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What is the difference between vitamins and minerals?

Dariush Mozaffarian, MD
Internal Medicine
Vitamins and minerals differ in basic ways. Vitamins are organic and can be broken down by heat, air, or acid. Minerals are inorganic and hold on to their chemical structure. That means the minerals in soil and water easily find their way into your body through the plants, fish, animals, and fluids you consume. But it's tougher to shuttle vitamins from food and other sources into your body because cooking, storage, and simple exposure to air can inactivate these more fragile compounds.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.