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Importance of Vitamins and Its Types


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  1. #1
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    Importance of Vitamins and Its Types

    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:
    1. Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals may be caused by disease states such as mal absorption;
    2. Deficiency and excess of vitamins and minerals can cause disease in and of themselves (e.g., vitamin A intoxication and liver disease);
    3. 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.

    1. Primary Deficiency: A primary deficiency occurs when you do not get enough of the vitamin in the food you eat.
    2. Secondary Deficiency: A secondary deficiency may be due to an underlying disorder that prevents or limits the absorption or use of the vitamin.



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    Re: Importance of Vitamins and Its Types

    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

    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

    Fat-soluble vitamins

    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.

    Characteristics of the vitamins are:
    1. Most of the vitamins have been artificially synthesized.
    2. Some of vitamins are soluble in water and others are fat-soluble.
    3. Some vitamins are synthesized in the body. Some members of vitamin B complex are synthesized by microorganisms in the intestinal tract.
    4. Vitamins are partly destroyed and are partly excreted.
    5. Vitamins can be stored in the body to some extent, for example the fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and subcutaneous tissue.
    6. Vitamins can perform their work in very small quantities. Hence, the total daily requirement is usually very small.



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    Re: Importance of Vitamins and Its Types

    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.

    1. 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.
    2. Vitamin B1 is an energy building vitamin which helps you to digest carbohydrates. It also keeps your heart and muscles stable.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Vitamin B6 is necessary for production of antibodies
    7. Vitamin B12 is required for carbohydrate and fat metabolism. This is a must for children's growth.
    8. 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.



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    Re: Importance of Vitamins and Its Types

    Vitamin Facts

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.



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    Re: Types of Vitamins

    Vitamin A - Retinol, Carotene

    Vitamin A works together with vitamins D, B, E, zinc, phosphorus and calcium. It also acts as an antioxidant, which may help protect against cancer and other diseases.

    Solubility: Fat

    Functionality:
    Healthy formation of bones, teeth, skin; maintenance of outer layer of many tissues and organs; promotes growth and vitality; essential in pregnancy and lactation; necessary for night vision; good for growth and repair of body tissues; good for health of hair and eyes

    Rich Sources:
    Eggs, Dark Green & Yellow Fruits and Vegetables, Dairy Products, Liver


    Deficiency Disease:
    Night-blindness and Keratomalacia, Keratinisation of the nasal and respiratory passage epithelium

    Overdose Disease: Hypervitaminosis A

    Deficiency Symptoms: Defective Teeth and Gums, Allergies, Dry Hair, Retarded Growth, Susceptibility to Infections, Night Blindness, Eye Irritations, Sinus Trouble, Dry Skin, Loss of Smell.

    Deficiency Occurs in:
    1. People who limit their consumption of liver, dairy foods, and beta-carotene-containing vegetables can develop a vitamin A deficiency.
    2. Extremely low birth weight babies

    Recommended Daily Intakes:
    1. Men : up to 25,000 IU (7,500 mcg)
    2. Men over age 65 : 15,000 IU per day
    3. Women : less than 10,000 IU (3,000 mcg) per day



    Last edited by Nishahameetha; 9th Jul 2012 at 04:32 PM.

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    Re: Types of Vitamins

    Vitamin B-1 - Thiamine

    Assists in production of blood formation, carbohydrate metabolism, and affects energy levels in the body.

    Solubility: Water

    Functionality:
    Carbohydrate metabolism appetite regulation, important in nervous system and growth

    Rich Sources:
    Baked Potato, Beef kidney/liver, Brewer's yeast, Flour; rye and whole grain, Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), Dried Ham, Kidney beans, Dried Navy beans, Dried Orange juice, Oranges, Oysters, Peanuts, Peas, Raisins, Rice, brown and raw, Wheat germ, Whole-grain products.


    Deficiency Disease: Beriberi

    Overdose Disease: N/A

    Deficiency Symptoms:
    Symptoms include fatigue, depression, decreased mental functioning, muscle cramps, nausea, heart enlargement, and eventually beriberi. Alcoholics are at increased risk of a deficiency.

    Deficiency Occurs in:
    1. Most commonly found in alcoholics
    2. People with Malabsorption conditions
    3. Those eating a very poor diet
    4. Also common in children with congenital heart disease
    5. People with chronic fatigue syndrome
    6. Individuals undergoing regular kidney dialysis

    Recommended Daily Intakes
    1. Men : 1.2 mg
    2. Women: 1.1 mg
    3. Pregnancy: 1.4 mg
    4. Lactation: 1.5 mg



    Last edited by Nishahameetha; 9th Jul 2012 at 04:32 PM.
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    Re: Types of Vitamins

    Vitamin B-2 - Riboflavin

    Vitamin B2 is a vitamin that helps the body process amino acids and fats; activate vitamin B6 and folic acid, and helps convert carbohydrates to adenosine tri-phosphate.

    Solubility: Water

    Functionality:
    Aids in formation of red blood cells and antibodies, Essential for carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism, Promotes general health, Necessary for the maintenance of good skin, nails, hair and good vision, Maintains cells respiration

    Rich Sources:
    Dairy Products, Green Leafy Vegetables, Whole & Enriched Grains, Beef, Lamb, Eggs


    Deficiency Disease:
    Ariboflavinosis, Painful tongue and fissures to the corners of the mouth, chapped lips

    Overdose Disease: N/A

    Deficiency Symptoms:
    Symptoms include red, swollen, cracked mouth and tongue; fatigue; depression; anemia; and greasy, scaly skin. The formation of cataracts may be a result of this vitamin deficiency.

    Deficiency Occurs in:
    1. Alcoholics
    2. People with cataracts or sickle cell anemia
    3. People with chronic fatigue syndrome

    Recommended Daily Intakes:
    1. Men: 1.3 mg
    2. Women: 1.1 mg
    3. Pregnancy: 1.4 mg
    4. Lactation: 1.6 mg



    Last edited by Nishahameetha; 9th Jul 2012 at 04:32 PM.
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    Re: Types of Vitamins

    Vitamin B-5 - Pantothenic Acid

    Solubility: Water

    Functionality:
    Aids in the utilization of vitamins, Helps in cell building, Aids in, development of the central nervous system, Fights infections, Participates in release of energy from carbohydrates

    Rich Sources:
    Most plant & animal foods especially lean meats, whole grains, legumes


    Deficiency Disease: Paresthesia

    Overdose Disease: N/A

    Deficiency Symptoms:
    Symptoms include Excessive Fatigue, Sleep Disturbances, Loss of Appetite, Nausea or Dermatitis. However, These Symptoms are Rare and if they occur, they may indicate other B -Vitamin Deficiencies.

    Deficiency Occurs in:
    1. People with alcoholism but are generally believed to be rare.

    Recommended Daily Intakes:
    1. Men: 5 mg
    2. Women: 5 mg
    3. Pregnancy: 5 mg
    4. Lactation: 5 mg



    Last edited by Nishahameetha; 9th Jul 2012 at 04:32 PM.
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    Re: Types of Vitamins

    Vitamin B-3 - Niacin

    Solubility: Water

    Functionality:
    Helps Metabolize Sugar, Fat and Protein, Reduces High Blood Pressure, Improves Circulation, Reduces Cholesterol Level, Increases Energy, Helps Maintain Healthy, Digestive System

    Rich Sources:
    Meat, Fish, Whole & Enriched Grains, Beans, Nuts & Peas


    Deficiency Disease: Pellagra

    Overdose Disease: N/A

    Deficiency Symptoms:
    Symptoms include Dermatitis on the Hands and Face, Weakness, Loss of Appetite, Sore Mouth, Diarrhea, Anxiety, Depression, and Dementia.

    Deficiency Occurs in:
    1. Alcoholics
    2. People with cataracts or sickle cell anemia
    3. People with chronic fatigue syndrome

    Recommended Daily Intakes:
    1. Men: 16 mg
    2. Women: 14 mg
    3. Pregnancy: 18 mg
    4. Lactation: 17 mg




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    Re: Types of Vitamins

    Vitamin B-6 - Pyridoxine, pyridoxal phosphate

    Solubility: Water

    Functionality:
    Building blocks of protein, Necessary for synthesis and breakdown of amino acids, Promotes healthy skin, Aids in production of antibodies, Reduces muscle spasms and leg cramps, Helps maintain a proper balance of phosphorous and sodium

    Rich Sources:
    Fish, poultry, lean meat, whole grains, and potatoes


    Deficiency Disease: Anemia

    Overdose Disease: Impairment of Proprioception

    Deficiency Symptoms:
    Symptoms include Weakness, Mental Confusion, Irritability, Nervousness, Inability to sleep, Hyperactivity, Anemia, Skin lesions, Tongue Discoloration, and Kidney Stones.

    Deficiency Occurs in:
    1. Alcoholics
    2. Patients with kidney failure
    3. Women using oral contraceptives
    4. People with chronic fatigue syndrome

    Recommended Daily Intakes:
    1. Men: 1.3 mg
    2. Men (Over 50): 1.7 mg
    3. Women: 1.3 mg
    4. Women (Over 50): 1.5 mg
    5. Pregnancy: 1.9 mg
    6. Lactation: 2.0 mg



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