Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are substances the body needs for normal growth and functioning. Vitamins and minerals facilitate crucial chemical reactions and act as building blocks for the body.
Vitamins and minerals are called “micronutrients” to distinguish them from the macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that make up the bulk of our food. While micronutrients are vital for the proper processing of macronutrients, they are needed in smaller quantities.
Micronutrient deficiency can lead to acute diseases like scurvy, pellagra, and beriberi, and these deficiency diseases were common in the U.S. until the 1940s, when the FDA began mandating fortification of common foods like bread and milk with vitamins.