Published On: Wed, Jan 21st, 2009

VITAMINS and Functions

VITAMINS

The Vitamins are necessary auxiliaries in metabolism. They combine with specific proteins, as parts of various oxidative enzyme systems which are concerned with the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat in the body. Thus, they are intimately involved in the mechanism which releases energy, carbon dioxide and water as the end products of metabolism.
Vitamins can be broadly divided into Fat Soluble and Water Soluble Vitamins. Vitamins A  D   E  and  K are fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamins B ( B1  B2   B6  B12 ) and C are water-soluble.

Vitamin – A      Retinol
Main Metabolic Function     Essential for normal growth and development.
For normal function of epithelical cells and normal development of teeth and bones.
Prevents Night blindness.
Deficiency – Effects     Retarded growth.
Reduced resistance to infection.
Abnormal function of gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts due to altered epithelial membranes.
Interferes with production of “night purple”.
Available     Milk, Egg yolk, Ghee, Butter, Carrots, Tomatoes, Leafy and Yellow vegetables, Cod liver oil and Fresh fruits.
Nature     Fat-Soluble

Vitamin – B2      Riboflavin
Main Metabolic Function     Needed in formation of certain enzymes and in cellular oxidation.
Prevents inflammation of oral mucous membranes and the tongue.
Deficiency – Effects     Impaired growth, lassitude and weakness.
Causes cheillosis or glossittis.
May result in Photophobia and cataracts.
Available     Peas, Beans and Cereals.
Nature     Water-Soluble

Vitamin – B6      Pyridoxine
Main Metabolic Function     Acts as do other B vitamins.
To break down protein, carbohydrate and fat.
Acts as a catalyst in the formation of niacin from tryptophan.
Deficiency – Effects     Increased irritability, convulsions and peripheral neuritis.
Anorexia, nausea and vomiting.
Available     Peas, Beans and Cereals.
Nature     Water-Soluble

Thiamin
Main Metabolic Function     An important aid in carbohydrate metabolism.
Needed for Proper functioning of the digestive tract and nervous system.
Beriberi.
Loss of muscle.
Deficiency – Effects     Loss of appetite.
Impaired digestion of starches and sugars.
Various nervous disorder coordination.
Available     Peas, Beans and Cereals.
Nature     Water-Soluble

Vitamin – B12      Cyanocobalamin
Main Metabolic Function     Essential for development of red blood cells.
Required for maintenance of skin, nerve tissues, bone and muscles.
Deficiency – Effects     Results in pernicious anaemia.
Weakness, fatigue, sore and cracked lips.
Available     Peas, Beans and Cereals.
Nature     Water-Soluble

Vitamin – C      Ascorbic Acid
Main Metabolic Function     Needed for form the cementing substance, collagen, in various tissues (skin, dentine, cartilage and bone matrix).
Assists in woundhealing and bone fractures.
Deficiency – Effects     Lowered resistance to infections.
Susceptibility to dental cavities, pyotthea and bleeding gums.
Delayed wound healing.
Specific treatment for Scurvy.
Available     Fresh vegetables, Lemon, Orange, Tomatoes, Cabbage , Turnip and Lettuce (Beetroot).
Nature     Water-Soluble

Cholecalciferol
Main Metabolic Function     Requlates absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestinal tract.
Affords antiachitic activity.
Deficiency – Effects     Interferes with utilisation of calcium and phosphorus in bone and teeth formation.
Development of bone disease, rickets and caries.
Available     Butter, Milk, Ghee, Cod liver oil, Yolk of Eggs and also in Sunrays.
Nature     Fat-Soluble

Vitamin – E      Tocopherols
Main Metabolic Function     Protects tissues, cell membranes and Vitamin A against peroxidation.
Helps strengthen red blood cells.
Deficiency – Effects     Decreased red blood cell resistance to rupture.
Available     Germinating Wheat.
Nature     Fat-Soluble

Vitamin – K      Phytomenadione
Main Metabolic Function     Essential for formation of normal amounts of prothrombin and blood coagulation.
Deficiency – Effects     diminished blood clotting time.
Increased incidence of hemorrhages.
Available     Fish, Wheat and Oats.
Nature     Fat-Soluble

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