Vitamins, Their Types, Sources and Deficiency Diseases

History related to vitamins

At first in 1912 Polish biochemist Casimir Funk originally gave the term “vitamin” and the term vitamin is derived from the word vitamin. The major period of discovery started in the nineteenth century (Century of vitamins discovery)

The earliest extracted vitamin is Vitamin B1.

There are two types of vitamins

1. Fat-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

2. Water-soluble vitamins

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin “B-complex”

List of vitamins with their common name, sources, deficiency diseases, symptoms, and functions

Vitamin A

Common NameRetinol
Sources – Yellow and Green Vegetables, Fruits, Milk and Butter
Deficiency Diseases Night Blindness (Nyctalopia), Xyropthalmia, Dermatitis
Deficiency Symptoms – Keratinisation of skin, respiratory and urinogenital tract
Functions – Prevent keratinization of epithelia

Vitamin B1

Common Name – Thiamine
Sources – Wheat, Gram, Yeast, Peanuts, Beans
Deficiency Diseases Beri-beri, Polyneuritis, Cardiovascular atrophy (decrease in muscle mass)
Deficiency Symptoms – Loss of appetite, Fatigue, Muscle Atrophy, Paralysis, Cardiomegaly
Functions – Formation of coenzymes in carbohydrate metabolism and helps in pentose metabolism

Vitamin B2

Common Names Riboflavin/ Vitamin G or Yellow enzyme
Sources – Yeast, Liver, Milk, Cheese, Leafy Vegetables, Mushrooms, and Intestinal Bacteria
Deficiency DiseasesCheilosis, Glossitis, Keratitis
Deficiency Symptoms – Eye Inflammation and Lip sores
Functions – Part of coenzymes

Vitamin B3

Common Names – Niacin/ Vitamin 4-D/ PP-Factor
Sources – Yeast, Mushrooms, Gram, Peanuts, Meat
Deficiency DiseasesPellagra, Diarrhoea, Dermatitis, Dementia, Death (these are 4- D syndrome)
Deficiency Symptoms – Scaly skin, Dehydration, Loss of Memory
Functions – Part of coenzyme NAD and NADP that acts as hydrogen acceptors and donors for the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system

Vitamin B5

Common NamesPantothenic Acid, Yeast Factor
Sources – Yeast, Mushrooms, Peas, Liver, Maximum in Wheat and Honey
Deficiency Diseases Burning feet syndrome
Deficiency Symptoms – Abnormal Adrenal functioning, Nerve degeneration
Functions – Part of coenzyme A in cell respiration, Required for nerve formation, Formation of acetylcholine, For normal Adrenal gland

Vitamin B6

Common NamePyridoxine
Sources – Meat, Milk, Wheat, Liver, Banana
Deficiency Diseases – Nausea and Vomiting
Deficiency Symptoms – Skin lesions, CNS disorders, and Convulsions
Functions – Part of coenzyme pyridoxal phosphate require in the formation of amino acids and glycogen synthesis

Vitamin B9

Common NamesFolic acid/ Folacin/ Vitamin M
Sources – Liver, Green Vegetables, Banana and Oranges
Deficiency DiseasesMacrocytic Anemia
Deficiency Symptoms – Impairment of antibody synthesis and stunt growth, Ulceration in mouth
Functions – Part of coenzyme in nucleic acid (Purine and Pyrimidine) synthesis and protein synthesis, Erythropoiesis, Cell division in bone marrow

Vitamin B12

Common NameCyano Cobalamine
Sources – Liver and Eggs
Deficiency DiseasesPernicious anemia (Megaloblastic anemia)
Deficiency Symptoms – Large and immature RBC (nucleated RBCs without hemoglobin)
Functions – Coenzymes for the nucleic acid synthesis

Vitamin C

Common NameAscorbic Acid
Sources – Indian gooseberry (Amla)
Deficiency Diseases – Scurvy, Anemia, Joint pain
Deficiency SymptomsBleeding Gums, Loose teeth, Anemia and Painful swollen joints
Functions – Play an important role in collagen formation, Functioning of the Adrenal gland, Anti-oxidant, Erythropoiesis, Absorption of Ca+2 and Fe+2

Vitamin D

Common NameCalciferol
Sources – Fish oil, Liver, Egg yolk, Milk
Deficiency DiseasesRickets in Children and Osteomalacia in Adults
Deficiency Symptoms – Weak and Soft bones, Distorted skeleton, and Poor muscular development
Functions – Facilitates Calcium and Phosphorus

Vitamin E

Common NamesTocopherol/ Antisterility/ Beauty Vitamin
Sources – Leafy Vegetables, Cereals, and Vegetable oils
Deficiency DiseasesMuscular Dystrophy, Macrocytic Anemia
Deficiency Symptoms – Destruction of RBC’s
FunctionsAntioxidant and plays an important role in ETS (electron transport system), Selenium metabolism, Formation of DNA, RNA and RBC’s, hair growth, healthy skin, fertility

Vitamin H

Common Names – Biotin/ Vitamin B7/ Antiavidin
Sources – Vegetables and Fresh Fruits, Liver, Milk, Eggs
Deficiency Diseases – Dermatitis
Deficiency Symptoms – Scaly skin, Muscle Pain, and Weakness
Functions – Coenzyme in fatty acid synthesis and change of pyruvate into Oxaloacetate (OAA)

Vitamin K

Common Names Menadione/ Phylloquinone
– Leafy Vegetables, Soyabean oil, and Intestinal Bacteria
Deficiency DiseasesSevere bleeding
Deficiency Symptoms – Slow or delayed blood clotting
Functions – Synthesis of prothrombin for normal blood clotting, Present in Intestinal Bacterias

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