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100 years of vitamins

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PETER ENGEL

DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd.

Member of AgroFOOD industry hi-tech’s Scientific Advisory Board

Vitamins are important! You probably remember your mother’s orders: Don’t forget to take your vitamins! We’ve all heard similar things but we seldom ask ourselves: What exactly are vitamins and why are they so important?
Vitamins are essential organic compounds that the body cannot produce itself and must therefore be obtained through dietary means (exceptions: niacin and vitamin D). There are a total of 13 vitamins vital for many bodily functions, such as the formation of cells and bones and the strengthening of the immune system. Vitamins are designated both by their chemical structure and a letter in combination with a number. Alphabetical gaps have arisen because not all the substances which were originally identified turned out to be single vitamins.
Vitamins were discovered at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, European rice hulling machines were brought to Asia to process rice. However, the hulling process stripped the rice of its vital nutritional elements. As a consequence, new health problems began emerging in the people and animals who relied upon the rice as a staple food. Typically, the symptoms included lower ener ...



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