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Types of vitamins: functions and benefits for your body

Types of vitamins: functions and benefits for your body

December 5, 2021

Vitamins are organic compounds with a very heterogeneous structure . They are essential for the body, growth, health and emotional balance.

Unlike other nutrients, for example, proteins, carbohydrates or fats, they do not provide energy, but they are essential within the body for energy maintenance.

Functions of vitamins

Vitamins should be ingested through the diet to avoid deficiencies, but there is no food that contains all the vitamins, so it is necessary to combine the different food groups to be well nourished and cover the requirements of these substances.


Vitamins are nutrients that the body needs to assimilate other nutrients and, in summary, the functions of these substances are:

  • Participate in the formation of chemicals in the nervous system and participate in the formation of hormones, red blood cells and genetic material
  • Regulate metabolic systems
  • They are necessary for growth and health

Most vitamins present in food can be eliminated when cooked or for the same effect of light, so it is advisable to eat these fresh products.

Classification of vitamins

Vitamins can be classified into two types: water-soluble and fat-soluble.


Water-soluble vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are present in the watery parts of food . They are absorbed by simple diffusion or active transport. Its excess is excreted in the urine and the body does not have the capacity to store them, so they are easily eliminated. It is necessary to consume them daily, and they can be obtained from fruits, vegetables, milk and meat products.

The water-soluble vitamins are:

  • Vitamin C or ascorbic acid
  • Vitamin B1 or Thiamin
  • Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B3 or Niacin
  • Vitamin B5 o Pantothenic acid
  • Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B8 or Biotin
  • Vitamin B9 o Folic acid
  • B12 vitamin o Cyanocobalamin

Fat-soluble vitamins

These vitamins dissolve in oils and fats and are found in the liposoluble parts of food . They are transported in lipids and are difficult to eliminate. They are obtained from fruits, vegetables, fish, egg yolks and some nuts.


The fat-soluble vitamins are:

  • Vitamin A o Retinol
  • Vitamin D or Calciferol
  • Vitamin E or a-tocopherol
  • Vitamin K or fitomenadione

Functions of vitamins

The functions of both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins are:

Vitamin A

Participates in reproduction, protein synthesis and muscle differentiation . It prevents night blindness and is necessary to maintain the immune system and to maintain the skin and mucous membranes.

  • Nutritional needs 0.8-1mg / day

Some sources of vitamin A are:

  • Carrot
  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Tuna
  • Beautiful
  • cheese
  • Yolk
  • pumpkin
  • Chard
  • Apricot

Vitamin B1

It is part of a coenzyme that intervenes in the energy metabolism , therefore, it is necessary to obtain carbohydrates and fatty acids (ATP). Likewise, it is essential for the functioning of the nervous system and the heart.

  • Nutritional needs: 1.5-2mg / day.

Some sources of vitamin B1 are:

  • meats
  • Eggs
  • Cereals
  • Nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Yeast
  • Pipes
  • Peanuts
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils

Vitamin B2

It is also involved in the release of energy and is related to the maintenance of good eye health and skin . Your deficit causes skin problems (for example, dermatitis) and eye symptoms.

  • Nutritional needs: 1.8mg / day

Some sources of vitamin B2 are:

  • cheese
  • Coconut
  • Mushrooms
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Cereals
  • Milk
  • Meat
  • Yeast
  • Almonds

Vitamin B3

It is part of two coenzymes (NAD and NADP) and, therefore, is another vitamin involved in energy metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids and lipids. Its deficit causes a disease called "pellagra", with symptoms such as: skin, digestive and nervous problems (mental confusion, delirium, etc.).

  • Nutritional needs: 15mg / day

Some sources of vitamin B3 are:

  • Wheat
  • Yeast
  • Liver
  • Almonds
  • Mushrooms
  • Meat
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Green peas
  • Nuts

Vitamin B5

This vitamin intervenes in different stages of the synthesis of lipids, neurotransmitters, thyroid hormone and hemoglobin . In addition, it helps with the regeneration of tissues. Its deficit is associated with two diseases: megaloblastic anemia and neuropathy.

  • Nutritional needs: 50mg / day

Some sources of vitamin B5 are:

  • Beer yeast
  • Royal jelly
  • Egg
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Cauliflower
  • Cereals
  • Peanuts
  • Nuts
  • Meat

Vitamin B6

Participates in the metabolism of proteins and fatty acids, the formation of hemoglobin and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) . It facilitates the release of glycogen from the liver to the muscles. Determinant in the regulation of the central nervous system.

  • Nutritional needs: 2.1mg / day

Some sources of vitamin B6:

  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Banana
  • Cereals
  • Liver
  • Nuts
  • Avocado
  • Eggs

Vitamin B8

It is necessary for the skin and circulatory system , participates in the formation of fatty acids, helps in the disintegration of carbohydrates and fats to maintain stable body temperature and optimal energy levels. Stimulator of the growth of healthy cells.

  • Nutritional needs: 0.1mg / day

Some sources of vitamin B8 are:

  • Nuts
  • Peanut
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Chocolate
  • Egg
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Hazelnuts
  • Bananas

Vitamin B9

Necessary for the formation of cells and DNA, and it is important for the first month of training . Acts together with vitamin B12 and vitamin C in the use of proteins. It helps to maintain the formation of the intestinal tract.

  • Nutritional needs: 0.3mg / day

Some sources of vitamin B9 are:

  • Lettuce
  • Carrot
  • Parsley
  • Tomato
  • Spinach
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Liver

B12 vitamin

Essential for the creation of blood cells in the bone marrow . It helps to prevent anemia and is necessary for the functioning of the nervous system.

  • Nutritional needs: 0.0005mg / day

Some sources of vitamin B12 are:

  • Carrot
  • Tomato
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Beer yeast

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, healing , absorption of iron of vegetable origin and, in addition, it is an antioxidant.

  • Nutritional needs: 60-70mg / day

Some sources of vitamin C are:

  • Kiwi
  • Blackberries
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Spinach
  • Parsley
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Leek
  • Tomatoes

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is related to sunbathing because it is obtained mostly by the action of ultraviolet rays (Sun rays). The deficiency of this vitamin causes caries in the teeth and bone malformations. Therefore, its fundamental role is the mineralization of the bones, because it favors the intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus.

  • Nutritional needs: 0.01mg / day

In addition to the solar importance in the acquisition of this protein, some sources of vitamin D are:

  • Blue Fish
  • Yolk
  • Liver
  • Egg
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk
  • Yogurt

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that participates in the protection of lipids , therefore, has a protective effect on cell membranes. In addition, it inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandins.

  • Nutritional needs: 0.08mg / day

Some sources of vitamin E are:

  • Vegetable oils
  • Liver
  • Nuts
  • Coconut
  • Soy
  • Avocados
  • Blackberries
  • Fish
  • Whole grains

Vitamin K

This vitamin is determinant for the synthesis of numerous coagulation factors , since it reacts with some proteins responsible for the process. It is not necessary to store it in large quantity because during its performance it is regenerated.

  • Nutritional needs: 01.mg/day

Some sources of vitamin K are:

  • Alfalfa
  • Liver of fish
  • Cauliflower
  • Yolk
  • Soy oil

The ABCD’s of Vitamins (December 2021).


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