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Know the importance of vitamins for your health

Vitamins are a priority element in health. They serve for the use of other nutrients; for the prevention of various diseases, mainly deficiency diseases; and as an essential part of the therapeutic approach to a specific condition.

Some vitamins, such as D, K or niacin, can be produced by the body in trace amounts; However, the vast majority of vitamins are obtained from different food sources, animals or plants; hence the importance of knowing what they are for and where they are located.
Vitamins can be divided into two large groups:
  • Water-soluble vitamins: vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and the B complex that includes vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (nicotinic acid), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 ​​(pyridoxine), B8 (Biotin) , B9 (Folic Acid) and B12 (Cobalamin).
  • Fat-soluble vitamins: Vitamin A, D, E and K

Water-soluble vitamins are easily absorbed and the risk of poisoning is low; This, thanks to the fact that the human body can eliminate them without difficulty in the urine. On the contrary, fat-soluble vitamins need to be dissolved and fractionated before being absorbed. Once absorbed, the body does not eliminate them easily, causing them to have a toxic effect if they accumulate in excess.

What are the different vitamins for and what foods do I find them in?

Vitamin A is essential for:

  • The functioning of visual processing.
  • The integrity of the epithelia, tissues that cover all organs including the skin.
  • The production of mucopolysaccharides, important components of the joints.

This vitamin is found in green vegetables in the form of beta-carotene and in milk, cheese and liver in the form of retinol.

Vitamin D

Promotes bone growth and mineralization because it increases calcium absorption in the intestine. It is found in foods from animal sources such as dairy products, eggs and fish.

Vitamin E

It is an important antioxidant found in seeds, green leafy vegetables and plant-based oils. Its deficiency presents with blood problems such as anemia and nervous system problems such as progressive leg weakness.

Vitamin K

It is essential for adequate coagulation and is produced in small quantities by the intestinal flora; Its main dietary source is in the leaves of green vegetables and in cereals, fruits and meats.

The B complex

It has an essential function in the energy production process of living cells; thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid act as facilitators of this energy transformation. This complex is found in various foods such as liver, pork, whole grains, eggs, chicken, tuna, etc. Therefore, we rarely find deficiency of these vitamins.

It is important to clarify that vitamin B12 is not present in foods of plant origin and hence its risk of deficiency in very strict vegetarian diets.

Vitamin C

It is another important antioxidant found in citrus fruits such as lemon, orange and tomatoes. This vitamin is also important for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural protein of epithelia. Its deficiency produces scurvy, which is characterized by loss of teeth and easy bleeding of the gums.


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