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Vitamins: What Are They and What Do They Do?

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Vitamins are organic compounds that the body requires in small quantities so as to sustain essential biochemical processes. Our body’s main source of vitamins is the food we eat as well as the sun for synthesizing vitamin D, the only vitamin we are able to produce.

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Each living organism requires different vitamins in different quantities. For instance, human beings need vitamin C from food, but animals such as dogs don’t need to obtain it from food. The reason is that dogs can synthesize vitamin C on their own and in sufficient amounts.

Various vitamin requirements are needed for specific functions in the body as highlighted in the Medalerthelp.org infographic which provides an overview of all the essential vitamins, what they do, and what their sources are.

Simple Facts on Vitamins

There are different groups and classifications of vitamins, but in general, there are 13 known vitamins. They are either water- or fat-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins can be easily stored by the body as compared to the water-soluble fats.

It is best to derive all your vitamin requirements from natural foods although in some special cases, you might be advised to use vitamin supplements. It is important to note that if you don’t fulfill the minimum vitamin requirements, you are likely to develop certain medical conditions.

Vitamin A, is also known as Retinol and is a fat-soluble essential nutrient whose deficiency can result in night blindness or keratomalacia. You can obtain it from liver, cod liver oil, carrots, broccoli, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is water-soluble and its deficiency can cause a syndrome known as Wernicke-Korsakoff or beriberi. Good sources of thiamine include yeast, cereal grains, oranges, kale, asparagus, and sunflower.

Vitamin B2, whose chemical name is Riboflavin is water-soluble. The lack of this vitamin leads to ariboflavinosis. You can obtain this vitamin from bananas, okra, chard, eggs, green beans, and cottage cheese.

Vitamin B3, or Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin that can cause pellagra if it is not consumed in sufficient amounts. It is richly contained in liver, beef, fish, tomatoes, nuts- and leafy vegetables.

We also have vitamins B6 (Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folic acid), B12 (Cyanocobalamin), C (Ascorbic acid), D (Ergocalciferol), E (Tocopherols), and vitamin K (Phylloquinone). All these vitamins are vital in the body; hence why we all need a balanced diet containing adequate proportions of the same in order to keep some diseases away.

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You can learn about the remaining vitamins, their food sources, and deficiency signs from the following infographic.

Vitamins

Infographic URL: https://medalerthelp.org/the-world-of-vitamins-infographic/

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