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Nutritional Benefits of Vitamins


Date Posted: 10/22/2017 3:01:22 AM

Posted By: wanyamba  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 239

Vitamins are nutrients the body needs to function and fight of diseases. They also play a role as co-factors during metabolic reactions. Since the human body cannot produce them quickly enough to meet daily requirements,they have to be obtained from food. Even though the body needs vitamins in very small amounts, their lack causes specific deficiency conditions.

Vitamins are categorised as either fat soluble or water soluble depending on whether they are soluble in water or lipids.


These vitamins are not stored by the body in large amounts and any excess is lost through urine.

•Vitamin B1(Thiamine)

This vitamin plays a role as a co-enzyme needed in energy metabolism. It is also important for the normal functioning of the nervous system.
Thiamine is found in all nutritious foods in moderate amounts e.g. pock, mushrooms, wholewheat, soya, nuts and liver.
Deficiency causes fatigue, general body weakness, edema and gastro-intestinal problems.

•Vitamin B2(Riboflavin)

Riboflavin helps the body with energy production. It also facilitates utilization of other B vitamins. It is also important in skin health.
It can be found in milk and milk products, green leafy vegetables like sukumawiki, wholegrain, eggs and liver.
Its deficiency causes dermatitis, anxiety, loss of appetite and fatigue.

•Vitamin B3(Niacin)

Vitamin B3 helps in energy metabolism, normal nervous system functioning and healthy skin.
Niacin can be obtained from meat, fish, poultry, peanut butter and whole grains.
Its deficiency causes diarrhoea, dementia and stomatitis.

•Vitamin B5(pantothenic acid)

It is essential in energy metabolism. Vitamin B5 can be obtained from a wide variety of foods especially avocados, sweetpotatos and broccoli.
Deficiency of this vitamin can only happen in severe malnutrition, with symptoms of general body weakness and low energy levels.

•Vitamin B6(Pyridoxine)

This vitamin plays a major role in the metabolism of proteins and synthesis of red blood cells.

Vitamin B6 can be obtained from fruits, vegetables and fish.
Deficiency of this vitamin causes symptoms similar to those of B2, mental retardation and disorders in newborns.

•Vitamin B9(Folic acid)

Vitamin B9 is essential in the synthesis of nucleic acids like DNA or RNA. It also facilitates the production of red blood cells and also plays a role in preventing congenital disorders in unborn babies.
Folic acid can be obtained from supplements and fortified foods like bread in some countries. Deficiency may cause anemia, weightloss and preterm delivery during pregnancy.


These vitamins are stored in adipose tissue and require lipids in order for them to be absorbed into the body. They include vitamins A,D,E,K. High levels intake of these vitamins can cause health problems.

•Vitamin A(Retinoids)

Vitamin A is essential for good vision and healthy skin. It can be obtained from carrots, sweetpotatos, pumkins and green leafy vegetables.
Deficiency of this vitamin causes blurred vission and poor vission in dimlight. It also causes dry skin.

•Vitamin D(Calciferol)

This vitamin is needed for the synthesis and absorption of calcium in the bones and teeth. The human skin can also synthesise this vitamin on exposure to sunlight(10am-12pm). It can be obtained from milk, liver, margarine and sunlight.
Its deficiency causes rickets.

•Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant which helps the body get rid of free chemical radicals cause premature aging of tissues.
Vitamin E can be found in polyunsaturated plant oils and leafy green vegetables. Its deficiency is not common and can only be noticed in cases of severe malnutrition.

Vitamin K

This vitamin is required by the body for blood clotting during blood vessel injury. It can be obtained from broccoli, green leafy vegetables, grean beans, peas and carrots.
Deficiency of this vitamin causes uncontrolled bleeding and anaemia.

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