The list of vitamins and minerals below can give you an understanding of how particular vitamins and minerals work in your body, how much of each nutrient you need every day, and what types of food to eat to ensure that you are getting an adequate supply. The recommendations in this vitamins chart are based largely on guidelines from the Institute of Medicine. Recommended amounts may be expressed in milligrams (mg), micrograms (mcg), or international units (IU), depending on the nutrient. Unless specified, values represent those for adults ages 19 and older.
Some endocrine glands are controlled by a simple negative feedback mechanism. For example, negative feedback signaling mechanisms in the parathyroid glands (located in the neck) rely on the binding activity of calcium-sensitive receptors that are located on the surface of parathyroid cells. Decreased serum calcium concentrations result in decreased calcium receptor binding activity that stimulates the secretion of parathormone from the parathyroid glands. The increased serum concentration of parathormone stimulates bone resorption (breakdown) to release calcium into the blood and reabsorption of calcium in the kidney to retain calcium in the blood, thereby restoring serum calcium concentrations to normal levels. In contrast, increased serum calcium concentrations result in increased calcium receptor-binding activity and inhibition of parathormone secretion by the parathyroid glands. This allows serum calcium concentrations to decrease to normal levels. Therefore, in people with normal parathyroid glands, serum calcium concentrations are maintained within a very narrow range even in the presence of large changes in calcium intake or excessive losses of calcium from the body.