Water soluble vitamins

Water soluble vitamins

Vitamin B1 is found in most foods, though mostly in small amounts. The best source of thiamin is dried brewer’s yeast but other good sources include meat (especially pork and ham products), some species of fish (eel, tuna), whole grain cereals and bread, nuts, pulses, dried legumes and potatoes. Benefits:

1. The normal function of the heart;

2. The normal function of the nervous system;

3. Normal neurological development and function.

4. Normal psychological functions.

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency is rare, but can occur in people who get most of their calorifies from sugar or alcohol. People with thiamin deficiency have difficulty digesting carbohydrates, causing a loss of mental alertness, difficulty in breathing and heart damage.

Vitamin B12 is produced exclusively by microbial synthesis in the digestive tract of animals. Therefore, animal protein products, in particular organ meats (eg liver, kidney), are the primary source of vitamin B12 in the human diet. Other good sources are fish, eggs and dairy products.

This vitamin is important because:

1. Convert food into glucose, which is used to produce energy.

2. Maintain healthy nerve cells.

3. Produce nucleic acids (DNA), the body's genetic material

4. Regulate, together with vitamin B9 (folate), the formation of red blood cells.

5. Control, together with vitamin B6 and vitamin B9, blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, a potential marker for heart disease risk.

Vitamin B2 is an essential constituent of all living cells. However, there are very few rich sources in food: Yeast and liver have the highest concentrations, but they don’t have much relevance to today’s human nutrition. A sufficient intake of vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is important as it helps the body to:

1. Convert food (carbohydrates) into glucose to produce energy

2. Neutralize ‘free radicals’ that can damage cells and DNA. This neutralizing ‘antioxidant’ effect may reduce or help prevent some of the damage contributing to the aging process, as well as the development of a number of health conditions like heart disease and cancer

3. Convert vitamin B6 and vitamin B9 into active forms.

Vitamin B3 (niacinas) is found in many products - lean meat, liver, fish products, poultry, beans, peas, peanuts. Vitamin B3 (niacin) is important for the body because it helps to:

1. Convert food into glucose, used to produce energy

2. Produce macromolecules, including fatty acids and cholesterol

3. Facilitate DNA repair and stress responses.

The richest vitamin B5 sources are yeast and organ meats (liver, kidney, heart, brain); although eggs, milk, vegetables, legumes and wholegrain cereals are more common sources. 

An adequate supply of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is important as it helps the body to:

1. Convert food into glucose, used to produce energy

2. Break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for energy generation

3. Form red blood cells, as well as sex and stress-related hormones.

Excellent sources of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) are chicken, beef liver, pork and veal. Good sources include fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut, and herring), nuts (walnuts, peanuts), bread, corn and whole grain cereals. Generally, vegetables and fruits are rather poor sources of vitamin B6. An adequate intake of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is essential as it helps the body to:

1. Convert food into glucose, which is used to produce energy.

2. Make neurotransmitters, which carry signals from one nerve cell to another

3. Produce hormones, red blood cells, and cells of the immune system

4.Control (along with vitamin B12 and vitamin B9) blood levels of homocysteine - an amino acid that may be associated with heart disease.

5. The normal functioning of the immune system

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin and an essential health ingredient that the body cannot produce itself and that needs to absorb through our diet or by supplements. Vitamin C is widely found in fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, blackcurrants, peppers, green vegetables (such as broccoli), brussels sprouts, and fruits like strawberries, guava, mango and kiwi. Depending on the season, one medium-sized glass of freshly pressed orange juice (100g) yields from 15 to 35mg vitamin C.

A sufficient intake of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), is important as it helps the body to make collagen - an important protein in skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels and which supports the growth and repair of tissues and heals wounds. It repairs and maintains bones and teeth, synthesizes neurotransmitters and blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals by working as an antioxidant along with vitamin E, beta-carotene and many other plant-based nutrients. This damage can contribute to the aging process and the development of cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.

Folates are found in a wide variety of foods. The richest sources are liver, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, wheat germ and yeast. Other sources include egg yolk, milk and dairy products, beets, orange juice and whole wheat bread. It’s important that we have a sufficient intake of vitamin B9 - in folate form (in foods) and folic acid (in supplements), because it helps the body as a coenzyme to:

1. Use amino acids, the building blocks of proteins

2. Produce nucleic acids (like DNA), the body's genetic material

3. Form blood cells in the bone marrow to

4. Control (together with vitamin B6 and vitamin B12) blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, associated with certain chronic conditions like heart disease.

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