Vitamins : What is vitamin and complete details about various types of vitamins.

Vitamins : What is vitamin and complete details about various types of vitamins.

 This article tells you everything about vitamins , types of vitamins,   importance  and sources of vitamins.
So lets we first discuss about what is vitamins ? 
Vitamins : What are vitamins and complete details about various types of vitamins.


Vitamins are essential nutrients found in foods. The requirements are small but they perform specific and vital functions essential for maintaining health.
Vitamins are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Vitamins are called micro nutrients.
 Kinds of Vitamins
• Fat soluble :-  A, D, E &K
• Water soluble B complex and C.

Fat-soluble vitamins:

 Vitamins A, D, E and K dissolve in fat before they are absorbed in the blood stream to carry out their functions. Excesses of these vitamins are stored in the liver. Because they are stored, they are not needed every day in the diet. Regular supply of these vitamins is not needed. It can be toxic if large amount ingested.

Water-soluble vitamins:

 Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are not stored; they are eliminated in urine. We need a continuous supply of them in our diets.

 They function as co-enzymes that help the body obtain energy from food. They also are important for normal appetite, good vision, healthy skin, healthy nervous system and red blood cell formation.
·        To regulate the repair of body cells to help combat the ageing process.
·        To help the process of carbohydrates and release energy in body.
·        Vitamin B1 facilitates the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-co-enzyme A (CoA) in carbohydrate breakdown.
·        Niacin and vitamin B2 regulate mitochondrial energy metabolism.
·        Vitamin B6 and B12 catalyze protein synthesis.
·        Vitamin C acts as a co -factor in enzymatic reactions, as a scavenger of free radicals in anti-oxidative processes and also provides connective tissue stability and wound healing.
·        Panthothenic acid, part of CoA, participates in the aerobic breakdown of the carbohydrate, fat and protein macro nutrients.


Thiamine (B1)
 Important in:- Producing energy from carbohydrates ,proper nerve function,  stabilizing the appetite promoting growth and good muscle tone,  ATP production.
 Sources of Vitamin B1:-
 Pork, Fish, Liver, Legumes, Nuts, Milk, Vegetables.
Deficiency:- Loss of appetite ,  Weakness & Feeling tired. , Insomnia, Loss of weight, Depression Deficiency results in Beriberi Dry (Neuritis) Wet (Heart failure with edema).
 In excess, B-1 is nontoxic even at high dosages.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamins : What are vitamins and complete details about various types of vitamins.
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Important in:-energy production,  carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism, formation of antibodies and red blood cells , cell respiration , maintenance of good vision, skin, nails, and hair.The principal growth promoting factor in the vitamin B complex.
Sources of B-2:- Large amounts in Dairy products, eggs, meats . Small amounts in leafy green  vegetables, enriched grains.
 B-2 Deficiency: – Itching and burning eyes, Cracks and sores in mouth and lips ,Dermatitis , Digestive disturbances .
 In excess B-2 is nontoxic at supplemental and dietary levels.
 Vitamin  B3( Niacinamide & Niacin)
 Important in: – energy production, maintenance of skin and tongue, improves circulation, maintenance of nervous system, health of the digestive track.
Two Types:-
Niacinamide (Nicotinamide) – does not regulate cholesterol.
Niacin (Nicotinic Acid) highly toxic in large doses.
Sources of B-3:- Liver, Lean meats, Poultry, legumes, Grains, Peanuts, yeast extract .
 B-3 Deficiency :-  Pellagra – disease caused by B-3 deficiency ,gastrointestinal disturbance, loss of appetite , headache, insomnia, mental depression , fatigue, aches, and pains,  nervousness, irritability
 In Excess -‘In doses of only 50-100 mg nicotinic acid can cause dilation of blood vessels and potentially painful tingling , diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and long term liver damage.
Nicotinamide is almost always safe to take, although a few cases of liver damage have been reported in doses of over 1000 mg/day.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid )
Important in :- Produce Acetycholin (Neurotransmitter)
 Source of B5 :- Widely distributed in foods, Meat, Fish, Poultry, Milk products, Legumes, Whole grains.
Deficiency:-  Fatigue, Sleep disturbances, Nausea, Impaired coordination, whitening of the hairs, memory problem.
 EXCESS None reported.
 Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
 Important in:-Production of red blood cells , help in conversion of tryptophan to niacin (B-3) , immunity , nervous system functions, reducing muscle spasms, cramps, and numbness,  maintaining proper balance of sodium and phosphorous in the body.
Sources of B-6:- Meats, Fish, Poultry, Whole grains, Vegetables, Seeds, Cereals.
B-6 Deficiency:-  nervousness,  insomnia , loss of muscle control, muscle weakness, arm and leg cramps,  water retention, skin lesions.
Excess:- High doses of B-6 may be recommended to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, and sleep disorders, but continued use of high doses may result in permanent nerve damage.
Pregnant women should always consult their doctor before taking this supplement and all others.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Important in: – Co-enzymes required for fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism and glycogen formation, growth of nails, hairs.
Sources: – Legumes, Vegetables, Meats, Liver, Egg yolk, Nuts.
Deficiency: – Fatigue, Depression, Nausea, Muscle pain, Dermatitis, Hair fall and Paralysis.
 EXCESS – Not reported.

 Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Sources : –
 Legumes, Green vegetables, Whole wheat products, Meats, Eggs, Milk products, Fortified cereals.
Function: – Red blood cells formation, reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Deficiency: – Anemia, Gastrointestinal disturbances, Diarrhea, Red tongue, Neural tube defects (note:- important for pregnant woman).
 EXCESS-Not reported
 Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Important in:- proper nerve function,  help in production of red blood cells, metabolizing fats and proteins , prevention of anemia, DNA reproduction, energy production.
Sources of B-12:- Muscle meats, Fish, Eggs, Dairy products (absent in plant food).
B-12 Deficiency:- Anemia, nerve damage, hypersensitive skin. 
Vegetarians need to look for fortified sources (soy milk, supplements).
Elderly often have trouble absorbing.
Vitamins : What are vitamins and complete details about various types of vitamins.
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Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
 — Ascorbic acid (Toxic to viruses, bacteria, and some malignant tumor cells)
 — Antioxidant.
 — Water-soluble.
Sources of Vitamin C :- Guava, Orange Juice, Strawberries, Spinach, Broccoli, Tomato Juice, Sweet Potato, Citrus Fruits and gooseberry.
Deficiency of Vit.C causes: – Weight loss, fatigue and joint pain, scurvy (bruising easily, bleeding gums, and tendency for bones to fracture), reduced resistance to colds and infections,  slow healing of wounds and fractured bones.
 Excess :-  Relatively nontoxic,  Possibility of kidney stones.


Vitamin A:-It plays important role in formation of retina, growth differentiation of epithelial tissue and enhancement of immune function.
It is of two types:
Retinol :- Its concern with retina of eye. Only found in animal foods.
Beta carotene: – It comes from plant resources. It is present with chlorophyll in plants, converted to Vitamin A in gut wall.
Pro-vitamin A (B carotene) widely distributed in Green vegetables, Retinol present in milk ,Butter and Cheese.
 Function of vitamin A :- 
·        Promote healthy skin.
·        Maintenance of healthy tissue.
·        Helps eye to adapt in dim light.
·        Regulate growth.
Deficiency: –Night blindness, Permanent blindness, Retarded growth, malformed bones,   susceptibility to infection, Xerophthalmia (keratinisation of ocular tissue).
Excess :-  Headache, Vomiting, Peeling of skin, Anorexia, Swelling of long bones, Birth defects Permanent damage to the liver and eyes, Reduced bone density.
 Vitamin D (Calciferol)
 Vitamin D is different from all other vitamins in that body can synthesize it with the help of sunlight.
It is obtained from sunlight, received by receptors at skin.

Vitamins : What are vitamins and complete details about various types of vitamins.

Function-Bone making and maintenance, Assists in the absorption of dietary calcium, Helps to make calcium and phosphorus available in the blood,  The body can synthesize it with the help of sunlight. It regulates calcium balance between bones and blood. It prevents rickets.

Sources:-Calciferol is produced in the skin by U.V. radiation and 7-dehydrocholesterol (vitamin D precursor that is synthesized by the liver).
 Cod-liver oils, Eggs, Dairy products, Oily fish, Fortified milk.
Deficiency:- Rickets (bone deformities) in children.
Osteomalacia (situation in which bones are soft and cannot take weight of body)in adults.

 Excess: –  Vomiting, Diarrhea, Loss of weight, Kidney damage .

Vitamin K (Naphthoquinone)
It promotes hepatic synthesis of prothrombin (factor II) and factors VII, IX and X. These factors are biologically inactive and vitamin K is essential co-factor for microsomal enzyme system which activates these precursors.
Function :-
Blood clotting: At least 13 different proteins and the mineral Ca’are involved in making blood clotting. Vitamin K is essential for the activation of one of these proteins.
Vitamin K is also important to build strong bones.
Sources:- Green leafy vegetables, small amounts in cereals, Fruits, Meats.
 Deficiency:-Manifested by remarkable tendency to bleed profusely from minor wounds and easy brushing.
 Diagnosed by prolonged blood coagulation time.
 Excess:- Relatively nontoxic , Synthetic forms at high doses may cause jaundice.
 Vitamin E (tocopherols)
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant. It protects other substances from oxidation by being oxidized itself. alpha-tocopherol  is the most active and abundant one.
Function:-  Vitamin E as an antioxidant.
–Vitamin E is specially effective in preventing the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids – rice bilayer membrane that isolate the cell from noxious toxins and carcinogens.
— Vitamin E exerts an especially important antioxidant effect in the lungs, where the cell are exposed to high concentration of Oz. It is also prevent heart disease by protecting LDL from oxidation which encourages development of atherosclerosis (oxidized LDL).
–Protects tissue from damage.
–Promote normal growth and development.
–Help in normal red blood cell formation.
Deficiency :- Possible anemia.
When blood concentration of vitamin E falls below a critical level, the RBC’s tend to break, open, spell their contents (hemolysis) due to increased fragility of the red blood cell membrane because of the peroxidation of their membrane PUFAs. This is known as erythrocyte hemolysis which is seen in premature infants born before the transfer of vitamin E from the mother to the fetus that takes place in the last weeks of pregnancy.
 In excess, it is relatively, nontoxic.

Vitamin Supplements
 When vitamin-mineral deficiencies appear in physically active people, they often occur among these three groups:

 When vitamin-mineral deficiencies appear in physically active people, they often occur among these three groups:

  1.  Vegetarians or groups with low energy intake such as dancers, gymnasts, and weight class sport athletes who strive to maintain or reduce body weight.
  2. Individuals who eliminate one or more food 
  3. Individuals who consume large amount of processed food groups from their diet. and simple sugars with low micro nutrient density.

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