Friday, April 1, 2011

Vitamins and our Health

Vitamins. Dr. Sayeed Ahmad D. I. Hom. (London)

Vitamin is a chemical compound that the human body needs in small amounts. Vitamins make up one of the major groups of nutrients (food substances necessary for growth and health). Vitamins regulate chemical reactions by which the body converts food into energy and living tissues. There are 13 vitamins. Five of them are produced in the body itself. These vitamins are biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin D, and vitamin K. Only biotin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin K, which are made by bacteria in the human intestine, are possibly produced in sufficient quantities to meet the body's needs. Therefore, vitamins must be supplied in a person's daily diet. The best way for a healthy individual to obtain vitamins is to eat a balanced diet. A daily diet that includes a variety of foods from each of the basic food groups provides an adequate supply of all the vitamins. VITAMIN A Sources : Fish and fish-oil, like cod liver oil. Milk & Butter. Eggs, yolk. Dark green leafy vegetables & also vegetables like carrots, cabbage, pumpkin, tomatoes. Fruits, like Papaya & Mango. Daily Requirement : 5000 IU in Men. 4000 IU in Women. Deficiency of vitamin A causes : Dryness and roughness of skin. Growth retardation. Low resistance to infection. Faulty development of teeth. Spongy gums. Dryness of eyes. Night Blindness. Dimness of vision. Infection of eyes. Respiratory infections. While an excess can lead to : Fatigue. Irritability. Lack of concentration. Loss of appetite. Vomiting. Weight loss. Itching. Hair loss. Bleeding lips. Yellow pigmentation. Increased urine. Low grade fever. Headache. Drowsiness. VITAMIN B1 -THIAMINE. Daily Requirements : 1.5 mg. - Men. 1.1 mg - Women. Sources : Peas. Beans. Soya Beans. Peanuts. Whole grain. Milk. Pork. Green Vegetables. Outer layer of rice. Egg yolk. Deficiency of vitamin B1 can cause : Fatigue. Loss of appetite. Nausea. Mood changes. Confusion. Anæmia. Heart Problems. Muscle Cramps. Wasting and weakness of muscles. Breathlessness on exertion. Palpitation. Anæmia. Tingling numbness. Imp : Alcohol causes decrease of Vitamin B absorption. Vitamin B2 RIBOFLAVIN. Often used to treat illnesses like acne., anæmia, cataract and depression. Requirement : 1.7 mg. - males. 1.3 mg - females. 1.6 mg. in pregnant women. Sources : Bread. Flour. Cheese. Milk. Liver. Eggs. Meat. Soyabean. Green leafy vegetables. Kidney. Fish. Imp : Store this food in dark since Vitamin B2 breaks down in sunlight. Alcohol causes decrease Vitamin B2 absorption. Deficiency of vitamin B2 causes : Oily scaly skin rash. Sores especially lips, comes of mouth. Swollen red pain tongue. Red, burning, itchy eyes. Fissured tongue. VITAMIN B3 - NIACIN. Requirement : 19 mg. -males. 15 mg -Females. 17 mg -pregnant women. Sources : Fish. Meat. Liver. Whole wheat. Cereals. Egg. Dates. Figs. Peanut Butter. Nuts. Deficiency of vitamin B3 causes : Pellagra, which is characterised by Diarrhœa, Dermatitis & Dementia. Weakness. Loss of appetite. Headache. Irritability. Anxiety. Swollen tongue. Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic Acid. It is used to relieve pain of burns, cuts, abrasions & to reduce skin inflammation. It speeds up wound healing. Requirement : 4-7 mg /day. Sources : Meat. Whole grains. Green vegetables. Yeast. Nuts. Sweet Potatoes. Deficiency causes : Tingling Numbness. While an excess can cause : Diarrhœa. Vitamin B6 - PYRIDOXINE. Requirement : 2 mg/day - Men. 1.6 mg/day - Women. 2.2 mg/day - Pregnant Women. Sources : Egg Yolk. Milk. Fish. Cabbage. Whole grain. Bananas. Nuts. Corn. Deficiency can cause : Acne. Skin inflammation. Insomnia. Muscle weakness. Nausea. Irritability. Depression. Fatigue. Anæmia. Mild convulsion in babies. People at risk to develop deficiency are : Those suffering from malabsorption. Elderly people. Pregnant women. Women on oral contraceptive. Those on Anti Tubercular drugs. Vitamin B7 - Biotin. or Vitamin H. Requirement : 30-100 mg. Sources : Cheese. Kidney. Soya Bean. Sunflower Seeds. Sweet Potato. Breast milk. Deficiency can cause : Scaly oily skin rash. Hair loss. Nausea. Vomiting. Muscular Pain. Loss of Appetite. Red inflamed tongue. Fatigue. People at risk to develop deficiency are : Those on long term use of antibiotics. Those eating raw egg white regularly. Vitamin B12 - Cyanocobalamine. Requirement : 2 mcg/day. 2.2 mcg/day in pregnant women. Sources : Non vegetarian food only, like. Fish. Eggs. Dairy Products. Deficiency causes : Anæmia. Sore Tongue. Weakness. Tendency to bleed. Abdominal Pain. Depression. Stiff arms and legs. Irritability. People at risk to develop deficiency. Alcoholics. Strict Vegetarians. Vitamin C. – Ascorbic Acid. Vitamin C helps in illnesses like arthritis, atherosclerosis, heart disease and even cancer. It is also believed to help for relief during common cold. Requirement : 16 mg/day - Adults. 1 7 mg/day - Pregnant women. Sources : Citrus Fruits. Strawberry. Tomato. Green leafy vegetables & fruits like Amla. Deficiency causes : Weight loss. Bleeding gums. Easy bruising. Infection. Slow healing wounds and fractures. Aching bones and muscles. Irritability. People at risk to develop deficiency are : Bottle fed infants. Excess of vitamin C can cause : Nausea. Diarrhœa. Increased risk of kidney stone formation. VITAMIN D. Requirement : 5 mcg/day - Adults. 10 mcg/day – In children and pregnant women. It helps in promoting healthy bones and teeth as it is vital for calcium absorption from the food. Sources : Fatty fish - salmon, tuna. Dairy products. Butter. Eggs. Fish oils like cod liver oil. Milk. Cereals. Deficiency causes : Nervousness. Diarrhœa. Muscle twitches. Bone weakening. Insomnia. While excess can cause : Headache. Nausea. Loss of Appetite. Excess thirst. Muscles weakness. Heart, liver, kidney damage as calcium deposits accumulate. VITAMIN E. Vitamin E helps in heart disease, cancer, cataract & lupus. Daily Requirements : 8 mg/day - Women. 10 mg/day - Men, Pregnant Women. Sources : Given leafy vegetable. Seafood. Eggs. Nuts. Vegetable oils. Deficiency causes : Anæmia. Fluid Retention. VITAMIN K. It is required mainly for blood clotting & also for kidney function and bone metabolism. Daily Requirement : 80 mcg - Men. 65 mcg -Women. Sources : Green leafy vegetables. Beef. Cheese. Deficiency can cause : Bleeding. Copyright © Dr. Sayeed Ahmad 2004

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