Vitamins are organic molecules that function in a wide variety of capacities within the body. The most prominent function is as cofactors for enzymatic reactions. The distinguishing feature of vitamins is that they generally cannot be synthesized by mammalian cells and therefore must be supplied in the diet.
Choline is very important in controlling cholesterol and fat build-up in the body, prevents fat from accumulating in the liver, and facilitates the movement of fats in the cells. Choline is an essential vitamin as it is used by the body to produce acetylcholine, without Choline acetylcholine cannot be produced.
Vitamin A Beta-Carotene
Beta-Carotene, which is found in plants, is a processor of vitamin A. The body converts Beta-Carotene to vitamin A which is an antioxidant compound that can prevent damage to DNA. Plants can contain darkly colored pigments called pro-vitamin A which are carotenoids that can be converted to Vitamin A. Beta- carotene is a pro-vitamin A carotenoid that is more efficiently converted to retinal than other carotenoids. Vitamin A plays a key role in reproduction, bone growth, vision, cell division and cell differentiation, which is the development of the cell into its final function. It helps maintain the surface linings of the eyes and respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts.
Vitamin B Group
The B Group Vitamins occur together in natural sources, hence are known as complex. B Vitamins play a major role in converting carbohydrates, helping metabolize fats and protein; and in normal functioning of nerves and the nervous system. The importance of B Vitamins cannot be over stressed.
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine, as it is more commonly referred to now, is one of the most important members of the B group of Vitamins. Thiamine B1 promotes growth, protects the heart muscle B1 facilitates the body’s ability to convert carbohydrate into glucose [sugar], which provides energy, stimulates brain action. It plays an important role in the normal functioning of the entire nervous system. It aids digestion, especially of carbohydrates. It mild diuretic effect: that is it increases urine formation. It improves peristalsis and helps prevent constipation. It also helps to maintain normal red blood cell count, improves circulation and promotes healthy skin. It protects against the damaging effect of lead poisoning, and prevents edema or fluid retention in connection with heart ailments. It also reduces fatigue, increases stamina and prevents premature aging and senility by increasing mental alertness. Like other vitamins of the B complex group it is more potent when combined with other B vitamins rather than used separately.
Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin is the second member of the B complex group. It is essential for growth and general health. It functions as part of a group of enzymes, which are involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It is involved in a number of chemical reactions in the body and is therefore essential for normal tissue maintenance. Riboflavin aids in digestion and helps in the functioning of the nervous system. It prevents constipation, promotes a healthy skin, nails and hair, and strengthens the mucous lining of the mouth, lips and tongue. Riboflavin aids also plays an important role in the health of eyes and alleviates eyestrain. This Vitamin is particularly helpful in counteracting the tendency towards glaucoma. An ample supple of Vitamin B2 provides vigor and helps to preserve the appearance and feeling of youth. B2 is essential for the body’s ability use oxygen and the metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids and carbohydrates. Has important function in red blood cell formation and cell respiration.
Vitamin B3 – Niacin
Vitamin B3 is essential for cell respiration and has an important role to play in the release of energy and the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Niacin is important for proper blood circulation and healthy functioning of the nervous system. It maintains the normal functions of the gastro – intestinal tract and is essential for the proper metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates. It helps to maintain a healthy skin. Niacin dilates the blood vessels and increases the flow of blood to the peripheral capillary system. This Vitamin is also essential for the synthesis of sex hormones, mainly oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone as well as cortisone, thyroxin and insulin.
Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
Vitamin B5 is part of the enzyme system which plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and in the synthesis of amino acids and fatty acids. It is also essential for the formation of porphyrin, the pigment portion of the hemoglobin molecule of the red blood cells. This vitamin is involved in all vital functions in the body. It stimulates the adrenal glands and increases production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones. Is primarily used as an anti- stress factors and protects against most physical and mental stresses and toxins. Pantothenic Acid increases vitality, wards off infections, and speeds recovery from ill health. It helps in maintaining the normal growth and development of the central nervous system.
Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine
Pyridoxine aids in food assimilation and protein and fat metabolism, especially in the metabolism of essential fatty acids. It activates enzymes and enzyme systems. It is evolved in the production of antibodies, which protect against bacterial diseases. Pyridoxine helps in the healthy functioning of the nervous system and brain. It is essential for the normal reproductive process and healthy pregnancies. This vitamin prevents nervous and skin disorders, provides protection against a high cholesterol level, certain types of heart disease, and diabetes. It prevents tooth decay. Vitamin B6 regulates the balance between sodium and potassium in the body, which is vitally important for the normal body function; is also required for the absorption of Vitamin B12 and for the production of magnesium.
Vitamin B8 – Biotin
Biotin functions as a coenzyme for carbon dioxide transfer and is essential to fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Biotin is necessary for both metabolism and growth in the body, with a particular role to play in the production of fatty acids and antibodies, digestive enzymes and vitamin B3 (Niacin). It is linked to curing baldness, alleviating muscle pain and depression. Biotin is also vital for a healthy immune system. It is evolved with the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is essential for the growth and health of hair. It prevents premature graying of hair as well as hair loss. This vitamin helps to maintain the skin and nervous system in sound condition. It controls proper distribution of color pigment.
Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid
Folate and Folic Acid are water-soluble B group of Vitamins. Folate is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Float is needed to make DNA and RNA. Folic acid in combination with vitamin B12 is essential for the formation and division of all body cells, including nerve cells, and for manufacturing a number of nerve transmitters. It also produces nucleic acids, RNA and DNA, that carry hereditary patterns. It aids protein metabolism and contributes to normal growth. Folic acid helps in the building of antibodies, which prevent and heal infections. It is essential for the health of the skin and hair, and helps to prevent premature graying of the hair. Folic acid is the most significant and important nutrient for pregnant woman and her developing fetus.
Vitamin B12 – Cyanocobalamin
The amount of vitamin B12, which is not immediately needed by the body, is stored in the liver, which is capable of storing relatively large amounts of the nutrient. Like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 is essential for the production and regeneration of red blood cells. This vitamin is also secreted in breast milk for the use of babies. It is also needed for the proper functioning of the central nervous system. It improves concentration, memory and balance and relieves irritability. Vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper utilization of fats, carbohydrates and proteins for bodybuilding. It promotes growth and increases appetite in children. This vitamin is also involved in most vital metabolic and enzymatic processes, including the metabolism of Folic acid. If the immune cells made in bone marrow are to mature in active disease fighters, a sufficient quantity of vitamin B12 and Folic acid is necessary.
Antioxidant helps with wound healing and strengthens resistance to infection.
Vitamin E exists in eight different forms. Each form has its own biological activity, the measure of potency or functional use in the body. Alphatocopherol is the most active form of vitamin E. Antioxidants such as vitamin E act to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by- products of the body’s metabolism. Vitamin E also protects Vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the body’s cells and prevents the breakdown of body tissues.
Vitamin K is utilized in the body to control blood clotting and is essential for synthesizing the liver protein that controls clotting. Plays a major role in the production of Thrombin- an important factor in blood clotting. It is also involved in bone marrow formation and repair.