Vitamins Essay, Research Paper

Vitamin, any of the organic compounds required by the organic structure in little sums for metamorphosis, to protect wellness, and for proper growing in kids. Vitamins besides assist in the formation of endocrines, blood cells, nervous-system chemicals, and familial stuff. The assorted vitamins are non chemically related, and most differ in their physiological actions. They by and large act as accelerators, uniting with proteins to make metabolically active enzymes that in bend produce 100s of of import chemical reactions throughout the organic structure. Without vitamins, many of these reactions would decelerate down or cease. The intricate ways in which vitamins act on the organic structure, nevertheless, are still far from clear.

The 13 well-identified vitamins are classified harmonizing to their ability to be absorbed in fat or H2O. The fat-soluble vitamins-A, D, E, and K-are by and large consumed along with fat-containing nutrients, and because they can be stored in the organic structure & # 8217 ; s fat, they do non hold to be consumed every twenty-four hours. The water-soluble vitamins-the eight B vitamins and vitamin C- can non be stored and must be consumed often, sooner every twenty-four hours ( with the exclusion of some B vitamins, as noted below ) .

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The organic structure can fabricate merely vitamin D ; all others must be derived from the diet. Lack of them causes a broad scope of metabolic and other disfunctions. In the U.S. , since 1940, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council has published recommended dietetic allowances ( RDA ) for vitamins, minerals, and other foods. Expressed in mg or international units ( IU ) for grownups and kids of normal wellness, these recommendations are utile guidelines non merely for professionals in nutrition but besides for the turning figure of households and persons who eat irregular repasts and trust on prepared nutrients, many of which are now required to transport nutritionary labeling.

A well-balanced diet contains all the necessary vitamins, and most persons who follow such a diet can rectify any old vitamin lacks. However, individuals who are on particular diets, who are enduring from enteric upsets that prevent normal soaking up of foods, or who are pregnant or lactating may necessitate peculiar vitamin addendums to bolster their metamorphosis. Beyond such existent demands, vitamin addendums are besides frequently popularly believed to offer & # 8220 ; cures & # 8221 ; for many diseases, from colds to malignant neoplastic disease ; but in fact the organic structure rapidly eliminates most of these readyings without absorbing them. In add-on, the fat-soluble vitamins can barricade the consequence of other vitamins and even do terrible poisoning when taken in surplus.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a pale xanthous primary intoxicant derived from provitamin A. It affects the formation and care of tegument, mucose membranes, castanetss, and dentitions ; vision ; and reproduction. An early lack symptom is dark sightlessness ( trouble in accommodating to darkness ) ; other symptoms are inordinate skin waterlessness ; deficiency of mucose membrane secernment, doing susceptibleness to bacterial invasion ; and waterlessness of the eyes due to a malfunctioning of the tear secretory organs, a major cause of sightlessness in kids in developing states.

The organic structure obtains vitamin A in two ways. One is by fabricating it from provitamin A, a vitamin precursor found in such veggies as carrots, Brassica oleracea italica, squash, Spinacia oleracea, boodle, and Sweet murphies. The other is by absorbing ready-made vitamin A from phytophagic beings. In carnal signifier, vitamin A is found in milk, butter, cheese, egg yolk, liver, and fish-liver oil. Although tierce of American kids are believed to devour less than the recommended allowance of vitamin A, sufficient sums can be obtained in a usually balanced diet instead than through addendums. Excess vitamin A can interfere with growing, halt menses, harm red blood atoms, and cause tegument roseolas, concerns, sickness, and icterus.

The B Vitamins

Known besides as vitamin B composite, these are delicate, water-soluble substances, several of which are peculiarly of import to carbohydrate metamorphosis.


Thiamine, or vitamin B1, a colorless, crystalline substance, acts as a accelerator in saccharide metamorphosis, enabling pyruvic acid to be absorbed and carbohydrates to let go of their energy. Thiamine besides plays a function in the synthesis of nerve-regulating substances. Lack in thiamine causes beriberi, which is characterized by muscular failing, swelling of the bosom, and leg spasms and may, in terrible instances, lead to bosom failure and decease. Many nutrients contain thiamine, but few supply it in concentrated sums. Foods richest in vitamin B1 are porc, organ meats ( liver, bosom, and kidney ) , brewer & # 8217 ; s barm, thin meats, eggs, leafy green veggies, whole or enriched cereals, wheat sources, berries, nuts, and leguminous plants. Milling of cereal removes those parts of the grain richest in vitamin B1 ; accordingly, white flour and polished white rice may be missing in the vitamin. Widespread enrichment of flour and cereal merchandises has mostly eliminated the hazard of thiamine lack, although it still occurs today in nutritionally lacking alkies.


Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, like vitamin B1, serves as a coenzyme-one that must unite with a part of another enzyme to be effective-in the metamorphosis of saccharides, fats, and, particularly, respiratory proteins. It besides serves in the care of mucose membranes. Riboflavin lack may be complicated by a lack of other B vitamins ; its symptoms, which are non every bit definite as those of a deficiency of vitamin B1, are skin lesions, particularly around the olfactory organ and lips, and sensitiveness to visible radiation. The best beginnings of vitamin B2 are liver, milk, meat, dark green veggies, whole grain and enriched cereals, pasta, staff of life, and mushrooms.


Niacin, besides known as nicotinic acid and vitamin B3, besides works as a coenzyme in the release of energy from foods. A lack of niacin causes Alpine scurvy, the first symptom of which is a sunburnlike eruption that breaks out where the tegument is exposed to sunshine. Later symptoms are a ruddy and conceited lingua, diarrhoea, mental confusion, crossness, and, when the cardinal nervous system is affected, depression and mental perturbations. The best beginnings of nicotinic acids are liver, domestic fowl, meat, canned tuna and salmon, whole grain and enriched cereals, dried beans and peas, and nuts. The organic structure besides makes niacin from the amino acid tryptophan. Megadoses of nicotinic acids have been used by experimentation in the treatm

ent of schizophrenic disorder, although no experimental cogent evidence has been produced to demo its efficaciousness. In big sums it reduces degrees of cholesterin in the blood, and it has been used extensively in forestalling and handling arterial sclerosis. Large doses over long periods cause liver harm.


Pyridoxine, or vitamin B6, is necessary for the soaking up and metamorphosis of aminic acids. It besides plays functions in the usage of fats in the organic structure and in the formation of ruddy blood cells. Pyridoxine lack is characterized by tegument upsets, clefts at the oral cavity corners, smooth lingua, paroxysms, giddiness, sickness, anaemia, and kidney rocks. The best beginnings of vitamin B6 are whole ( but non enriched ) grains, cereals, staff of life, liver, avocadoes, Spinacia oleracea, green beans, and bananas. Pyridoxine is needed in proportion to the sum of protein consumed.


Cobalamin, or vitamin B12, one of the most late isolated vitamins, is necessary in minute sums for the formation of nucleoproteins, proteins, and ruddy blood cells, and for the operation of the nervous system. Cobalamin lack is frequently due to the inability of the tummy to bring forth glycoprotein, which aids in the soaking up of this vitamin. Baneful anaemia consequences, with its characteristic symptoms of uneffective production of ruddy blood cells, faulty medulla ( nerve sheath ) synthesis, and loss of epithelial tissue ( membrane liner ) of the enteric piece of land. Cobalamin is obtained merely from carnal sources-liver, kidneys, meat, fish, eggs, and milk. Vegetarians are advised to take vitamin B12 addendums.

Other B Vitamins

Folic acid, or vitamin Bc, is a coenzyme needed for organizing organic structure protein and haemoglobin. Recent probes show that folic acerb lack may be responsible for nervous tubing defects, a type of birth defect that consequences in terrible encephalon or neurological upsets ( see Spina Bifida ) . The U.S. Public Health Service recommends that adult females of child-bearing age take 0.4 milligram of folic acerb day-to-day. Women should go on to take that dosage through the first three months of gestation. Folic acid is effectual in the intervention of certain anaemias and psilosis. Dietary beginnings are organ meats, leafy green veggies, leguminous plants, nuts, whole grains, and brewer & # 8217 ; s barm. Folic acid is lost in nutrients stored at room temperature and during cooking. Unlike other water-soluble vitamins, folic acid is stored in the liver and need non be consumed daily.

Pantothenic acid, another B vitamin, plays a still-undefined function in the metamorphosis of proteins, saccharides, and fats. It is abundant in many nutrients and is manufactured by enteric bacteriums every bit good.

Biotin, a B vitamin that is besides synthesized by enteric bacteriums and widespread in nutrients, plays a function in the formation of fatty acids and the release of energy from saccharides. Its lack in worlds is unknown.

Vitamin C, or Ascorbic Acid

This well-known vitamin is of import in the formation and care of collagen, the protein that supports many organic structure constructions and plays a major function in the formation of castanetss and dentitions. It besides enhances the soaking up of Fe from nutrients of vegetable beginning. Scurvy is the authoritative manifestation of terrible ascorbic acerb lack. Its symptoms are due to loss of the cementing action of collagen and include bleedings, relaxation of dentitions, and cellular alterations in the long castanetss of kids. Assertions that monolithic doses of ascorbic acerb prevent colds and grippes have non been borne out by carefully controlled experiments ( see Cold, Common ) . In other experiments, nevertheless, ascorbic acid has been shown to forestall the formation of nitrosamines-compounds found to bring forth tumours in research lab animate beings and perchance besides in worlds. Although fresh ascorbic acid is rapidly excreted in the piss, big and drawn-out doses can ensue in the formation of vesica and kidney rocks, intervention with the effects of blood-thinning drugs, devastation of B12, and the loss of Ca from castanetss. Beginnings of vitamin C include citrus fruits, fresh strawberries, cantaloup vine, Ananas comosus, and Psidium littorale. Good vegetable beginnings are broccoli, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, Spinacia oleracea, boodle, green Piper nigrums, chou, and Brassica rapas.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is necessary for normal bone formation and for keeping of Ca and P in the organic structure. It besides protects the dentition and castanetss against the effects of low Ca consumption by doing more effectual usage of Ca and P. Besides called the sunlight vitamin, vitamin D is obtained from egg yolk, liver, tuna, and vitamin-D bastioned milk. It is besides manufactured in the organic structure when steroid alcohols, which are normally found in many nutrients, migrate to the tegument and become irradiated. Vitamin D lack, or rachitiss, occurs merely seldom in tropical climes where sunshine is abundant, but it was one time common among kids of northern metropoliss before the usage of vitamin D-fortified milk. Rickets is characterized by malformations of the rib coop and skull and by bow leg, due to failure of the organic structure to absorb Ca and P. Because vitamin D is fat-soluble and stored in the organic structure, inordinate ingestion can do vitamin toxic condition, kidney harm, lassitude, and loss of appetency.

Vitamin E

The function of vitamin E in the human organic structure is non clearly established, but it is known to be an indispensable food in more than 20 vertebrate species. The vitamin plays some function in organizing ruddy blood cells and musculus and other tissues and in forestalling the oxidization of vitamin A and fats. It is found in vegetable oils, wheat sources, liver, and leafy green veggies. Vitamin E is popularly advocated for a broad scope of diseases, but no significant grounds has been found to endorse these claims. Although vitamin E is stored in the organic structure, overdoses appear to hold lower toxic effects than do overdoses of other fat-soluble vitamins.

Vitamin K

This vitamin is necessary chiefly for the curdling of blood. It aids in organizing factor II, an enzyme needed to bring forth fibrin for blood curdling. The richest beginnings of vitamin K are alfalfa and fish livers, which are used in doing concentrated readyings of this vitamin. Dietary beginnings include all leafy green veggies, egg yolks, soybean oil, and liver. For a healthy grownup, a normal diet and bacterial synthesis in the bowels normally are sufficient to provide the organic structure with vitamin K and factor II. Digestive perturbations may take to faulty soaking up of vitamin K and therefore to mild upsets in blood curdling.



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