NoteThis post covers important facts about Vitamins for preparation of Science section of Teaching, SSC & Other Competitive Exams.

A vitamin is an organic molecule that is an essential micro-nutrient that an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism.

There are 13 essential vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K, with 8 vitamins in the B complex).

  • Fat soluble vitamins are D, K, A and E
  • Water soluble vitamins are C and B
VitaminName FunctionsSourcesDeficiency Diseases
ARetinolGood vision, supports the immune system and is necessary for a healthy pregnancy Plant sources include leafy green vegetables and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Animal sources include liver, salmon, and whole milk. Night blindness
B1Thiamin Produces cellular energy from food; required for the synthesis of DNA and RNA Cereals, whole grains, enriched refined grains, potatoes, pork, seafood, liver, and kidney beans Beriberi
B2Riboflavin Helps the body produce energy; affects enzymes that influence the muscles, nerves, and heart Cereals, whole grains, enriched refined grains, enriched bread, dairy products, liver, and leafy green vegetables Nutritional disease
B3Niacin Energy production; helps keep the skin, nervous system, and digestive system healthy Liver, fish, chicken, lean red meat, nuts, whole grains, dried beans, and enriched refined grains Pellagra
B5Pantothenic acid
Influences normal growth and development
Found in almost all foods Paresthesia
B6Pyridoxine Helps break down protein; helps maintain the health of red blood cells, the nervous system, and parts of the immune system Fish, liver, pork, chicken, potatoes, wheat germ, bananas, and dried beans Anemia
B7Biotin Helps break down protein and carbohydrates; helps the body make hormones Peanuts, liver, egg yolks, bananas, mushrooms, watermelon, and grapefruit Dermatitis
B9Folic acid, folate Helps the cells in the body make and maintain DNA; important for the production of red blood cells Leafy green vegetables, liver, citrus fruits, mushrooms, nuts, peas, dried beans, and wheat bread Anemia
B12 Cobalamin Plays a role in the body’s growth and development, and nerve function Eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products Anemia
CAscorbic acidNecessary for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. Citrus fruits, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, green peppers, spinach, and tomatoes. Scurvy
DCalciferolBuilding strong bones. Vitamin D helps the body use calcium. Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel; fortified dairy products; and breakfast cereals. Rickets
ETocopherolsUsed for cell communication, to strengthen the immune system, and to form red blood cells. Vitamin E helps the body use vitamin K Vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, green vegetables, and enriched cereals. Neurological problems
KPhylloquinoneHelp the body make proteins necessary for blood clotting Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli or cabbage), fish, liver, meats, and eggs. Bleeding diathesis
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