What Are The Functions Of Vitamins?
Vitamins are the organic substances in food which are required in small amounts by the body and can not be synthesized in adequate quantities. They do no yield energy, but act as catalysts in various body processes. Since vitamins cannot be synthesized in the body in sufficient amounts, they have to be supplied through the food.
Vitamins are divided into two groups’ i.e. fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins are vitamin A, D, E and K. And water soluble vitamins are the vitamins of the B group and vitamin C. Each vitamin has a specific function to perform, and deficiency of a particular vitamin causes a specific deficiency disorder. The minimum intake of the vitamins to maintain the health has been determined, but the optimum intake of the vitamins remains somewhat speculative, as there are many factors which influence the utilization of the vitamins.
According to the recent studies, these vitamins are very important for normal functioning of the immune system. For assuring good health, a balanced diet should be taken. Vitamin enriched food helps in assuring good health; moreover it avoids the problems related to heart and blood pressure. Only vitamin B12 gets synthesized inside the body, all other vitamins are needed to be supplied through the food.
Functions of Vitamin A (retinol)
1. Vitamin A plays an important role in normal vision.
2. It is important for proper functioning of the epithelial cells.
3. Vitamin A has close relationship with the skeletal growth.
4. Studies have shown that vitamin A acts as a protective agent against the lung cancer
5. Its deficiency leads to various eye disorders.
Function of vitamin B1 (thiamine)
1. Vitamin B1 is an essential co-enzyme for the decarboxylation of the Pyruvate to the acetyl co-enzyme A, in the Krebs cycle.
2. It’s important for good appetite and normal digestion.
3. Its deficiency leads to the disease Beriberi.
Functions of vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
1. It functions as a co-enzyme in tissue oxidation.
2. It serves as a co-enzyme in respiration.
3. It is involved in the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates and proteins.
4. Deficiency of vitamin B2 leads to soreness of the tongue and Chelosis.
Functions of vitamin B3 (niacin)
1. It is an essential component of the co-enzyme, which is required for the metabolism of the carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
2. It is crucial for proper functioning of the intestinal tract.
3. Deficiency of vitamin B3 leads to Pellagra. Pellagra represents – diarrhoea, dementia and dermatitis.
Functions of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
1. It is a co-enzyme for the metabolism of amino acids.
2. It’s important in biosynthesis of the gamma-amino butyric acid.
3. Deficiencies of vitamin B6 leads to dermatitis and Chelosis.
Functions of vitamin B12 (cynocobalamin)
1. It’s important in synthesis of DNA
2. It is also involved in various metabolism reactions of living system.
3. Chances of its deficiency are very less, because it gets synthesized by the body itself.
Functions of vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
1. It is concerned with many metabolism reactions
2. It participates in wound healing stages of the body.
3. Deficiency of vitamin C causes hemorrhage events.
Functions of vitamin D
Main function of vitamin D is to increase the calcium absorption. Deficiency of vitamin D causes rickets. It mainly occurs in children.
Functions of vitamin E
Vitamin E prevents the oxidation of the poly-unsaturated fatty acids in the cell membranes. Deficiency of vitamin E leads to the disease of anemia.
Functions of vitamin K
Vitamin K is very necessary for the liver functioning. It participate in formation of the coagulation factors 2, 7, 9 and 10. Deficient persons are observed to be much more liable for excessive bleeding, gastrointestinal hemorrhage and excessive loss of menstrual.
So all vitamins are essential for our body and thus we should have a balanced intake of these vitamins.