Essential Vitamins In The Human Body And Their Functions

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Essential Vitamins You Must Know

VITAMINS

There are two types of vitamin groups: fat-soluble and water-soluble. It is important to distinguish between the two in order to understand how they work in our bodies!

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D, E, K

Fat-soluble vitamins are found in the fatty portions of foods such as oils! They are absorbed in the body along with dietary fats found in meats, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and avocado. This is why consuming healthy fats is important. These vitamins are readily stored in our fat cells called adipose tissue. Hence, we do not need to consume these vitamins everyday. Overconsumption of fat-soluble vitamins can need to toxic levels in the body which may lead to organ damage. On the other hand, people with an inability to absorb fats, may become deficient in these vitamins. Below is an in-depth look into fat-soluble vitamins, how much to consume, and foods you can consume in order to get more of these vitamins into your body!

Vitamin A (retinol, retinal, retinoic acid)

Main function:

  • Required for the ability of eyes to adjust to the changes in light
  • Protects color vision
  • Required for sperm production in men + fertilization in female
  • Healthy bone + immune system

Recommended intake:

  • Men – 900 micrograms/day
  • Women – 700 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Beef + chicken liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Spinache
  • Carrots
  • Mango
  • Apricots
  • Pumpkins

TOO MUCH Vitamin A leads to:

  • Fatigue
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Liver damage

TOO LITTLE Vitamin A leads to:

  • Night blindness
  • Impaired growth and immunity function

Vitamin D (cholecalciferol)

Main function:

  • Regulates blood calcium levels
  • Maintains bone health
  • Helps in cell differentiation

Recommended intake:

  • Adult Men/Women ages 19-50 – 5 micrograms/day
  • Adult Men/Women ages 50-70 – 10 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Canned salmon
  • Milk
  • Fortified cereals

TOO MUCH Vitamin D leads to:

  • Hypercalcemia – Too much calcium in the blood which may lead to many symptoms such as increased thirst or belly pain.

TOO LITTLE Vitamin D leads to:

  • Osteoporosis in adults – weak and brittle bones

Vitamin E

Main Function:

  • Protects cell membrane from oxidation
  • Protects white blood cells
  • Enhances immune functions
  • Improves absorption of Vitamin A

Recommended intake:

  • Men + Woman – 15 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Vegetable oils
  • Almonds

TOO MUCH Vitamin E leads to:

  • RARE

TOO LITTLE Vitamin E leads to:

  • Anemia
  • Impairment of nerve muscle + immune function

Vitamin K

Main Function:

  • Coenzyme during production of specific proteins that assist in blood coagulation

Recommended intake:

  • Men – 120 micrograms/day
  • Woman – 90 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts

TOO MUCH Vitamin K leads to:

  • No known symptoms

TOO LITTLE Vitamin K leads to:

  • Impaired blood clotting

 

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are found in a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits, veggies, meats, and dairy products. They are great at being absorbed through the digestive tract directly into the bloodstream. With the exception of Vitamin B12, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body. Any excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins are filtered in the kidney and are secreted in urine. Because of this, it is very important to consume on a daily basis! Below are all the water-soluble vitamins and related food to consume in order to get them into your body!

Biotin

Main Function:

  • Enzyme cofactor in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism
  • Supports health in skin and nerves
  • Helps support strong nails!

Recommended intake:

  • Men + Women – 30 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Nuts
  • Egg yolks
  • Almonds
  • Whole grains
  • Milk + meat products

TOO MUCH BIotin leads to:

  • No known symptoms

TOO LITTLE Biotin leads to:

  • RARE!

Vitamin B1 – Thiamin

Main Function:

  • Enzyme co-factor for carbohydrate + amino acid metabolism

Recommended intake:

  • Men – 1.2 micrograms/day
  • Women – 1.1 micrograms.day

Main food source:

  • Pork
  • Fortified cereals
  • Enriched rice + pasta
  • Peas
  • Tuna
  • Legumes

TOO MUCH Vitamin B1 leads to:

  • No none symptoms

TOO LITTLE Vitamin B1 leads to:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased memory
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Main Function:

  • Enzyme co-factor for carbohydrate and fat metabolism

Recommended intake:

  • Men – 1.3 micrograms/day
  • Women – 1.1 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Beef liver
  • Shrimp
  • Milk + other dairy foods

TOO MUCH Vitamin B2 leads to:

  • No known symptoms

TOO LITTLE Vitamin B2 leads to:

  • Swollen mouth + throat
  • Anemia

Vitamin B3 – Niacin

Main Function:

  • Plays a role in DNA replication + repair
  • Can improve cholesterol levels
  • Required for carbohydrate and fat metabolism

Recommended intake:

  • Men – 16 micrograms/day
  • Women – 14 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Beef liver
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Enriched bread + grains
  • Canned tomato products

TOO MUCH Vitamin B3 leads to:

  • Flushing
  • Liver damage

TOO LITTLE Vitamin B3 leads to:

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid

Main Function:

  • Assist with fat metabolism
  • Synthesizes and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats

Recommended intake:

  • Men + Women – 5 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Mushrooms
  • Egg yolks

TOO MUCH Vitamin E leads to:

  • No known symptoms

TOO LITTLE Vitamin E leads to:

  • No known symptoms

VItamin B6 – Pyridoxine

Main Function:

  • Helps in the making of blood cells
  • Enzyme cofactor for carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism

Recommended intake:

  • Adults ages 19-50 – 1.3 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Chickpeas
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • White potatoes

TOO MUCH Vitamin B6 leads to:

  • Nerve damage
  • Skin lesions

TOO LITTLE Vitamin B6 leads to:

  • Anemia

 

Vitamin B9 – Folate (folic acid)

Folate is a vitamin that occurs naturally in food, whereas folic acid is the synthetic form of folate found in many supplements.

Main Function:

  • Required for DNA synthesis
  • Involved in metabolism of homocysteine
  • Can treat certain types of anemia
  • Building block of all cells
  • Enzyme cofactor for animo acid metabolism

Recommended intake:

  • Men – 400 micrograms/day
  • Women – 400 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Enriched breads and grains
  • Spinach
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Pinto beans
  • Spinach
  • Romaine lettuce

TOO MUCH Vitamin B9 leads to:

  • There is no risk when consuming natural folate. Consuming large doses of folic acid can have negative effects on individuals with B12 deficiency.

TOO LITTLE Vitamin B9 leads to:

  • Anemia
  • Elevated homocysteine levels

 

Vitamin B12 – Cobalamin

Main Function:

  • Involved as an enzyme cofactor in homocysteine metabolism
  • Aids in formation of red blood cells
  • Helps to regulates and makes DNA
  • Excess Vitamin B12 are stored in the body

Recommended intake:

  • Men + Women – 2.4 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Shellfish
  • Meat, fish, poultry
  • Dairy foods

Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid

Main Function:

  • Helps in collagen synthesis (protein in the body that gives skin strength and elasticity!)
  • Enhances immune function
  • Assist in synthesis of hormones, neurotransmitters, and DNA
  • Helps in iron absorption

Recommended intake:

  • Men – 90 micrograms/day
  • Women – 75 micrograms/day

Main food source:

  • Sweet peppers
  • Citrus fruits + juices
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi

TOO MUCH Vitamin C leads to:

  • Nausea
  • Kidney stones in people with kidney disease

TOO LITTLE Vitamin C leads to:

  • Scurvy – diseases caused by severe Vitamin C deficiency that leads to sore legs, tired feeling, gum disease + more
  • Bone pain + fractures
  • Depression
  • Anemia

For more health related articles, check outΒ https://munchieswithm.com/category/health/personal/

Thank you for reading!

 

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