Brief Notes on Vitamins

‘Both vitamins and minerals are necessary to a well-balanced diet. As a matter of fact, vitamins control your body’s utilization of minerals. In addition, each vitamin seems to have a specific role to play in normal body function. On the other hand, if the mineral supply is deficient, there is little benefit from the iv vitamin therapy long island. Without vitamins, your body can still appropriate some minerals from the reserve in your system. On the other hand, vitamins are powerless without minerals. Thus it is essential that one receives the necessary amounts of both ‘. -Dr. John B. Lust.

Vitamins are organic chemical substances, widely distributed in natural foods (fruits and vegetables) that are essential to normal metabolic functions of human beings and lower animals. Only very small amounts are needed but lack of the necessary amount, however small, results in a vitamin deficiency disease (avitaminosis). Among the classical examples of such diseases are rickets, scurvy, beriberi and pellagra.

A Polish chemist, Casimir Funk, invented vitamin in 1911 while trying to extract from rice hulls a chemical substance that would cure beriberi. He thought that he had found an amine chemical vital to life. He had not, but his theory was correct; lack of certain chemical substances caused disease.

Vitamins are distinguished as fat-soluble, notably A, D, E and K, and water-soluble most of the others. Some are heat-labile, destroyed by cooking notably vitamin C; most are heat-stable.

Taking vitamin pills is not necessary. A good mixed diet of common foods, including protective foods, supplies all the vitamins one needs. Vitamin pills without a good mixed diet will not increase pep and vigour or resistance to disease.

Vitamin supplements are necessary. They are needed when the dietary intake of vitamins is inadequate. This condition often appears in cases of chronic disease, after delivery, after surgical operation, and during pregnancy.

Vitamin needs differ with age and many other factors. Thus vitamin D is much more essential to infants and growing children than to adults. Rarely is only a single vitamin missing from the diet. Most vitamin deficiencies are multiple; therefore vitamin pills and other vitamin preparations prescribed for preventing or treating disease contain a balanced supply of many vitamins.
Vitamin A, once called ‘anti-infective vitamin‘, helps to preserve the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes and other epithelial tissues, making them more conducive to growth of bone and tooth formation. Its deficiency may cause night-blindness, changes in the eye, general weakness, retarded growth, problems of respiratory tract, genito-urinary troubles, gastro­intestinal disorders, and nervous troubles. It is essential to the formation of ‘visual purple’ rods and cones in the retina of the eyes; its lack causes night­-blindness. Vitamin A is found in fish, liver, milk, egg-­yolk and in many green fruits and vegetables like garlic, lemon, musumbi, apple, onion, potato, carrot, beet, orange, radish, cucumber, grape, pineapple, parsnip, cauliflower, sweet potato, turnip, brinjal, and in dark green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin B-complex includes a large number of water soluble vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, biotin, pantothenic acid, inositol, folic acid and vitamin B-12.
Thiamine is essential for utilization of carbohydrates and normal appetite and function of the

digestive tract. Its deficiency may cause abdominal pains, heart irregularities, muscle tenderness, emotional instability, constipation and irritability. Thiamine is not stored in the body as effectively as many other vitamins; and it is apt to be lacking in the adult diet. Thiamine is often given to restore or improve appetite. Best sources of thiamine are pork and brewer’s yeast; it is also found in whole grain, dried peas and beans, liver and egg yolk. Raw fruits and vegetables are also good source of thiamine, especially beet roots, cucumber, brinjal, onion, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, grape, orange peel, and raisin.
Riboflavin is necessary for normal growth and for the integrity of skin tissues and mucous membranes. Lack of riboflavin may cause the lips to sore and show slight fissures at the corners, the tongue to be red and sore, the eyes to itch and be extremely sensitive to light. Milk is the best source of riboflavin; other good sources are liver, kidneys, lean meat and peanut.

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