Vitamins

Vitamins

Vitamins are organic compounds (have carbon atom) and are essential micronutrients that are needed in small amount to sustain life. It is important to normal metabolism and certain medical conditions can result in the deficiency of any kind of vitamin. Most of the vitamins obtain from food because the human body either does not synthesize at all or not in adequate amount. 

The requirement of the vitamins depends upon the organism because some organism synthesized a vitamin which other cannot. For example, human needs to take vitamin C while dog can produce sufficient amount of vitamin C for their own needs. 

Vitamin D is not present in sufficient amount in food. The human body synthesized a sufficient amount of Vitamin D by exposure to sunlight. 

The 13 different vitamins are required for normal human metabolism are classified into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.

Fat-soluble vitamins
Liver and fatty tissue are used to stored fat-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A, D, E and F. 

Water-soluble vitamins
The water-soluble vitamins are excreted in urine and cannot stored in the body. The water soluble vitamins are all form of vitamin B and vitamin C.

Here, I am going to discuss different types of vitamins, their daily intake, good food sources and disorders causes by their deficiency.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is fat soluble including retinol, retinal, retinyl esters, retinoic acid and beta carotene. 

Important functions

It is important for the proper function of immune system, keep skin healthy and helping vision in dim light.

Deficiency

Vitamin A deficiency leads to keratomalacia, eye problem like dry cornea and night-blindness.

Recommended daily intake

Daily recommendation of vitamin A for (age 19 – 70) male is 900 μg and female 700 μg.

Food sources

Good food sources of vitamin A are: beef liver, fish, eggs, milk, soy milk, butter, cheese, leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, carrots, pumpkins, orange and yellow fruit (apricots, mango and papaya). 

Vitamin B1

Vitamin Bis water soluble and chemically known as thiamin. 

Important functions

The important function of the vitamin Bin the body is release energy from the food. It required for the healthy nervous system, healthy hair, nail, brain and skin. 

Deficiency

The disorder causes by deficiency of vitamin Bare beriberi and Wernicke-korsakoff syndrome.

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin Bfor (age 19 – 70) male is 1.2 mg and for female is 1.1 mg.

Food sources

Good food sources for vitamin Bare yeast, brown rice, cereal grains, whole-grain rye, liver, egg, oranges, watermelon, kale, potatoes, cauliflowers and asparagus. 

Vitamin B2

Vitamin Bis water soluble vitamin which is chemically known as Riboflavin.

Important functions

Vitamin Bplay an important role in releasing energy from food and in keeping healthy nervous system, skin and eyes. 

Deficiency 

Ariboflavinosis, angular stomatitis and glossitis are disorders which occurs due to the deficiency of vitamin B2.

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin Bfor (age 19 – 70) male is 1.3 mg and for female is 1.1 mg.

Food sources

Good food sources for vitamin Bare fish, meat, cheese, milk, yogurt, whole and enriched grain, cereal, green leafy vegetables and bananas. 

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is a water soluble and known as niacin.

Important functions

Its play an important part in healthy skin, brain, blood cells and nervous system. In the body it is important for the proper function of more than 200 enzyme. Vitamin Bis the combination of nicotinamide and nicotinic acid. When these chemical break down it produces NAD and NADP. These two chemicals play a key role in a variety of reaction and support cell metabolism. 

Deficiency

The deficiency of vitamin Bcauses a disorder known as pellagra. Pellagra can affect digestive system, nervous system, skin and mucous membrane. 

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin B3 for (age 19 – 70) male is 16 mg and for female is 14 mg.

Food sources

Good food sources of vitamin Bincluded; poultry, meat, fish, butter, milk, leaf vegetables, mushrooms, potatoes, tree nuts and eggs.

Vitamin B

Vitamin Bis another water-soluble vitamin and chemically known as pantothenic acid. 

Important functions

The body required vitamin Bfor converting food into energy and to synthesize lipids (fats), neurotransmitters, steroid hormones and hemoglobin. 

Deficiency 

The vitamin Bdeficiency may leads to paraesthesia (an abnormal sensation, typically ‘pins and needles`) 

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin Bfor (age 19 – 70) male is 5 mg and for female is 5 mg.

Food sources

Good food sources of vitamin Bincluded; chicken, eggs yolk, broccoli, mushrooms, avocado, whole grains and tomato products.

Vitamin B6 

The chemical names for vitamin Bare pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxine and this vitamin is also water-soluble.

Important functions

The important function of this vitamin is lowering the level of homocysteine and may lower the risk of heart diseases. It plays an important role to convert tryptophan to niacin and in producing neurotransmitter serotonin (plays key roles in sleep, mood and appetite). It helps red blood cells production and effects immune function and cognitive abilities. 

Deficiency

The vitamin B6 deficiency may leads to peripheral neuropathy and anaemia. 

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin Bfor (age 19 – 70) male is 1.3 – 1.7 mg and for female is 1.2 – 1.5 mg.

Food sources

Good food sources of vitamin Bincluded; beef liver, tuna fish, chicken, tofu, chick peas, whole grains, fruits such as watermelons and bananas, vegetables and tree nuts.

Vitamin B7

It a water-soluble vitamin and known as biotin or vitamin H.

Important function

This vitamin involved in the metabolism of fatty acids, leucine and gluconeogenesis (synthesize of glucose from amino and fatty acids).

Deficiency

The disease which may occurs due to deficiency of vitamin Bare; dermatitis or enteritis. 

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin B7 for (age 19 – 70) male is 30 μg and for female is 30 μg

Food sources

Human body cannot synthesize biotin but the bacteria which is naturally live in our bowel are able to synthesize biotin. Other good source of biotin are egg yolk, liver, peanuts, leafy green vegetables, sunflowers and peanuts.

Vitamin B9

It is also known as folate or folic acid. As it belongs to the group of vitamin B, so it is also water soluble.

Important functions

It is an important part in nuclei acid synthesis.  It is important for new red blood cells production, helps in preventing hair loss and preserving brain and spin health in infants. 

Deficiency 

The disease related to deficiency of vitamin Bis megaloblastic anaemia and congenital deformities (birth defects).

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin Bfor (age 19 – 70) male is 400 μg and for female is 400 μg.

Food sources

Rich food sources are; liver, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, peas, brussels sprouts, fortified grains products, sunflowers seeds, asparagus, legumes (like black-eyed peas and chickpeas) and orange juice. 

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is water-soluble member of the vitamin B family and chemically known as cobalamin, cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, methyl-cobalamin and adenosyl-cobalamin.

Important functions

This vitamin plays a key role in neural metabolism, DNA and RNA production, hematopoiesis and fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. 

Deficiency

The deficiency of vitamin B12 causes pernicious anemia.

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin B12 for (age 19 – 70) male is 2.4 μg and for female is 2.4 μg.

Food sources

Good food sources of vitamin B12 are poultry, eggs, meat, fish (especially haddock and tuna), fortified cereals, soy products, milk and dairy products.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and water-soluble.

Important functions

It is important for healthy skin, blood vessels, cartilage and bone vessels. it is playing a key role in wound healing and helping to protect cells and keeps them healthy. 

Deficiency

The deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin C for (age 19 – 70) male is 90 mg and for female is 75 mg.

Food sources

Good food sources of vitamin C are oranges, strawberries, blackcurrants, red and green peppers, potatoes, brussels and broccoli. The highest content of vitamin c in all foods are Kakadu palm and camu camu fruits.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and chemically known as ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol.

Important functions 

It is important for healthy bones and teeth and give protection to body against certain condition such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and cancer. It is also important in supporting cardiovascular health and lung function. It plays a key role in regulating insulin level.

Deficiency

The disorders such as rickets (childhood bone condition in which bones become soften and prone to breaks and deformity)and osteomalacia (softening of bones). 

The long-term deficiency of vitamin D can result in hypertension, obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis. 

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin D for (age 19 – 70) male is 15 μg and for female is 15 μg.

Food sources

The body synthesized their own vitamin D by exposure to sunlight. But the fish oil and fatty fish are the richest sources of vitamin D. Other good food sources of vitamin D are eggs, mushrooms, beef liver and fortified milk.

Vitamin E

It belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins and known as tocopherols, tocotrienols.

Important functions

Vitamin E play a key role in neutralizing unstable substances which can damage cells and also acts as an antioxidant. It also important role in protecting vitamin A and lipids from damage. Vitamin E rich food may prevent Alzheimer´s disease. 

Deficiency

The deficiency of vitamin E is rare but may trigger hemolytic anemia (a disorder in which blood cells are breakdown and removed from blood stream to early) in newborn infants. 

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin E for (age 19 – 70) male is 15 mg and for female is 15 mg.

Food sources

Richest sources of vitamin E included a variety of food such as Avocado, kiwi, almonds, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, wheat germs, milk, eggs, nut and unheated vegetable oil.

Vitamin K

It is another fat-soluble vitamin and chemical names for vitamin E are phylloquinone and menaquinones. 

Important functions

Human body vitamin K is important for regulating blood calcium level, blood clotting and bone metabolism. 

Deficiency

The deficiency of vitamin K is rare but sever deficiency may cause to clotting diathesis (unusual bleeding).

Recommended daily intake

The daily recommendation of vitamin K for (age 19 – 70) male is 110 μg and for female is 120 μg.

Food sources

Milk, egg yolk, kiwi, liver and leafy green vegetables are the richest sources of vitamin K.