10 Essential Vitamins, its sources and vitamin health benefits

In this article, we will be bringing to light the essential vitamins health benefits. Hope you will be interested in knowing all these benefits, its sources, and some of its deficiencies.

Essential vitamins

Vitamins are an unsaturated organic compound which is required in small quantities to sustain our life. A major part of this requirement comes from the food that we eat and foods are the best source of vitamins. Therefore it is very important to consider different colors on a plate comprising of different fruits and vegetables.

vitamin health benefits
Essential Vitamin health benefits

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient for vision, reproduction, immunity, growth and it has antioxidant properties. (1)

Health Benefits of Vitamin A

These vitamin health benefits are responsible for young-looking skin, beautiful hair, healthy nails, sharp vision, and strong bones.

Sources of Vitamin A

It can be mostly found in carrots, citrus fruit, hard cheese, spinach, milk cottage cheese, eggs, fish, parsley, milk, and liver. (2)

Daily recommended amount

According to the National Institutes of Health, Office of dietary supplements, 400mcg to 1300mcg of vitamin A is a daily recommended amount depending on age and sex. (3)

Vitamin A deficiencies

The inadequate intake of Vitamin A can result in fat malabsorption, liver disorders, impairs immunity, cause rashes, and night blindness. (4) The deficiencies of Vitamin A are caused due to insufficient levels of retinol below 28ug/dL and lead to skin disease and retardation of growth in children. (5)

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a B complex vitamin important for the normal cellular function of organs and the body properly.

Vitamin health benefits

These vitamin health benefits include efficient brain function, good digestion, healthy muscles, healthy heart, and quality sleep. (6)

Sources of Vitamin B1

It can be mostly found in nuts, oats, legumes, pork, fish, flax seeds, acorn squash, asparagus, wheatgrass, and brewing yeast. (7)

Daily recommended amount

For 19 and older men, 1.2mg of vitamin B1 is recommended, 1.1mg for 19 and older women, and 1.4mg of vitamin B1 is recommended for pregnant and lactating women. (8)

Vitamin B1 deficiencies

Deficiency of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is related to poor intake of diets, chronic alcoholism, poor absorption of nutrients, increased loss due to diarrhea, and increase the use of thiamine due to pregnancy, lactation, and hyperthyroidism. (9) Its deficiency causes Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, beriberi, heart-failure, and polyneuropathy.

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is a water-soluble nutrient and it can be carried through the bloodstream. It can occur naturally in some foods and can be taken as dietary supplements.

Vitamin health benefits

Maintaining the body’s energy supply is one of the most vital roles of vitamin B2. These vitamin health benefits include helps in the breakdown of proteins, converts carbohydrates into Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), regeneration cells, sharpens vision, and maintains healthy muscles. (10)

Sources of Vitamin B2

To acquire an adequate amount of vitamin B2, medical professionals and nutritionist recommends the intake of foods that are rich in riboflavin. These riboflavins are found mostly in eggs, milk, almonds, mushroom, nuts, meats, broccoli, and yeast. (11)

Daily recommended amount

National Institutes of Health recommends 0.3mg to 1.3mg of vitamin B2 depending on age and sex. 1.4mg to 1.6mg of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is recommended for pregnant and lactating women depending on age. (12)

Vitamin B2 deficiency

Deficiency of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) results in skin and corners of mouth lesions, smoothing of tongue, and fissures of lips. (13)

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5, also known as Pantothenic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin required in all the animal species to synthesize coenzyme A which is essential for fatty acid metabolism and to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Vitamin Health benefits

These vitamin health benefits include good memory, healthy blood vessels, healthy heart, helps in the production of red blood cells, produce sex and stress hormones, maintain a healthy digestive system, and boost skin health. (14)

Sources of Vitamin B5

Food with a good source of Vitamin B5 includes mushrooms, legumes, dairy products, fish, avocados, eggs, beef, pork, chicken, sunflower seeds, milk, and sweet potatoes. (15)

Daily recommended amount

As per the studies, 1.7mg to 5mg of Vitamin B5 is required for a normal function of the body depending on age and sex. 6 to 7mg of Vitamin B5 is recommended for lactating and pregnant women as per their age. (16)

Deficiency of Vitamin B5

The symptoms of Vitamin B5 deficiencies include fatigue, insomnia, depression, vomiting, stomach pains, and respiratory infections.  

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is a water-soluble B type vitamin, required for the proper functioning of proteins, and sugars in the body. It also helps in the proper growth and development of brains, skins, nerves, and other parts of the body.

Vitamin health benefits

Vitamin B6 plays a vital role and these vitamin health benefits include better functioning of brains, production of hemoglobin, brain development in kids, helps the body to make serotonin hormones, norepinephrine, and melatonin rejuvenates the body, maintains the strong nervous system and healthy blood vessels. (17)

Sources of Vitamin B6

It is found in varieties of animal and plant foods like beef liver, tuna, salmon, cereal, green salad, cabbage, bananas, walnuts, wheat bran, papayas, and oranges. (18)

Daily recommended amount

National Institute of Health recommends 0.1mg to 1.7mg of vitamin B6 depending on age and sex. 1.9mg to 2.0mg of vitamin B6 is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women as per age. (19)

Deficiency of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is common in most fruits and vegetables. Therefore it has less possibility to get vitamin B6 deficiency. Other secondary deficiencies include peripheral neuropathy, anemia, seizures, and impaired metabolism. (20)

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in the formation of red blood cells, cell formation, nerve function, and production of DNA. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 leads to anemia, fatigue, and muscle weakness.

Vitamin health benefits

Vitamin B12 is responsible for the maintenance of normal body weight, good immunity, sound memory, and a healthy gastrointestinal tract. The fact sheet presented by the National Institute of Health states that Vitamin B12 helps in the prevention of getting anemia and keeps blood cells healthy. (21)

Sources of Vitamin B12

Good source of Vitamin B12 includes meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, and fortified cereals. It can also be found in soybeans, hops, spinach, kelps, and oysters.

Daily recommended amount

A Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of Vitamin B12 ranges from 0.4mcg to 2.4mcg depending on different ages and sex. For more than 14 years old pregnant and breastfeeding women, 2.6mcg to 2.8mcg is a daily recommended amount of Vitamin B12. (22)

Vitamin B12 deficiency

It is more likely to get Vitamin B12 deficiency if you are suffering from atrophic gastritis, pernicious anemia, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, grave’s disease, and immunity disorder. (23)

The symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency include weakness, tiredness, pale skin, smooth tongue, constipation, diarrhea, numbness, vision loss, and mental problems. (24)

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has an antioxidant property important for your skin, bones, and connective tissues. It can also help in the healing and absorption of iron by the body. Most of the sources of Vitamin C come from fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin health benefits

These vitamin health benefits include antioxidant properties, lowering of blood pressure, boosting the immune system, maintaining healthy hair, assist in weight loss, and good for physical and mental health, cheerful mood, and maintaining smooth skin. (25)

Sources of Vitamin C

Foods rich in Vitamin C include guava, citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwifruits, strawberries, papayas, tomatoes, kale, snow peas, and sea buckthorn. (26)

Related: Vitamin C: Sources and 11 amazing health benefits

Daily recommended amount

National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplement recommends about 40mg of Vitamin C for 6 months and below child, 50mg for 7-12 months infants, 15mg for 1-3 years children, 25mg for 4-8 years children, 45mg for 9-13 years children, 75mg for 14-18 years teenagers, 75-90mg for adults and 80-120mg for pregnant and breastfeeding women. (27)

Vitamin C deficiency

Vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy, has symptoms like anemia, exhaustion, spontaneous bleeding, limb pains, swelling, ulceration, and loss of teeth. (28)

People dependent on drugs or alcohol, restrictive diets, medical conditions, and smokers are riskier to get Vitamin C deficiency. (29)

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, is fat-soluble and we obtain it from the foods that we eat and our body also produces Vitamin D in response to direct sunlight exposure. It is essential for the absorption and retaining of calcium and phosphorus in our body.

Vitamin health benefits

According to the studies, these vitamin health benefits include the reduction of cancer cell growth, control infections, reduce inflammation, and regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. (30)

Sources of Vitamin D

Foods containing Vitamin D include salmon, fish oil, mushrooms, milk, almond milk, fortified cereals, butter, seafood, potatoes, and eggs. (31)

It is assumed that the Vitamin D we get from the consumption of the above-mentioned foods is not enough. Therefore, the nutritionist suggests the intake of dietary supplements to meet the daily recommended amount of Vitamin D.

Daily recommended amount

National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplement recommends a daily intake of 10-20mcg of Vitamin D depending on age and sex. They also recommend about 15mcg of Vitamin D for pregnant and breastfeeding women. (32)

Vitamin D deficiency

A deficiency in Vitamin D causes loss of bone density, rickets, osteomalacia, high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, and sclerosis. (33)

Other health risk related to Vitamin D deficiency includes death from cardiovascular diseases, cognitive impairment, and asthma in children’s. (34)

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, found in many foods like meat items, fruits and vegetables, cereals and poultry products. It plays a vital role for maintaining healthy immune system, skin and eyes.

Vitamin E Health benefits

These vitamin health benefits include serving as an antioxidant agent which helps in protecting the cells from damages caused by free radicals. Other health benefit includes lowering the risk of getting heart diseases, cancer, dementia, fights infection and protects eyesight. (35)

Sources of Vitamin E

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties and people used to consume supplements in order to get Vitamin E but we can get it from foods like sunflower seeds, almonds, avocadoes, spinach, butternut squash, kiwifruit, broccoli, trout, olive oil, and shrimp. (36)

Daily recommended amount

National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplement recommends about 4mg of Vitamin E for 6 months and below kids, 5mg for 7-12 months kids, 6mg for 1-3 years old child, 7mg for 4-8 years old child, 11mg for 9-13 years old children, 15mg of Vitamin E for more than 14 years old, 15mg for more than 14 years old pregnant women and 19mg for more than 14 years old breastfeeding women. (37)

Vitamin E deficiency

The deficiency of Vitamin E is caused due to insufficient intake of Vitamin E and most of the fruits and vegetables contain it. This deficiency is caused by irregularities in diet consumption, premature low birth weight, fat mal-absorption, and Crohn’s disease. (38)

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, is an anti calcification, an anticancer molecule that plays a vital role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulation of calcium levels in the blood.

Vitamin K health benefits

Our body requires prothrombin protein for clotting of blood and bone metabolism and Vitamin K helps in producing prothrombin. These vitamin health benefits include maintaining bone health, cognitive health, and heart health. (39)

Other Vitamin K health benefit includes wound healing, vascular calcifications, reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and helps in improving insulin sensitivity. (40)

Sources of Vitamin K

Most of the Vitamin K requirement to fulfill the daily recommended amount comes from fruits and vegetables like kale, mustard greens, spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, beans, kiwi, avocado, green peas, cabbage, and from meat items like beef liver, pork chops, chicken, pork liver, and chicken liver. (41)

Daily recommended amount

According to the article written in a healthlinkbc, 120 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin K daily is recommended for  19 years and older men, 90mcg for 19 years and older women, and 90mcg for 19 years and older pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Vitamin K deficiency

Vitamin K contributes to coagulation and bone development. Its deficiency causes bleeding in infants, poor bone development, and cardiovascular diseases. (42)

The symptoms of Vitamin K deficiency include bruising, oozing from the nose, excessive bleeding from wounds, heavy menstrual periods, and blood in the urine. (43)

DISCLAIMER:

This article ‘10 Essential vitamins, its sources, and vitamin health benefits ‘ is intended for general information only. It does not address individual circumstances or is not a substitute for any professional advice. You are hereby advised to take concrete decisions after the following advice from medical or nutritionist professionals.

Note: Sources referred are mentioned along with the articles.

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