Supplements in the diet are considered as outside sources for the body's essential nutrients when diet is not supplying them. Many people take daily vitamins, for example, to make sure they are meeting their daily doses. However, oftentimes people take many more supplements than necessary, which can lead to certain vitamin toxicities. This article provides information on the vitamins and minerals your body needs and discusses when supplementation is really necessary.
There are two general types of vitamins in your diet: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins get stored in the fatty tissues of the body and do not need to be replaced daily. These vitamins are found in fatty foods such as meat, and since they are not excreted by the body everyday, large amounts can be harmful to the body. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Vitamin A is found in most vegetables and fruits and is important in vision, growth, cell function, and immunity. Deficiency in Vitamin A can lead to anemia, abnormalities in the senses, and spots in the eyes. Vitamin D is found in butter, eggs, milk, and fortified foods, and is also obtained from the sun. It is required for calcium to be absorbed by the body, and deficiency can lead to bone mineral loss, osteoporosis, and Rickets Disease in children. Vitamin E is from fats, meat products, and fortified foods, and is important for maintaining cell growth and preventing some diseases. Deficiency in Vitamin E presents as decreased vision, speech, and coordination. Finally, Vitamin K is found in green, leafy vegetables, and is important in blood clotting and binding calcium to the bone. Deficiency in Vitamin K is usually never seen. Although deficiencies in these vitamins can produce serious symptoms, it is quite rare to be deficient with a normal, balanced diet since the vitamins are stored in the body. Deficiencies are often seen in poorer countries where starvation is prevalent. Taking supplements of these vitamins can lead to too much vitamin in the body, which can lead to a decreased immunity and an increase in sickness. With a balanced diet of three meals a day including all the major food groups, supplementation of these vitamins is unnecessary and can be potentially harmful.
In contrast, water-soluble vitamins are excreted by the body and need to be replaced daily. These vitamins are the B Complex (riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, B6, B12, Folate) and C. The B complex vitamins are found in cereals, grains, meat and fish, and some green leafy vegetables. They are often lost during food preparation, but usually enough can be spared as an adequate daily serving. B Complex vitamins are responsible for working the nervous system, growth and disease prevention, fat and sugar use in the body, red blood cell formation, metabolism, and as an important factor in pregnancy (folate). Deficiency of these vitamins include fatigue, mood swings, anemia, burning and itchy eyes, diarrhea, skin rash, headache, and muscle weakness. Vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables and is an important anti-oxidant and lowers disease risk. Deficiency in vitamin C includes muscle weakness and fatigue, depression, and swelling. Although these vitamins are excreted daily, proper diet should provide enough vitamins for the daily recommended dose and supplementation is unnecessary. Instead, supplementation is warranted for those with poor eating habits or eating disorders, those who are pregnant, and those who may be at more of a disease risk, such as older adults and young children. Since these vitamins are excreted by the body, toxicity is rare unless taken in large doses. Put simply, if supplementation is not necessary then taking vitamins is a waste of money.
There are twenty-two minerals essential for life, and all can be provided in the diet. Some of these minerals include Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sulfur, Iron, Zinc, and Copper. Calcium is the most abundant mineral and is important in bone formation, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. It is found in milk and cereal, and a deficiency leads to osteoporosis. Calcium supplementation is important in ALL women for an increase in bone mass, as well as some children who are not taking in enough milk. Otherwise, the diet should provide enough recommended daily Calcium. Phosphorus is found in animals and plants and is important in bone and blood health. A deficiency may lead to muscle weakness, anemia, and bone pain. Iron is important in carrying oxygen from the blood to the tissues, and is essential for survival. It is found in meat, fish, nuts, and dried foods. A lack of iron can lead to anemia, fatigue, and decreased immune function, and is often found in vegetarian eaters and people with eating disorders. In these two groups, supplementation is warranted. The other minerals are also important in bone and tissue growth, energy, and immune function, and are plentiful in a balanced diet. Like vitamins, supplements of minerals are only necessary with pregnancy, eating disorders, and unbalanced eating habits.
In conclusion, vitamins and minerals are essential to the everyday function of the body, however, supplementation is often unnecessary if one is eating an adequate diets including the four basic food groups daily. Supplements should only be taken where there is a deficiency, such as in poor eating habits and eating disorders. You should always consult your physician before taking any supplement to make sure it is warranted for your body so other problems do not occur.
For any painting project, you will need paint brushes. Properly cleaning and care for your brushes is key.
Whether you are planing to paint your home, or you are working on a simple wood working project, investing in good quality brushes is important. With proper care and use, your brushes will last you a good long time and help stretch your painting dollar.
There are two characteristics of a good brush that you should be on the look out for. They include the following:
Bristle length will help determine the brush's elasticity. A test for elasticity is to hold the bristles slightly bent. They should hang together, not flair out. Compress the brush. It should feel full of bristles.
A good brush will also have split ends. The more ends that are split, the better the brush performs.
Be sure to precondition your brushes before use. Conditoning them helps them to accept paint and will insure a longer more useful life. To precondition, rub the ends of the bristles vigorously on a rough surface and then spin in your hands. Soften the brushes in linseed oil for 24 hours before first use.
If there are stray bristles, remove them with a knife or scraper.
When painting, use the dip-and-slab method. Slowly submerge the brush into the paint about a third of the length of the bristles, then slab off the excess on the side of the paint container. If you dip deeply into the bristles, paint will accumulate in the heel of the brush and shorten the life of the brush.
When finished with your brush, proper cleaning is a must. Start with turpentine, thinner or other commercial cleaner to clean away excess paint. Then use cleansing powder until the water runs clear. Wrap the brush in foil and store.
If you have a paint brush that has been neglected, there are ways to restore that brush. For paint buildup, soak in a paint remover for 10 minutes. Use a comb to remove jellied paint and then rinse with turpentine. Repeat until all the paint is out. After your brush is free of paint, clean with soap and water, straighten the bristles, wrap in foil, and store. For a brush that may have warped bristles, try a soaking in linseed oil, reshape, and store.
Using the above methods for use and cleaning of your paint brushes will greatly improve their lifespan.
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