VITAMIN A

Carotenoids that can be converted by the body into retinol are referred to as provitamin A carotenoids.


Function: Promotes good vision; prevents disease; develops and maintains healthy skin, teeth, mucous membranes, skeletal and soft tissue.


Food sources: Cod fish oil, liver, milk, cream, cheese, eggs, sweet potatoes, orange winter squashes, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, bell pepper, beef and peaches.


Deficiency: One may notice difficulty seeing in dim light and rough/dry skin.

Vitmain A Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN D

Function: Essential for calcium absorption in the body.


Food sources: Fortified milk and cereals, fish, eggs; mostly absorbed through exposure to sunlight (about 10 to 15 minutes, three times a week is sufficient).


Deficiency: In children a vitamin D deficiency can result in rickets, deformed bones, retarded growth, and soft teeth. In adults a vitamin D deficiency can result in osteomalacia, softened bones, spontaneous fractures, and tooth decay. Infants, elderly, dark skinned individuals, those with minimal sun exposure, fat malabsorption syndromes, inflammatory bowel diseases and kidney failure form the high risk deficiency groups.

Vitamin D Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN E

Function: Aids in tissue repair, helps form red blood cells and helps prevent cell damage.


Food sources: Wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, olives, nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, almonds, tomatoes, asparagus, egg yolk, beef, liver and fish.


Deficiency: Only noticed in those with severe malnutrition. However, suboptimal intake of vitamin E is relatively common.

Vitamin E Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN K

Function: Helps blood clot, helps maintain strong bones.


Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, green beans, green peas, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, parsley Brussels sprouts; mostly produced by the body through bacteria present in the large intestine.


Deficiency: Tendency to bleed or hemorrhage and anemia.

Vitamin K Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B1 (THIAMINE)

Function: Helps in conversion of carbohydrates into energy within the cell (plays a key role in metabolism), promotes a healthy nervous system and heart function.


Food sources: Sunflower seeds, asparagus, lettuce, mushrooms, black beans, lentils, spinach, peas, brinjal, tomatoes, tuna, whole wheat, soybeans, peanuts and dairy products.


Deficiency: Symptoms include burning feet, weakness in extremities, rapid heart rate, swelling, anorexia, nausea, fatigue, and gastrointestinal problems.

Vitamin B1 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)

Function: Converts carbohydrates into energy, helps in red blood-cell production.


Food sources: Milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, eggs, lean meats, fortified breads and cereals, almonds, soybeans, mushrooms and whole wheat.


Deficiency: Symptoms include cracks, fissures and sores at corner of mouth and lips, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, photophobia, glossitis of tongue, anxiety and loss of appetite, and fatigue.

Vitamin B2 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN)

Function: Helps body convert food into energy; promotes healthy skin, nerves and digestion.


Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, asparagus, corn, potato, mushrooms, red meats, poultry, fish, peanuts, legumes, dairy products and almonds.


Deficiency: Symptoms include dermatitis, diarrhoea, dementia, and stomatitis.

Vitamin B3 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B5 (PANTOTHENIC ACID)

Function: Helps metabolize food; aids in red blood cell production.


Food sources: Lean beef, eggs, milk, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, yeast, whole grains, legumes, lentils, avocado, sunflower seeds and strawberries.


Deficiency: Very unlikely. Only in severe malnutrition may one notice tingling of feet.

Vitamin B5 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE)

Function: Helps metabolize protein, aids in brain function and red blood cell production.


Food sources: Whole wheat, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, potato, banana, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, peanut butter, fish, bell peppers and chicken meat.


Deficiency: Symptoms include glossitis, stomatitis, dermatitis (all similar to vitamin B2 deficiency), nervous system disorders, sleeplessness, confusion, nervousness, depression, irritability, interference with nerves that supply muscles and difficulties in movement of these muscles, and anemia.

Vitamin B6 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B7 (BIOTIN/VITAMIN H)

Function: Helps metabolize protein and carbohydrates, strengthens hair and nails.


Food sources: Lean beef, eggs, milk, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, yeast, whole grains, legumes, nuts, papaya and banana.


Deficiency: Although very rare in humans, some food products can prevent its absorption, resulting in a deficiency.

Vitamin B7 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B9 (FOLIC ACID)

Function: Promotes cell production and maintenance, decreases risk of birth defects, helps in maintaining healthy liver, and healthy skin, hair, and eyes, helps smooth functioning of the nervous system.


Food sources: Dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, whole grains, liver and legumes.


Deficiency: Anaemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, weakness, weight loss, cracking and redness of tongue and mouth, and diarrhoea. In pregnancy there is a risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery.

Vitamin B9 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B12 (COBALAMIN)

Function: Aids in red blood cell production, helps maintain nervous system and helps in production of energy from food.


Food sources: Animal products including milk, eggs and poultry.


Deficiency: Symptoms include pernicious anemia, concentration loss and sprue.

Vitamin B12 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

Function: Promotes healthy teeth and gums, aids iron absorption, helps wounds heal and maintains normal connective tissue.


Food sources: Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, green and red peppers, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.


Deficiency: Symptoms include bruising, gum infections, lethargy, dental cavities, tissue swelling, dry hair and skin, bleeding gums, dry eyes, hair loss, joint paint, pitting edema, anemia, delayed wound healing, and bone fragility. Long-term deficiency results in scurvy.

Vitamin C Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

FUNCTION, FOOD SOURCES & DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN

VITAMIN A

Carotenoids that can be converted by the body into retinol are referred to as provitamin A carotenoids.


Function: Promotes good vision; prevents disease; develops and maintains healthy skin, teeth, mucous membranes, skeletal and soft tissue.


Food sources: Cod fish oil, liver, milk, cream, cheese, eggs, sweet potatoes, orange winter squashes, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, bell pepper, beef and peaches.


Deficiency: One may notice difficulty seeing in dim light and rough/dry skin.

Vitmain A Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN D

Function: Essential for calcium absorption in the body.


Food sources: Fortified milk and cereals, fish, eggs; mostly absorbed through exposure to sunlight (about 10 to 15 minutes, three times a week is sufficient).


Deficiency: In children a vitamin D deficiency can result in rickets, deformed bones, retarded growth, and soft teeth. In adults a vitamin D deficiency can result in osteomalacia, softened bones, spontaneous fractures, and tooth decay. Infants, elderly, dark skinned individuals, those with minimal sun exposure, fat malabsorption syndromes, inflammatory bowel diseases and kidney failure form the high risk deficiency groups.

Vitamin D Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN E

Function: Aids in tissue repair, helps form red blood cells and helps prevent cell damage.


Food sources: Wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, olives, nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, almonds, tomatoes, asparagus, egg yolk, beef, liver and fish.


Deficiency: Only noticed in those with severe malnutrition. However, suboptimal intake of vitamin E is relatively common.

Vitamin E Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN K

Function: Helps blood clot and helps maintain strong bones.


Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, green beans, green peas, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, parsley Brussels sprouts; mostly produced by the body through bacteria present in the large intestine.


Deficiency: Tendency to bleed or hemorrhage and anemia.

Vitamin K Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B1 (THIAMINE)

Function: Helps in conversion of carbohydrates into energy within the cell (plays a key role in metabolism), promotes a healthy nervous system and heart function.


Food sources: Sunflower seeds, asparagus, lettuce, mushrooms, black beans, lentils, spinach, peas, brinjal, tomatoes, tuna, whole wheat, soybeans, peanuts and dairy products.


Deficiency: Symptoms include burning feet, weakness in extremities, rapid heart rate, swelling, anorexia, nausea, fatigue and gastrointestinal problems.

Vitamin B1 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN)

Function: Converts carbohydrates into energy, helps in red blood-cell production.


Food sources: Milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, eggs, lean meats, fortified breads and cereals, almonds, soybeans, mushrooms and whole wheat.


Deficiency: Symptoms include cracks, fissures and sores at corner of mouth and lips, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, photophobia, glossitis of tongue, anxiety, loss of appetite and fatigue.

Vitamin B2 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN)

Function: Helps body convert food into energy; promotes healthy skin, nerves and digestion.


Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, asparagus, corn, potato, mushrooms, red meats, poultry, fish, peanuts, legumes, dairy products and almonds.


Deficiency: Symptoms include dermatitis, diarrhoea, dementia, and stomatitis.

Vitamin B3 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B5 (PANTOTHENIC ACID)

Function: Helps metabolize food; aids in red blood cell production.


Food sources: Lean beef, eggs, milk, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, yeast, whole grains, legumes, lentils, avocado, sunflower seeds and strawberries.


Deficiency: Very unlikely. Only in severe malnutrition may one notice tingling of feet.

Vitamin B5 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE)

Function: Helps metabolize protein, aids in brain function and red blood cell production.


Food sources: Whole wheat, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, potato, banana, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, peanut butter, fish, bell peppers and chicken meat.


Deficiency: Symptoms include glossitis, stomatitis, dermatitis (all similar to vitamin B2 deficiency), nervous system disorders, sleeplessness, confusion, nervousness, depression, irritability, interference with nerves that supply muscles and difficulties in movement of these muscles and anemia.

Vitamin B6 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B7 (BIOTIN/VITAMIN H)

Function: Helps metabolize protein and carbohydrates, strengthens hair and nails.


Food sources: Lean beef, eggs, milk, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, yeast, whole grains, legumes, nuts, papaya and banana.


Deficiency: Symptoms include glossitis, stomatitis, dermatitis (all similar to vitamin B2 deficiency), nervous system disorders, sleeplessness, confusion, nervousness, depression, irritability, interference with nerves that supply muscles and difficulties in movement of these muscles and anemia.

Vitamin B7 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B9 (FOLIC ACID)

Function: Promotes cell production and maintenance, decreases risk of birth defects, helps in maintaining healthy liver, and healthy skin, hair and eyes, helps smooth functioning of the nervous system.


Food sources: Dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit, whole grains, liver and legumes.


Deficiency: Anaemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, weakness, weight loss, cracking and redness of tongue and mouth, and diarrhoea. In pregnancy there is a risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery.

Vitamin B9 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN B12 (COBALAMIN)

Function: Aids in red blood cell production, helps maintain nervous system and helps in production of energy from food.


Food sources: Animal products including milk, eggs and poultry.


Deficiency: Symptoms include pernicious anemia, concentration loss and sprue.

Vitamin B12 Functions, Food sources & Deficiency

VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID)

Function: Promotes healthy teeth and gums, aids iron absorption, helps wounds heal and maintains normal connective tissue.


Food sources: Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, green and red peppers, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.


Deficiency: Symptoms include bruising, gum infections, lethargy, dental cavities, tissue swelling, dry hair and skin, bleeding gums, dry eyes, hair loss, joint paint, pitting edema, anemia, delayed wound healing, and bone fragility. Long-term deficiency results in scurvy.

Vitamin C Functions, Food sources & Deficiency