Types of Vitamins: deficiency and excessive intake Types of Vitamins: deficiency and excessive intake
While vitamins don’t act as a source of energy, they are necessary and essential for ensuring the healthy development and optimal functionality of our... Types of Vitamins: deficiency and excessive intake

While vitamins don’t act as a source of energy, they are necessary and essential for ensuring the healthy development and optimal functionality of our bodies. Different types of vitamins provide different benefits, such as supporting your immune system and maintaining your bone density.

Vitamins

Photo: Healthy Habit University

Classified into two categories, there are fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. A simple way to understand this is that vitamins such as A, D, E and K are contained in several fat stores within your body for up to 6 months, while vitamins such as B-6, B-23, C, and niacin are circulated through your bloodstream and cannot be stored. This means it’s necessary for you to consistently replenish these vitamins.

For the best effects, vitamins should be consumed in moderate amounts. Vitamin deficiency can have dire consequences to our health, while overabundance can have negative side effects too.

 1. Vitamin A (fat-soluble)

Fish oil

Photo: FISOL3 Triple Strength Fish Oil

Benefits:

Vitamin A is necessary to promote healthy bone developments by enhancing the formation of dentin which helps to support and strengthen the bone’s durability. It also strengthens the immune system by maintaining the moisture in the mucus membranes, preventing germs and bacterias from entering the body. If an infection occurred, vitamin A also works to fight against the germs. In addition, vitamin A keeps the eyes moist, and help to boost night vision abilities. Other benefits include protection against skin dryness and acne and the reduction of the risks of cancer and heart diseases.

Found in:

Fish oil, butter, cheese, eggs.

Symptoms of deficiency:

  • Night blindness
  • Xerophthalmia: Severe dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea
  • Dry, scaly skin
  • Dry lips

Symptoms of overabundance:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nauseous
  • Headache
  • Photophobia: intolerance of light

Recommended intake:

For age 14 years and older, it is advisable to consume about 0.7 to 0.9 mg per day. Women who are nursing can consume about 1.2  to 1.3 mg daily.


2. Vitamin B6 (water-soluble)

Vitamin B6 food

Photo: Organic Facts

Benefits:

Vitamin B6 helps to ensure our brains and nervous systems function properly and also promotes the production of hemoglobin necessary for the transportation of oxygen around our body. It is also beneficial for children by supporting their brain developments. Vitamin B6 helps to stabilize moods and aids the body in producing melatonin, which is needed to regulate your body clock and improve sleep quality.

Found in:

Eggs, potatoes, sprouted grains, watermelons, bananas, and raisins.

Symptoms of deficiency:

  • Easily irritable, mood swings, anxiety, and depression
  • Confusion
  • Migraines
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Worsening of PMS symptoms
  • Worsening of anemia

Symptoms of overabundance:

  • Nerve damage or numbness and tingling sensation in the body
  • Oversensitivity to sunlight: causing skin rash, nausea

Recommended intake:

Teenagers age 14 to 18 years old need about 1.0 mg daily, while those 19 to 50 years old should consume about 1.3 mg, and those more than 50 years old should consume about 1.5 mg.


3. Vitamin B12 (water-soluble)

Vitamin B12 Food

Photo: Vitarian.sk

Benefits:

Vitamin B12 helps to maintain the health of nerve cells and forms the protective covering of nerves. It also promotes digestion and heart health, reducing the risks of heart diseases. Vitamin B12 is also necessary for carbohydrates to be converted into glucose, allowing for energy production. In addition, it facilitates cell reproduction and renewal of the skin. Most importantly, vitamin B12 protects against breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers.

Found in:

Fish liver, seafood, eggs, cheese, and meat.

Symptoms of deficiency:

  • Fatigue regardless of the number of hours slept
  • Lack of muscle energy
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Poor memory
  • Dizziness
  • Yellow and pale skin
  • Mood swing
  • Blurred or double vision and light sensitivity

Symptoms of overabundance:

Since vitamin B12 is water-soluble, it is flushed out of the system regularly and does not accumulate to toxic levels. However, if high contents of vitamin B12 is found in your body, it may be a sign of underlying diseases such liver disease, kidney failure and myeloproliferative disorders.

Recommended intake:

About 0.0024 mg per day for adults.


4. Vitamin C (water-soluble)

Vitamin C food

Photo: All About Vision

Benefits:

Vitamin C helps to repair and regenerate tissues, prevent heart diseases and facilitate the absorption of irons. It is also commonly known for boosting the immune system, reducing the severeness of a cold, and prevent cataracts.

Found in:

Gooseberry, raspberry, strawberry, lemons, cabbage, spinach.

Symptoms of deficiency:

  • Prone to bruises
  • Swollen and/or bleeding gums
  • Wounds heal slowly
  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Dry, rough and red spots on skin
  • Nosebleeds
  • Weak immune system
  • Digestive disorder
  • Weight gain due to slowed metabolism rate
  • Swollen and painful joints

Symptoms of overabundance:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating and cramps
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney stones

Recommended intake:

Teenagers below 18 years old should consume about 65-75 mg, while adults need about 75-90 mg.


5. Vitamin D (fat-soluble)

Vitamin D food

Photo: Rx Vitamins

Benefits:

Vitamin D helps to regulate calcium and maintain phosphorus levels in the blood, boosting bone health. In addition, it assists the body to absorb calcium into intestines. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of contracting influenza A and diabetes. It helps to support the health of the infant, reducing the risk and severity of atopic childhood diseases. The risk for cancer is also reduced as vitamin D can slow down the growth and development of new blood vessels in cancerous tissues, promoting cancer cell death and reducing cell proliferation and metastases.

Found in:

Sardines, salmon, mackerel, and liver.

Symptoms of deficiency:

  • Often ill or down with cold
  • Fatigue
  • Bone and backaches
  • Depression
  • Slow wound recovery
  • Low bone density
  • Hair loss

Symptoms of overabundance:

  • High levels of blood toxicity
  • High levels of calcium
  • Digestive issues
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Kidney failure

Recommended intake:

Adults can take about 0.01-0.02 mg daily. This amount can be increased if you’re someone who doesn’t get much sun exposure.


6. Vitamin E (fat-soluble)

Vitamin E food

Photo: Tintuconline

Benefits:

Vitamin E helps to balance cholesterol levels and fight against free radical damages. By combatting against free radical damage and inflammation, vitamin E effectively help to slow down the aging process of cells and reduce risks of heart diseases. Furthermore, Vitamin E boosts the immune system and strengthens the capillary walls as well as improve moisture and elasticity of the skin, providing an anti-aging effect.

Found in:

Vegetable oil, wheat germs, nuts, corn, and eggs.

Symptoms of deficiency:

  • Walking and body coordination problems
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Loss or dry hair
  • Leg cramps

Symptoms of overabundance:

  • Hemorrhaging and hemorrhagic stroke
  • High blood pressure

Recommended intake:

Those below 14 years old should take about 11 mg a day, while those 15 years old and older can consume 15mg per day.

Get your vitamins from your daily food intake! Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins and other nutrients. If you consume a balanced and nutritious diet every day, you will not need to rely on supplements to provide vitamins for your body.

Cover Image: All4women.co.za

Iris Tan

Iris Tan

A cup of steaming hot tea, an engaging motivational book and a sleeping cat in her lap – these are what Iris envisions a purr-fect life would be. To be more precise, the cat’s got to be chubby and short. When she’s not wasting her time on the never ending streams of feline videos, Iris enjoys daydreaming and doodling in her bullet journal while she wonders about the endless possibilities life can bring.

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