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Vitamins are organic substances. Human body needs smalldoses of these substances in order to be healthy and function perfectly. They haveto be taken by the food or as supplements, because our body is not able to producemany of them. Growth and development of the human body would be unthinkable ifthere were no vitamins. When the body lacks some vitamin it is said to sufferfrom vitamin deficiency and these conditions are harmful for the humanorganism.

Vitamins are divided into two groups, depending on the solubility.Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble, while vitamin C and vitamin B complexare known to be soluble in water.

Fat-soluble Vitamins

Vitamin A is important for human eyesight. It helps us seein the dark and in dim light. People need proper amounts of this vitamin everyday, so that they could have healthy membranes, skin and hair. Our teeth andbones also need some vitamin A, as well as human epithelial cells. Humanreproduction won’t happen if there wasn’t some vitamin A. The best sources of vitaminA are eggs, milk, fish oil and liver, but this vitamin is alsopresent in large quantities in carrots, spinach and yellow and orange fruitsand vegetables. Dry skin and nighttime blindness are just two of many consequencesthat might be caused by vitamin A deficiency.

Vitamin D is valuable for the bones and absorption of calciumand phosphorus from the intestine. You will need vitamin D for healthy teethand bones, so you should eat different dairy products, egg yolks and fish liveroil. Also, daily exposure to the sun will enhance the production of this vitaminin the skin. Children may develop weak bones and bowed legs if they don’t take enoughvitamin D. Overuse of this vitamin is also harmful and may cause: appetiteproblems, nausea, headaches, depression and kidney problems.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin. It stops oxidationin the body, prevent the breakdown of the tissues and affect the arrangement ofred blood cells. It is also responsible for the protection of lungs from air pollution.

Vitamins Soluble in Water

Vitamin B complex includes vitamins: B1, B2, B6, B12, niacinbiotin and also folic and pantothenic acids. These vitamins are important forred blood cells, metabolic activity and building of proteins and energy in thebody. The best way to provide sufficient amount of vitamins B is to eat greenleafy vegetables, peas and citrus fruits, but also some whole grains and dairyproducts. Vitamin B complex is present in various meats, poultry and sea food. Deficiency of these vitamins may cause “beri beri” disease, red blood cell malformation,weak muscles or disturbances in growth and nervous system.

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid. It is known to begreat antioxidant and as it aids the production of collagen, it is involved in the structure of the muscles, bones,blood vessels and cartilage. This important vitamin can be found in citrusfruits, strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage, but also in many fresh fruits andvegetables. Scurvy is the disease causing bleeding gums and easy bruising andit may be the result of insufficient intake of vitamin C.

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