Vitamins are needed for the normal growth, function, and health of our bodies. People with CF need extra vitamins for good health.
Vitamin A has many roles in health: normal vision, bone and tooth formation, cell function, and immunity. Vitamin A also works to help fight infections and to keep the intestines healthy.
Vitamin D helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Without enough vitamin D, bones can become thin and brittle. People with CF are at risk for bone problems. So, it is important to get the right amounts of vitamin D every day.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means that it protects compounds in the body from combining with oxygen. When compounds become oxidized, they become harmful to the body. Vitamin E helps to keep red blood cells healthy. It also helps to fight infection and maintain the health of the intestines.
Vitamin K is best known for its role in helping blood clot. It also helps to keep bones healthy.
Calcium is an essential element that helps to build strong bones and teeth, as well as maintain nerves and muscles, and is found in dairy products and some green vegetables. Calcium supplements are available.
Iron is another essential element, which means that the body cannot make it on its own, and is responsible in blood cells for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body.
Sodium chloride is also called salt. They are minerals which play an important role in maintaining fluid balance in the body. Because people with CF lose more salt in their sweat than those who don’t have CF, they must eat more salty foods, especially during hot, humid weather.
Zinc has many important functions in the body every day, from growth and healing to taste and appetite.
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