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Vitamins & Supplements

Vitamins and Their Functions and Sources

The tables below list the vitamins, what they do in the body (their functions), and their sources in food. Water-soluble vitamins Water-soluble vitamins travel freely through the body, and excess amounts usually are excreted by the kidneys. The body needs water-soluble vitamins in frequent, small doses. These vitamins are not as likely as fat-soluble vitamins to reach toxic levels. But niacin, vitamin B6, folate, choline, and vitamin C have upper consumption limits. Vitamin B6 at high levels over a long period of time has been shown to cause irreversible nerve damage. Recommended Related to Vitamins & Supplements Damiana comes from a wild shrub that grows in Mexico and Central and South America. Traditionally, people use it to try to boost sex drive. A balanced diet usually provides enough of these vitamins. People older than 50 and some vegetarians may need to use supplements to get enough B12. Water-soluble vitamins Nutrient Thiamine (vitamin B1) Function Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism; important to nerve function Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism; important for normal vision and skin health Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism; important for nervous system, digestive system, and skin health Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism Part of an enzyme needed for energy metabolism Part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism; helps make red blood cells Part of an enzyme needed for making DNA and new cells, especially red blood cells Part of an enzyme needed for making new cells; important to nerve function Antioxidant; part of an enzyme needed for protein metabolism; important for immune system health; aids in iron absorption Sources Found in all nutritious foods in moderate amounts: pork, whole-grain or enriched breads and cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds Milk and milk products; leafy green vegetables; whole-grain, enriched breads and cereals Meat, poultry, fish, whole-grain or enriched breads and cereals, vegetables (especially mushrooms, asparagus, and leafy green vegetables), peanut butter Widespread in foods Widespread in foods; also produced in intestinal tract by bacteria Meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) Niacin (vitamin B3)

Pantothenic acid Biotin Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) Folic acid

Leafy green vegetables and legumes, seeds, orange juice, and liver; now added to most refined grains Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, milk and milk products; not found in plant foods Found only in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, vegetables in the cabbage family, cantaloupe, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, papayas, mangoes, kiwifruit

Cobalamin (vitamin B12) Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)

Fat-soluble vitamins Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's cells and are not excreted as easily as water-soluble vitamins. They do not need to be consumed as often as water-soluble vitamins, although adequate amounts are needed. If you take too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it could become toxic. Your body is especially sensitive to too much vitamin A from animal sources (retinol) and too much vitamin D. A balanced diet usually provides enough fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins Nutrient Vitamin A (and its precursor*, betacarotene) *A precursor is converted by the body to the vitamin. Vitamin D Function Needed for vision, healthy skin and mucous membranes, bone and tooth growth, immune system health Sources Vitamin A from animal sources (retinol): fortified milk, cheese, cream, butter, fortified margarine, eggs, liver Beta-carotene (from plant sources): Leafy, dark green vegetables; dark orange fruits (apricots, cantaloupe) and vegetables (carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin) Egg yolks, liver, fatty fish, fortified milk, fortified margarine. When exposed to sunlight, the skin can make vitamin D. Polyunsaturated plant oils (soybean, corn, cottonseed, safflower); leafy green vegetables; wheat germ; whole-grain products; liver; egg yolks; nuts and seeds Leafy green vegetables and vegetables in the cabbage family; milk; also produced in intestinal tract by bacteria

Needed for proper absorption of calcium; stored in bones Antioxidant; protects cell walls

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Needed for proper blood clotting

Sources of vitamins
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the maintenance of good health and the prevention of a number of diseases. In this article, we look at the properties of vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, and common food sources.

Types of vitamins
There are two types of vitamins:

water-soluble vitamins B and C fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

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. Vitamins and minerals are found in a wide variety of foods and a balanced diet should provide you with the quantities you need.

Vitamin A (retinol)
This vitamin is essential for growth and healthy skin and hair. It is a powerful antioxidant that plays a key role in the body's immune system. Vitamin A is found in the following animal products:

milk, butter, cheese and eggs chicken, kidney, liver, liver pate fish oils, mackerel, trout, herring.

Another source of vitamin A is a substance called beta-carotene. This is converted by the body into vitamin A. It is found in orange, yellow and green vegetables and fruits.

Vitamin B complex
The complex of B vitamins includes the following group of substances:

B1 thiamine B2 riboflavin B3 nicotinic acid B6 pyridoxine B12 cobalamin folate folic acid.

The body requires relatively small amounts of vitamins B1, B2 and B3. Vitamins B6 and B12 help the body to use folic acid and are vital nutrients in a range of activities, such as cell repair, digestion, the production of energy and in the immune system. Vitamin B12 is also needed for the breakdown of fat and carbohydrate. Deficiency of either vitamin will result in anaemia. Vitamin B6 is found in most foods, so deficiency is rare. Vegetarians and B12 Vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy produce will get enough B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur in vegans because all dietary sources are animal in origin. The British Vegan Society recommends foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as:

breakfast cereals yeast extract margarine soya powder and milk Plamil

soya mince or chunks.

The best dietary sources of the B vitamins, especially B12, are:

animal products (meat, poultry) yeast extracts (brewers' yeast, Marmite).

Other good sources include:

asparagus, broccoli, spinach, bananas, potatoes dried apricots, dates and figs milk, eggs, cheese, yoghurt nuts and pulses fish brown rice, wheat germ, wholegrain cereals.

Dietary sources of vitamin B6 are similar to those for vitamin B12 and also include avocado, herring, salmon, sunflower seeds and walnuts.

Folic acid (folate)

Folic acid works closely in the body with vitamin B12. It is vital for the production of healthy blood cells. Lack of folic acid is one of the main causes of anaemia, particularly in people whose diet is generally poor. Vitamins B6 and B12 help the body use folate, so are often given alongside folic acid supplements. In pregnancy, low folate levels increase the risk of the baby's spinal cord system not developing completely (spina bifida). All women are now advised to take folic acid supplements in the first three months of pregnancy and ideally before conception occurs. Folate occurs naturally in most foods but often in small amounts.

Many food manufacturers now fortify white flour, cereals, bread, corn, rice and noodle products with folic acid. One serving of each enriched product will contribute about 10 per cent of the RDA for folic acid. Wholegrain products are not enriched because they already contain natural folate.

Liver contains the greatest amount of folic acid, with lower levels found in beef, lamb and pork and a range of green vegetables and citrus fruits. Other sources of folate are dried beans, fresh orange juice, tomatoes, wheat germ (wholemeal bread and cereal) and wholegrain products (pasta and brown rice).

Table 1 :Folate content of foods an adult needs 200mcg a day.

Food Asparagus Black beans 115g 115g Serving size 132mcg 128mcg 80-120mcg 47mcg 770mcg 180mcg 47mcg 131mcg 60mcg 115mcg 47mcg 100-120mcg 48mcg 38mcg Amount of folate

Breakfast cereal 30-40g Brussels sprouts 115g Chicken liver Chick peas 100g 115g

Cooked broccoli 115g Cooked spinach 115g Cooked white rice170g Kidney beans Oranges Pasta Tomato juice Wheat germ 115g 1 medium 55g 1 cup (225ml) 2 tbsp

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidant vitamins. We need vitamin C for growth, healthy body tissue, wound repair and an efficient immune system. In addition, it also helps with the normal function of blood vessels and helps you absorb iron from plant sources as opposed to the iron in red meat. Did you know? Frozen and tinned produce count towards your five-a-day. Fresh fruit and vegetables are the main source of vitamin C eating your five a day will easily meet the body's needs. Too much vitamin C can result in a sensitive, irritable stomach and mouth ulcers.

Also, too much of a good thing can be dangerous; the upper daily limit is currently 1g. More than this safe level of vitamin C has been linked to damage of the inner lining of arteries, predisposing to the formation of cholesterol plaques and heart disease. Table 2: Vitamin C content of foods an adult needs 60mg a day.
Food Strawberries Kiwi fruit Steamed broccoli Orange Serving size 1 bowl 1 fruit 1 serving (80g) 1 large 70-120mg 50mg 50mg 70mg 48mg 17mg Amount of vitamin C

Mango and passion fruit smoothie250ml glass/bottle Frozen peas, cooked 1 serving (85g)

Vitamin D (calciferol)
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth. It helps the body to absorb calcium. The action of sunlight on the skin enables the body to manufacture vitamin D even on a cloudy day. For this reason, most people will get enough vitamin D through their everyday activities. Foods rich in vitamin D are oily fish, liver, cod liver oil and dairy products. Many foods are also 'fortified' with low levels of vitamin D, such as margarine and breakfast cereals.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is important in cell maintenance and also plays an active role in the maintenance of a healthy heart, blood and circulation. It is one of the body's main antioxidants. Deficiency only occurs in cases of severe malabsorption or certain rare genetic disorders. The following foods are rich in vitamin E:

avocados, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, watercress, brussels sprouts blackberries, mangoes corn oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil mackerel, salmon nuts, wholemeal and wholegrain products soft margarine.

Vitamin K
Vitamin K is involved in the blood clotting process and in the maintenance of strong bones. It is found in small quantities in meat, most vegetables and wholegrain cereals. Your body also makes vitamin K in the large intestine, through the activity of 'healthy bacteria'. For this reason, there is no recommended daily amount. These bacteria are also referred to as the gut flora. They form part of our defence against more harmful organisms. Diets rich in fatty and sugary foods can adversely change the balance of the gut flora, as can the additives and pesticides that are often a part of modern food production.

Vitamins are organic compounds which enhance the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Without vitamins the breakdown of food could not occur. Certain vitamins participate in the formation of blood cells, hormones, nervous system chemicals and genetic materials. They are classified into two groups i.e. fat-soluble and water soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, D, E and K where as Watersoluble includes vitamin C and B-complex. Sources of different vitamins and diseases caused by their deficiency

Vitamin A: Vitamin A can be obtained in the diet foods of animal origin such as milk, eggs, fish, butter, fortified margarine, cheese and liver. In developing countries it is obtained from carotene, which is present in the green and yellow fruits and vegetables, furthermore the vegetable sources of this vitamin are sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mangoes, apricot, beet greens and dark green leafy vegetables. Deficiency: The deficiency of vitamin leads to skin changes and to night blindness or failure of dark adaptation due to the effects of deficiency on retina. Vitamin D: There are only a few foods that are good sources of vitamin D. Some vitamin D is obtained from eggs, fatty fish. Fish oils, liver, butter, margarine and milk while human gets most of it from the direct sunlight. It is not found in plant foods. However, it can be obtained from vegetable margarines, some Soya milks and certain other foods which are fortified with the vitamin. Deficiency: Deficiency of vitamin D causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin E: The animal origin of this vitamin includes Meats, poultry, eggs while the plant sources are vegetable oils, nuts, olives, tomatoes, papaya, kiwi fruit, blueberries and sunflower seeds. Deficiency: It is essential for many vertebrate animals but its role in the human body has not been established. No clear evidence exist that it alleviates any specific disease.

Vitamin K: Vitamin K is produced sufficiently in the intestine by bacteria and also provided by leafy green vegetables such as Spanich soybean, cottonseed, canola, and olive. However, the animal origin can be considered as egg yolk. Deficiency: vitamin K deficiency results in impaired blood clotting, usually demonstrated by tests that measure clotting time. Symptoms include easy bruising and bleeding diathesis. In infants, vitamin K deficiency may result in intracranial hemorrhage. Vitamin C: All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C. Foods that tend to be the highest sources of vitamin C include green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. Animal sources are generally poor. Cow's milk, meat and fish contain a little amount of it. Deficiency: The deficiency causes scurvy, anemia, decreased ability to fight infections, slow metabolism which may result in weight gain and dryness. Vitamin B-complex: Thiamine (B1): Animal and plant sources include yeast, whole grains, lean pork, nuts, legumes, and thiamine-enriched cereal products. Deficiency: A deficiency of this vitamin causes beriberi. Riboflavin (B2): Good sources of vitamin B2 are organ meats, nuts, cheese, eggs, milk and lean meat are great sources of riboflavin, but is also available in good quantities in green leafy vegetables, fish, legumes, whole grains, and yogurt. Deficiency: Deficiency leads to fissures in the corners of the mouth, inflammation of the tongue showing a reddish purple coloration and skin disease. Nicotinic acid or Niacin (B3): Lean meats, peanuts and other legumes, and whole-grain or enriched bread and cereal products are among the best sources of niacin. Deficiency: The deficiency state in humans causes skin disease, diarrhea, dementia, and ultimately death. Pantothenic acid (B5): Good sources of it include liver, kidney, eggs, and dairy products while apart from that it is present in perhaps all animal and plant tissues, as well as in many microorganisms. Deficiency: There is no known naturally occurring deficiency state. Pyridoxine (B6): The best sources of B6 vitamins are liver and other organ meats, corn, whole-grain cereal, and seeds. Deficiency: can result in central nervous system disturbances e.g. convulsions in infants, More generally the effects of deficiency include inadequate growth or weight loss and anemia due to the role of B6 in the manufacture of hemoglobin.

Biotin (B7): Especially good sources of this widely distributed vitamin include egg yolk, kidney, liver, tomatoes, and yeast. Deficiency: No deficiency yet is known associated with this vitamin. Folic Acid (B9): It occurs abundantly in green leafy vegetables, fruits like apples and oranges dried beans, avocados, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ. Deficiency: Its Deficiency during pregnancy is associated with birth defects, such as neural tube defects Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA): Para-aminobenzoic acid which is incorporated into the folic acid molecule, is sometimes listed separately as a B vitamin, although there is no evidence that it is essential to the diet of humans. Cyanocobalamin (B12): Neither animals nor higher plants are capable of making these vitamin B12 Nevertheless, such animal tissues as the liver, kidney, and heart of ruminants contain relatively large quantities of this vitamin. Plants are poor source of vitamin B12. Deficiency: Its deficiency results in megaloblastic anemia.

Vitamins and minerals tips for healthy living

Fruit and vegetables in your diet have many positive effects upon health.

Five servings of different fruit and vegetables daily will ensure you get plenty of vitamins and minerals. Foods lose vitamins and minerals when they are cooked, so it's best to steam or poach fish and vegetables. Grilling or baking meat is better than frying. Choose fresh foods over processed and eat as soon as possible. If you're worried about produce going off, tinned fruit and veg still contain vitamins and count towards your five a day. Frozen vegetables can contain more vitamins than fresh vegetables that have been stored a long time just be sure not to overcook them.

Drink wisely

Try not to drink large quantities of tea, coffee or cola-based drinks. Caffeine can prevent your body absorbing vitamins and minerals, such as iron, and it also increases the excretion of the water-soluble vitamins through urine. Alcohol is toxic to vitamins so moderate your alcohol intake. This means sticking to government guidelines of 14 units per week for women and 21 units for men. Store-bought 100 per cent fruit juices and smoothies are a good way to boost your vitamin C levels.

Breakfast wisely

Start the day with a bowl of cereal these are often fortified with vitamins and minerals. A wholegrain cereal is best. Drink fresh fruit juice at breakfast. Foods that contain vitamin C help your body to absorb the iron from your breakfast cereal or toast. Try substituting Marmite for marmalade on toast in the morning.

Lunch wisely
Make your own sandwiches for lunch instead of buying pre-packed. That way, you can make your food work harder by:

using wholegrain or seeded bread limiting or removing fats such as mayonnaise and butter choosing lean cuts of meat, or fish such as tuna or salmon including salad as part of its filling, for example lettuce plus two of the following: cucumber, tomato, raw pepper, shredded carrot.

You could also make a salad or wrap, or take in a bowl of homemade vegetable soup or stew.

Snack wisely
Snack on foods that are good sources of vitamins and minerals:

a boiled egg will boost levels of iron, A and B vitamins unsalted nuts are a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and vitamins B and E sunflower and sesame seeds contain vitamin E dried fruit such as apricots contain vitamin B, iron, magnesium and calcium any type of fruit will boost vitamin C levels raw vegetables such as pepper and carrot contain betacarotene that can be converted to vitamin A.

Dine wisely

Eat fish as part of your evening meal two or three times a week. Oily fish has the most nutrients examples are fresh salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring. Lean cuts of meat are best, and avoid processed forms such as sausages, pies and burgers.

Include two vegetables with every meal. Substitute potato with brown rice, sweet potato, pulses or lentils. For example serve fish on a bed of green lentils, chicken with brown rice and vegetables, turkey with sweet potato, or lamb in a tomato-based curry with spinach and chickpeas. Have one meal each week that's based around vegetables, for example a stir fry, vegetable casserole or bake. Include a salad with your evening meal. Choose wholemeal pasta and brown rice. Mix chopped nuts with fruit for a dessert, or sprinkle on top of curries and bakes.

Different functions






Vitamins are vital nutrients, indispensable to perform various tasks within the human body in order to promote optimal health and prevent various diseases.

How do Vitamins work?

Although required in minimal quantities these vitamins cannot be synthesised by the human body. Hence, they rely on easily available animal and plant sources for replenishment. These vitamins in conjunction with other nutrients help break down proteins, thereby stabilising metabolism, enabling growth of cells, tissues, bones and promoting a healthy immune system. Since each vitamin is vital to perform a specific task, a shortage in any one of them may lead to a host of health problems in the human body.

Types of Vitamin

The thirteen vitamins required for effective functioning of the human body may be classified into two categories namely water and fat-soluble vitamins. Of them, nine vitamins such as eight B complex, comprising of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6 (pyridoxine), folacin, B12 (cyanocobalamin), pantothenic acid, biotin and vitamin C, PABA, inositol and choline fall under the category of water soluble. The remaining four vitamins such as A, D, E and K Vitamins are all fat-soluble vitamins.

Water-Soluble Vitamins
These types of vitamins require regular supply in the form of dietary sources or supplements. These are nontoxic and easily absorbed into the body through the gastrointestinal tract and then disseminated in the tissues. Any excess quantity of this vitamin consumed does not accumulate in the body and gets stored. However, with vitamin B12 and B6 as exceptions, these are flushed out during urination. Most B Vitamins act as coenzymes, playing a key role in the breaking down process of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and transforming them to energy. This regulates metabolism, besides promoting healthy digestive and immune system Since water-soluble vitamins are easily dissolved in water, it would be advisable not to overcook them and use the left over cooking water as healthy options in soups and sauces.

Water-soluble vitamins and their functions B complex Vitamins

Except Vitamin C, the other eight B vitamins belonging to the water-soluble group form the B complex family. All these vitamins act together and perform various processes in the body to ensure verve and vigour. Functions of vitamin B complex Vitamin B complex is imperative for promoting healthy nervous system. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) Niacin (vitamin B3) are the main components strengthening the nervous system and improving cognitive health, thus preventing the risk of developing degenerative diseases such as Dementia, Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Vitamins B12, B6 and B1 are compulsory for effective functioning of the brain. Vitamin B5 is fundamental for the production of particular hormones enabling proper functioning of the adrenal glands. Vitamin B3 controls serotonin and the production of stress hormones, providing a feel good factor preventing symptoms of anxiety and stress. Vitamin B6, B3, B2 and B1 aid proper digestion and assist in manufacturing Hydrochloric acid, which in turn helps in the metabolic process of breaking down carbohydrates, fats and proteins thus encouraging weight loss. The other benefits include Vitamin B1 that improves appetite, Niacin B3, which keeps the tongue in shape helping in the process of digestion. VitaminB9 helps maintain healthy gastrointestinal tract and support the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract to create vitamin k, which plays an important part in the clotting of blood. Vitamin B1 is involved in the process of breaking down food and converting to glucose while VitaminB7, Vitamin B6, B5, B3 and B2 are essential for the process of converting glucose to energy. VitaminB2 (Riboflavin) alleviates symptoms of migraine. VitaminB6 restrain the making of neurotransmitters, of which histamine has the effect of triggering migraines. B6 vitamins promote cardiac health and prevent risk of a heart attack. VitaminB1 prevents formation of kidney stones. Vitaminb9 protect against pancreas, breast and colorectal cancers.

Food Sources of B complex Vitamins Bananas (Read benefits of banana), kidney beans, nuts, citrus fruits, chicken eggs, leafy vegetables, whole grains and cereals are some of the food sources of vitamin B complex. B complex Deficiency: Skin disorders, hair fall, muscle spasm, pain in the abdomen, depression, anaemia and fatigue are some of the symptoms associated with B vitamin deficiency.

Vitamin C (Absorbic Acid): Vitamin C or Absorbic acid, present in many fruits and
vegetables is a potent antioxidant that combats infections. Functions of Vitamin C Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen, vital for the development of strong bones, teeth and joints. A rich source of antioxidant, Vitamin C contains antiviral and antibacterial properties preventing infections, boosts the immune system by getting rid of unwanted toxins caused by free radicals during the oxidation process and protects the body from long-term illness and infections. Vitamin C contains anticancer properties hence, reduces risk of cancer and prevents abnormal blood clotting. They also reduce potential risk of scurvy and cataracts. Vitamin C improves cardiac health by maintaining healthy triglyceride, cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels. They enable easy absorption of iron and help convert food to energy. They are responsible for the production of anti stress hormones and facilitate appropriate adrenal function. Food sources of Vitamin C Berries such as cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and fruits such as pineapple, papaya, mango, kiwi, squash, blackcurrants, melon, tomatoes, Citrus fruits and leafy vegetables, red/green peppers, potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower and are a few of the foods loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin C Deficiency Low levels of vitamin in the body may lead to digestive disorders, periodontal disease, joint ache, bruises, fractures, slow healing of wounds, general weakness and loss of appetite.

Fat-soluble Vitamins
A, D, E and K vitamins are fat-soluble due to their ability to dissipate in fat. In contrast to water-soluble vitamins, these types of vitamins do not require frequent replenishments. Fat-soluble vitamins absorb dietary fat in the small intestines with a tendency to accumulate the excess amounts in the liver and fatty tissues. As opposed to water-soluble vitamins, they are not discharged in the urine and the excess quantities consumed get stored in small amounts within the body making them toxic.

Types of Fat-soluble vitamins and their functions Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A or retinol is a fat-soluble vitamin playing a crucial role in process of growth and development. In combination with carotenoids, they perform various important functions in the body. Functions of Vitamin A Due to their antioxidant properties, Vitamin A improves immune health; maintain healthy mucous membranes and battle against diseases. They help develop strong teeth, healthy bones, protect against cataracts, Alzheimers disease, arthritis, cardiac problems and age related macular degeneration. Vitamin A contains anti ageing properties that prevent formation of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin assisting in cell rejuvenation. Food sources of Vitamin A Dietary sources of vitamin A include milk, dairy products such as cheese, butter, yogurt, fish liver oils, eggs, chicken, liver, beef, kidney, fruits like mangoes, peaches, apricots, cantaloupe, winter squash, leafy vegetables, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A Deficiency Vision problems including night blindness, growth retardation, low resistance often leading to infectious diseases, fatigue, depression, anxiety, kidney stones, bladder problems, skin disorders, anaemia, sleeplessness, nerve damage and gum disease are some of the symptoms correlated with Vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol)
Vitamin D is essential for appropriate utilisation of calcium and phosphorous in the body. Functions of Vitamin D Since Vitamin D is concerned with calcium metabolism, they control the absorption of phosphorous and calcium from the small intestine. Therefore is vital for the development of strong teeth and healthy bones. Food sources of Vitamin D Dairy products and milk are loaded with vitamin D in abundance. So also are cereals, liver, eggs, cod liver oils and oily fish such as sardines, salmon and herring. Vitamin D Deficiency Vitamin D deficiency may lead to osteomalacia, rickets, sleeplessness, weak bones, muscles and osteoporosis.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
Another fat-soluble vitamin, laden with antioxidant properties Vitamin E, contains innumerable health and beauty benefits. Functions of Vitamin E Vitamin E supports cardiac health by maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. They protect the body of free radicals and prevent infections thereby enhancing the bodys immune system. Apart from this, they also reduce the risk of cancers of the prostrate and the breast.Vitamin E when applied locally on the skin removes stretch marks, scars and relieves burns. Combined with Vitamin A and C they delay the process of ageing preventing formation of fine lines and wrinkles, keeping the skin soft, supple and smooth. Sources of Vitamin E Richly endowed with vitamin E are hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, Green leafy vegetables, liver, fortified cereals, mangoes, avocados, corn, broccoli, spinach, Sweet potatoes, asparagus, yams, soya, wheat germ oil, wheat germ, eggs, margarine, Butter, and oils like olive, safflower, peanut, sunflower and sesame. Vitamin E deficiency Vitamin E deficiency is not so common, as the body has the ability to store this fatsoluble vitamin. However, there are few symptoms suggestive of vitamin E deficiency, such as anaemia, problems of reproductive system, renal deterioration, cardiac problems and skin disorders.

Vitamin K (Phytonadione)
Vitamin K or phytonadione popularly known as known as the vitamin for blood clotting is required for the incidence of prothrombin of blood that helps prevent excessive bleeding from a wound or cut. Functions of Vitamin K Vitamin K keeps coronary artery diseases at bay, prevents formation of kidney stones, regulate calcium levels in the body that is responsible for building strong healthy bones and teeth. They help in elevation of bone mass thus preventing osteoporosis. Food sources of Vitamin K. Leafy green vegetables, soybeans, dairy products, meats, legumes and vegetables are some of the sources of Vitamin K. Vitamin K deficiency:Vitamin K deficiency is generally identified in people with improper digestive health. People deficient in vitamin K are easily prone to injury and bruises, which becomes rather critical, due to the bodys inability to clot blood.

Vitamin Chart
Type Benefits Sources Quantity

Vitamin A

Vitamin A prevents eye problems, promotes a healthy immune system, is essential for the growth and development of cells, and keeps skin healthy.

Good sources of vitamin A are milk, eggs, liver, fortified cereals, darkly colored orange or green vegetables (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and kale), and orange fruits such as cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, papayas, and mangos.

Teen guys need 900 micrograms of vitamin A each day. Teen girls need 700 micrograms each day. It is possible to get too much vitamin A, so be careful with supplements. Don't take vitamin A supplements If you're taking isotretinoin (such as Accutane) for acne or other skin problems. Oral acne medicines are vitamin A supplements, and a continued excess of vitamin A can build up in the body, causing headaches, skin changes, or even liver damage.

Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C is needed to form collagen, a tissue that helps to hold cells together. It's essential for healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels. It helps the body absorb iron, aids in wound healing, and contributes to brain function.

You'll find high levels of vitamin C in citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, guava, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.

Teen guys need 75 mg (milligrams; 1 milligram equals 1,000 micrograms) and girls need 65 mg of vitamin C a day.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D strengthens bones because it helps the body absorb bonebuilding calcium.

This vitamin is unique your body manufactures it when you get sunlight on your skin! You can also get vitamin D from egg yolks, oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, and fortified foods like milk,

Teens need 15 micrograms (600 IU) of vitamin D from food or supplements every day. Ask your doctor if supplements are right for you.

soy milk, and orange juice.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps protect cells from damage. It is also important for the health of red blood cells.

Vitamin E is found in many foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables. Avocados, wheat germ, and whole grains are also good sources.

Teen guys and girls need 15 mg of vitamin E every day.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 helps to make red blood cells, and is important for nerve cell function.

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in fish, red meat, poultry, milk, cheese, and eggs. It's also added to some breakfast cereals.

Teens should get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is important for normal brain and nerve function. It also helps the body break down proteins and make red blood cells.

A wide variety of foods contain vitamin B6, including potatoes, bananas, beans, seeds, nuts, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, spinach, and fortified cereals.

Teen guys need 1.3 mg of vitamin B6 daily and teen girls need 1.2 mg.

Thiamin (also called vitamin B1)

Thiamin helps the body convert carbohydrates into energy and is necessary for the heart, muscles, and nervous system to function properly.

People get thiamin from many different foods, including fortified breads, cereals, and pasta; lean meats; dried beans, soy foods, and peas; and whole grains like wheat germ.

Teen guys need 1.2 mg of thiamin each day; teen girls need 1 mg.

Niacin (also

Niacin helps the body turn food into energy.

You'll find niacin in red meat, poultry, fish, fortified hot and

Teen guys need 16 mg of niacin daily. Teen girls need 14 mg a day.

called vitamin B3)

It helps maintain healthy skin and is important for nerve function.

cold cereals, and peanuts.

Riboflavin (also called vitamin B2)

Riboflavin is essential for growth, turning carbohydrates into energy, and producing red blood cells.

Some of the best sources of riboflavin are meat, eggs, legumes (like peas and lentils), nuts, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, and fortified cereals.

Teen guys need 1.3 mg of riboflavin per day and teen girls need 1 mg.

Folate (also known as vitamin B9, folic acid, or folacin)

Folate helps the body make red blood cells. It is also needed to make DNA.

Liver, dried beans and other legumes, green leafy vegetables, asparagus, and orange juice are good sources of this vitamin. So are fortified bread, rice, and cereals.

Teen girls and guys need 400 micrograms of folate daily