Importance of Vitamins

Many people are concerned that their diet will not provide sufficient amounts of vitamins, so they prefer to use vitamin supplements.

Vitamins are organic substances which are required in small amounts to prevent vitamin deficiency disorders.

Therefore general population and athletics take vitamins as the common supplements.

Athletes feel that inadequate amounts of vitamin affect their performance and extra vitamins will improve performance or speed recovery.

Vitamins do not add body mass or supply energy but they play an important role in releasing the energy stored in the foods we eat. Vitamins cannot be made in the body, so they have to be provided by the food we eat. Vitamins are involved in bone metabolism, immune function, anti-oxidant function, energy metabolism, production of hemoglobin, and function of the central nervous system.vitamins

Vitamins are classified as fat-soluble or water-soluble. Vitamins A,D,E and K are fat-soluble whereas vitamins B and C are water-soluble.

Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in body fat so excessive intake may result toxic. Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body so they must be taken regularly and excess amounts will wash away in the form of sweat and urine.

Vitamin A is fat soluble and can be stored in large amounts in the body. Vitamin A is important for your bones and teeth, skin and eyes. Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness, impaired bone growth, and dry skin. Vitamin A is found in milk, eggs, cheese, butter and in all green, yellow and green vegetables. Excess intake of vitamin A causes kidney and liver damage, joint pain, hair loss and anorexia.

Vitamin B includes vitamin B1 or thiamin, vitamin B2 or riboflavin, vitamin B3 or niacin, vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, vitamin B12 or cobalamin. Vitamin B is water soluble and they are responsible for providing energy to the body during the conversion of glucose from carbohydrates. Vitamin B is required for metabolism of both proteins and fats. Vitamin B deficiency cause decrease in endurance capacity.

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is essential to function and the formation of red blood cells. Vegetarians may have deficiency of vitamin B12 as it is available from animal products. This vitamin also affects function of the nervous system and deficiency of this vitamin may cause pernicious anemia or neurologic disorders.

Vitamin C is water soluble and is a powerful antioxidant and helps in iron absorption. Vitamin C is mainly found in tomatoes, green salads, and citrus fruits. Excess amounts of C vitamin contribute to formation of kidney stones. Deficiency of C vitamin causes scurvy, weight loss, degeneration of skin and teeth, irritability and loss of appetite.

Vitamin D is fat soluble and can be produced by the skin when exposed to sun light. Deficiency of vitamin D causes softening of bones causing rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D is found in dairy products, eggs and liver. Excess amounts of vitamin D cause deafness, kidney stones, high blood pressure, calcium deposits in the body and high cholesterol. Vitamin D with calcium supplements prevents osteoporosis.

Vitamin E is fat soluble and acts as antioxidant to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Vitamin E helps in the formation of muscle tissues and red blood cells. Vitamin E reduces stress from exercise and reduces muscle damage. Vitamin E is found in cereals, seeds, green leafy vegetables, dried beans, bread and liver. Vitamin E effects and deficiencies are rare.

Vitamin K is fat soluble and important for blood clotting. It is found in liver, green leafy vegetables, peas, liver and potatoes. Vitamin K deficiency results in severe bleeding. Excess amounts of vitamin K result in anemia and jaundice.