Vitamins • Vitaminsare complex organic substances. • Your body needs vitamins in small amounts for normal growth, maintenance, and reproduction. • The body cannot produce most vitamins – at least not in large enough amounts to meet nutritional needs. • The best way to get all the vitamins you need is to eat a nutritious diet.
vitamins • Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water soluble. • Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in fats. They are carried by the fats in foods and can be stored in the fatty tissues of the body. • Over time, fat-soluble vitamins can build up in the body and may reach dangerous levels.
vitamins • Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. The body does not store them. Excess water-soluble vitamins are carried out of the body in the urine. • Consuming large quantities may be harmful. • You are not likely to get harmful, excessive amounts from the foods you eat – taking large doses of supplements could put you at risk for toxicity.
vitamins • Fat-soluble vitamins: A. D, E, and K • Water-soluble vitamins: C and B-complex
FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS: A, D, E, K
Vitamin a – Functions • The body uses Vitamin A to make a chemical compound the eyes need to adapt to darkness. • Vitamin A promotes normal bone growth. • Vitamin A helps keep tissues (like skin and mucous membranes) healthy.
Vitamin A – sources • The body obtains vitamin A in two forms. The first form is the preformed vitamin – found in foods from animal sources like liver, egg yolk, and whole milk. It is also in fortified dairy products, butter, and fish oils. • The second form is provitamin A carotenoids. These are substances the body can convert into vitamin A – they are found in plant foods. • Deeper color indicates the presence of more vitamin A carotenoids. Therefore, orange and dark green fruits and vegetables normally have a higher vitamin A value than lighter colored produce.
Vitamin a – deficiencies and excesses • If the diet contains too little vitamin A, the eyes will become sensitive to light. They may develop night blindness – a reduced ability to see in dim light. • The skin will become rough and susceptibility to disease may increase. In severe cases, stunted growth may result. • If someone takes too many vitamin A supplements fatigue, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and liver damage may eventually occur.
Vitamin d – Functions • The major function of vitamin D is to support growth and proper mineralization of bones and teeth. • Vitamin D performs this function by helping the body use the minerals calcium and phosphorous.
Vitamin d – sources • Vitamin D occurs naturally in few foods. • Some of those foods include eggs, liver, and fatty fish. • Vitamin D is added to most milk as well as some cereals and margarine.
Vitamin d – deficiencies and excesses • If the diet does not contain enough vitamin D, the body will not be able to use calcium and phosphorous the way it should. • In severe cases, children with vitamin D deficiencies can develop a disease called rickets – symptoms include crooked legs and misshapen breast bones. • Excess vitamin D will be stored in the body and over and extended time, can cause nausea, diarrhea, and loss of weight. In severe cases, kidneys and lungs may be damaged and bones may become deformed.
Vitamin e – functions • Vitamin E functions mainly as an antioxidant – high levels of oxygen can be harmful to some cells in the body • Vitamin E combines with the oxygen and prevents the oxygen from doing damage. • Vitamin E also protects red and white blood cells, fatty acids, and vitamin A from harmful reactions with oxygen.
Vitamin e – sources • You can get vitamin E from many different foods. • Examples: whole grains, dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fats and oils
Vitamin e – deficiencies and excesses • Both deficiencies and excesses of vitamin E are rare. • People who take large doses of vitamin E supplements, and therefore receive too much, are at risk of hemorrhaging. • Hemorrhage: bleed uncontrollably
Vitamin k – functions • Vitamin K is known as the blood-clotting vitamin. • If vitamin K is not available, blood cannot clot properly.
Vitamin k – sources • Leafy green vegetables are the main food source of vitamin K. • Your body can also produce vitamin K – bacteria in the intestinal tract can make vitamin K.
Vitamin k – deficiencies and excesses • Both deficiencies and excesses of vitamin K are rare. • Excesses can occur from taking too many vitamin K supplements. • Even though deficiencies are rare, when they occur, they are caused by the body’s inability to absorb vitamin K. • In the cases of severe deficiencies, hemorrhaging can occur due to lack of blood clotting.
WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS: C & B-COMPLEX
Vitamin c – functions • Helps form collagen– a protein that holds your body cells together. • Helps make walls of blood vessels firm, helps wounds heal and broken bones mend. • Helps body fight infections. • Also functions as an antioxidant.
Vitamin c – sources • The best sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables. • Fruits: citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe • Vegetables: leafy greens, green peppers, broccoli, and cabbage
Vitamin c – deficiencies and excesses • You need a daily supply of vitamin C. • People who smoke need extra vitamin C – they face increased oxygen damage and need the extra amounts of vitamin C for its antioxidant effects. • Too little vitamin C can cause: poor appetite, weakness, bruising, and soreness in the joints. • A prolonged deficiency may result in scurvy– a disease with the symptoms of weakness, bleeding gums, tooth loss, and internal bleeding.
Vitamin c – deficiencies and excesses • Vitamin C does help the body fight infection BUT it does not prevent or cure the common cold. • Do not take vitamin C supplements unless your doctor has told you to do so. • Excess vitamin C may cause: nausea, cramps, and diarrhea.
Thiamin (b1) – functions • Helps the body release energy from food. • Helps promote normal appetite and digestion. • Helps keep nervous system healthy. • Prevents irritability.
Thiamin (b1) – sources • Nearly all foods except fats, oils, and refined sugars contain some amount of thiamin. • Good sources: wheat germ, pork products, legumes, whole grain and enriched cereals.
Thiamin (b1) deficiencies • Too little thiamin in the diet can cause: nausea, apathy, and a loss of appetite. • A severe deficiency can result in a disease called beriberi. • Beriberi affects the nervous system, begins with numbness in the feet and ankles and followed by cramping in the legs and stiffness – could lead to paralysis.
Riboflavin (b2) – functions • Helps break down carbohydrates. • Helps cells use oxygen. • Keeps skin, tongue, and lips healthy and normal. • Helps prevent scaly, greasy areas around the nose and mouth.
Riboflavin (b2) – sources & deficiencies • Good sources: organ meats (animal tongue, heart, liver), milk and milk products, eggs, oysters, leafy green vegetables, whole grain and enriched cereal products . • Deficiencies can cause swollen and cracked lips. Inflammation of the eyes and night blindness may occur also.
Niacin – functions and sources • Functions: • Helps keep nervous system, mouth, skin, tongue, and digestive tract healthy. • Also helps the cells use other nutrients. • Sources: • Muscle meats, poultry, peanuts, and peanut butter are the most common sources.
Niacin – deficiencies • Not getting enough niacin can cause the disease pellagra. • The first symptoms of pellagra are skin lesions and digestive problems. • If pellagra is not treated it can lead to mental problems and death.
Folate – functions • Helps body produce normal blood cells. • Helps convert food into energy. • Folic acid is a supplement given to pregnant women – it helps prevent damage to the brains and spinal cords of unborn babies.
Folate – sources • Broccoli, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, dry beans and peas • Liver, yogurt, strawberries, bananas, oranges, whole grain cereals • Folic acid is found in most enriched bread and cereal products.
Folate deficiencies • Inflammation of the tongue and digestive disorders, such as diarrhea. • Can also result in anemia– a condition that reduces the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream – this decreases the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. • Symptoms of anemia: weakness and fatigue
Biotin – functions, sources, & deficiencies • Functions: breaks down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is also an essential part of several enzymes. • Sources: plant and animal foods – kidney and liver are the richest sources • Deficiencies: deficiencies are rare; symptoms would be: scaly skin, mild depression, fatigue, muscular pain, and nausea.