Vitamins-Sources and Deficiency Diseases

Vitamins-Sources and Deficiency Diseases:

Vitamins- Vitamins as the name suggest are vital minerals for life. These are organic compounds which are essential for normal metabolism of body cell though they neither supply energy nor serve as a building material. Vitamin free diet causes certain diseases and may even cause death. These are not synthesised by the body like hormones and proteins but are supplied through the food. Many vitamins are synthesized on a commercial scale and administered by doctors to their patients. Vitamins are classified into two classes-

  • Fat-Soluble Vitamins- These include vitamin A, D, E and K.
  • Water-Soluble Vitamins- These include vitamin B complex i.e. B1, B2, B6 and B12 and vitamin C.

Some important vitamins- their sources and deficiency diseases are as-

VitaminSourcesDeficiency Diseases
Vitamin A (Retinol)Milk, Eggs, Butter, Cheese, Fish, Vegetables, etc.Growth retardation, Night blindness, Eye diseases like Xerophthalmia (cornea of eyes become opaque), Xerosis (drying up of the skin) and respiratory diseases like Asthma.
Vitamin D (Calciferol or Sunshine vitamin)Milk, Ghee, Cheese, Egg yolk, Liver, Cod-liver oil etc.Rickets (bowlegs, swollen joints, pigeon chest) in children, Osteomalacia (softening and bending of bones) in adults and unsatisfactory development of teeth.
Vitamin E (α-tocopherol or Anti-sterility vitamin)Milk, Butter, Leafy Vegetables, Wheat, Animal and Vegetable Oils, Cotton Seed Oil, Corn oil and Peanut Oil etc.Deficiency causes sterility in males, produces muscular cramps, erythrocyte breakdown and hence anaemia, miscarriage etc.
Vitamin K (Phylloquinone or Antihaemorrhagic vitamin)Fish, Liver, Spinach, Cabbage etc.Deficiency causes Haemorrhages, Faulty blood clotting and Liver malfunctioning.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)Germinating seeds, Egg yolk, Milk, Yeast, Green vegetables, Fresh peas, beans, Wheat, Rice etc.Deficiency causes Beri-beri, Muscular atrophy and Anorexia. Beri-beri is of several types. There is poor digestion, weakening of muscles, body rigidity, neuritis or inflammation of nerves. Paralysis, progressive oedema and heart failure may occur.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin or Lactoflavin)Milk, Eggs, Liver, Vegetables, Mangoes, Apricots, Rice polishing etc.Deficiency cause ariboflavinosisCheilosis (Inflammation and sometimes cracking at corners of the mouth), retarded growth, skin disease, loss of hair, premature ageing.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine or Adermin)Green Vegetables, Seed germs, Yeast, Egg yolk, Milk, Meat, Liver etc.Deficiency causes dermatitis called acrodynia, microcytic anaemia, nausea, convulsions, weakness, neuritic pain, reduced growth etc.
Vitamin B12 (Cynocobalamin)Meat, Fish, Egg, Curd etc.Pernicious anaemia (RBCs deficient in haemoglobin), Degeneration of the spinal cord.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)Citrus fruits, Amla, Green leafy vegetables etc.Deficiency causes anaemia, impaired healing, increased susceptibility to infections, stiffness and soreness of joints and Scurvy (sore and bleeding gums).

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