Groups of Vitamins
Vitamins are mirco-nutrients; so small amounts are needed for health.
There are two groups of vitamins:
- Water-soluble (vit C and B-group)
- Fat-soluble (vit A, D, E, K)
Fat-soluble. Needed for good vision, healthy skin and tissue + growth.
- For: night vision, healthy skin.
- Sources: Animal origin - dairy products, oily fish.
- For: antioxidant, protect against cancer.
- Sources: Plant origin - carrots, green and yellow vegetables.
- long-term may cause night blindness.
- Excess can cause liver & bone damage.
There's many types of the B-group vitamin. But only the following 5 is the main ones that'll is included in the syllabus:
- Vitamin B1 Thiamin
- Vitamin B2 Riboflavin
- Vitamin B Niacin
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B Folate - Folic acid
The B-group vitamins are water-soluble.
Vitamin B1 Thiamin
Needed for the release and transfer of energy from nutrients (carbohydrate) in body cells.
Sources: fortified breakfast cereals, milk & milk products, bread and potatoes
Deficiency: Slow growth and development; tiredness + depression; beriberi.
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin
Needed for the release and transfer of energy from nutrients (protein, carbohydrate & fat).
Sources: fortified breakfast cereals, milk & milk products, meat, eggs and vegetables.
Deficiency: Slow growth and development; skin and eye problems.
Vitamin B Niacin
Needed for release of energy in cells (energy-producing reactions), nervous system and healthy skin.
Sources: fortified breakfast cereals, meat, bread and potatoes. Niacin can be produce in the body by an amino acid, tryptophan.
Deficiency: pellagra (symptoms: diarrhoea, dementia and dermatitis); high doses can cause liver damage.
Needed for production of red blood cells and prevent anaemia; protects nervous system.
Sources: All animal-origin food: meat, liver, milk, cheese, fish; fortified breakfast cereals.
Deficiency: pernicious (deadly) anaemia and neurological problems.
Deficiency of B12 are more common in vegetarians practicing a vegan diet. Therefore B12 supplements are needed.
Vitamin B Folate (Folic Acid)
Needed for red cell + DNA production, cell division and growth. Pregnant women need to have a right amount of intake of folic acid, especially at the early stage of pregnancy.
Sources: fortified breakfast cereals, spinach, fruits, bread (fortified), nuts + pulses.
Deficiency: tiredness, anaemia; neural tube defects in pregnancy.
Name: Ascorbic Acid
Water-soluble. Antioxidant; needed for healthy skin, helps maintain connective tissues, wound-healing; iron absorption (blood-orange).
Sources: Fruits (especially citrus fruits) and vegetables.
Very water-soluble, therefore easily lost during cooking process and by soaking.
Fat-soluble. Needed for growth, healthy bones and teeth; helps absorption of calcium (sunny bones).
Sources: Sunlight; margarine, oily fish.
Deficiency: rickets, high intake causes hypercalcaemia (unusual excess amount of calcium in blood) in children.
Fat-soluble. Needed for healthy skin; helps protect against heart disease.
Sources: Eggs, nuts, cereals, vegetable oils.
Fat-soluble. Needed for blood-clotting.
Sources: Vegetables, fruits, cereals, meat; produced by bacteria in large intestine.