Vital Vitamins From A To K

vital vitamins

by Femita

Vitamin A

  • Why? Needed for healthy vision, immune system, skin, bones and teeth.
  • How much do I need? 700 – 900 µg
  • Sources: Meat, fish, dairy, butter, green vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, liver
  • Deficiency diseases: Night blindness, keratomalacia (eye disorder with dry cornea)

B vitamins

A group of 8 water-soluble vitamins: B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Panthothenic acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folic acid) and B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

  • Why? Essential for many critical functions like cell metabolism and energy production.
  • How much do I need? B1: 1.2 mg, B2: 1.3 mg, B3: 16 mg, B5: 5 mg, B6: 1.3 mg, B7: 30 µg, B9: 400 µg, B12: 2 µg
  • Sources: Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, cereal products, potatoes, bread, green vegetables
  • Deficiency diseases:

- B1: Beriberi, korsakoff’s syndrome
- B2: Ariboflavinosis (sore troat and mouth, cracking of the lips, magenta tongue)
- B3: Pellagra (aggression, sensitivity to sunlight, insomnia, weakness, mental confusion, diarrhea, red skin wounds)
- B5: Paresthesia (tingling or pricking skin, feeling of a limb going to sleep)
- B6: Anemia (decreased number of red blood cells, feeling of weakness and fatigue), peripheral neuropathy (damage to peripheral nerves, numbness, tremor, tingling, itching, pain, hypersensitive skin, tiredness, weakness, heaviness, cramps)
- B7: Dermatitis (rash, inflammation of the skin), enteritis (diarrhea, abdominal pain)
- B9: Birth defects (central nervous system)
- B12: Megaloblastic anemia (weak muscles, numbness, tingling, nausea, irritability, fatigue, diarrhea, decreased appetite)

Vitamin C

  • Why? Protects cells (antioxidant), enhances iron absorption, improves resistance and helps recovery from illness.
  • How much do I need? 60 – 90 mg
  • Sources: Fruit, vegetables and potatoes. Especially citrus fruit, kiwifruit, berries, strawberries, paprika and members of the cabbage family.
  • Deficiency diseases: Scurvy (spotty skin and spongy or bleeding gums)

Vitamin D

  • Why? Creates strong bones and healthy teeth through better absorption of bone-building calcium.  Also supports the muscle and nerve functions.
  • How much do I need? 5 – 10 µg
  • Sources: Oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel), meat and whole milk. Vitamin D is also produced by the skin under the influence of sunlight.
  • Deficiency diseases: Osteomalacia (bone softening, fractures and skeletal deformity)

Vitamin E

  • Why? Keeps your body’s cells and tissue in good condition and plays an essential role in red blood cell formation.
  • How much do I need? 10 – 15 mg
  • Sources: Vegetable oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, margarine, butter, nuts, bread, vegetables
  • Deficiency diseases: Hemolytic anemia (gallstones, fainting, chest pain, breathlessness)

Vitamin K

  • Why? Essential for normal blood clotting.
  • How much do I need? 80 – 120 µg
  • Sources: Broccoli, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts and vegetable oil
  • Deficiency diseases: Bleeding diathesis (defect in blood clotting system)

Did you know that…

  • one orange contains 75% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C?
  • a raw red pepper contains about 5 times the amount of vitamin C found in one orange?
  • margarine, butter and buttery spreads are the most important source of vitamin A and D?
  • canned vegetables contain as much vitamins as fresh vegetables?
  • all babies need a vitamin K supplement the first three months of their life?


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