Vitamins : Classification, Functions and Deficiency Symptoms
The word ‘vitamin’ (Latin, vita, life+ amine) is derived from the original word “vitamine”, coined by Casimir Funk in 1912. Vitamin is an organic compound which is found in the food in variable and minute quantity and must be supplied to the animal organism from the external sources. It is a vital nutrient for an organism which maintains the normal body growth and other functions. It keeps your nerve healthy, gets energy by the body from food and helps blood to clot properly.
There are 13 vitamins which are required for human metabolism. They are:
Retinol and Carotinoids
Folic acid or Folate
Classification of Vitamins
According to the property of solubility, vitamins are mainly divided into two groups:
1. Fat-soluble vitamins: If vitamins are soluble in a fat solvent such as ether, chloroform, benzene, carbon, tetrachloride etc, then they are known as fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat soluble.
2. Water-soluble vitamins: Vitamin B-complex and vitamin C are water-soluble vitamins because they are soluble in water.
It is also known as Retinol and carotenoids. It is an unsaturated long chain alcohol C20H29OH. It is colorless oil, soluble in fat but insoluble in water. It is heat-stable.
Vitamin A Sources: It is found in cod liver oil, halibut liver oil, milk, butter, eggs, fishes, Meat, Carrots, spinach, mango, tomatoes, Dark-colored fruit, and dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, butter, and cream.
Functions of Vitamin A
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin A
Daily Requirement of Vitamin A: 5000 IU in adult and 6000-8000 IU in children;
It is also known as Calciferols. It is an oily compound soluble in the fat solvent but insoluble in water. It is heat-stable. There are groups of vitamin D of which D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol) are chiefs.
Vitamin D Sources: Animal sources are the only sources of vitamin D. It is found in liver, Fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring etc, fish liver oil (cod and halibut), eggs, meat, milk, butter, and dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, butter, and cream.
Functions of Vitamin D
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin D
Daily Requirement of Vitamin D: 400 IU (10 µg)
It is also known as Tocopherols and tocotrienols. It is yellow colored oily substance, soluble in fat solvents but insoluble in water. It is heat stable and antioxidants that help to prevent various diseases.
Vitamin E Sources: Fish such as sardines, Egg, egg yolk, milk, butter, Seeds and nuts, Papaya and mango, Wheat germ, wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, alfa-alfa, asparagus, turnip greens etc.
Functions of Vitamin E
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin E
Daily Requirement of Vitamin E: 22.4 IU
Vitamin K is also known as the “blood-clotting vitamin or Quinones. It is a yellow oily substance, soluble in fat soluble but insoluble in water. It is heat-stable vitamin which plays an important role in bone health.
Vitamin K Sources: Cauliflower, Cabbage, Cereals, spinach, broccoli, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, Legumes, Beets, Wheat germ, Peanut butter, Fish, liver, beef, eggs, Egg yolk, kidney, Milk, Pork, Yeast, Nuts. Chocolate etc.
Functions of Vitamin K
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin K
Daily Requirement of Vitamin K: A dose of Vitamin K varies depending on several factors such as age, gender, weight, etc. The daily recommended dose is typically 70 to 90 micrograms for adults;
Water Soluble Vitamins
It is also known as Thiamine and is a white crystalline substance, soluble in water and heat-stable. It enables the body to use carbohydrates as energy. It plays an important role in heart, nerve and muscle function. It is also essential for the metabolism of glucose.
Vitamin B1 Sources: Brown rice, Cereal grains, sunflower seeds, whole-grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, Legumes (dried beans), Peas, beans, nuts, yeast, potatoes, oranges, Dried milk, liver, beef, eggs, egg yolk, pork, etc.
Functions of Vitamin B1
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B1
Daily Requirement of Vitamin B1: 1.1-1.2 mg
It is also known as Riboflavin, is a yellowish crystalline solid substance and soluble in water. It is heat-stable. It is involved in the release of energy in the electron transport system. It helps the production of RBC (red blood cells) and is important for body growth.
Vitamin B2 Sources: Green beans, asparagus, bananas, peas, persimmons, okra, chard, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, egg albumin, fish, liver etc.
Functions of Vitamin B2
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B2
It is also known as niacin, is a white crystalline and soluble in water. It helps to maintain different bodily functions. It also converts fats to energy and syntheses cholesterol.
Vitamin B3 Sources: Nuts, Eggs, Potato, Pea, Tomato, Avocado, wheat, Legumes, broccoli, carrots Meat, Fish (such as tuna and salt-water fish), liver, kidney, heart, chicken, beef, bread, cereals, whole grains, mushrooms, and brewer's yeast etc
Functions of Vitamin B3
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B3
Daily Requirement of Vitamin B3: 14-16 mg
It is also known as pantothenic acid, is a solid crystalline substance. It is water soluble and acts as a precursor of coenzyme A. It is an essential element which is needed to metabolize many molecules.
Vitamin B5 Sources: Whole-grain cereals, broccoli, avocados, royal jelly, fish ovaries, meats, Milk, Eggs, Mushroom, sweet potatoes, kale, and other vegetables in the cabbage
Functions of Vitamin B5
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B5
Daily Requirement of Vitamin B5: 5 mg
It is also known as Pyridoxine. It is white crystal and soluble in water. It is heat-stable. It helps to create RBC (red blood cells) and releases sugar from stored carbohydrate to get energy.
Vitamin B6 Sources: Liver, egg yolk, yeast, kidney, Meats, bananas, dried beans, Peas, soybeans, cereals, vegetables, and nuts, Avocado.
Functions of Vitamin B6
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B6
Daily Requirement of Vitamin B6: 1.5 mg
It is also known as Biotin. It is water soluble, an essential vitamin which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy metabolism of fatty acids, glucose, and amino acids.
Vitamin B7 Sources: Egg yolks, liver, tomatoes, nuts, soybeans, whole grains, yeast, peanuts, leafy green vegetables etc.
Functions of Vitamin B7
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B6
Daily Requirement of Vitamin B7: 30 µg
It is also known as Folic acid or folate. It is a yellowish water-soluble vitamin. It is a very essential element which helps to prevent anemia, abnormal brain growth, and skin disorder etc.
Vitamin B9 Sources: Leafy vegetables, bread, cereal, pasta, liver, legumes, liver, fish, kidney, baker's yeast, whole grain products, different types of fruits, sunflower seeds etc.
Functions of Vitamin B9
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B9
Daily Requirement of Vitamin B9: 400 µg
It is also known as cyanocobalamin. It is reddish crystalline solid substance and soluble in water. It contains cobalt.
Functions of Vitamin B12
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B12
Daily Requirement of Vitamin B12: 2.4 µg
It is also known as Ascorbic acid. It is a derivative of the hexose L-glucose. It is colorless crystalline solid substance and soluble in water. It is destroyed in heat also when exposed in air.
Vitamin C Sources: Broccoli, spinach; Cauliflower, Potatoes, Cabbage, Citrus fruits(lemon, orange), Apple, Tomatoes, Strawberries, mangoes etc.
Functions of Vitamin C
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin C
Daily Requirement of Vitamin C: 80-90 mg