Importance of Vitamins in human body

Importance of Vitamins in human body

Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in very small amounts for supporting normal physiologic function in human body.Every one should be aware about Importance of Vitamins in human body.

Human Body requires vitamins from food, because our bodies can’t synthesize them quickly enough to meet our daily needs.

Vitamins have three characteristics:

  • They’re natural components of foods; usually present in very small amounts.
  • They’re essential for normal physiologic function (e.g., growth, reproduction, etc).
  • When absent from the diet, they will cause a specific deficiency.

Vitamins are generally categorized as either fat soluble or water soluble depending on whether they dissolve best in either lipids or water.

Fat soluble and water soluble vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins

are stored in the fat tissues of human bodies, as well as the liver. Fat-soluble vitamins are easier to store than water-soluble ones, and can stay in the body as reserves for days, some of them for months.

Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of fats (lipids).

Water-soluble vitamins

do not get stored in the body for long - they soon get expelled through urine. Water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble ones.

Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. Vitamins C and all the B vitamins are water-soluble.

List of vitamins

In order to get enough Vitamins we need healthy diet that includes a wide range of fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds, that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and several pro vitamin A carotenoids, and beta-carotene

- Fat soluble

- Its role in human body:


Gene transcription

Immune function

Embryonic development and reproduction

Bone metabolism


Skin and cellular health

Antioxidant activity
- Deficiency may cause night-blindness and keratomalacia (eye disorder that results in a dry cornea)

- Good sources include: cod liver oil

Liver, dandelion greens, sweet potato, carrot, broccoli leaf, broccoli florets, butter, kale

Spinach, pumpkin, collard greens, Cheddar cheese, cantaloupe melon, egg, apricot

Papaya, mango, pea, milk, tomatoes, seaweed

Vitamin B1

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoffsyndrome
- Good sources include: yeast, pork, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver, and eggs.

Vitamin B2

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause ariboflavinosis
- Good sources include: asparagus, bananas, persimmons, okra, chard, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish, and green beans.

Vitamin B3

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause pellagra
- Good sources include: liver, heart, kidney, chicken, beef, fish (tuna, salmon), milk, eggs, avocados, dates, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, nuts, whole grains, legumes, mushrooms, and brewer's yeast.

Vitamin B5

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause paresthesia
- Good sources include: meats, whole grains (milling may remove it), broccoli, avocados, royal jelly, and fish ovaries.

Vitamin B6

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause anemia, peripheral neuropathy
- Good sources include: meats, bananas, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts. When milk is dried it loses about half of its B6. Freezing and canning can also reduce content.

Vitamin B7

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause dermatitis, enteritis
- Good sources include: egg yolk, liver, some vegetables.

Vitamin B9

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause pregnancy deficiency linked to birth defects
- Good sources include: leafy vegetables, legumes, liver, baker's yeast, some fortified grain products, sunflower seeds. Several fruits have moderate amounts, as a beer.

Vitamin B12

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause megaloblastic anemia
- Good sources include: fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and dairy products. Some fortified cereals and soy products, as well as fortified nutritional yeast.

Vegans are advised to take B12 supplements.

Vitamin C

- Water soluble
- Deficiency may cause megaloblastic anemia
- Good sources include: fruit and vegetables. The Kakadu plum and the camu camu fruit have the highest vitamin C contents of all foods. Liver also has vitamin C.

Vitamin D

- Fat soluble
- Deficiency may cause rickets, osteomalacia
- Good sources: produced in the skin after exposure to ultraviolet B light from the sun or artificial sources. Also found in fatty fish, eggs, beef liver, and mushrooms.

Vitamin E

- Fat soluble
- Deficiency is uncommon. May cause mild hemolytic anemia in newborns
- Good sources include: kiwi fruit, almonds, avocado, eggs, milk, nuts, leafy green vegetables, unheated vegetable oils, wheat germ, and whole grains.

Vitamin K

- Fat soluble
- Deficiency may cause bleeding diathesis
- Good sources include: leafy green vegetables, avocado, kiwi fruit. Parsley contains a lot of vitamin K.

The best way to get enough vitamins for good health is to follow a balanced diet with a wide range of foods. Some people may need to take a daily multivitamin.

**** Source: Wikipedia, Medical News

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