All you need to know about Vitamins (FREE pdf!)

Vitamins - fruit shaped

Vitamins are absorbed more effectively if they come from food. Many Vitamins can be found in food we eat each day. If you would like to know where to find all these good Vitamins in food, without having to take many or any supplements, then read the table below.
For a FREE downloadable PDF version of the Vitamins Chart below, click Vitamins Table - Download.



Benefits and functions

If a person is Deficient

Food Sources

Vitamin A

A group of compounds found in plants (carotene) and animal sources (retinols)

Vitamin A is well-known for its benefits on eyes. It is also beneficial for skin and bones. Vitamin A has also been proven to help boost the immune system and assist in the fight against cancer.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin A, they may suffer from night-blindness (which is caused by the lack of retinol), dry skin, poor growth and development difficulties.

Carotene: carrots, broccoli, spinach, watercress, sweet potato, kale, capsicum, peas, apricots, mango and papaya. Retinol: Dairy (milk and cheese), liver and eggs.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

The first of the B-group Vitamins. Thiamine (B1) helps in the production of energy from food. All B-group vitamins do this. All B group Vitamins are also water-soluble and therefore cannot be stored by the body and need to be replenished regularly by food or supplements.

Thiamine (B1) is essential for the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose (and hence energy). All B-group Vitamins do this conversion for energy. It is also vital for essential for a healthy heart, muscles and nerves.

f a person is deficient in Vitamin B1, fatigue, weakness, psychosis and nerve damage.

Thiamine (B1) can be found in protein rich foods such as eggs, lean meats, legumes, nits and seed, peas and whole grains.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

The second of the B-group Vitamins, B2 (Riboflavin) is essential for the breakdown of carbohydrates and amino acids. It also must be replenished daily, as with all B-group Vitamins.

Riboflavin (B2) is essential for proper skin, digestive tract and blood cell function. They help to maintain healthy mucous membranes in the mouth and nose lining.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin B2, skin can become dry an red, including on the lips and in the mouth (sore throat and tongue+D4 arise), eyes can become irritated, concentration can become poor (including memory loss), red blood cells can decrease.

Riboflavin (B2) can be found in Dairy products, meats, poultry and fish, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, soya beans and grains.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

The third of the B-group Vitamins, B3 (Niacin) assists in the production of energy from food, as with all B-group Vitamins. All B group Vitamins are also water-soluble and should be+B1 replenished regularly by food or supplements.

Niacin (B3) is used for has been used for the treatment of lowering cholesterol. Niacin, like with the other B-group Vitamins, releases energy from the breakdown of glucose, fatty acids, amino acids, and ketones. It also has been shown to assist with healthy brain cell development, healthy nervous system, hormone production and genetic repair.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin B3, their cholesterol levels can be raised. Dermatitis and diarrhoea can occur as well.

Niacin (B3) can be found in red meats, poultry, whole grains, beans, peas, chickpeas and nuts.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

B5 (Panotothenic Acid), assists in the production of energy from food, as with all B-group Vitamins. All B-group Vitamins are also water-soluble and should be replenished regularly by food or supplements.

Panotothenic Acid (B5) is essential for breaking down fats and the reduction of “bad” cholesterol. It assists with the production of red blood cells and therefore helps with the prevention of anaemia. B5 also plays a role in growth development, especially in the nerve transmitters.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin B5, they may experience fatigue, weakness, numbness (including “pins and needles” or limbs “falling asleep”), poor co-ordination, cramps, headaches, nausea/vomiting, anaemia, insomnia and depression.

Pantothenic Acid (B5) can be found in beef, chicken, whole bran, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado, nuts and cheese.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

B6 (Pyridoxine), is another B-group vitamin, which assists the body produce and maintain neurotransmitters (the chemicals that carry signals from one nerve to the next).

Pyridoxine (B6) is essential for the formation of Serotonin and Norepinephrine, which are 2 hormones that influence mood. It is also essential for the formation of Melatonin, a hormone which regulates the body clock and helps with sleep. Pyridoxine (B6) assists with the absorption of Vitamin B12 and the production of red blood cells. B6 reduces heart disease as it helps regulate homocysteine in the blood (Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in blood plasma. High levels of homocysteine in the blood are believed to increase the chance of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis. – Ref: Medical Dictionary).

If a person is deficient in Vitamin B6, they may experience nervousness, irritation and confusion, as well as flaky facial skin, inflammation of the tongue and mouth ulcers.

Pyridoxine (B6) can be found in poultry, fish, beef liver, milk and cheese, lentils, beans, brown rice, bran, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, bananas, spinach and carrots.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Vitamin B7 (Biotin), which is also known as Vitamin H or Vitamin B8, is a water-soluble and should be replenished regularly by food or supplements. There are 8 types of Biotin, however, only one of them, D-biotin occurs naturally and contains full vitamin activity. Biotin can only be synthesised by bacteria, molds, yeasts, algae, and by certain plant species.

Biotin (B7) is essential for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It also supports adrenal function and helps maintain a healthy nervous system.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin B7, which is rare, enzymes will not function properly and serious complications such as diseases of the skin, intestinal tract, and nervous system can arise. Hair-loss muscle pains and fatigue may occur as well.

Biotin (B7) can be found in organ meats, barley, brewer’s yeast, fortified cereals, corn, egg yolks, milk, royal jelly, soy, and wheat bran.E4 Avocado, bread, broccoli, cauliflower, cheeses, chicken, fish, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, pork, potatoes, and spinach also provide biotin.

Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid (Folate)

Vitamin B9 (Folate) is essential in the production of new cells. This is why it is recommended to pregnant or trying to be pregnant women, for the development of a healthy foetus.

Folate (B9) is essential for the production of healthy red blood cells and the production of Norepinephrine and Serotonin which are 2 hormones that influence mood. It is critical for spinal fluid.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin B9, poor growth, tongue inflammation, gingivitis, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, diarrhoea, irritability, memory loss and feeling mentally “slow”.

Folate (B9) can be found in Leafy green vegetables, strawberries, citrus, meat, fish peas and nuts. It can also be found in breads and cereals.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) has its name for its metal iron content (“Cobalt”). It is the largest and most complex Vitamin, which can only be synthesised by bacteria and hence only animal products.

Cobalamin (B12) is essential for the formation of red blood cells and bone marrow. As with other B-Vitamins, it contributes to the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin B12, it can prevent the absorption of Folate (B9).

Cobalamin (B12) can be found in animal products such as organ meats, clams, oysters, red meat, poultry, fish eggs, cheeses, algae and seaweed.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is an antioxidant Vitamin, which blocks and repairs damaged cells caused by free radicals. It cannot be stored in the body and therefore needs to be replenished daily. Vitamin C repairs body tissue and is required for growth.

Ascorbic Acid (C) is essential for building protein which is used for the skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It maintains healthy skeletal system including the cartilage, bone and teeth. Vitamin C also maintains a healthy immune system.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin C, bruising, bleeding, skin and hair loss may occur.

Ascorbic Acid (Vit C) can be found in all fresh vegetables and fruits. Especially in the following fruits and vegetables; citrus, kiwi fruit, papaya, mango, pineapple and berries, and Capsicum, tomato, Broccoli leafy greens and cauliflower.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the only vitamin that our bodies can produce, however a person would need to sit in the sun to produce this vitamin.

Vitamin D, along with Vitamin C is essential for strong and healthy bones and muscles. Vitamin D assists with the absorption of Vitamin C.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin D, they may experience problems with their bones and muscles These problems include, Rickets ( bone mineralisation failure in children), poor growth, bone deformities such as osteoporosis and joint pain.

Vitamin D comes from exposure to the sun. Sitting in Peak hour UV sunlight, a few hours a week. Small amounts can be found fish and eggs, but this is not to be relied on for daily intake as it is only a small amounts.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the name given to the group of 8 antioxidant compounds (chemical properties that help destroy free radicals).

Vitamin E, protects against heart disease, cancer and aging. It also assists in the formation of red blood cells and process Vitamin K. Vitamin E, is important in an effective immune function. Vitamin E is an important vitamin for slowing down aging, hence why it is commonly found in “anti-aging” cremes.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin E (which may sometimes be hard to recognise), a person may suffer from impaired balance and weak muscles. Vitamin E deficiencies can occur from malnutrition, genetic defects or fat malabsorption syndromes.

Vitamin E can be found in sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach, papaya, blueberries and leafy green vegetables. And depending on the production method, Vitamin E can also be found in some vegetable oils.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is stored in fat cells and in the liver. It is known primarily for helping blood clotting. In a healthy intestine, it can be produced by the bacteria.

Vitamin K protects us from bleeding out constantly because of its role in blood clotting.

If a person is deficient in Vitamin K, it can cause bleeding disorders, such as haemorrhaging (which is uncontrolled bleeding). Nose bleeds, blood in the urine, or extreme heavy menstrual bleeding can come as a result of this deficiency. In infants vitamin K deficiency may even result in internal haemorrhaging of the skull. This deficiency in infants is the reason why babies are commonly given a Vitamin K injection. In healthy adults, Vitamin K deficiencies are uncommon, because bacteria in their intestines create the vitamin.

Vitamin K can be found in Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beans, cabbage, olive oil, peas, spinach and soya beans.

For a FREE downloadable PDF version of the Vitamins Chart above, click Vitamins Table - Download.
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Refs: Lentech – Water treatment solutions, Linus Pauling Institute, BBC Health, Simply Better – SLM Corporate Health and Fitness, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor.

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