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Vitamins

As well as the major nutrients; Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats, the body needs some substances in much smaller quantities. These are known as Vitamins. For RDAs see the table at the foot of the article. Note that some Vitamins (notably A and E) should not be taken in excessive doses. If you are pregnant then you should discuss supplementation with a qualified doctor.

A -- Retinol - A deficiency causes Night-blindness. Also important in genetic health and reduces risk of heart disease. Sources include liver and leafy greens.

B1 - Thiamine - Aids the break down of carbohydrates and fats for the release of energy.

B2 - Riboflavin is also needed for the body's production of energy.

B3 - Niacin - Pellagra other problems

B5 - Pantothenic acid

B6 - Is needed for protein synthesis and production of red blood cells

B6 - Pyridoxine - Anemia peripheral neuropathy

B7 - Biotin - Deficiency can result in scurvy and eczema. It is found in Liver, Soya and Lentils - Also sometimes known as Vitamin H

B9 - Folic Acid - Essential in pregnancy, a deficiency can cause birth defects. Implicated in disorders ranging from heart disease to dementia

B12 - Cyanocobalamin - anemia results from a deficiency. Severe deficiency results in brain atrophy. Important in old age.

C - Ascorbic Acid - Found in fruit, most commonly citrus fruits; oranges lemons, limes. In the 18th century was used to prevent scurvy in sailors.

D - Calciferol - A deficiency can cause rickets and bone disease. Found in oily fish liver and eggs

E - Tocopherol - Vitamin E

K - Required for blood coagulation and bone growth also vein and artery health

Other vitamin related nutrients and the vitamins that have been declassified as such:-

Adenine - Was previously classified as Vitamin B4. Adenine does function in conjunction with Vitamins B1 and B2 in energy metabolism.

Inositol  - This was originally classified as a Vitamin: (Vitamin B8) Aids redistribution of fat. Helps nourish brain cells and optimises the the benefits of vitamin E.

Vitamin P - Polyphenols Bioflavonoids, flavonoids

RDA - Recommended Dietary Intake (adult)

Vitamin RDA
Unit
Vitamin A
900
g
Vitamin C
90
mg
Thiamin (B1)
1.2
mg
Riboflavin (B2)
1.3
mg
Niacin (B3)
16
mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
5
mg
Vitamin B6
1.3
mg
Vitamin B7 Biotin
30
g
Folate (B9)
400
g
Cyanocobalamin (B12)
2.4
g
Vitamin C
90
mg
Vitamin D
200
IU
Vitamin E)
15
IU
Vitamin K
120
g

Note that some medical professionals advise that supplementation with multivitamins is not necessary for people eating a healthy and complete diet, however Vegetarians are frequently deficient in Vitamin B12 and iodine deficiency has been found in relatively large numbers of young people in the UK. Drinking very pure water can also result in some deficiencies. People living in countries with low light levels in winter often benefit from additional Vitamin D, especially those with darker skin colouration. DE

More on B12 ...

 

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