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List of Vitamins

A Comprehensive List of Vitamins and Their Uses

Vitamins are the essential nutrients required by our body in small amounts. Our body needs vitamins to survive and stay healthy, but can’t produce them on its own. Therefore vitamins must be supplied through various foods. Since any single food doesn’t contain all the vitamins, you should take a varied diet to ensure their adequate supply. The following list of vitamins shows how important vitamins are for your survival:

Vitamin A:

It is a fat soluble vitamin, also called retinol. Vitamin A is responsible for transmitting light sensation in the retina of your eyes. It promotes bone growth, cell division, reproduction, and helps in regulation of immune system. Retinol makes your skin smooth and supple.

It is commonly found in carrots, milk, pumpkins, eggs, sweet potato and spinach. Night blindness is a symptom of vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin B1:

Popularly known as thiamine, vitamin B1 helps in metabolism of carbohydrates. It is important for the smooth functioning of nervous system and cardiovascular system. Thiamine promotes normal growth and development of the body.

It is present in most of the foods. Most common sources are oatmeal, pork, eggs, brown rice and fortified cereals.

Vitamin B2:

It is also called riboflavin. Vitamin B2 plays a vital role in energy production, formation of red blood cells, and antibody production. It works with vitamin A to keep your skin, eyes and hair healthy.

Riboflavin in commonly found in almonds, whole grains, liver, kidney, leafy vegetables, milk, mushroom, fishes and eggs.

Vitamin B3:

Another name of this vitamin is niacin. It regulates blood circulation, sex hormones, stress hormones, digestive and nervous system. It also helps to maintain healthy skin.

The most common foods containing niacin are beets, fishes, chicken, pork, beef liver, peanuts and strawberries.

Vitamin B5:

Pantothenic acid. It helps convert food to energy. Pantothenic acid is vital in smooth functioning of digestive system. Vitamin B5 a good stress reducer.

Dietary sources of vitamin B5 are fishes, meat, peanuts, legumes, wheat, liver and kidney.

Vitamin B6:

Also called pyridoxine. It activates many enzymes, balances the hormonal changes in females, converts food into energy, controls mood and sex drive, and prevents skin problems.

All the good sources of vitamin B6 are similar to those of other vitamins in the B-group including eggs, chicken, kidney, peas, walnuts, whole grains, fish and liver.

Vitamin B7:

Its chemical name is biotin and sometimes it is also referred to as vitamin H. As a cellular stimulant, vitamin B7 helps in body growth and required for healthy growth of hair and skin.

Vitamin B9:

Also known as folic acid. It is a very important factor in the synthesis of nucleic acid. Folic acid also helps in the production of red blood cells. It strengthens your immune system and supplies essential nutrients during pregnancy.

Vitamin B9 is found in pork, leafy vegetables, cereals, beans, dairy products and oranges.

Vitamin B12 :

It is also known as cobalamin because it contains cobalt. Vitamin B12 is crucial in proper functioning of brain and nerves, and prevention of anemia. It works with folic acid in red blood cell formation.

Plenty of vitamin B12 is found in eggs, dairy products, seafood, and ham. It is not present in vegetables or any other plant sources.

Vitamin C

This vitamin is called ascorbic acid. It is a water soluble vitamin that performs the function of an anti-oxidant. Ascorbic acid is used in tissue repair and growth. It synthesizes collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones, cartilage and muscles.

It is found in citrus fruits, guava, cabbage, strawberries and potato. Deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy, a disease characterized by fragile capillaries and poor wound healing.

Vitamin D

Also known as sunshine vitamin because it is synthesized by your skin upon exposure to sunlight. It absorbs and metabolizes calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D boosts your immune system, regulates cell growth, and is very important for pregnant women.

The principle sources are exposure to sunlight, fortified foods, salmon, sardines and cod liver oil. Deficiency of vitamin D can cause rickets, osteoporosis and obesity.

Vitamin E

An excellent anti-oxidant that protects cells from free radicals. Vitamin E is involved in DNA repair, immune system, nervous system, and acts as a barrier to poisons and a number of diseases.

Natural food sources that contain vitamin E are: nuts, spinach, whole grains, eggs, soybean and vegetable oils. Its deficiency causes anemia.

Vitamin K

This vitamin regulates blood clotting by producing coagulation proteins. Its deficiency causes excessive bleeding.

Vitamin K is found in almost all green vegetables, oats and oils.

 

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