A vitamin a day keeps the doc away

Aug 28, 2012, 09:25 IST | The Guide Team

It was a hundred years ago, in 1912, when scientist Casimir Funk coined the term 'Vitamins'. Since then, researchers have identified 13 vitamin types, which are essential for a healthy body. The Guide gives you a cut-and-keep checklist of each of these vitamins, their sources as well as their signs of deficiency or excess consumption

Important for> Vision, immune system, bones, skin health
Sources> Liver, egg yolk, butter, milk, cheese, orange-coloured fruits such as melon and leafy vegetables
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Symptoms include night blindness, dry skin, sluggish immune system, delayed growth
VITAMIN excess> Causes hair loss, birth defects, liver and skin problems

Important for> Bone and teeth development, muscles, immune system
Sources> Sunlight on skin, oils, saltwater fish such as salmon and mackerel, eggs, meat, milk, butter, mushrooms
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Symptoms include rickets, reduced muscle strength, deformations, bone loss, softening of bones, Osteoporosis
VITAMIN excess> Causes hair and weight loss

Illustration/ Amit Bandre Information Courtesy/ WWW.100yearsofvitamins.com

Important for> Healthy tissue, organs, cells, blood flow, higher rate of fertility
Sources> Milk, butter, eggs, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, vegetables (spinach, lettuce, cabbage)
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Symptoms include muscle weakness, weak vision, damaged blood cells, low immunity
VITAMIN excess> Causes bleeding, fatigue


Important for> Blood clotting, bones, heart
Sources> Cheese, meat, liver, leafy green vegetables, oats, potatoes, tomatoes, vegetable oils, soya beans
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Symptoms include cuts that heal slowly, excessive bleeding, bleeding from gums or nose
VITAMIN excess> Synthetic Vitamin K causes liver damage, jaundice

Important for> Nervous system, muscles, heart function, healthy growth
Sources> Yeast, whole-grain cereals, leafy vegetables, dry fruit, nuts, tuna fish, pork
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Symptoms include delayed growth, fatigue, lack of alertness, weight loss, night blindness, paralysis
VITAMIN excess> Upset stomach, discoloured urine, seizures, diarrhea

Important for> Metabolism, growth, vision, development of tissues
Sources> Milk and milk products, lean meat, eggs, liver, leafy green vegetables, yeast, whole grain cereals
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Sores on lips, the tongue and corners of mouth, sensitivity to light, fatigue, digestive problems
VITAMIN excess> It dissolves in water, so excess is passed in the urine

Important for> Metabolism, healing wounds
Sources> Yeast, whole grain cereals, nuts, legumes, vegetables, mushrooms, liver, heart, fish, chicken, beef, egg yolk, milk
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Fatigue, insomnia, depression, respiratory infections, vomiting, headache
VITAMIN excess> Excess is passed in the urine

Important for> Hair roots, fingernails
Sources> Yeast, vegetables, cereals, walnuts, peanuts, soya beans, liver, kidneys, meat (pork, mutton, poultry), egg yolk
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Nausea, vomiting, depression, dry skin, loss of appetite, affects muscle coordination, loss of hair colour, hair loss
VITAMIN excess> Excess is passed in the urine

Important for> Immune system, tissue growth, bone / teeth repair, eyes, nervous system
Sources> Milk, citrus fruits, blackcurrants, strawberries, guava, mango, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Symptoms include splitting hair, inflamed / bleeding gums, dry skin
VITAMIN excess> Kidney stones

Important for> Growth, nervous system
Sources> Liver, kidneys, heart, fish, meat, yeast, cereals, avocados, figs, dates, prunes, nuts, legumes
VITAMIN deFICIENCY> Skin lesions, diarrhea, confusion, digestive problems, insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, depression
VITAMIN excess> Excess is passed in the urine

Important for> Metabolism, brain function, immune system
Sources> Walnuts, peanuts, corn, whole grains, bread, chicken, liver, pork, veal, salmon, tuna, sardines
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Kidney stones, depression, fatigue, dizziness, nerve problems, convulsions, skin lesions
VITAMIN excess> Photosensitivity, nausea and heartburn

Important for> Red and white blood cells, nerve cells
Sources> Dark leafy green vegetables, beets, wheat germ, yeast, peanuts, oranges, beans, liver, milk, dairy products, egg yolk
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Tiredness, loss of appetite, neurological problems, digestive problems, severe birth defects
VITAMIN excess> Excess is passed in the urine

Important for> Red blood cells, metabolism, immune system
Sources> Liver (best source), kidneys, heart, meat, eggs, fish, dairy products
VITAMIN DEFICIENCY> Anemia, nerve damage, fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, diarrhea, tingling in fingers and toes, spinal cord degeneration, neurological problems
VITAMIN excess> Rash, blood clots 

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