Vitamins are organic compounds of a very heterogeneous structure. They are essential for the organism, growth, health and emotional balance.
Unlike other nutrients, for example, proteins, carbohydrates or fats, they do not provide energy, but they are essential within the body for energy maintenance.
Vitamins should be ingested through the diet to avoid deficiencies, but there is no food that contains all the vitamins, so it is necessary to combine the different food groups to be well-nourished and meet the requirements of these substances.
Vitamins are nutrients that the body needs to assimilate other nutrients and, in summary, the functions of these substances are:
- Participate in the formation of chemicals in the nervous system and participate in the formation of hormones, red blood cells, and genetic material
- Regulate metabolic systems
- They are necessary for growth and health
Vitamins can be classified into two types: water soluble and fat soluble.
Water soluble vitamins
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are present in the aqueous parts of food. They are absorbed by simple diffusion or active transport. Its excess is excreted in the urine and the body does not have the ability to store them, so they are easily removed. It is necessary to consume them daily and can be obtained from fruits, vegetables, milk and meat products.
Water-soluble vitamins are:
- Vitamin C or ascorbic acid
- Vitamin B1 or Thiamine
- Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
- Vitamin B3 or Niacin
- Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid
- Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
- Vitamin B8 or Biotin
- Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid
- Vitamin B12 or Cyanocobalamin
These vitamins dissolve in oils and fats and are found in the fat-soluble parts of food. They are transported in lipids and are difficult to remove. They are obtained from fruits, vegetables, fish, egg yolks and some nuts.
The fat-soluble vitamins are:
- Vitamin A or Retinol
- Vitamin D or Calciferol
- Vitamin E or a-tocopherol
- Vitamin K or phytomenadione
The functions of both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins are:
Participates in reproduction, protein synthesis, and muscle differentiation. It prevents night blindness and is necessary to maintain the immune system and to maintain the skin and mucous membranes.
Nutritional needs 0.8-1mg / day
Some sources of vitamin A are:
It is part of a coenzyme that is involved in energy metabolism, therefore, it is necessary to obtain carbohydrates and fatty acids (ATP). It is also essential for the functioning of the nervous system and the heart.
Nutritional needs: 1.5-2mg / day.
Some sources of vitamin B1 are:
It is also involved in the release of energy and is related to the maintenance of good eye and skin health. Its deficit causes skin problems (for example, dermatitis) and eye symptoms.
Nutritional needs: 1.8mg / day
Some sources of vitamin B2 are:
It is part of two coenzymes (NAD and NADP) and, therefore, is another vitamin participating in the energy metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and lipids. Its deficit causes a disease called "pellagra", with symptoms such as skin, digestive and nervous problems (mental confusion, delirium, etc.).
Nutritional needs: 15mg / day
Some sources of vitamin B3 are:
- Green peas
This vitamin is involved in different stages of the synthesis of lipids, neurotransmitters, thyroid hormone, and hemoglobin. In addition, it helps with tissue regeneration. Its deficit is associated with two diseases: megaloblastic anemia and neuropathy.
Nutritional needs: 50mg / day
Some sources of vitamin B5 are:
- Beer yeast
- Royal jelly
It participates in the metabolism of proteins and fatty acids, the formation of hemoglobin and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). It facilitates the release of glycogen from the liver to the muscles. Determinant in the regulation of the central nervous system.
Nutritional needs: 2.1mg / day
Some sources of vitamin B6:
It is necessary for the skin and circulatory system, participates in the formation of fatty acids, helps in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats to maintain stable body temperature and optimal energy levels. The stimulator of healthy cell growth.
Nutritional needs: 0.1mg / day
Some sources of vitamin B8 are:
Necessary for the formation of cells and DNA, and it is important for the first month of formation. It acts together with vitamin B12 and vitamin C in the use of proteins. It helps to maintain the formation of the intestinal tract.
Nutritional needs: 0.3mg / day
Some sources of vitamin B9 are:
Essential for the creation of blood cells in the bone marrow. It helps prevent anemia and is necessary for the functioning of the nervous system.
Nutritional needs: 0.0005mg / day
Some sources of vitamin B12 are:
- Beer yeast
Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, healing, absorption of iron of plant origin and, in addition, it is an antioxidant.
Nutritional needs: 60-70mg / day
Some sources of vitamin C are:
Vitamin D is related to sunbathing because it is obtained mainly by the action of ultraviolet rays (solar rays). The lack of this vitamin causes tooth decay and bone type malformations. Therefore, its fundamental role is bone mineralization, because it favors the intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
Nutritional needs: 0.01mg / day
In addition to the solar importance in the acquisition of this protein, some sources of vitamin D are:
- Blue Fish
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that participates in lipid protection, therefore, it has a protective effect on cell membranes. In addition, it inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandins.
Nutritional needs: 0.08mg / day
Some sources of vitamin E are:
- Vegetable oils
- Whole grains
This vitamin is decisive for the synthesis of numerous coagulation factors since it reacts with some proteins in charge of the process. It is not necessary to store it in large quantities because during its performance it regenerates.
Nutritional needs: 01.mg/day
Some sources of vitamin K are:
- Fish liver
- Soy oil