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Understanding Vitamins in Foods and Supplements

Understanding Vitamins in Foods and Supplements

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Vitamins are, by definition, organic compounds which are required to be supplemented by the human body to maintain healthy functions. Vitamins can not be created by the body, and hence are required to be obtained via diet or supplementation. Less than adequate levels of vitamins in the body contribute to a variety of health problems, many of which can be prevented or treated by the reintroduction of required vitamins to the diet.

Supplementation of vitamins has been a subject debated for some time, some studies have found over the counter vitamins to be ineffective, being destroyed in the digestive system, or simply unable to be absorbed. The level of absorption from supplemented vitamins depends on upon the quality of the product, along with the method of extraction.

In contrast, some vitamins if supplemented to excess can cause additional health problems, for this reason, it is important to know the maximum daily dosage and never exceed this amount, the level of which excessive supplementation is shown to enter the range of potentially producing negative health problems is usually 300% of the required daily intake.

Fat soluble vitamins are generally more problematic than water soluble compounds, as the body regularly processes water within the body, filtering out excessive amounts of chemical compounds, fat-soluble compounds, however, remain within the bodies fat stores, causing potential problems over the long term if taken in excess, along with the inability for fast recovery from overdose symptoms.

In this article, we will run through each vitamin group, provide examples of their reliability in obtaining via cooking and via supplementation, along with the potential health problems from lack of each in the diet.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a fat soluble essential nutrient, the most common form of which is beta-carotene. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin A compounds is 900 micrograms (µg) per day. Lack of Vitamin A compounds in the body can result in the development of night blindness symptoms, thickening of the top two skin layers, dried out brittle hair, fingernail breaks and a decreased immune response to infection.

Excessive Vitamin A consumption to the point of reaching toxicity normally presents with early signs such as tiredness / drowsiness, pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, irritability and a increases blood pressure within the brain.

When found in foods different cooking methods will alter the amount of vitamins present in each meal, regarding Vitamin A there is a 5% nutrient loss when food is frozen and 10% loss upon reheating. 50% loss occurs if the food has been dried, 25% when cooked or 35% if cooked then the liquid drained.

The best sources of Vitamin A come from Liver, milk, fish, soya milk, pumpkin, squash, spinach, carrots, leafy vegetables, oranges and yellow fruits.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 is a water-soluble compound chemically named Thiamine, the recommended daily intake of Thiamine is 1.2 milligrams (mg) per day. Lack of thiamine intake is known to result in beriberi, a compounded disorder comprised of 3 separate disorders, of which the symptoms are weight loss, weakness and pain in limbs, emotional / psychiatric disturbances including amnesia and confusion, disturbance of the senses, irregular heart beat, difficulty in walking, loss of tendons, loss of muscles, involuntary eye movements, vomiting, loss of cardiac ability, a dangerous increase in jugular vein pressure, extreme shortness of breath and swelling in the lower legs.

In foods, it degrades 5% upon freezing and 40% upon reheating. When food is dried, it degrades by 30%, 55% when cooked and 70% when cooked and drained.

The best sources of Vitamin B1 come from Pork, Liver, Eggs, potatoes, vegetables, oatmeal and brown rice.

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble compound chemically named Riboflavin, the recommended daily intake for Riboflavin is 1.3 milligrams (mg) per day. Lack of Riboflavin in the body is known to produce swelling of the mouth and lips including the tongue and throat, cracking and peeling of the lips, skin rashes resulting in oily and scaly skin around the bodies main orifices, eye problems such as itching, bloodshot, watery along with light sensitivity and anemia.

Lack of Riboflavin during pregnancy can produce birth defects in the heart and limbs.

In foods Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin does not degrade if frozen and upon reheating it degrades by 5%. When dried it degrades by 10%, 25% when cooked and 45% if cooked then drained.

The best sources of Vitamin B2 are dairy products, bananas, asparagus and green beans.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 is a variety of water soluble compounds known as Niacin and Niacinamide, the recommended daily intake for Vitamin B3 compounds is 16 milligrams (mg) per day.

Lack of Vitamin B3 in the body begins to present symptoms such as fatigue, indigestion, ulcers, vomiting, depression and poor circulation throughout the body.

Prolonged deficiency is known to produce a condition known as Pellagra, the main symptoms of which are dermatitis, diarrhoea and dementia, however further symptoms also include a smoothing of and bright red appearance of the tongue, hair loss, swelling throughout the skin of the body, light sensitivity, aggression, insomnia, skin lesions, mental confusion, weakness, lack of coordination, enlarged and weak heart, paralysis of limbs and extremities and nerve damage.

In foods, Vitamin B3 / Niacin does not degrade if frozen and upon reheating it degrades by 5%. When dried it degrades by 10%, when cooked 40% and if cooked and drained 55%.

The best sources of Vitamin B3 are from Meat, Eggs, Fish, Mushrooms, Tree Nuts and most vegetables.

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble compound known as Pantothenic acid, the recommended daily intake of Pantothenic acid is 5 milligrams (mg) per day.

A lack of pantothenic acid in the body is extremely rare, however when it occurs, is known to produce early symptoms such as insomnia, depression, fatigue, irritability, stomach pains, vomiting, burning sensations in the feet and upper respiratory tract infections.

The best sources of Vitamin B5 are from Broccoli, Meat, and Avocados.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a variety of water soluble compounds known as Pyridoxine, Pyridoxamine, and Pyridoxal, the recommended daily intake for Vitamin B6 compounds is between 1.3 and 1.7 milligrams (mg) per day.

A lack of Vitamin B6 compounds in the body is known to cause nerve damage, anemia, depression, confusion, swollen tongue and scaling eczema on both edges of the lips.

In foods Vitamin B6 does not degrade when frozen however, degrades by 45% when reheated. When dried it degrades by 10%, 50% when cooked and 65% if cooked then drained.

The best sources of Vitamin B6 are from Meat, Tree Nuts, Bananas, and Vegetables.

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7 is a water-soluble compound known as Biotin, the recommended daily intake of Biotin is 30 micrograms (µg) per day. Lack of Biotin in the body is extremely rare, however, is known to produce dermatitis, especially on the face and hair loss. At more advanced stages of deficiency, symptoms such as a lowering / lack of muscle tone, muscle cramps, seizures and a lack of coordination become present.

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is a variety of water soluble compounds known as Folic Acid, and Folinic Acid, the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B9 compounds is 400 micrograms (µg) per day. Lack of Vitamin B9 / Folate is fairly common in society; most deficiencies present due to excessive alcohol intake or bowel problems.

Lack of Vitamin B9 compounds within the body can lead to poor growth especially in children, gingivitis and tongue inflammation, loss of appetite, irritability, forgetfulness, mental sluggishness, diarrhea and shortness of breath.

If a deficiency of Vitamin B9 exists during pregnancy, it can cause serious issues to the developing baby and produces a range of birth defects, including the inhibiting growth of the brain and spinal cord. This has been mostly prevented recently by the addition of folate to grain-based foods, especially in the USA.

Vitamin B9 / Folate within foods degrades by 5% when frozen and 30% upon reheating. 50% is lost if the food is dried, 70% when cooked or 75% if cooked then drained.

The best sources of Vitamin B9 are from Liver, Cereal, Bread, Pasta and Leafy Vegetables.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a variety of water soluble compounds known as Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxocobalamin, and Methylcobalamin. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 compounds is 2.4 micrograms (µg) per day.

Lack of Vitamin B12 compounds within the body is known in advanced stages to interfere with DNA production of red blood cells, the same way as found in Vitamin B9, and results in serious cases of anemia. Early symptoms of deficiency normally present with symptoms such as light headedness, tiredness, rapid heart rate, weight loss, sore tongue, bowel complaints and easily bruising / bleeding.

Vitamin B12 compounds do not degrade if frozen however 45% is lost upon reheating. There is no loss if food is dried, and when cooked it degrades by 45% or 50% if cooked then drained.

The best sources of Vitamin B12 come from Meat, Chicken, Fish, Milk, and Eggs.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble compound known as Ascorbic acid, the recommended daily intake for Ascorbic Acid is 90 milligrams (mg) per day.

Lack of Vitamin C in the body is known to produce scurvy, which has early symptoms of weakness, tiredness, curling of the hair and sore arms / legs. More advanced cases of scurvy have symptoms such as the development of a low red blood cell count, gum disease and bleeding from the skin, progressive scurvy results in a decrease in wound healing, personality changes and eventually leads to death.

While cases of scurvy are extremely rare in the modern developed world, cases of scurvy do still present in the modern day, mostly in developing nations, among refugees who have little access to regular balanced meals, and in the developed world where poor diet has been a critical factor. Scurvy can be remedied by the reintroduction of vitamin C if treated early enough.

Vitamin C /  Ascorbic acid degrades by 30% if frozen and 50% upon reheating. If dried 80% is lost and upon cooking 50% is lost or 75% if cooked then drained.

The best sources of Vitamin C are Liver, Fruits, and Vegetables.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a variety of fat-soluble compounds named Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) and Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2).The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D compounds is ten micrograms (µg) per day.

The majority of Vitamin D is synthesized due to sun exposure, leaving little requirement for food intake, however in people who regularly work indoors, or have poor access to direct outdoor sunlight for less than 30 minutes per day, food intake and supplementation will become more critical.

Lack of Vitamin D compounds in the body result in increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis, colon cancer, lowered immune response, development of autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes and mental health problems.

Prolonged deficiency can result in a defective development of minerals and calcium within the bones, resulting in over time in fractures and deformities within the bones structure. Another associated disorder from lack of Vitamin D compounds is problems with regular bone metabolism, resulting in softening of the bones structure in general, symptoms include body pain over a wide area, muscle weakness, and fragile bones.

The best sources of Vitamin D in food come from Liver, Fish, Eggs, and Mushrooms. Exposure to sunlight for 15 to 30 minutes each day while avoiding sun burn is also extremely effective at boosting vitamin d levels naturally.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a variety of fat-soluble compounds known as Tocopherols and Tocotrienols, the recommended daily intake for Vitamin E compounds is 15 milligrams (mg) per day.

Lack of available Vitamin E compounds within the body, although extremely rare, develop symptoms such as loss of muscle mass, vision problems, abnormal eye movements, unsteady walking and muscle weakness.

The best sources of Vitamin E come from Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables and Seeds.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a combination of fat-soluble compounds known as phylloquinone and menaquinones, the recommended daily intake for Vitamin K compounds is 120 micrograms (µg) per day.

Lack of available Vitamin K compounds within the body can result in abnormal bleeding due to the inability of the blood to form a clot, symptoms of which include red or purple spots appearing on the body and bleeding under the skin (with an appearance similar to bruises).

Changes in Vitamin K intake can provoke extremely dangerous reactions if taking the (already very dangerous) blood thinning drug warfarin, significantly increasing the risk of blood clots and stroke.

The best sources of Vitamin K are found in Egg Yolk, Liver, and Leafy Green Vegetables.

Looking for reliable vitamin supplements? All Nutrimi products contain a high quality of vitamins, designed around a reliable extraction process for increased bio-availability.

The post Understanding Vitamins in Foods and Supplements appeared first on NaturalNews Blogs.

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Updated: November 5, 2016 — 7:00 am

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