What Are Vitamins All About Nutritionally


Having a healthy body is an essential ingredient for success in life. Exercise, complete diet, and sufficient sleep are necessary to incorporate in your lifestyle to have good health. For a healthy lifestyle, Vitamins play a vital role in the nutrition of your body. So, we must know, what are Vitamins all about?









In This Article

1. What are Vitamins?

2. What are the Types of Vitamins?

3. What is a Vitamin Deficiency?

4. What Are Water-Soluble Vitamins All About

4.1 Vitamin C

4.2 Vitamin B1 / Thiamin

4.3 Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin

4.4 Vitamin B3 / Niacin

4.5 Vitamin B6

4.6 Vitamin B9 / Folic Acid

4.7 Vitamin B12 / Cobalamin

5. What Are Fat-Soluble Vitamins All About

5.1 Vitamin A

5.2 Vitamin D

5.3 Vitamin E

5.4 Vitamin K

6. Conclusion









What are Vitamins?





Vitamins are essential micronutrients that are required in small quantities by organisms to sustain life. Lack of Vitamins can hinder bodily functions and severe cases may lead to adverse conditions.









What are the Types of Vitamins?





Vitamins are of two types, one of which is water-soluble and the other is fat-soluble.





Water-soluble vitamins can easily dissolve in water, but our bodies care unable to store them. Water-soluble vitamins are Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid.

Our bodies can absorb fat-soluble vitamins by consuming fatty foods. Fatty tissues and liver can store these vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.









What is a Vitamin Deficiency?





By vitamin deficiency, we mean a lack of Vitamins which cause various malfunctions in our body. Each Vitamin has its functions to perform.

If we do not get the proper amount of Vitamins, we may have deficiency diseases. Some of the deficiency diseases may lead to adverse health conditions.









What Are Water-Soluble Vitamins All About





What Are Vitamins All About 1




Water-soluble vitamins are namely Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid.

Let us explore each vitamin one by one and learn what vitamins are all about?









What is Vitamin C all about





Sources: Vitamin C is abundant in Citrus Fruits, broccoli and Indian gooseberry among other edibles.





Daily Requirement:





Age Daily Requirement
 
Infants
0-6 months

40 mg/ day
6 mg/kg
Infants
7-12 months

50 mg/ day
6 mg/kg
Children
1-3 years

15 mg/ day
 
Children
4-8 years

25 mg/day
 
Adolescents 
9-13 years

45 mg/day
 
Boys
14-18 years

75 mg/day
 
Girls
14-18 years

65 mg/day
 
Men
19-50 years

90 g/day
 
Women
19-50 years

75 mg/day
 
Men
>51 years

90 mg/day
 
Women
>51 years

75 mg/day
 




The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK225480/

Consuming above 2000mg/day will result in the adverse effects.





 Functions: Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and protects the cell from damage caused by free radicals.





It helps in iron absorption from plant-based sources and the
formation of collagen facilitating the healing of the wound. It improves
immunity and is effective in controlling high blood pressure. It also improves
skin tone.





Deficiency and symptoms: Scurvy, gum bleeding, corkscrew-like hair, poor and red hair follicles, rough and bumpy skin, slow healing of a wound, spoon-shaped nails with lines, poor immunity, and anaemia.





Smoking and alcoholism may cause vitamin deficiency.









What is Vitamin B1 / Thiamin all about





Sources: Cereals, milk, cheese, eggs, nuts, peaches and avocado are some of the sources of Vitamin B1 found in food.





Daily Requirement:






 
Age Daily Requirement
 
Infants
0-6 months

0.2 mg/ day
0.03 mg/kg
Infants
7-12 months

0.03 mg/ day
0.03 mg/kg
Children
1-3 years

0.5 mg/ day
 
Children
4-8 years

0.6 mg/day
 
Adolescents
9-13 years

0.9 mg/day
 
Boys
14-18 years

1.2 mg/day
 
Girls
14-18 years

1.0 mg/day
 
Men
19-30 years

1.2 g/day
 
Women
19-30 years

1.1 mg/day
 
Men
31-50 years

1.2 mg/day
 
Women
31-50 years

1.1 mg/day
 
Men
>51 years

1.2 mg/day
 
Women
>51 years

1.1 mg/day
 




The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114331/





Function: Thiamin helps with glucose metabolism and facilitates neurotransmission.





Deficiency and symptoms: Wet Beriberi( fast heart rate and cardiac problems), shortness of breath, and swelling of legs. Dry Beriberi (peripheral neuritis, severe leg pain, pain in joints) and in the chronic situation, paralysis are caused by Vitamin B1 deficiency.

Also, Wernicke – Korsakofff syndrome (cerebral beriberi) caused due to deficiency, affects cerebellum causing changes in posture and balance. It can also affect the brain stem and sensory organs.





When medulla is affected, there can be, changed heart rate
and breathing.





Too much alcohol is also known to promote vitamin B1
deficiency.









What is Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin all about





Sources: Riboflavin can be found in animal liver, fish, milk, leafy vegetables, cereals and legumes.





Daily Requirement:





Age Daily Requirement
Infants
0-12 months

0.3-0.4 mg/ day
Children
1-9 years

0.5-0.6 mg/day
Adolescents 
10-18 years

0.9-1.3 mg/day
Men
19-70 years

1.1-1.3 mg/day
Women
19-70 years

0.9-1.1 mg/day




The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5015041/





Functions: The main function of vitamin B2 is metabolism.





Deficiency and symptoms: Pellagra and Beriberi are caused by Vitamin B2 deficiency. The deficiency may result in rash or redness near the lips (Cheilosis), purple or magenta colouration of the tongue(Glossitis), and vascular cornea( circum corneal vascularization).









What is Vitamin B3 / Niacin all about





Sources: Broccoli, peanuts, chicken, mushrooms, bell peppers, kidney beans, animal livers, whole wheat, unpolished rice, etc. are some of the sources of Vitamin B3.





Daily requirement:





Daily Requirement
Infants
5-6 mg/ day
Childrern
9-13 mg/day
Adults
13-20 mg/day




The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526107/





Functions: Glycolysis and fatty acid metabolism are some of the functions of Niacin.





Deficiency and Symptoms: Pellegra, dryness of skin, redness on the skin, Dermatitis ( bright red erythema in feet, hands, ankles and face increase in pigmentation around the neck, etc. are caused due to insufficient Vitamin B3 in the body.





Severe stomach pain, vomiting and nausea, poor concentration
and headache are some of the indications of Vitamin B3 deficiency.





The deficiency can be caused by poor dietary intake, eating too much corn, etc.









What is Vitamin B6 all about





Sources: Fish, leafy vegetables, cereals, legumes, meat, eggs, olive oil, and, sunflower oil are some of the sources of Vitamin B6.

Daily Requirement:





Age Daily Requirement
Infants
0–6 months

0.1(AI)
Infants
7-12 months

0.3(AI)
Children
1-3 years

0.5 mg/day
Children
4-8 years

0.6 mg/day
Children 
9-13 years

1.0 mg/day
Boys
14–18 y

1.3 mg/day
Girls
14–18 y

1.2 mg/day
Adults
19-50 years

1.3 mg/day
Men
>51 years

1.7 mg/day
Women
>51 years

1.5 mg/day




The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4288272/





Functions: The basic function promoted by Vitamin B6 is amino acid metabolism.

Deficiency: The deficiency of Vitamin B6 are anaemia and glycogenolysis. It also accompanies the deficiency of vitamin B3 as both are correlated.
Too much vitamin B6 may lead to numbness, nerve damage, muscle atrophy and muscle pain.









What is Vitamin B9 / Folic Acid all about





Sources: Green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits are the major sources of Vitamin B9





Daily Requirement:





Age Daily Requirement
Infants
0-6 months

65 µg/day(AI)
Infants
7-12 months

80 µg/day(AI)
Children
1-3 years

150 µg/day
Children
4-8 years

200 µg/day
Male & Female
9-13 years

300 µg/day
Male & Female
≥14 years

400 µg/day




The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4478945/





Function: Folic Acid helps in the Synthesis of DNA and Fetal Development.





Deficiency and Symptoms: Due to deficiency in Vitamin B9 RBC, WBC and platelet precursors are affected (anaemia), there can be reduction of WBC, Pancytopenia(lower RBC, WBC and platelets), inflammation, shortness of breath, soreness of the tongue, easy fatigability, ischemic heart disease, stroke, chest pain, slurred speech, and paralysis.





The high demand for Vitamin B9 during pregnancy, low dietary intake longer than 6 weeks, consumption of alcohol are some of the causes of deficiency.









What is Vitamin B12 / Cobalamin all about





Sources:  Vitamin B12 is found in Chlorella, liver, sardines, Clams, Eggs, Cremini Mushrooms (brown), Trout, Salmon, Tuna, etc.





Daily Requirement:





Age Daily Requirement
 
Infants
0–6 months

0.4 μg/day (AI)

≈0.05 μg/kg
Infants
7-12 months

0.5 μg/day (AI)

≈0.05 μg/kg
Children 1-3 years
0.9 μg/day

 
Children  4-8 years
1.2 μg/day

 
Adolescents 9-13 years
1.8 μg/day 

 
Adolescents 14-18 years
2.4 μg/day

 
Adults >19 years
2.4 μg/day

 




The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114302/





Function: Cobalamin promotes the production of RBC and DNA, and the proper functioning of the nervous system.





Deficiency and Symptoms: Vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to breathlessness and dizziness, blurry disturbed vision (optic neuropathy), high temperature, sensations of pins and needles, nerve damage, weakness and fatigue, pale or jaundice skin.





People having an affinity towards diabetes having metformin, strict vegan diet, people taking long-term antacid drugs for heartburn tend to have Vitamin B12 deficiency.













What Are Fat-Soluble Vitamins All About





What Are Vitamins All About -2








What is Vitamin A all about





Sources: Carrots, cheese, egg, papaya, bell peppers, fish, and pumpkin contain Vitamin A.





Age Daily Requirement
Infants 0-6 months
400 μg RAE/day 
Infants
7–12 months

500 μg RAE/day
Children 1-3 years
300 μg RAE/day
Children
4–8 years

400 μg RAE/day
Children
9–13 years

600 μg RAE/day 
Boys
14–18 years

900 μg RAE/day
Girls
14–18 years
700 μg RAE/day
Men
>19 years

900 μg RAE/day
Women
>19 years

700 μg RAE/day 




Each μg RAE ( Retinol Activity Equivalent )corresponds to 1 μg retinol, 2 μg of β-carotene in oil, 12 μg of "dietary" beta-carotene, or 24 μg of the three other dietary provitamin-A carotenoids.

The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222318/







Functions: Vitamin A helps in vision, repair and maintenance of skin, lowers heart attack, and acts as an antioxidant.





Deficiency and Symptoms: Nyctalopia ( night blindness), Xeropthalmia ( dryness of cornea), keratomalacia, and Phrynoderma (skin dryness and blemishes) are caused by the deficiency of Vitamin A.









What is Vitamin D all about





Sources: Vitamin D can be acquired by sunlight, and consuming fatty fish, egg yolks, milk, cereals, etc.





Daily Requirement:






Infants

0-12 months

10 μg /day 

Children

1–8 years

15 μg /day 

Adolescents

9-17 years

15 μg /day 

Adults

18-69 years

15 μg /day 

Adults

>70 years

20 μg /day 




The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6365669/





Functions: Vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and building strong bones.





Deficiency and Symptoms: Deficiency of Vitamin K can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer, asthma, and rickets in children. The deficiency also causes tiredness and weakness.









What is Vitamin E all about





Sources: Wheat germ oil, Sunflower seeds, almonds, nuts and seeds, leafy greens, avocado, meat milk, and butter are some of the sources of Vitamin E.





Daily Requirement:






Infants

0-6 months

 4 mg/day 

Infants

7-12 months

 5 mg/day 

Children

1–3 years

6 mg /day 

Children

4-8 years

7 mg /day 

Adolescents

9-13 years

11 μg /day 

Adolescents

14-17 years

15 μg /day 

Adults

>18 years

15 μg /day 





The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649464/





Function: Prevents blood clot, vascular functioning, prevention infection, antioxidant, storage of creatini7n skeletal muscles, slowing down ageing, improves fertility and prevents miscarriage





Deficiency and Symptoms: The deficiency of Vitamin E include hemolytic anaemia, impotency, and enlarged prostate. The deficiency can cause loss of weight and delayed growth in infants, poor feeding habits, physical and mental problems in children. It can lead to poor tendon reflex, muscle weakness, and slow growth in children. In adults, cataracts, hemolytic anaemia, fragile red blood cells, infertility, and loss of hair are some of the deficiency problems.









What is Vitamin K all about





Sources: Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, fish, meat liver, eggs, cereals, etc., and also, it is made by the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.





Daily Requirement:





Men
>18 years

65 μg /kg/day 
Women
>18 years

55 μg /kg/day 




The table is according to WHO DRI

The above table has been constructed using the information from the link below which also contains more information on the subject.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3648719/





Functions: Vitamin K helps in blood clot and maintenance of strong bones in elders.





Deficiency and Symptoms: The deficiency of Vitamin K is very rare. The deficiency may lead to Hemarthrosis, intramuscular bleeding, excessive bleeding to minor injuries, and gum bleeding.





Some of the causes for Vitamin K deficiency are chronic illness, malnutrition, alcoholism, malabsorption and long term antibiotics.









Conclusion





There are various roles played by vitamins, the deficiency
of which can have life-altering effects. But, vitamins are not always
responsible for many symptoms which might indicate the same. Individual genes
are also responsible for the manifestation of early degeneration or ageing like
the shedding of hair, anaemia, etc. So, supplements should be taken only if it
is prescribed by doctors.





It is better to derive Vitamins through whole food than to
consume in small pills.









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