Fat and Water-Soluble Vitamins
There are two categories of vitamins needed in the human body. The first are water-soluble vitamins, such as B/B-complex and C. The second category is fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Water-soluble vitamins are absorbed in the intestine. Once the intestine absorbs them, the circulatory system carries them to certain tissues. Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed in the intestines also, but the lymph system carries the vitamins to the various parts of the body. These vitamins are responsible for maintaining the structure of the cell membranes. The water- soluble vitamins, including Vitamin C and all of the B complex vitamins, are not stored in the body are quickly depleted by bodily processes, or excreted in urine and perspiration. There are eight vitamins in the B-complex family and they include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, foliate, vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid. B complex vitamins are commonly known as “energy vitamins” because they are vital to metabolism and the body’s ability to convert food into energy. These vitamins are also important for the nervous and immune systems to function properly, and play an important role in the production of enzyme as well. Sources of B complex vitamins are available through various foods such as whole grains, salmon, peanuts, green leafy vegetables, and milk. These vitamins are well known as aids in reducing the risk of heart related diseases. Symptoms of B complex vitamin deficiencies, though rare, include skin disorders, fatigue, mental confusion and gastrointestinal disturbances such as nausea and diarrhea. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and is necessary for normal growth and development. It is essential for the growth, repair, and maintenance of tissue, cartilage, bones, and teeth. The C vitamin also aids in healing wounds and making scar tissue. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce the effects of free radicals in the body. The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process and may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis. All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C but the foods that are the highest sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, broccoli and spinach, sweet and white potatoes, tomatoes, and leafy green vegetables. Side effects from too much vitamin C are very rare since the body cannot store the vitamin but amounts greater than 2,000 mg/day can cause stomach upset and diarrhea. Symptoms of deficiency include anemia, a decrease in ability to fight infection, easy bruising, nosebleeds, and even swollen and painful joints. Fat-soluble vitamins are essential for healthy development. This particular group of vitamins includes A, D, E, and K and are generally consumed through vegetables and dairy products. Unlike many other vitamins, this unique group often has more concerns with over absorption, as opposed to deficiencies. Therefore, we must monitor these vitamin levels and live healthy lifestyles to ensure that we do not take the chance of becoming sick due to absorbing too many vitamins. Vitamin A plays an essential role in eyesight and allowing the eyes to adjust to light changes. "Some studies find that diets high in carotenoids (which form vitamin A) reduce the risk of cataracts" (Anderson & Young, 2005). Vitamin A also maintains moisture of the lungs, throat, mouth, and nose. People often consume Vitamin A in foods such as carrots, butter, and egg yolk. Some common symptoms of overuse include irritability and blurred vision. In the rare case of a deficiency in this vitamin, scaly skin and night blindness often occurs (Anderson & Young, 2005). Vitamin D is often associated with calcium. It allows formation of bones and teeth, regulation of calcium and phosphorus, playing a key role in keeping bones and teeth strong in the elderly years. The body...
References: Anderson, J., & Young, L. (January 27, 2005). Fat Soluble Vitamins. Retrieved from http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09315.html
Niedziocha, L. (November 2, 2010). Livestrong.comThe Limitless Potential of You. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/294198-sources-of-b-complex-vitamins/
Zieve, MD,MHA, D., &Eltz, D. R. (Febuary 15, 2011). Medline Plus trusted Health Information for You. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002404.htm
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