What are vitamins?
- Vitamins are organic compounds that our body needs to develop and grow. Most of vitamins are present in food .Vitamins play important role in the body and requirement of different vitamins is different for every person.
Why do we need vitamins?
- Vitamins are essential nutrient that the body our required to perform various functions. To sustain a healthy life style our body needs vitamins. Deficiency of vitamins can lead to many health issues.
Types of vitamins
- Fat soluble vitamins – Vitamins that are soluble in fat, are fat soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K are. The body stores fat-soluble vitamins in fatty tissue of the body and the liver, and these vitamins can stay in the body for long time.
Dietary fats help the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins through the intestinal tract.
- Water soluble vitamins – Vitamins that are soluble in water, are water soluble vitamins. Vitamin B and C are water soluble vitamins. Water soluble vitamins do not stay in the body for the longer time and cannot be stored in the body. These expel out through the body through urine Due to this reason; our body needs more supply of water-soluble vitamins than fat-soluble vitamins.
Different vitamins, their functions, sources and deficiency consequences are mentioned below.
FAT – SOLUBLE VITAMINS
|Vitamins||Vitamin benefits||Vitamin Sources||Deficiency|
Anti – Xeropthalmic vitamin
|Essential for normal functioning of eye. It is a Growth promoting vitamin||Sources include liver, cod liver oil, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, butter, spinach, pumpkins, collard greens, some cheeses, eggs, apricots, and milk.|| Night blindness,
( Ergocalciferol, Cholecalciferol)
|Necessary for the healthy mineralization of bone .||Exposure to sun light causes the body to produce vitamin D. other sources may include Fatty fish, eggs, liver, and mushrooms also contain the vitamin.||Rickets, osteomalacia, softening of bones or bone deformities.|
|Acts as antioxidant agent. This antioxidant activity prevents the risk of widespread inflammation and various diseases. Maintain a healthy immune system as well as healthy skin and eye condition.||Sources include grains, nuts, seeds and oils from plants including olive oil.||May cause hemolytic anemia in newborns. Due to which blood cells destroys.|
|Necessary for blood clotting.||These include leafy green vegetables, pumpkins, figs, and parsley.||Low levels may cause unusual bleeding, or bleeding diathesis.|
WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS
|Vitamins||Vitamin benefits||Vitamin Sources||Deficiency|
|Essential for producing enzymes that help break down blood sugar.||These sources include cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole grain cauliflower, potatoes, eggs ,oranges, liver.||Deficiency leads to Beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.|
|Growth and development of body cells and helps metabolize food.||Sources are Bananas, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish, and green beans etc.||May cause inflammation of the lips and fissures in the mouth.|
|The body needs niacin for the cells to grow and work correctly.
|Sources include chicken, meat, s milk, eggs, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, fruits , broccoli, carrots, nuts and seeds, tofu etc.||Deficiency results in a pellagra which a health issue that leads to diarrhea , intestinal issue and skin changes.|
( Pantothenic acid)
|It is necessary for producing energy and hormones.
|Meats, whole grains, broccoli, avocados and yogurt.||Symptoms may include paresthesia, or “pins and needles.”|
(pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal)
|Formation of red blood cells||Sources may include beef liver, bananas, sand nuts.||Deficiency leads to anemia, peripheral neuropathy.|
|It enables the body to metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrate It contributes to keratin, a protein in the skin, hair, and nails.||These sources include cheese, broccoli ,egg yolk, spinach, and milk.||Low levels may cause skin problems like dermatitis or inflammation of the intestines.|
(folic acid, folinic acid)
|Essential for making DNA and RNA||These include Green leafy vegetables, peas, legumes, liver, some fortified grain products, and sunflower seeds. Also, several fruits have moderate amounts.||During pregnancy, deficiency can affect the nervous system of the fetus. Usually folic acid supplements are started during pregnancy to avoid spine disorders.|
|Vitamin B 12
(cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, methylcobalamin )
|Essential for a healthy nervous system.||Include fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products like milk, butter etc. fortified cereals, fortified products, and fortified nutritional yeast.||Deficiency may lead to anemia and other neurological disorders.|
(Ascorbic acid )
|It contributes to collagen production, wound healing, and bone formation. It also strengthens blood vessels, supports the immune system, helps the body absorb iron, and acts as an antioxidant||These include fruit and vegetables. Mainly sour Fruits like oranges, lemon, amla, guava are good of vitamin C. Cooking destroys vitamin C.||Scurvy, which leads to bleeding gums, a loss of teeth and poor tissue growth and delay wound healing|
What is a multivitamin?
- Multivitamins are combination of different vitamins that our body needs. Multivitamins are used to provide vitamins that are deficient in diet. Usually prescribe in the vitamin deficiencies which may occur due to chronic illness, poor nutrition, digestive disorders and many other health conditions.
Benefits of Multivitamins
- Maintains muscle strength
- Boost immune system
- Supports eye health
- Reduce Stress & Depression
- Improves brain function
- Increase energy levels
A balanced, varied diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables should be the primary source of vitamins. The Department of Health and Human Services provide up-to-date guidelinesTrusted Source detailing the best ways to get enough nutrients from the diet.
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.