Discussions on "Vitamins" in "Healthy and Nutritive Foods" forum.
6th Feb 2012, 12:21 PM #1
Vitamins are natural substances found in plants and animals and known as Essential nutrients for human beings. The name vitamin is obtained from "vital amines" as it was originally thought that these substances were all amines. Human body uses these substances to stay healthy and support its many functions. There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble.
The body needs vitamins to stay healthy and a varied diet usually gives you all the vitamins you need. Vitamins do not provide energy (calories) directly, but they do help regulate energy-producing processes. With the exception of vitamin D and K, vitamins cannot be synthesized by the human body and must be obtained from the diet. Vitamins have to come from food because they are not manufactured or formed by the body.
There are 13 essential vitamins and each one has a special role to play within the body, helping to regulate the processes such as cell growth and repair, reproduction and digestion. Vitamin B-6, Niacin, Natural Vitamin E and Zinc: Support sexual function in men.
There are several roles for vitamins and trace minerals in diseases:
- Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals may be caused by disease states such as mal absorption;
- Deficiency and excess of vitamins and minerals can cause disease in and of themselves (e.g., vitamin A intoxication and liver disease);
- Vitamins and minerals in high doses may be used as drugs (e.g., niacin for hypercholesterolemia).
Vitamins are essential for the normal growth and development of a multi-cellular organism. The developing fetus requires certain vitamins and minerals to be present at certain times. If there is serious deficiency in one or more of these nutrients, a child may develop a deficiency disease. Deficiencies of vitamins are classified as either primary or secondary.
- Primary Deficiency: A primary deficiency occurs when you do not get enough of the vitamin in the food you eat.
- Secondary Deficiency: A secondary deficiency may be due to an underlying disorder that prevents or limits the absorption or use of the vitamin.
6th Feb 2012, 12:22 PM #2
Types of Vitamins
Vitamins, one of the most essential nutrients required by the body and can be broadly classified into two main categories i.e., water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body, so you need to get them from food every day. They can be destroyed by overcooking. These are easily absorbed by the body. Human body doesn't store large amounts of water-soluble vitamins. B-complex vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble vitamins that are not stored in the body and must be replaced each day. These vitamins are easily destroyed or washed out during food storage and preparation. They are eliminated in urine so, body need a continuous supply of them in diets.
Proper storage and preparation of food can minimize vitamin loss. To reduce vitamin loss, refrigerate fresh produce, keep milk and grains away from strong light, and use the cooking water from vegetables to prepare soups. An excess of water soluble vitamins should not result in any side effects as they will disperse in the body fluids and voided in the urine.
Nine of the water-soluble vitamins are known as the B-complex group: Thiamin (vitamin B1), Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Pantothenic acid and Vitamin C. These vitamins are widely distributed in foods.
Major food sources of Water-Soluble Vitamins Grains Fruits Vegetables Meats, Eggs Legumes, Nuts, Seeds Milk, Dairy Thiamin X X X Riboflavin X X Niacin X X X Biotin X X X Pyridoxine X X X Pantothenic acid X X X X X X Vitamin B12 X X Folate X X Vitamin C X X
The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K - since they are soluble in fat and are absorbed by the body from the intestinal tract. The human body has to use bile acids to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Once these vitamins are absorbed, the body stores them in body fat. When you need them, your body takes them out of storage to be used. Eating fats or oils that are not digested can cause shortages of fat-soluble vitamins.
Fat soluble vitamins should not be consumed in excess as they are stored in the body and an excess can result in side effects. An excess of vitamin A may result in irritability, weight loss, dry itchy skin in children and nausea, headache, diarrhea in adults.
6th Feb 2012, 12:22 PM #3
Characteristics of the vitamins are:
- Most of the vitamins have been artificially synthesized.
- Some of vitamins are soluble in water and others are fat-soluble.
- Some vitamins are synthesized in the body. Some members of vitamin B complex are synthesized by microorganisms in the intestinal tract.
- Vitamins are partly destroyed and are partly excreted.
- Vitamins can be stored in the body to some extent, for example the fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and subcutaneous tissue.
- Vitamins can perform their work in very small quantities. Hence, the total daily requirement is usually very small.
6th Feb 2012, 12:23 PM #4
Why We Need Vitamins?
Have you ever tried to find out the root cause of problems instead of running to a doctor every time you suffer? If No, then you must know that you are running through vitamin deficiency problem. So as you know that prevention is better than cure, it's better to intake proper vitamins in right time to check the problem from growing gruesome.
First of all vitamin is that component of a balanced diet which the human body generally cannot manufacture on its own. So you must consume vitamin directly in the form of food or through supplements as tonic or pills. The whole process of assimilation of vitamins depends on ingestion of food. Once you have it as a part of your meal, say for tomatoes, lemon, spinach and other stuffs, it is more helpful. Moreover you don't feel that you are a patient and need to have medicines for cure. But if the deficit of a particular vitamin is high, then supplementary dose of vitamins have to be given to the body for a particular period. The body's metabolism is also dependent on vitamins as on carbohydrates, fats, minerals and other basic components of a complete diet. But before adding the vitamin list to our routine diet, let's understand the importance of vitamins in life.
- Vitamin A is referred to be a vitamin for growth and body repair. It is very vital in the formation of bone and tissues and also keeps your skin smooth. And if you are night blind, the cure is having more Vitamins A.
- Vitamin B1 is an energy building vitamin which helps you to digest carbohydrates. It also keeps your heart and muscles stable.
- Vitamin C is a very commonly pronounced vitamin world wide. From kids to veterans, this vitamin is very essential as it protects your bones, teeth and gums. The ultimate medicine for curing scurvy and also resists any infection to grow in your body. Without its support collagen cannot be synthesized in the body.
- Vitamin D is very important for children. The common disease seen in kids suffering from malnutrition is Rickets, which is actually caused by the deficit of Vitamin D. Bones cannot grow in a normal way if there is a lack of this vitamin. Direct sunlight is a natural source of vitamins apart from spinach and vegetables. In adults, Osteoporosis is caused due to lack of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin E is a wound treating vitamin. It is very mush essential to prevent sterility and to break up blood clots. Damage of cells due to aging can be protected to supplement of this vitamin.
- Vitamin B6 is necessary for production of antibodies
- Vitamin B12 is required for carbohydrate and fat metabolism. This is a must for children's growth.
- Vitamin B2 and Folic Acid help in the formation of red blood cells.
Always remember that vitamins are not food but should be a part of your food.
For a better knowledge and for maintaining a balanced diet of your family, consult a doctor.
6th Feb 2012, 12:23 PM #5
- A lot of the vitamins in fruits and vegetables are lost between the farm and your plate. The longer the foods are stored before you eat them, the more nutrients are lost. Heat, light, and exposure to air all reduce the amount of vitamins, especially Vitamin C, thiamin, and folic acid.
- About 25% of US households do not have balanced meals to meet the requirements that the body needs in digesting enough nutrients to sustain the body's health and fuel factors.
- Research has shown that almost all varieties of disease can be produced by the deficiency of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients. Vitamins are vital for your skin. The most important factor of nutritional deficiencies is the intense processing and refining of foods like cereals and sugar.
- The human body uses food to manufacture all its building blocks as well as to provide fuel. To do this, it performs several thousand different chemical reactions. Each reaction is controlled by "enzymes" and "coenzymes". Some of the coenzymes contain vitamins which the body cannot make by itself and which must be obtained from outside the body.