There are two sorts of vitamins, those that are fat-soluble, vitamins A, D, E and K and those that are water-soluble, vitamins C and the B-complex vitamins which we have listed elsewhere. Some vitamins have alphabetical listings but are part of the B-complex group and these are mentioned below.
Vitamin A There are two vitamin As. A1 which is retinol, and vitamin A2 which is dehydroretinol. They are concerned with the normal functioning of the retina, the growth of bones and the growth and differentiation of the epithelial tissue. They are also necessary for the reproductive system and the immune system. Vitamin A promotes the regeneration of rhodopsin (visual purple) in the rod cells of the retina. It prevents the disorder commonly called night blindness, and can be found in bilberries, and other fruits as well as in liver, kidney, egg yolks, the fat compound of dairy products as well as vegetables.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) This resembles glucose in its molecular structure and is found in citrus fruits including pomelo(chakotera), tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage etc. It boosts the immune system and helps us ward off colds and flu. It also has antioxidant properties, and so promotes blood circulation. A vitamin C deficiency leads to the loosening of the teeth, gingivitis (bleeding gums) and poor wound healing.
Vitamin D There are two forms of this vitamin too; D2 which is ergocalciferol and D3 called cholecalciferol. vitamin D2 is synthesized in the skin and scientists consider it to be a hormone. Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D which is usually found in dietary supplements. It can be found in some fish liver oils, egg yolks and processed, fortified dairy products. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. The body needs it for healthy bone and tissue growth. However if you have too much vitamin D it will lead to a loss of calcium from the bones and can lead to kidney dysfunctions.
Vitamin E This is high in antioxidant properties, so will help the body combat the free radicals which cause damage to cells and cancer. It is found in wheat germ and cereal germs, liver, egg yolks and green plants including brussel sprouts, milk fat and vegetable oil, and seed oil e.g. pumpkin seeds. It is necessary for the reproduction process and healthy muscle development.
Vitamin G is riboflavin from the B-complex group.
Vitamin H is biotin also from the B-complex group.
Vitamin K . This helps blood clotting for quick wound healing. It is found in leafy green vegetables, including those used to make saag, spinach, fenugreek leaves etc., butter, cheese and egg yolks. It is split into three, vitamin K1 is phytonadione, K2 is menaquinone and K3 is menadione.
Vitamin M is folacin or folic acid. This is also B9 and found in asparagus and turnip tops among other greens.
Vitamins P are the bioflavonoids and include rutin which is found in elder flowers, citrus fruits and apple peel.
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