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Aina Meducci 2012


The following blog posts is not genuinely from my research but through readings and citation from trusted website. I do not own any of the copyright and therefore you may use it at your own risk


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Basic nutrition fact- Vitamins and minerals

I admit, I am not nutrition expert. But when I have to sit for the upcoming external exam, I knew I have to be knowledgeable in this topic- even at the basic level. Wish me luck on 9th Sept!


Vitamins and Minerals- Roles in life


A vitamin is any group of organic substances - other than proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and organic salts - which are essential for normal metabolism, growth, and development. Vitamins regulate metabolic processes, control cellular functions, and prevent diseases, such as scurvy and rickets.

Vitamin A

Essential for normal growth, integrity of the skin, and bone development. Lack of Vitamin A can lead to infection of the cornea, conjunctiva (the red part of the eye), trachea (windpipe), hair follicles, and renal system. Deficiency can also cause night blindness. Vitamin A is found in butter, butterfat in milk, egg yolk, some fruits (prunes, pineapples, oranges, limes, and cantaloupe), green leafy vegetables and carrots.

Helps develop and maintain healthy growth in the cells and almost all the parts of the body. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin A is carried through the body by fat and plays a key role in the immune system by helping protect it from infections.

Another form of Vitamin A is called carotenoids. Carotenoids are certain pigments found in orange, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables, especialy in dark-green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B complexes

A vitamin that can be dissolved in water. It is one of the B complex vitamins. Vitamin B6 helps the body by building protein, making antibodies and making the red blood cells.There are actually eight separate vitamins in the B family: thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, biotin, and pantothenic. B vitamins increase energy levels, regulate metabolism, and help create new red blood cells.Foods with high B levels include meats, fish, liver, dark/leafy vegetables, whole-grains, and fortified products.

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine) affects growth, appetite, and carbohydrate metabolism. Alcoholics can be especially deficient. B1 is found in whole grains, nuts, egg yolk, fruits, and most vegetables.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) affects growth and cellular metabolism (the ability of the cell to take in food, make energy and discard waste). Found in liver, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and green vegetables.
  • A deficiency in Vitamin B6 (niacin) will cause pellagra, which is associated with the "four D's": dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death. Found in liver, meat, poultry, and green vegetables.
  • Vitamin B12 (biotin, folic acid, and cyanocobalamin) is found in leafy green vegetables, organ meats, lean beef and veal, and wheat cereals. A deficiency will result in pernicious anemia and neurological problems, including numbness and weakness.

Vitamin C

Also referred to as ascorbic acid. Functioning as an excellent antioxidant, it has the ability to prevent the harmful oxidation of cells. While vitamin E and beta-carotene are also anti-oxidants, C works excellently with E in this process. Vitamin C is also connected with the health of bones, teeth, hormones, collagen, and blood vessels. It plays an important role in absorbing other important substances, such as iron, calcium, and folacin, and it may help cataracts, cancer, and heart disease. Vitamin C is particularly connected with the strengthening of the immune
system and the healing wounds.

Many fruits and vegetables provide good sources of vitamin C. These include citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and dark green vegetables. When sick with a cold or flu, many people use lozenges as a vitamin C source. However, the sugar in these "remedies" actually weakens the immune system.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are the best choices. Freezing has little to no effect on Vitamin C. Cooking vegetables too long can also destroy the contained vitamin C.Vitamin C helps the body build and maintain healthy bones, teeth, gums, red blood cells, and blood vessels, heal wounds, bruises, and fractures and protect from infection by keeping the immune system healthy. Because vitamin C cannot be stored in the body so it is important to eat foods high in vitamin C.

Necessary for the formation of connective tissue between cells as well as maintenance of the "cement" that secures cells to membranes. A deficiency will lead to scurvy (shallow complexion, loss of energy, pain in legs and joints, bleeding gums, and muscle pain).

Vitamin D

Vitamin D can be produced in the body as well as from your diet. The human body can also make vitamin D from direct sunlight, or an ultraviolet light source, hits the skin. Ten to 20 minutes of sun exposure 3 times a week is all that is needed. Vitamin D helps build strong and healthy bones and teeth. A person who does not get enough vitamin D and calcium is at a higher risk for
bone mass loss, which is known as osteoporosis.

Vitamin D Turns into a steroid hormone by the body, vitamin D possesses a crucial connection with gene functioning. It significantly impacts how much calcium the body can absorb, and it is vital for bone density and prevention against osteoporosis.

While foods such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and fortified products contain vitamin D, the body largely produces this substance from sun rays absorbed through the skin.Although D is vital for bone growth in child development, studies reveal that a substantial number of children may be deficient as well.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is involved with immune system, DNA, and metabolism maintenance. As an antioxidant, research indicates that it may have a positive effect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin E can be found in nuts, particularly almonds, wheat germ oil, vegetable oil, green/leafy vegetables, and enriched cereals.

Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties. The vitamin may protect against heart disease and cancer and improves the way the body uses vitamin A. Vitamin E is found in the fatty parts of foods and to insure an adequate vitamin E intake, healthy vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and unrefined whole-grain products should be a regular part of the diet. The best sources of vitamin E are unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils such as:

Vitamin K

While involved in protection against osteoporosis, skin wounds, and possibly cancer, Vitamin K significantly helps blood to clot after an injury. Also found in a variety of foods, especially vegetables, K most often forms from intestine bacteria in the body. However, various circumstances can prevent the body from receiving the proper amount.


Minerals are essential, acting as "co-factors of enzymes" (enzymes would not exist or function without minerals), and as organizers of the molecular structure of the cell and its membrane.

There are fourteen trace minerals necessary for survival, a few of which are discussed below.


Necessary for the maintenance of normal blood sugar levels. Chromium works with insulin in assisting cells to take in glucose and release energy. Some good sources include meats, unrefined foods, fats, and vegetable oils.


Needed for the production of red blood cells and the formation of connective tissues. Also plays a major role in the defense against free radicals. Some sources include meat, seafood, nuts, and seeds.


Maintains the structure of teeth. Taken regularly, Flourine will help protect teeth from acidic decay. Sources include water (in some areas), seafood, kidney, liver, and other meats.


Activator of many enzymes. Manganese is very closely related to the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and protein. Sources include whole grains and cereals, fruits, and vegetables.


Important in protecting lipids of cell membranes (cell walls are made up of a lipid (fat) layer), proteins, and nucleic acids against oxidant damage. Sources include broccoli, chicken, cucumbers, egg yolk, garlic, liver, milk, mushrooms, onions, seafood, and tuna.


Essential for synthesis of protein, DNA and RNA. It is required for growth in all stages of life. Sources include meats, oysters and other seafood, milk, and egg yolk.

Sources: Vitamins and minerals fitwise.com, Vitamins and minerals A-K www.diasabled-world.com

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