Vitamins: Their Functions, Types, Sources and Symptoms of Their Deficiency

Many people do not know exactly what is the role of vitamins in our body and why they are so important.

Vitamins are essential for our body. Since they were discovered and their positive effects became known for us, they became one of the most common products of the pharmaceutical industry.

Read a brief overview of the most important vitamins, their natural resources, roles in the body and potentially harmful effects with their deficiency.


Vitamin A (Akseroftol, Retinol)

Functions: Necessary for normal vision, the synthesis of glycoproteins and the process of growth and development, reproduction, mucus secretion and maintenance of normal epithelium, has a role of antioxidant.

Source: liver, sea fish, fresh water fish-(less), carrots, alfalfa, tomatoes and apricots.

Deficiency: It leads to disturbances of vision (night and chicken blindness), skin flakes, sterility, children interference in growth and development.


Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Functions: It allows to the body to convert blood sugar into glucose and breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Source: Whole grains, liver, heart and kidneys, yeast and bacteria of the intestinal flora.

Deficiency: mental confusion, anorexia, muscle weakness, swelling, rapid heart rhythms (most common in alcoholics).


Vitamin B3 (niacin, nicotinic acid)

Functions: One of the most important coenzyme, participates in almost all metabolic processes (the most important is cellular respiration process).

Source: Meat, liver, yeast and rice.

Deficiency: The disease called pellagra, which is mainly characterized with dermatitis, diarrhea and dementia.


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin, lactoflavin)

Functions: Participates in many metabolic processes, primarily in the production of energy in cellular respiration.

Source: Foods of animal origin, particularly eggs and dairy products, vegetables.

Deficiency: Dry throat and inflammation of the membrane on the throat, dermatitis, anemia.


Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Functions: 80 percent of pantothenic acid in the body is in the form of coenzyme A. It participates in the degradation of fats, carbohydrates and amino acids.

Source: Pantothenic acid is one of the most common vitamin, can be found in almost all foods.

Deficiency: Due to the wide distribution it is not reported in practice.


Vitamin B6 (Piridoksol, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine)

Functions: Participate in a variety of metabolic processes, in first place in the metabolism of unsaturated fatty acids and biosynthesis of fat from protein.

Source: seeds, grains, liver, milk, eggs, and green leafy vegetables.

Deficiency: dermatitis, disorders of the blood count, neurological disturbances.


Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid, Folate, Folacin)

Functions: Folic acid in the form of coenzyme is responsible for the creation of purine and pyrimidine, which are the building blocks of DNA, and as such, this vitamin along with vitamin B12 and C is essential for normal cell division.

Source: leafy vegetables, liver, meat and egg yolk.

Deficiency: It leads to a special kind of anemia called Megaloblastic anemia.


Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin, Cyanocobalamin)

Functions: Necessary for creating of Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), participates in the metabolism of certain amino acids.

Source: liver, meat, milk, eggs and other foods of animal origin.

Deficiency: A special type of anemia called Pernicious anemia, neurological disorders.


Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid)

Functions: One of the most important agents in the oxidation-reduction processes. Particularly important for the successful production of collagen and connective tissue, and as such, is necessary for wound healing. Also, it improves immune function and participate in the creation of the adrenal hormones (glucocorticoids).

Source: Lemon, orange and other plants from the family of citrus fruits, berries, melons, watermelons, tomatoes, green peppers, cabbage.

Deficiency: The disease known as scurvy. It is manifested by swelling, frequent bleeding, nonunion healing, tooth decay, osteoporosis, anemia and so on.


Vitamin D (calciferol)

Functions: Important for metabolism and maintaining the level of calcium and phosphorus in the body, and as such, indirectly responsible for many processes, most important for normal functioning of skeletal (bones and muscles).

Source: Sun exposure, fish oil, milk, butter, liver, egg yolk.

Deficiency: Low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) and phosphorus (hypophosphatemia) leads to development of rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.


Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

Functions: The most important antioxidant in the body, essential for normal lipid metabolism, responsible for preventing from free radicals (free radicals are damaging DNA and leads to malignant disease). Necessary for normal reproductive function.

Source: Vegetable oil, seeds (peanuts), fruits and vegetables.

Deficiency: Disorder of lipid metabolism and hemolytic anemia, infertility, increased risk of developing malignancies.


Vitamin H (Biotin)

Functions: Necessary for normal function of the enzymes from the group of carboxylase, essential for lipid metabolism, oxaloacetic acid, urea and purine.

Source: The gut flora.

Deficiency: Extremely rare, it is manifested with bloating, vomiting, dermatitis, hair loss and nervous disorders.


It is important to mention vitamin K which is necessary for proper blood clotting and vitamin F, which plays an essential role in the lipid metabolism.

– Be careful not to take vitamins excessively. Insufficient intake leads to disorder, and excessive intake leads to problems that are sometimes more difficult from those that occur due to the lack of vitamins.

Moderation is the key to health.


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