Chapters

Vitamins

 

Vitamin

What the Vitamin does

Effects of vitamin deficiency

Good food sources

Vitamin A 
(beta carotene)

Helps to keep eyesight and promote the growth of healthy skin, hair, bones and teeth. Helps in cell reproduction and aids to strengthen the immune and reproductive systems. The body uses beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A.

 

Night blindness, dry skin, poor bone and teeth growth and development.

Soy milk (and other dairy products) 
carrots
spinach 
green peas 
tomato juice 
watermelon 
sweet potatoes 
pumpkins
cantaloupe 
sunflower seeds 
fish liver oils 
liver 
lean ham 
mango 
broccoli 
lean pork chops 
egg yolks 
 

Vitamin B1 (thiamine)

Used by the body to help convert carbohydrates into energy. Helps to keep the normal function of the nervous system, muscles heart and digestion.

Less concentration, loss of appetite. Weakness, exhaustion and fatigue.

Lean Pork 
Legumes 
Yeast 
Bananas 
Fish (most) 
Liver 
Nuts and seeds 
Potatoes 
sweet potatoes 
peas 
watermelon 
avocado 
Poultry 
Whole-grain and fortified cereals
 

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Important for growth in the body. Assists skin, nails and hair to grow. Helps to prevent sores and swelling of mouth and lips. Aids in reproduction and cell regeneration. Also aids in the releasing of energy from carbohydrates.

Itching and irritation of lips, eyes, skin and mucous membranes.

Eggs 
Fish and shellfish 
Fortified cereals 
Meat 
poultry 
Dairy products 
Kiwi
Avocado 
Broccoli 
turnip greens 
asparagus 
spinach
 

Vitamin B3
(niacin)

Helps to release energy from carbohydrates. Aids in the functioning of the digestive system, nerves and

Depression, diarrhoea, dizziness, fatigue, halitosis, headaches, indigestion, insomnia, limb pains, loss of appetite, low blood sugar, muscular weakness, skin eruptions, and inflammation. 
 

Beef liver
Peanuts
Chicken, White meat
Tuna 
Salmon
Almonds
Mushrooms
Corn
Mango
Lentils
 

Vitamin B9 (Folate/Folic acid) Helps produce and maintain red blood cells and the nervous system. Essential for mental and emotional health as it helps to maintain normal brain functions. Anaemia and a reduction in growth rates. Other subtle symptoms may include digestive disorders such as diarrhoea, loss of appetite, and weight loss can occur, as can weakness, sore tongue, headaches, heart palpitations, irritability, forgetfulness, and behavioural disorders Dark green vegetables 
Dry beans
peas
lentils
Enriched grain products 
Fortified cereals 
Liver 
Orange juice 
Wheat germ 
Yeast
Vitamin B12 needed for nerve cells and red blood cells, and to make DNA Demyelination and irreversible nerve cell death. Symptoms include numbness or tingling of the extremities and an ataxic gait. dairy products
eggs
cereals
soy based products
liver
beef 
clams 

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Important in the production of collagen in the body - helps the connective tissues and organs. Can act as an anti oxidant to help protect the body from free radical.

Scurvy (though rarely seen today) which causes bleeding and inflamed gums, loose teeth and poor wound healing.

citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes)
berries
melons
tomatoes
potatoes
green peppers
leafy green vegetables
 

Vitamin D

Helps to promote the absorption of calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. Helps to maintain and form strong and healthy bones.

Rickets and osteomalacia. Rickets results in soft bones and skeletal deformities

Liver 
High-fat fish 
Fish oils 
Egg yolk 
Fortified cereals 
Fortified milk 
Sunlight
 

Vitamin E

An antioxidant that protects your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of energy metabolism.

Intestinal disorders - cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis, and cholestasis. Prevent the absorption of dietary fats and fat-soluble nutrients.

Margarine 
Nuts and seeds 
Peanuts and peanut butter Vegetable oils 
Wheat germ 
Whole-grain and fortified cereals

 

Vitamin K

Helps to control blood clotting in the body and is essential for synthesizing the liver protein that controls the clotting

A shortage of this vitamin may result in nosebleeds, internal haemorrhaging.

Broccoli 
Brussels sprouts 
Cabbage 
Leafy green vegetables 
Mayonnaise 
Soybean
Canola
Olive oils

 


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