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Vitamins are micronutrients that are found in food and are essential for a healthy quality of life in humans and animals. Vitamins ensure that the vital organs are running perfectly without any hiccups. You may be able to survive without vitamins for a certain period, however crossing your body thresholds you will slowly face illnesses related to vitamin deficiency such as scurvy, rickets, and more which can get severe later on. So, what is the primary function of vitamins? Does it have an impact on the quality of life?
Vitamins that are absorbed through water are known as water-soluble vitamins and those that are absorbed through fat are known as fat-soluble vitamins. There are many different vitamins in each of these categories with many different roles. Let’s look at these vitamins individually and their sources.
What is the primary function of vitamins: Water-soluble
These are those types of vitamins that flow through fluids circulating across the body. Access vitamins are passed on via urination before they are processed by the kidneys. The human body requires little but regular intake of water-soluble vitamins to function properly.
Thiamine (B1): Found in pork, nuts, legumes, and other nutritious food, this vitamin ensures the running of the nervous system.
Riboflavin (B2): Vitamin B2 is responsible for normal vision and also aids in improving skin health. These can be found in leafy greens, whole grain, and dairy products.
Niacin (B3): B3 vitamin aids in healthy bowel movements and maintains a great digestive system. It can be found in proteins like poultry, meat and fish, and vegetables.
Pantothenic acid: It is used in creating enzymes that ensure a healthy metabolism providing growth to the human body. Pantothenic acid can be found in many different foods.
Biotin: Biotin is often used for skin, nail, and hair nourishment while its main role is to convert nutrients into energy. Interestingly enough, this is produced by the body and is also found across many different food items.
Pyridoxine (B6): This aids in the production of red blood cells and can be found in meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Folic acid: This is widely found in orange juice, whole grains, green vegetables and is used by the body to create new blood cells. Folic acid also aids in creating DNA.
Cobalamin (B12): B12 is also responsible for a healthy nerve system and can be taken in through eating foods that are high in protein like meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Ascorbic acid (C): This is the most known vitamin there is and is consumed to boost immunity. It can only be found in certain types of fruits and vegetables.
What is the primary function of vitamins: Fat-soluble
These are those types of vitamins that are not regularly needed by the body and hence stored in cells for later use. It is not excreted by the body if there is any excess meaning that taking too many fat-soluble vitamins can be lethal.
Vitamin A: Skin and vision can be maintained by consuming vitamin A. It also plays a role in the healthy growth of bones and mucous membranes. Vitamin A is found in milk, cheese, cream, leafy greens, and vegetables.
Vitamin D: This aids in absorbing calcium effectively in bones. Skin can also produce vitamin D when in contact with sunlight. These are found in egg yolks, fortified milk, and liver among many other food items.
Vitamin E: To protect cell walls, the human body requires vitamin E which can be found in eggs, seeds, leafy greens, and whole-grain food items.
Vitamin K: Aids in the process of clotting blood and is produced in intestinal tracts or by consuming leafy greens.
Interesting Frequently Asked Questions
With our guide on vitamins, you now know what is the primary function of vitamins and which food you can find the different types of vitamins in. Before we end the topic on vitamins, here are a couple of interesting frequently asked questions. Perhaps, you may be asking these questions too!
How long do vitamins last?
Tablets can last much more than chewable or gummies because they do not take in moisture. Typically, expect your vitamins to have at least 2 years of shelf life. Research also suggests that if you store vitamins properly, then they might be able to last 2 years more past their expiration date.
How much vitamin C is in a lemon?
Lemon is a citrus fruit and like all citrus, it is rich in vitamin C. You can expect to have at least 54 mg of vitamin C for every 100 grams of lemon.
How much vitamin D for kids?
Vitamin D is important for bone growth and density as it helps absorb calcium in the body which aids in stronger bones. Children require vitamin D right after they are born and the body requirements vary according to their needs. Children below the age of 12 months require at least 400 IU of vitamin D daily while those between the ages of 12 months and 24 months have to take around 600 IU of vitamin D.