Generally people think that vitamins can replace food but is it right? If you talk to expert they will always say “vitamins can never replace food, in fact the body cannot assimilate vitamins if we do not eat food.”
Generally people think that vitamins can replace food but is it right? If you talk to expert they will always say “vitamins can never replace food, in fact the body cannot assimilate vitamins if we do not eat food.” Vitamins are not source of energy actually they act as regulators of metabolic processes and play an important role in energy transformation.
Vitamins have specific role to play in the natural wear and tear of the body. Vitamins are generally classified in two type fat soluble and water soluble. These have specific characteristics. Fat soluble vitamins (vitamin A,D,E and K) can remain in body for up to six months and transported in body with help of special carriers, because they are stored in liver and fat tissue. Water soluble vitamins (vitamin B and C) travel through the blood stream and need to be replenished every day. This article describes the importance of different vitamins.
Vitamin A (Retinol-Carotene):
It’s a fat soluble vitamin which is required for natural growth and development of body. Vitamin A belongs to the carotenoids class of pigments which gives the red, yellow and orange color to many vegetables and plants. The over dose of vitamin A is highly toxic in nature. It promotes skin, hair, gums, teeth and bone growth along with enhancing immune system. Vitamin A is also helpful in prevention of cancer.
- Deficiency cause: Night blindness, frequent colds, infection in respiratory system, skin diseases and reproductive difficulties.
- Natural Source: Carrots, sweet potatoes, green cantaloupe, fruits that are green and yellow, pumpkin, spinach kale.
Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine):
Vitamin B is important for many cellular functions such as carbohydrates metabolism, breakdown of amino acid, production of certain neurotransmitters. It is also necessary for proper function of the digestive track.
- Deficiency cause: Beriberi with fatigue, irritation, stiffness, damage to heart muscle, weakness, nerve degeneration, loss of appetite.
- Natural Source: Pork, yeast, peas, whole grains, nuts, potatoes, almost all the food contains some amount of thiamine.
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin):
Vitamin B2 is water soluble due to which there is minimal storage of it within body. Riboflavin is important in energy metabolism, folate synthesis, conversion of tryptophan to niacin and acts as an important co-enzymes involved in many reaction.
Natural source: Mushrooms, spinach, milk, egg, grains.
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine):
Vitamin B-6 is also water soluble and expelled by the body within 8 hours due to which it needs to be ingested daily. It helps in prevention of nervous and skin disorder and essential for the production of the antibodies, red blood cell, magnesium, hydrochloric acid.
- Deficiency cause: Depression, learning difficulties, anemia, hair loss, poor hearing.
- Natural Source: Bananas, potatoes, cabbage, whole grain cereals, oats etc.
This water soluble vitamin is essential for the numerous processes in body. It plays an important role in cardiovascular protection and proper functioning of nervous system. B-12 is essential for DNA synthesis and regulation and also helps in cell synthesis, cell division, energy production.
- Deficiency cause: Mood swings, neural disorder
- Natural Source: Animal products such as meat, fish, peanuts, soybeans etc.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid):
Vitamin C is very important water soluble vitamin which helps in heal wounds, burns, bleeding gums. It also helps in iron absorption and hemoglobin formation. According to NIH a normal adult male should consume 900 mg and average females need 700 mg a day. Excessive vitamin C supplements can be harmful because it can cause stones in kidneys and promote cancer.
- Deficiency cause: Scurvy, fatigue, loss of appetite, heavy bleeding, slow healing of wounds, loss of teeth and anemia.
- Natural Source: Lemon, orange, citrus fruits, green and leafy fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin K is from the group of fat soluble vitamins which are involved in process of blood clotting, bone metabolism and development. The most well-known vitamins are vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K-2 (menaquinone).
Natural Source: Vitamin K-1 is mainly found in leafy green vegetables, spinach, kale, avocado and kiwi fruit and vitamin K-2 can be found in meat, eggs, and dairy.
This one is also fat soluble vitamin and essential for normal growth and development of body. It is necessary for healthy bones, proper muscle functioning and immune function. According to NIH a normal adult should consume 600 IU of vitamin D in a day.
Deficiency cause: Rickets, porous or weak bones, pain and muscle weakness, increased risk for cardiovascular disease etc.
Natural Source: Eggs, fatty fish, milk, other dairy products, sunlight.
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