Dr. Param Jit Singh


Let's answer the age-old dilemma today - what is a Vitamin and what is a Hormone?

Hormones are produced by the body.

Hormones are produced by the body and you only have to take these as medication if your body in not producing enough for your needs. All hormones can be underproduced or overproduced by your body causing different diseases.

Your thyroid gland produces Thyroxin and if it does not produce enough you suffer from Hypothyroidism and need to take some Thyroxin as medicine for your body to work properly

If your thyroid gland produces too much Thyroxin you have symptoms of Hyperthyroidism and would be given some medication to stop it producing too much so that you are not ill.

Other hormone producing glands, as shown in the list below, each produces a different hormone, and each has a different action in the body to keep you healthy and disease free.

  • Adrenals
  • Hypothalamus
  • Thyroid
  • Pineal body
  • Parathyroids
  • Pituitary
  • Ovaries
  • Testes

Vitamins are not produced by the body.

Vitamins are not produced by the body and needs to be taken by mouth. Luckily for us nature handily packs food with mixtures of different vitamins to support a healthy life. Eating a variety of different foods helps the body get everything it needs from our diet. If you are lacking a good diet you can take these as supplements.

One of the questions often asked is why vitamin D is called a vitamin when our body can produce it through sun light.

As vitamin D can be synthesised in adequate amounts by most mammals if exposed to sufficient sunlight, it is not essential, so technically is not a vitamin.

Whilst we’re talking about vitamins which must come from our diet there are a few other things which must also come from our diet that are not produced by the body. These are known as essential as we need these to stay healthy and they must come from our diet.

Essential Amino Acids

Essential Amino Acids cannot be made by the body. Amino acids help make proteins which are required by the body. Because our body cannot make these, and these have to come from our diet they are called essential amino acids. There are 9 essential amino acids.

Essential Minerals

Essential Minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, and many more must also come from our diet to keep us healthy.

Trace Elements

Trace Elements such as iodine, copper, nickel and selenium are essential too, but these are required in very small amounts hence why they are called trace elements.

Essential Fatty Acids

Fatty Acids are again required to stay healthy, but our body cannot make two of these; alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) required for well functioning of the body and needs to come from our food and consequently are called Essential Fatty Acids.

So now you know - Why a good, nutritious, varied diet is required to stay fit and healthy.

About the Author: Dr. Param Jit Singh

"I am a retired medical doctor who worked as a General Practitioner in England for over 40 years. My practise has always been to pass on the best advice to my patients that will improve their wellbeing, often in a written format so they can keep and refer back to it.

Sometimes this advice is based on previous medical experiences but it can also come from medical books, current government approved medical guidelines and protocols or as advice articulated by other doctors.

I do not claim that every line of this article is my original work but it is put together here by me in this format so that it is concise, easier to understand and follow and can help you improve your knowledge and wellbeing too."

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