What exactly are vitamins and why are they important to our body? Which vitamins do we need, why, and what are each individual vitamins role in our body? That is what we are discussing here today.

Vitamins are organic compounds, and our bodies only need small amounts of them. An organic compound is a molecule that contains carbon. Organic compounds are referred to as vitamins when the body is unable to produce sufficient quantities on their own. Because of this, the body gets their vitamins from food.

Vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble.

There are 4 fat-soluble Vitamins. Vitamins A,D,E, and K. Fat-soluble vitamins get absorbed through the intestines with the assistance of lipids. These tend to build up in the body easily, but are hard to get rid of. The build up of too many vitamins is known as hypervitaminosis.

There are 9 water-soluble vitamins, with 8 of them being B Vitamins, along with Vitamin C. Water-soluble vitamins must be consumed on a more regular basis as they aren’t easily stored in the body, and are removed from the body quickly through the urine.

Vitamins

Vitamin A: Vitamin A is also known as retinol and cartinoids. It is fat-soluble. A person who is deficient in Vitamin A would suffer from night blindness. A person who has excess Vitamin A would suffer from degeneration of the cornea.

Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine and it is water-soluble. A person who is deficient in Vitamin B1 would suffer from beriberi or Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. A person who has excess Vitamin B1 may have rare hypersensitive reactions.

Vitamin B2: This is also known as riboflavin and it is water-soluble. An individual who is deficient in Vitamin B2 would suffer from lesions, seborrhea and vascularization of the cornea. An individual with excess Vitamin B2 would have no known complications as excess riboflavin is typically passed through the urine.

Vitamin B3: This vitamin is also known as niacin and it is water-soluble. An individual who is deficient in Vitamin B3 would suffer from pellagra. An individual with excess of the vitamin would suffer from liver damage, skin problems and have gastrointestinal issues.

Vitamin B5: This vitamin is also known as pantothenic acid and it is water-soluble. An individual who is deficient in Vitamin B5 would suffer from tinging, pricking or numbness of the skin with no seeming long-term physical effects. An individual who has excess of the vitamin would have no known complications.

Vitamin B6: This vitamin is also known as pyridoxamine and it is water-soluble. An individual who is deficient would suffer from anaemia or peripheral neuropathy. An individual who has excess would have nerve damage and their proprioception would be impaired.

Vitamin B7: Vitamin B7 is also known as biotin and it is water-soluble. An individual who is deficient would suffer from dermatitis or enteritis. An individual who has excess would have no known complications.

Vitamin B9: Also known as folinic acid, it is water soluble. An individual who is deficient would suffer from birth defects. An individual who has excess would have increased risks of seizures.

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B 12 is also known as cyanocobalamin, hydrocobalamin or methylcobalamin. It is water-soluble. An individual deficient in this vitamin would suffer from birth defects. An individual who has excess would have no known complications.

Vitamin C: This vitamin is also known as absorbic acid and it is water-soluble. An individual deficient in this vitamin would suffer from scurvy. An individual who has excess (a megadose) would suffer from diarrhea, nausea, skin irritation, burning when urinating, depletion of copper in the body and is at a higher risk of kidney stones.

Vitamin D: This vitamin is also known as erocalciferol or cholecalaferol. It is fat-soluble. An individual who is deficient would suffer from rickets, osteomalacia (softening of the bones). Recent studies show that such persons are at a higher risk of some cancers, autoimmune disorders, and chronic disease.

An individual who has excess Vitamin D would have hypervitaminosis D which causes headaches, weakness, disturbed digestion, increased blood pressure, and tissue calcification.

Vitamin E: This vitamin is also known as tocotrienols. It’s fat-soluble. A person who is deficient in Vitamin E would suffer from hemolytic anaemia. This typically occurs in newborn babies and is very rare. An individual who has excess would have dehydration, vomitting, irritability, constipation, and build up of excess calcium.

Vitamin K: Also known as phylloquinone or menaquinones, it is fat-soluble. An individual who is deficient would have a greater propensity to bleed and bruise. An individual who has excess may suffer from undermined effects of warafin.

The Importance of Good Nutrition

Good nutrition, along with regular exercise can help you to maintain a healthy weight. Having good nutrition means that an individual’s body gets all of the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in order to work efficiently.

Good nutrition helps to:

  • Decrease the risk of many illnesses. These illnesses can include heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some types of cancers, and osteoperosis.
  • Decrease high blood pressure
  • Reduce high cholesterol.
  • Improve a person’s well-being
  • Improve a person’s ability to fight illness
  • Improve a person’s ability to recover from illness or injury
  • Increase a person’s energy level.

Now that we’ve learned about the different vitamins and how they interact with our body, let’s skip over next and start learning about the basic food groups and learn some things you may not have known before.

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