Chm Nutrition: Vitamins

Vitamin A

Functions: Vision (esp. night)-formation of retina pigment, light/dark adjustment, lubricates by creating a mucus to lower damage risk, prevents macular degeneration, Epithelial Cell Health– these line interior/exterior surfaces as infection barrier, Protein Synthesis-aids growth, reproduction, Cardiovascular Health-possible antioxidant effects, Cancer risk reducer-boosts immune system, antioxidant, Acne Treatment-topological use of derivatives.

Sources: Fish, organ meat, egg yolks, highly-colored plants-cartenoids

Needs: Men ~900macrograms RAE, Women~ 700Mg

Deficiency Effects: major functions are impaired

Toxicity: more than 3000 RAE

Birth Defects(binds to DNA, affects cell dev.)

Liver Toxicity (stored, needs ZN to mobilize)

Skin Coloration

Vitamin D

Functions: More a Hormone than a vitamin, CA Regulation, bone metabolism-works w/parathyroid hormone to absorb/deposit CA and P in bones, Cell Dev.- helps prevent cancer/DNA defects, Immune System

Sources: Few foods: fatty fish( salmon, sardines) fortified dairy, some cereals, skin cells (90% of needs): in sunlight, cholesterol substance is converted to the prohormone —>then to hormone in the liver, kidneys.

Needs: 5 macrograms each day

Deficiency: rickets, osteomalacia=soft bones

Toxicity: > 70mg per day, high CA concentration in blood leads to weakness, appetite decrease, diarrhea, mental confusion, urnation increase

Vitamin E

Functions: Antioxidant:mostly in cell membranes-prevents damage to vital molecules like phospholipids or DAN, by being “sacrificial lamb,” Improves Vit A uptake-used in metabolism of FE in cells…therefore aids in nervous tissue maintainence Immune function support

Sources: plant oils, cereals, some fruits/veggies, egg yolk, whole grains

Needs: 15mg/day, sensitive to O2, light, metals, heat-processing matters.

Deficiency: oxidative damage of cell membranes, infants, smokers, fat-malabsorbers are at risk

Toxicity: >100mg/day, clotting function decrease(affects Vit K function) causing hemorrhaging

Vitamin K

Functions: blood clotting(k oagulation)- together with proteins, CA it activates several blood-clotting factors, CA Absorption-activates proteins in bone, muscle, and kidneys to bind CA, Prevents Cartilage loss.

Sources: plant/plant oils, fish oils, meat, intestinal bacteria(synthesize~10%)

Needs: 90-120 macrograms/day

Deficiency: blood-clotting function decrease-increased risk of hemorrhage, infants, antiobotic takers, fat-malabsorbers are at risk

Toxicity: no upper limit-not toxic but it reduces non-clotting affectiveness.

Vitamin B1-Thiamin

Functions: Used in carbohydrate metabolism for energy needs

Sources: pork, whole grains, soy, oranges peanuts

Needs: 1.1-1.2 mg/day

Deficiency: effects showing after only 10 days w/out B1, glucose cannot be metabolized for energy, weakness, appetite decrease, nerve tingling/degeneration, coordination decrease, heart enlargement, edema

No upper intake

Vitamin B2-Riboflavin

Functions: Carb metabolism used for energy, Vitamin/mineral absorption/metabolism, antioxidant, homocysteine metabolism

Sources: dairy, grains, meat, eggs, veggies

Needs: 1.1-1.3 mg day

Deficiency: inflamation of tongue/mouth, dermatitis, “cheilosis”-tissue cracking @mouth corner, eye disorders, sun sensitivity, shows up > 2 months, often accompanied by other B vit. deficiencies

Vitamin B3-Niacin

Functions: Cellular metabolism, when energy is used (e.g. synthetic pathways, esp. FE synthesis)

Sources: coffee/tea, poultry, cereal, beef, fish, wheat bran, peanuts

Needs: 14-16 mg/day (can get from diet but is also made from tryptophan), very heat stable

Deficiency: widespread changes/health effects, “pellagra”-dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, death

Toxicity: >= 35mg/day(nicotinic acid form)- headache, skin blood flow increase(>100mg)

Vitamin B5-Pantothenic Acid

(turns into Coenzyme A)

Functions: E-release from nutrients, aids in FE synthesis, essential for proper adrenal function, support heart function.

Sources: sunflower seeds, mushrooms, cornflakes

Needs: 5 milligrams/day

Deficiency: linked to…high blood pressure, rapid heart beat, exhaustion, infection, slow wound healing

Vitamin B/Biotin

Functions: aids in fat/carb metabolism, sythesis of glucose, breakdown of some amino acids

Sources: intestinal bacteria can synthesize it, plentiful: peanut butter, eggs yogurt

Needs: 30mg/day

Deficiency: scaly, inflamation of skin, tongue/lips change, apetite decrease, nausea, vomiting, depression, muscle pain/weakness, poor growth

Vitamin B6: Pyriodoxine (3 compounds)

Functions: Needed for carb, fat, and protein metabolism, hemoglobin synthesis..

Sources: animal products, cereal, potatoes, dairy, fruits/veggies

Needs: 1.3-1.7 mg/day

Deficiency: athletes probably need more, alcoholics

Toxicity: >100mg/day

Nerve damage-numbness —->walking difficulties


(has many dietary forms, often folic acid as an additive)

Functions: needed for proper cell division-helps form DNA, amino acid metabolism (also homocysteine)

Sources: green leafy veggies, sprouts, legumes, O.J., asparagus

Needs: 400 micrograms/day

Deficiency: after 7-16 weeks—>red blood cell formation decreases, white does the same, nerve function decrease, growth decrease.

Toxicity: >1mg


(group containing CO, synthesized by “cobalamin” bacteria/fungi/lower organisms)

Functions: Food + B12—>Stomach Acid—>Free B12—>Small intestine—>B12/intrinsic factor complex, cellular processes esp. folate metabolism, myelin sheath maintenance, homocysteine metabolism.

Sources: meat esp. organ meats, milk/dairy, seafood, eggs

Needs: 2.4 mg/day, dietary sources need stomach acid, intrinisc factor, stored in the liver.



Vitamin C

(ascorbic acid, ascorbate)

Functions: aids in synthesis of the protein, collagen, promotes amino acid, antioxidant, enhances FE absorption, used in synthesis of hormones, may lower blood pressure, boosts immune system.

Sources: citrus, peppers, veggies, fruits, lettuce, cereals.

Needs: 75-90mg/day

Toxicity: >2000 mg/day, scurvey=deficiency (gum disease, tooth loss, death)


Functions: part of “acetylcoline (a neurotransmitter linked to attention, learning, memory + muscle control, part of phosholipids, homocysteine metabolism

Sources: eggs, dairy, meat, peanuts

Needs: 425-550 mg/day, can be synthesized from serine(non-essential amino acid), lecithin is a common additive/emulsifier in foods.

Deficiency: liver damage

Toxicity: 3.5mg/day, leads to fishy odor, lower blood pressure


Functions: buffer-maintain pH, part of genetic material in cell, assists in energy use/production, in cell membranes(phospholipids)

Sources: all animal tissue, dairy, fish, legumes

Needs: 800mg/day

Toxicity: could lead to more CA excreted


Functions: cofactor for enzymes, aids in metabolism of K, CA, and Vit D, protein synthesis, release of energy, used in muslce relaxation, boosts resistance to tooth decay, used in bone mineralization.

Sources: nuts, legumes, whole grains, green veggies, chocolate

Needs: men~400mg/day women~ 310 mg/day

Deficiency: can be due to inadequate diet, weakness, confusion, pancreatic hormones secretions decrease, convulsions, hallucinations, vomiting, diarrhea, alcoholism, protein malnutritionm intravenous, mg-poor fluids.

Toxicity: usually do to laxative use, medications, kidney disease, confusion, muscle coordination decrease, coma, and death.

Mineral Bioavailability

Factors that influence uptake: Bindes, Fiber, Soil Content, Refining/processing, mineral interactions (e.g. CA in spinach is bound by oxalate)

FE,ZN,CA-high fiber/phytic acid binds these esp.phytic acid in grains—>can be improved by yeast actin

Mineral-mineral interactin can decrease absorption, esp. when similar.

Toxicity potential is mainly caused from supplement with >100%

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