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What Is an Antivitamin?

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  • Written By: Paul Cartmell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2016
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An antivitamin is a substance that reduces or halts completely the positive effects of vitamins on the human body. Medicines and drugs are a common group of vitamin inhibitors, as are stresses placed on the human body in everyday life. Different substances and stresses reduce the effect of specific vitamins, causing problems in the human body. Antivitamins, also known as vitamin antagonists, can also result in the loss of minerals required for good health such as calcium and potassium.

Vitamins are important to the human body because they have a positive effect when consumed in the correct amounts. Numerous vitamins can be consumed and have different effects on the body, including vitamin D that is important for the health of bones and vitamin C that promotes healing within human beings. Multivitamins are often consumed to ensure that the human body maintains the required level of vitamins to maintain good health.

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Consumption of drugs, including antibiotics, can reduce the absorption of vitamins into the human body. When taken, the body tries to get rid of the ingredients as quickly as possible in an attempt to reduce damage caused to the cells and tissues. Attempts to expel the drugs from the body result in the acceleration of the absorption process, causing less vitamins to be taken into the body. Examples include antibiotics, which act as an antivitamin for vitamin K and vitamin B6, and weight loss drugs, which result in the loss of high levels of vitamins B and C.

Stresses that can have a negative effect on vitamin absorption include the exposure of the human body to extreme temperatures of hot and cold. Other stresses that can act as antivitamins can be problems and injuries facing the human body, such as surgeries completed for medical and cosmetic reasons, and accidents that cause damage. Pollutants found in the soil, air, and water, including fertilizers, can also act as an antivitamin that has a negative effect on the human body.

Laxatives can also act as an antivitamin by increasing the speed at which vitamins in both supplements and fresh food form. Mineral oil is one of the most common forms of laxative and acts as a natural absorber of vitamin A and carotene, as well as small amounts of vitamins D, E, and K. Minerals are also absorbed by mineral oil-based laxatives including phosphorous and calcium.

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