Vitamins and Minerals
Although vitamins are a small part of our diets, they are
absolutely essential to life. This is true because the human body
can only produce Vitamin D; all other vitamins must be taken into
your body by foods you eat. This sometimes poses a problem to
people who are trying to limit the amount of food they eat.
Select the vitamin you wish to learn about.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin A can only be found in animal products, including
butter, eggs, oils and fish liver. However, there is a yellowish
substance in plants called "carotene" which can be changed to
Vitamin A in animals. The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for an
adult is about 1.5 mg (5,000 IU.)
Vitamin A is necessary to maintain the epithelial cells of the
eyes, skin and the digestive and respiratory tracts. Vitamin A
deficiency causes the cells to become flat and less resistant to
infection. Sometimes Vitamin A (well deserving) is called the
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B Complex used to be known as the "anti-beriberi
factor," but now the Vitamin B Complex has been separated into
other materials with different biologic effects. Liver, and yeast
are prime sources for Vitamin B.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Vitamin B1 is the first part which is separated from the rest
of the complex. Thiamine helps prevent beriberi. Although this
vitamin can now be synthetically prepared, it can be found in
Liver, port, yeast, nuts, and some grains. An average adult
requires 2 to 3 grams of Vitamin B1. Breads, flour and cereals are
now enriched with thiamine so there is no longer a worry of
deficient Vitamin B1 intake, which would cause beriberi.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin or G)
Riboflavin, as it is generally called, is also found in liver,
yeast, in addition to wheat germ, eggs, and cheese. Riboflavin
helps in the metabolism of glucose and amino acids. An average
adult requires 1 to 2 grams of riboflavin.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 can be found in nuts, meats, eggs and whole grains
and beans. Vitamin B6 helps in the metabolism of some amino acids.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin), Folic Acid, Choline, and Ionistol
All of these are necessary to prevent anemia. They also play
a key role in the metabolism of certain substances involved in the
synthesis of amino acids.
Vitamin C is mainly found in oranges, lemons, and other citrus
fruits. The RDA of Vitamin C is from 75 to 100 mg for an adult.
A lack of Vitamin C can cause scurvy, a common disease
suffered by sailors who were on long sea voyages. A combination of
deficient protein, vegetable and Vitamin C intakes can cause
scurvy. Nowadays, scurvy has been virtually obliterated by modern
packaging techniques. Ascorbic acid was found to be the vitamin
which prevented scurvy. Vitamin C takes a part in cellular
Vitamin D can be found in butter, eggs, milk and some oils.
Vitamin D is necessary for normal absorption of calcium and
phosphorus from the intestine. Adults and children only need about
.02 mg per day.
Studies on rats, chicks and ducks have shown that Vitamin E is
necessary to prevent sterility. When absent, the male animals
became sterile and the females were unable to complete the
pregnancy process. It is not been proven that Vitamin E deficiency
can cause sterility, but it is a possibility. However, experiments
that pertain to humans have shown that deficiency of Vitamin E has
caused progressive deterioration of the muscles and paralysis.
(Biology, Villee, Fourth Edition)
Vitamin K helps in the normal clotting of blood. A
recommended amount is 1 to 5 mg a day.
Niacin (Nicotinic Acid)
Niacin is present in yeast, meat, beer and fresh vegetables.
Niacin help maintain the epithelia of the skin cells and digestive
tract. The RDA is 20 to 25 mg. for an adult.
There are 15 essential minerals, some include: sodium
chloride, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, copper,
manganese, iodine, zinc, and cobalt. Zinc, manganese and cobalt
are only needed in trace amounts.
Pantothenic Acid helps in the normal maintenance of nerves and
skin. Sources include, eggs, meats, and some nuts.