01 February 2011


Introduction to Vitamins

Vitamins are organic compounds, found only in living things, and are required in small quantity by the organisms as nutrients. With a few exceptions, usually body cannot manufacture or synthesize vitamins, these have to be taken with the diet. Vitamins are one of the major nutrients that a human body requires. These are responsible for the growth, vitality and the general well being of the human body. Vitamins also help to prevent and cure many health problems and diseases. Deficiency of vitamins thus may cause several health hazards, which can easily be seen in India. Therefore, while taking your food, you need to be extra cautious to include vitamins in appropriate quantity in your diet.

How Vitamins Work

Vitamins are one of the most important nutrients for the human body. It comes into the body with a meal and then start to regulate the metabolism of the body. These help to convert fat and carbohydrates into energy, that your body requires to grow. These also help in forming bone and tissue.

Types of Vitamins

Vitamins are classified by their biological and chemical activity. There are two types of vitamins available:
  • Fat-soluble Vitamins
  • Water-soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble Vitamins are long lasting vitamins, that are stored in the fat tissues in our body and in our liver for quite a time. These may stay in our body for a few days, or even for up to 6 months. There are special carriers in our body which take the stored vitamins to the necessary body parts as and when it is required. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are Fat-soluble Vitamins.
Water-soluble Vitamins are not stored in our body. Instead, these Vitamins travel through your bloodstream to reach various parts of our body. The amount of water-soluble Vitamins that the body does not require, is released from our body in the form of urine. There are nine Water-soluble Vitamins that include Vitamin C and the Vitamin B Complex group.

List of Vitamins

Following are the list of vitamins, their source of availability, and the daily requirements for Men and Women:
Vitamins Source Men Women
Vitamin A (Retinol) Cod Liver Oil 0.7mg 0.6mg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) Rice Bran 1.0mg 0.8mg
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Lemons 40mg 40mg
Vitamin D (Calciferol) Cod Liver Oil 0.01mg 0.01mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Eggs 1.3mg 1.1mg
Vitamin E (Tocopherol) Wheat Germ Oil, Cosmetic and Liver 10mg 8mg
Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) Liver 0.002mg 0.002mg
Vitamin K (Phylloquinone) Luzerne 0.8mg 0.06mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Liver 5mg 5mg
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) Liver 0.03mg 0.1mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Rice bran 1.4mg 1.2mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Liver 19mg 15mg
Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) Liver 0.2mg 0.2mg

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