“Essential Vitamins: Sources and Deficiency Symptoms for Optimal Health”

“Essential Vitamins: Sources and Deficiency Symptoms for Optimal Health”

2023-05-28 18:00:00

The vitamins are essential substances that the human body cannot produce itself. Where they are contained and how a deficiency manifests itself.

Vitamins are essential for humans (necessary for life), i.e. apart from vitamin D, they cannot be produced by themselves and must be ingested through food. There are 13 known vitamins, four of which are fat-soluble and can therefore also be stored in the body: the retinoids (Vitamin A), the calciferols (vitamin D), the tocopherols (vitamin E) and phylloquinone as well as menaquinone (vitamin K). The water-soluble vitamins are thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), Pyridoxin (B6), Biotin (B7), Folat (B9), Cobalamin (B12), ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

The four fat-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin A Das fettlösliche Vitamin A (retinol) is only found in animal foods. Out of Carotenoidsthe plant pigments, but the body can Vitamin Build A. Vitamin A regulates growth, is important for the skin and vision, strengthens the immune system, regulates bone mineralization and blood formation. It is very high in pork liver and in vegetables such as carrots, spinach, kale, honeydew melon, lamb’s lettuce.
  • Vitamin D (Calciferole) Das Vitamin D can be formed in the skin when there is sufficient sunlight. Vitamin D regulates the calcium and phosphate metabolism in the body and thereby promotes the hardening of bones. Vitamin D deficiency in old age promotes osteoporosis. Only a few Groceries support the supply. If the body is too little Vitamin D, the German Society for Nutrition recommends a daily amount of 20 µg per day for children, adolescents and adults (as of 2012).
  • Vitamin E (Tocopherols) The fat-soluble Vitamin E protects the cells in the body and reduces free radical damage in the body. Good suppliers for that Vitamin are high-quality vegetable oils such as wheat germ oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil. Deficiency symptoms occur extremely rarely, mostly when fat absorption or utilization is disturbed.
  • Vitamin K According to the German Society for Nutrition, there is no risk of a deficiency in healthy people. The fat soluble Vitamin On the one hand, K is important for the blood coagulation factors and, on the other hand, together with the Vitamin D for the regulation of bone formation. In old age it can Vitamin K together with Vitamin D protect against rapid bone loss. The Vitamin K is found in green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, lettuce).

The nine water-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) That Vitamin B1 is of central importance for the energy and carbohydrate metabolism. The more energy is needed in the body, the more thiamine the food must contain. It should be included in the diet every day if possible because the body can only store it to a limited extent. In the case of chronic alcohol abuse, the need is also increased, since the intake of the Vitamins is disturbed. Good sources for that Vitamin B1 are muscle meat (especially pork), whole grain products (especially oatmeal) and legumes.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) The Vitamin B2 is significantly involved in the function, growth and development of cells – and in energy metabolism. The need increases with physical activity, after serious illnesses, operations and chronic alcohol abuse. Particularly rich Riboflavin are milk and dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, spinach and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Das Vitamin B3 supports the effective build-up and breakdown of carbohydrates, fatty acids and amino acids. Deficiency in niacin rarely occurs because the body Vitamin from the amino acid Tryptophan can build itself. Many Groceries contain niacin, such as lean meat, offal, fish, milk and eggs are rich in niacin and tryptophan.
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) That Vitamin B5 together with coenzyme A, has a central position in energy metabolism. It regulates the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and some amino acids as well as the build-up of fatty acids, cholesterol and some hormones. A deficiency that only occurs with an extremely unbalanced diet, manifests itself in unspecific symptoms such as palpitations and tingling skin. The Vitamin B5 is contained in almost all foods. The best sources are liver, muscle meat, fish, milk, whole grains, and legumes.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Das Vitamin B6 is involved in over 50 enzymatic reactions, mainly in amino acid metabolism. It is also important for the functioning of the nervous system. It enables the formation of the red blood pigment hemoglobin. A severe deficiency manifests itself in skin inflammation in the eye, mouth and nose area, anemia and disorders of nerve functions. The Vitamin found in almost all foods. Good sources include chicken and pork, fish, Brussels sprouts, green beans, potatoes, and bananas.
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) Biotin is involved in a number of metabolic processes and plays a key role in the formation of carbohydrates and amino acids as well as in the dismantling of amino acids. Deficiency symptoms do not occur with normal eating habits. These would become noticeable, for example, in inflammatory skin changes and neurological disorders. high in Vitamin B7 are liver, soybeans, eggs, nuts, oatmeal and mushrooms.
  • Vitamin B9 (folate) Das Vitamin is important for cell division and cell formation and thus also for the transmission of genetic information from cell to cell. Also, it plays along with the Vitamin B12 important role in blood formation. An undersupply of folate can lead to significant complications during pregnancy. The German Society for Nutrition recommends that women before pregnancy and up to the 3rd month take folic acid as a supplement (400 µg daily) and, in addition, more folate-rich supplements Groceries to consume. For optimal nutrition, two to three servings of vegetables and salads are recommended daily, along with whole grain cereal products and low-fat milk and dairy products, and occasionally liver.
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamine) Das Vitamin B12 has two important functional areas in the body, on the one hand it is involved in degradation and conversion processes in the fat and amino acid metabolism, on the other hand it is important in blood formation (together with folate). A deficiency leads to anemia. The Vitamin is absorbed by the body in the lower small intestine with the help of a protein made in the stomach. Surgical removal of the stomach or insufficient production of the protein can lead to a deficiency. However, the liver stores large amounts of Vitamins, so that a deficiency often only becomes noticeable after years of malnutrition. A strict vegan diet can also lead to a deficiency. The Vitamin B12 only occurs in animal foods such as liver, muscle meat, fish, milk or eggs. The Society for Nutrition recommends taking a B vitamin for people who only eat vegan12-Preparation.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Vitamin C intervenes in many metabolic processes. It is involved in building connective tissue, bones and teeth, protects against cell damage from free radicals, ensures wound healing, improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and prevents the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines. The most severe deficiency, scurvy, no longer occurs in industrialized countries. In the case of heavy physical exertion, persistent stress, alcohol and drug abuse as well as illnesses, the need can be increased. Vitamin C rich Groceries are peppers (red), currants (black), Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, oranges. (Source: German Society for Nutrition)

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