Vitamins are specific organic compounds that are valuable nutrients for the human body for the continuation of life. These compounds are usually obtained from food and when the body does not produce enough of one or another vitamin, it takes the necessary amount from everything people eat. Apart from vitamin deficiency due to various causes, the human body does not produce certain vitamins in enough quantity by nature and the process of obtaining it is the same. Being organic chemical compounds, .
Some compounds can be vitamins for humans, while not being vitamins for some animals. For example the vitamin C which can not be produced by human in the amounts that the human body needs it, while dogs can produce its own synthesized one. This way, a vitamin is an essential nutrient for the human body and the body needs to absorb it from the food to supply the deficiency for a normal metabolism. There are vitamins that have been recognized as such type of compounds that are necessary for the human body.
There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins can not be stored in the body for a long period of time due to the fact that they are taken out by urine, that is why they need to be replaced often. The fat-soluble vitamins are deposited in the fat tissues of the body and in the liver. The fat-soluble vitamins are easier to store compared to water-soluble vitamins and, due to this, they may not need to be replaced that often, because these can stay in the body for longer periods of time, usually days and even months.
The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A, D, E and K, while the water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and the B vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed in the intestinal tract and this is done by means of fats called lipids. Every vitamin has its own function in the body and each of them is needed in various amounts, depending on the body needs and deficiency, and have a separate effect on the metabolism.
Vitamin A is represented by retinol, beta carotene and the four carotenoids, being fat soluble. The source of vitamin A can be found in liver, cod liver oil, as well as carrot, broccoli, sweet potato, kale, butter, spinach, collard greens, certain type of cheese, egg, apricots, pumpkin, milk and cantaloupe melon. Deficiency of this vitamin may lead to issues with eyes and can cause night-blindness and dry cornea.
Vitamin B1 is called thiamine and is a water soluble one. it can be found in such products like pork, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, whole grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, oranges, potatoes, liver, eggs, yeast and brown rice. Its deficiency may lead to such issues like beriberi, the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.
Vitamin B2 is called riboflavin and its deficiency can cause ariboflavinosis. The source of this vitamin can be found mainly in bananas, okra, chard, cottage cheese, milk, yougurt, as well as meat, eggs, fish, green beans, asparagus and persimmons.
Vitamin B3 is niacin and niacinamide and its deficiency may cause pellagra. The best sources can be found in liver, kidney, heart, chicken, as well as beef and fish, especially tuna and salmon, milk, eggs, avocado, tomato, dates, sorts of leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, as well as sweet potatoes, asparagus, nuts, legumes, mushrooms, whole grains, brewer’s yeast.
Vitamin B5 is the pantothenic acid and can be found in meat, whole grains, as well as broccoli, avocado, royal jelly and fish ovaries. The deficiency of this vitamin in the body can lead to paresthesia.
Vitamin B6 is called pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal and its deficit may lead to anemia and peripheral neuropathy. It can be found in bananas, meats, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. It is found in milk as well, however during the drying procedure, as well as during its freezing and canning, it loses half of it.
Vitamin B7, which is biotin, can be found in egg yolks, liver and some vegetables. Defficiency can bring to dermatitis and enteritis.
Vitamin B9 is the folic acid and the folinic acid and is mostly used in pregnancy to help the development of the fetus in pregnant women. Its deficiency can lead to birth defects. The best sources of this vitamin can be found in leafy vegetables, legumes, as well as sunflower seeds, liver and baker’s yeast. Moderate amounts can be found in several fruits and beer.
Vitamin B12 is represented by cyanocobalamin, hydroxycobalamin and methylcobalamin and its deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anemia. Sources of such vitamin are found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products and milk, as well as shellfish, some fortified cereals, soy products, fortified nutritional yeast.
, while the highest amount of it is contained in the Kakadu plum and the camu camu fruits. Liver also has vitamin C. just like the previous vitamin, its deficient can cause megaloblastic anemia.
Vitamin D is ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol and its insufficiency may cause rickets and osteomalacia. The best sources of it are fatty fish, eggs, mushrooms and beef liver. It can be as well produced in the skin after the exposure to the ultraviolet B light from the sun, as well as artificially.
Vitamin E is called tocopherols, tocotrienols, and can be found mostly in kiwi fruit, avocado, eggs, almonds, milk, nuts, leafy green vegetables, unheated vegetable oil, whole grains and wheat germ. Its deficiency is not very common, however it may cause mild hemolytic anemia in newborn babies.
Vitamin K is called phylloquinone, menaquinones and its insufficiency may cause bleeding diathesis. The best sources of it is found in avocado, leafy green vegetables and kiwi fruit, as well as parsley that contains a lot of it.