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An Introduction to the 13 Vitamins

Vitamins are essential nutrients that your body needs so that it can function effectively. Most vitamins are sourced from the foods you eat but some can be produced by your body as well. They are distinguished from minerals because they come from plants and animals whereas minerals come from the soil and water. Vitamins contain no calories and are not used by the body for energy but without them your body's cells cannot perform certain important functions. In this article I am going to be providing you with a simple introduction to each of the thirteen vitamins.

1) VITAMIN A:- The main function of vitamin A is to assist with vision. A deficiency can lead to a condition called night blindness where you struggle to see in dim light and if left untreated this can develop into full blindness.

2) VITAMIN B1 (THIAMINE):- This vitamin's main function is to work with other B-complex vitamins and help the body convert blood sugar into energy. Not getting enough vitamin B1 can cause beriberi which has a number of undesirable symptoms including pain, loss of feeling in your extremities and in the worst cases death.

3) VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN):- Vitamin B2's main function is to work with the other B-complex vitamins and help the body's cells break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins for energy. A vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to skin problems and also damage the eyes.

4) VITAMIN B3 (NIACIN):- The main function of this vitamin is to work with other B-complex vitamins and help the body's cells convert blood sugar into energy. Not getting enough vitamin B3 can lead to the development of pellagra, a condition which causes diarrhea, dementia, delirium and ultimately death.

5) VITAMIN B5 (PANTOTHENIC ACID):- The main function of vitamin B5 is to work with the other B-complex vitamins and help the body's cells convert food into energy. Not getting enough of this vitamin is very rare but can lead to abdominal pain and muscle weakness.

6) VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE):- This vitamin's main role is to help the body's cells break down proteins into a form they can use. A vitamin B6 deficiency can lead to weakness, tingling in your extremities and seizures.

7) VITAMIN B7 (BIOTIN):- The main function of vitamin B7 is to work with other B-complex vitamins and help the body's cells break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins into a form they can use. Not getting enough can lead to hair loss, skin problems and depression.

8) VITAMIN B9 (FOLIC ACID):- The main role of vitamin B9 is to work with vitamin B12 and help the body produce DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) which both contain important genetic information. A deficiency can lead to anemia, diarrhea, stunted growth and weight loss.

9) VITAMIN B12 (COBALAMIN):- The main function of this vitamin is to work with vitamin B9 and help the body produce DNA and RNA. Not getting enough vitamin B12 can lead to pernicious anemia, a condition where your body produces fewer, larger red blood cells.

10) VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID):- Vitamin C's main function is to assist in the production of collagen, a key component of connective tissue in animals that helps wounds heal. Being deficient in this vitamin can lead to scurvy, a condition which causes bleeding, swollen gums and slow healing wounds.

11) VITAMIN D:- The main function of this vitamin is to help the body use calcium and phosphorous which both help to strengthen your bones and teeth. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to weak bones that bend, break and fracture easily.

12) VITAMIN E:- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects your body's cells from damage. Failure to get enough of this vitamin can lead to age spots (brown spots on the skin), hemolytic anemia (a condition where your blood cells become delicate and rupture) and other forms of cell damage.

13) VITAMIN K:- The main role of this vitamin is to help the blood clot. Being deficient in vitamin K makes it difficult for your blood to clot and in the worst cases can cause heavy, uncontrollable bleeding.

As you can see each of the 13 vitamins are unique but collectively they are essential for good health. Being deficient in any of the above vitamins can lead to numerous health problems and stop your body from functioning properly. However, eating a healthy, balanced diet should allow you to consume adequate levels of each of the 13 vitamins and keep your body performing at an optimal level.

 

About the Author:  Tom Parker owns and operates a number of useful fitness resources and websites. You can learn more about the 13 different vitamins and the numerous vitamin health benefits by visiting his websites.  Article Source: Content4Reprint.


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