Having no energy value, vitamins are very important to our body and contributor to maintenance of our health. Plants can make vitamins from simple substances but animals obtain vitamins from the plant directly or indirectly. Most of the vitamins are not synthesized by the animals but Vitamin B is synthesized by the bacteria present in intestine. Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat soluble but Vitamin B and C are water soluble.
Excess vitamins are harmful and are called as Hypervitaminosis
Know as anti- infective vitamin; strengthen the integrity of skin, mucous membranes, and epithelial cells. Essential for the formation of visual Rods and Cones of the retina of the eyes. Carotene is the pro-vitamin of Vitamin-A and the conversion takes place in the liver.
Sources: Animal oils such as liver oils of certain fish, egg yolks, green and yellow vegetables.
Deficiency Symptoms: night blindness; abnormal changes in various epithelial membranes; retarded growth.
Vitamin B 1 (Thiamine) :
Essential for health nerves and mucous membranes. Essential daily intake is 1.5 mg.
Sources: Cereal grains, meats and green vegetables.
Deficiency Symptoms: Beriberi (nerve paralysis, weakness, nerve pain and loss of weight etc.)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflovin):
Essential for normal growth and health cornea. Daily requirement is 2 mg.
Sources: Milk products, egg and green vegetables.
Deficiency Symptoms: Cataract, defective skin patches around mouth and tongue, slow metabolism and retarded growth.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxin) :
Essential for protein metabolism and blood formation. It is found most of the food so deficiency is rare.
Sources: Meats, nuts, cereal and eggs.
Deficiency Symptoms: Mild anemia, insufficient antibodies and leucocytes and low resistance to infection.
Vitamin B12 (Cytamine/Cobalamin):
Essential for development of Red Blood Cells (RBC)
Deficiency Symptoms: Acute form of anemia.
Vitamin P-P (Niacin):
Essential for healthy digestive track. Essential daily intake is 17 mg.
Source: Part of B- complex.
Deficiency Symptoms: Pellagra, diarrhea.
Vitamin C – (Ascorbic Acid):
Animal food are generally deficient of vitamin C .Plant are rich in it but easily lost due to heat and storage. Fresh potato contains Vitamin C. It provides collagen which binds the cells together and helps in keeping the skin elastic. Deficiency may lead to blood leakage in the body. Essential daily intake is 30 to 50 mg.
Source: Citrus food like lemon, orange, cabbage, leafy vegetables.
Deficiency Symptoms: Scurvy, retarded growth.
Vitamin D (Calcepherol):
Essential for absorption of calcium and phosphate in the body so it regulates the bone and teeth formation.
Sources: Animal oils, butter, milk fish liver and solar ultra violet rays.
Deficiency Symptoms: Degenerate calcium metabolism, slow growth.
Vitamin E (Tocopherol):
Sources: Unpolished grains, animal and vegetable oils, wheat.
Deficiency Symptoms: Sterility in rats (not in man), muscular paralysis.
It occurs in K1 and K2 forms. It helps in coagulation of blood in higher animals by the release of Piothrombin into the blood.
Sources: Leafy vegetables.
Deficiency Symptoms: Improper coagulation of blood and slow growth.