DNA and RNA. It is also known to help prevent birth defects.

  1. Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)

Vitamin B12 is essential for making red blood cells, DNA and RNA. It also improves the function of nerve fibres.

Every vitamin has specific purposes and functions for promoting better health. Vitamins are genuine miracle foods designed to be appropriately absorbed for optimum effect. The benefits of every vitamin could be expanded upon, and here are a few important examples.

Vitamin D is fat-soluble and an important vitamin for bone health. People often note reduced depressive symptoms and improved strength when regularly taking vitamin D. Skin produces vitamin D when exposed to the sunlight, and limited sunlight can cause a vitamin D deficiency. If you don't have a lot of outdoor time in the sun, and you rarely eat fatty fish, vitamin D supplements will go a long way toward establishing better health and vitality. There are other reasons for a vitamin D deficiency also, and people most at risk of suffering from a vitamin D deficiency include:

  • People with dark skin, along with their breast-fed babies
  • Veiled women who see less sunlight, along with their breast-fed babies
  • Those who suffer from certain serious and prevailing diseases or illnesses
  • People who always wear protective clothing and use sunscreen
  • Youngsters with low calcium intake who are growing rapidly

Vitamin D deficiency in winter is more common, although a healthy person will store vitamin D for use during the winter months.

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that the body doesn't produce by itself. Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables, and vitamin C supplements meet the needs of many people wanting improved vitamin C uptake and associated health benefits. Here are some amazing health benefits of vitamin C.

  • Is known to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that will strengthen your body's natural defences.
  • Can help manage high blood pressure. Vitamin C is known to relax blood vessels for improved heart function and lower blood pressure.
  • May lower the risk of heart disease. Vitamin C in the form of healthy foods and as vitamin supplements are linked to lower rates of heart disease.
  • Is known to reduce blood uric acid levels. Vitamin C can help relieve the symptoms of gout caused by a build-up of uric acid.
  • Helps prevent iron deficiency. Vitamin C supplements assist other body needs, such as the absorption of iron from your diet.
  • Boosts immunity. Vitamin C is involved in many immune system functions that help to protect the body against infection.
  • Improves memory. Low levels of vitamin C have been linked to an impaired cognition and memory. Vitamin C supplements are known to improve brain health.

Vitamin B12 has many roles in a person's body. For starters, vitamin B12 encourages red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis and normal nerve cell function. Vitamin B12 can boost your energy, improve memory, help prevent heart disease and more. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, making B12 vitamin supplements ideal for vegans and other vegetarians. Advantages include:

  • Helps with red blood cell formation and prevents anemia
  • May prevent birth defects
  • Supports bone health and prevents osteoporosis
  • Can reduce the risk of macular degeneration
  • May improve mood and reduce depressive symptoms
  • Can give you a much needed energy boost
  • Supports healthy hair, skin and nails

If your body lacks adequate amounts of vitamin B12, or your body is unable to absorb it, consider Amcal vitamin B12 supplements to give yourself the healthy boost you deserve.

Vitamins provide the essential nutrients your body needs. If your needs are not being met by your diet, speak to your Amcal pharmacist to discuss ways to improve your health. The role of vitamin supplements is to support appropriate vitamin levels, and vitamin dietary supplements will help your body adjust to a healthier balance.

A wide range of vitamins are absorbed through regular foodstuffs such as citrus fruits, avocado, kale, dairy products, whole grains, egg yolks, fatty fish, lentils, brown rice, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables and more. However, everyone follows a different diet these days, including family members, making an individual and targeted approach necessary to ensure everyone is enjoying a healthy diet. Shop for vitamin supplements at Amcal, and purchase with confidence.

Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients that perform hundreds of roles for keeping the body healthy. Vitamins are important for many daily bodily functions including cell production, growth, and energy processing. Essential vitamins are divided into two groups: fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamins are team players that help other nutrients function better, such as the absorption of iron with vitamin C.

Everyone needs vitamins, and if you have a vitamin deficiency, you may need to take vitamin supplements. Australia is a healthy country but not everyone lives a healthy lifestyle, and there are times when vitamin supplements can provide the essential nutrients required for improved all-round health. Speak to your local Amcal chemist regarding water-soluble vitamins, fat soluble vitamins, B12 supplements and multivitamins to promote strong bones, encourage weight loss, improve red blood cell count, and support the immune system.

Water soluble vitamins are found in the watery portion of foodstuffs. Water soluble vitamins are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, and because the human body is made primarily of water, these vitamins can circulate easily. Water soluble vitamins are regulated by the kidneys, and include:

  • Biotin (Vitamin B7)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C

Contrary to popular belief, some water-soluble vitamins stay in the body for a long time. However, most water-soluble vitamins should be replenished every few days. Water soluble vitamins perform many tasks in the body, such as freeing up energy in the food you eat and keeping tissues healthy. Water soluble vitamins from Amcal help in lots of ways.

Release energy: B vitamins are key components of co-enzymes that release energy from food.

Produce energy: energy is stimulated by thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin and pantothenic acid.

Protein and cell building: vitamins metabolize amino acids and help cells multiply.

Making collagen: vitamin C makes collagen that heals wounds and supports blood vessels.

Fat soluble vitamins enter the blood via lymph channels, distinguishing them from water soluble vitamins that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Fat soluble vitamins are released into the bloodstream from the liver when the body needs to tap into reserves. Fat soluble vitamins can be compared to time-release micro-nutrients. Examples include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Here are some roles fat soluble vitamins play.

Build strong bones: bone formation is possible due to vitamins A, D, and K.

Protecting vision: vitamin A is known to protect vision and keep cells healthy.

Interaction: vitamin E, for example, makes it much easier for your body to store vitamin A.

Protect your body: vitamin E protects your body against the influence of unstable molecules.

Overuse of vitamin supplements can lead to toxic vitamin levels. Always follow vitamin supplement directions for safe and healthy use. Amcal partners with world-leading brands to ensure safe and healthy vitamin supplement products that you can trust, for the lowest available price. Vitamin supplements should not be used as an alternative to medicine, so speak to a health professional if you are unwell and symptoms persist for more than a few days.

There are close to 400 products in the Amcal vitamins category. Finding vitamins and supplements that are right for you is made easy with handy online search tools to refine your selections. Make choices according to category, brand, product type, person (age) and treatment type.

Category: choices include vitamins, multivitamins, supplements, minerals and probiotics.

Brand: Amcal trusted partners include Swisse, Pharmacy Care, Nutra-Life, Ostelin and Go Healthy.

Product Type: options include supplements, fibre tablets, iron tablets, glucosamine and extracts.

Person: Amcal products are personalised for adults, children, infants, men, women and teenagers.

Treatment: vitamins can help combat the flu, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and more.

Amcal is the online vitamin store Australians trust. Amcal Chemists are located in all major Australian cities and regional centres, so there is bound to be an Amcal Chemist near you. We have been the favourite pharmacy name for generations for all the right reasons, including an unbeatable range of vitamins and supplements at prices regular Australians can afford.

We make shopping easy at Amcal. Simply add products to your virtual shopping cart and proceed to checkout for convenient payment and delivery to your door. All orders over $89 (including GST) are shipped free of charge, and we offer a comprehensive returns policy to ensure you are 100% satisfied with your purchase. In addition, At Amcal you are served by a highly professional team of caring pharmacists and product experts who can assist with your vitamin choices.

All Amcal vitamin brands are pharmacy-recommended. Our vitamin products are manufactured by leading brands with a proven track record. Individual preference is important, so Amcal stocks an extensive range of vitamin supplements and essential nutrients for everyday or occasional use. Amcal brands include Centrum, Cornvita, Flordis and OstedVit-D, to name a few.

If you are unsure where to begin with vitamins, visit your local Amcal Chemist and speak to a pharmacist. Vitamins play an important role in overall health and well-being, and Amcal is here to help you make the transition to a healthier and happier you.