vitamins are complex chemical substances required by body in very small amounts. Vitamins in food are for the protection and regulation of body functions.
* Vitamins are divided in to two major groups
* Fat soluble vitamins- Vitamin-A, D, E and K
* Water soluble vitamins- Vitamins of B group and vitamin C
Fat Soluble Vitamins
The chemical name is Retinol. Found in foods of both plant and animal origin.
Daily requirements: 0.4-1 mg
Green leafy vegetables and yellow orange fruits and vegetables like mango, papaya, pumpkins and carrots are good sources of β-carotene. Butter, whole milk, egg, liver and fish are richest sources.
• Necessary for the health of the eyes.
• Maintenance of the normal epithelial tissues of the body.
• Necessary for growth and proper utilization of protein
* Decreased resistance to infection
* Dry scaly skin
* Night blindness (Inability to see in dim light)
* Xerophthalmia- dry eye
* Bitot’s spots- Greyish, rough and raised patches on conjunctiva
* Keratomalacia- Softening of the cornea.
* Stunted Growth
Vitamin D is synthesized by sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for bone growth.
Daily requirements: 400 IU
Generated in the skin by action of ultra violet rays of sunlight
Food sources are milk, butter, cheese, egg, fish and fish liver oils, and foods which have been fortified by addition of vitamin D.
• Increases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphates
• Mineralization of bones
Rickets in children- Bony deformities in growing children due to defective mineralization of the growing bones. Bones become soft and bend under pressure. Osteomalacia- Generalized bone pain in adults especially in women.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and formed up of chemical substance called tocopherols.
Daily requirements: ICMR recommends 0.8 mg/ g of essential fatty acids.
Milk, oils, eggs, leafy vegetables, papaya, grains, nuts.
• Antioxidant (Prevents the formation of oxidative free radical)
• Co factor in electron transport
• Prevents or delays the ageing
Sterility, muscle wasting with weakness
It is otherwise called as antihemorrhagic vitamin. Daily requirements WHO suggested RDA of 55 μg per day for adults.
Green leafy vegetables, cereals, fruits. Synthesized by bacteria in gut.
• Important component in blood coagulation
• Helps in formation of blood clotting factors
Alteration in blood clotting mechanism