Healthcare as it should be!

The 5 vitamins to keep track off

A vitamin is one of the vital nutrients required by humans. An organic chemical compound that cannot by synthesized in sufficient amounts by the body is also called a vitamin, and can only be obtained from a diet. There are thirteen vitamins existing universally at the moment and these vitamins are classified basing on their biological and chemical activities. The various functions performed by vitamins include mineral metabolism regulation, cell and tissue growth regulation, and also cell differentiation. Other important functions include acting as antioxidants e.g. vitamin C. vitamin B complex which is known to be the largest in numbers acts as enzyme cofactor precursors which assist enzymes in doing their work such as catalysis in metabolism. The most important vitamins that affect your health are listed below:

Vitamin A
This type of vitamin is also called retinol and it is fat soluble. The solubility in fat is important in human growth and development. Vitamin A has several important functions.

Functions of Vitamin A

Vitamin improves a person’s immunity by maintaining healthy mucous membranes and fighting diseases. This vitamin is also commonly known to help in strengthening teeth, developing strong and healthy bones, protecting against cataracts, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiac problems and macular regeneration during old age. Vitamin A also contains anti-ageing properties which prevent formation of wrinkles that form on the skin by aiding rejuvenation of cells.

Sources of Vitamin A
Vitamin A can be obtained from various sources which include dairy products like yoghurt, cheese and butter, milk, eggs, fish liver oil, chicken, beef, liver and kidney. It can also be obtained from fruits such as peaches, mangoes, apricots, winter squash, cantaloupe, leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and the most common being carrots.

Deficiency
Problems associated with vitamin A deficiency include night blindness, low disease resistance, depression, fatigue, anxiety, bladder problems and kidney stones. Others include anemia, insomnia, gum disease and nerve damage.

Vitamin B Complex

This is a family of eight vitamins grouped together in the water soluble group. The 8 vitamins work together in performing a number of important processes in the body.

Functions of Vitamin B Complex
This complex promotes a healthy nervous system with the main components being vitamins B3 and B6 (niacin and pyridoxine respectively). They also improve cognitive health thus preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia. Also known to improve brain functioning are vitamins B1, B6 and B12. Vitamin B5 produces vital hormones which assist in the functioning of adrenal glands. Vitamin 3 is important in controlling serotonin and stress hormone production. Vitamins B6, B3, B2 and B1 assist in digestion and the manufacture of Hydrochloric acid which breaks down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This in turn aids in weight loss. B9 is known to help in maintaining a healthy GIT. Vitamin B1 also assists in food breakdown and converts the food to glucose. Vitamins B7, B6, B5, B3 and B2 convert the produced glucose to energy.

Sources of Vitamin B Complex
The vitamin B complex can be obtained from bananas, nuts, chicken eggs, whole grains and cereals, kidney beans, and citrus fruits.

Deficiency

Symptoms normally linked to vitamin B complex deficiency include skin disorders, abdominal pain, falling hair, muscle spasms, depression, fatigue and anemia.

Vitamin C

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables. It is also an antioxidant which helps in fighting diseases.

Functions of Vitamin C

It helps in collagen formation, bone development, and also joint and teeth development. Vitamin C prevents certain infections and improves the immune system due to the antibacterial and antiviral properties it has. Vitamin C also contains anticancer properties. Its intake reduces risks of cancer and at the same time preventing abnormal blood clotting. This type of vitamins also improves the health of the cardiac system by maintaining blood sugar level and cholesterol level.

Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found in fruits like berries. It is also available in papaya, pineapple, kiwi, mango and squash fruits.

Deficiency

Some of the disorders associated with vitamin C deficiency include periodontal disease, bruises, digestive disorders, fracture, and slow wound healing and appetite loss.

Vitamin D

Also called cholecalciferol, vitamin D is important in breaking down phosphorous and calcium in the body.

Functions of Vitamin D
Through breaking down calcium, this vitamin controls calcium and phosphorous absorption especially from the small intestines. This leads to strengthening teeth and keeping bones healthy.

Sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D can be obtained from milk and other dairy products. Other sources include eggs, liver, cereals, oily fish and cod liver oils.

Deficiency
Deficiency in vitamin D may result in insomnia, muscles, weak bones, osteomalacia, herring and salmon.

Vitamin E

This is a fat soluble vitamin which has many antioxidant properties.

Functions of Vitamin E
By maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol in the body, vitamin E reduces the risk of cardiac diseases. The vitamin also protects the body from free radicals and improves one’s immune system. It reduces prostate and breast cancer risk. When applied on the skin, vitamin E rids stretch marks and scars keeping the skin smooth in addition to relieving burns.

Sources of Vitamin E
Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds, green leafy vegetables, mangoes, corn, spinach, liver, sweet potatoes, yams, soya, eggs, margarine, peanut and wheat germ are some of the common sources of vitamin E.

Deficiency
Due to the body’s ability to store vitamin E, its deficiency is uncommon. However, a few symptoms may indicate its deficiency including anemia, renal deterioration, skin problems and reproductive system problems.
These are so far the top five most important vitamins that affect your health and there consumption is a necessity in every person’s life.

Comments are closed.