We all know that vitamins are an essential component of nutrition. We must worry about consuming the necessary ones, but do you know what vitamins do in the body? While it is true that vitamins are vital for our body to fulfill all its functions, many people tend to take vitamin supplements with the belief that they will provide them with energy or some other benefit, when accessories are unnecessary in most cases already with a good, well-balanced diet we can obtain the contribution of vitamins that our body needs.
If you are interested in learning more about the functions of vitamins in the body, as well as the primary sources of each one, we invite you to continue reading this article on FastlyHeal .com
What are vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds that play a role as a catalyst in different processes of our body’s metabolism, accelerating processes that, in their absence, would take too long to carry out. Although vitamins do not produce energy, they contribute to the development of different methods that give rise to cells, hormones, neurotransmitters, and other essential elements of the various functions and in the growth and maintenance of our body. Vitamins are usually divided into two large groups:
- The water-soluble: vitamins C and the B complex
- The fat-soluble: vitamins A, D, E, and K
Functions of water-soluble vitamins
Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid
It is an important antioxidant that removes harmful components from the body, giving cells and other substances a longer life, such as vitamin A and E. It helps prevent or alleviate complications from Alzheimer’s and diabetes. In addition, among its functions, we find:
- It reduces the concentrations of fat in blood vessels and therefore improves cases of hypertension and reduces the risk of heart attacks and other related complications.
- It allows collagen development in the nails, and scars contribute significantly to the healing of tissues and vision.
- It has a specific antibacterial function.
Typically vitamin C is associated with citrus fruits, as these are essential sources of the vitamin. Other foods that contain it are fruits and vegetables such as spinach, cauliflower, kiwi, potatoes, mango, and apple, among others. However, this vitamin is not found in foods of animal origin. The following article explains what foods are rich in vitamin C.
Group B vitamins
It consists of a large group of vitamins that were previously considered the same, now divided into B1, B2, B5, B5, B6, B9, and B12. They contribute to different functions, such as:
- Power generation
- Absorption and control of glucose levels
- The correct blood flow
- Formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells
- The proper operation of the immune system, among some other parts.
The sources of these vitamins are very varied and can be found in reasonable quantities in both animals and plants. The most common sources are nuts, cereals, peanuts, artichokes, potatoes, asparagus, oranges, dairy products, liver, and meats. The following articles will find the foods richest in vitamin B2, B6, and B12.
Functions of fat-soluble vitamins
Vitamin A: Retinol
It is an essential vitamin for:
- the reproduction of skin and mucosa cells
- The growth of bones during development
- Nail and hair growth
- Tooth formation
- Fetal development
- Immune response
- Helps maintain proper visual function.
It is usually found mainly in dairy products and the fatty part of foods of animal origin. Beta-carotene is found in green, yellow, and red plant foods, which is a component that is transformed into vitamin A in our body.
Vitamina D: Calciferol
It is an essential vitamin for the development of bones and teeth because its function is vital for the body to absorb calcium and phosphorus from our diet. It also influences hormones because it regulates, together with other hormones, the levels of calcium that circulates in the blood. Due to the importance of calcium for muscle and nerve function, it could be said that it also participates in these systems.
It has the peculiarity of being a vitamin formed in the body from cholesterol and ergosterol after exposure of the person to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, being an important source. In the diet, vitamin D is mainly found in foods of plant origin, such as dairy products, eggs, and fish. In vegetables, the amounts of vitamin D are tiny.
Vitamin E: Tocopherol
Its most important function is antioxidant, preventing the oxidation of fatty acids, particularly those found forming part of the membrane of all cells. It has an essential effect on-time passage by reducing the risk of suffering from eye diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer. It also reduces the possibility of suffering from cognitive decline and strengthens the immune system.
Foods of animal origin have a low concentration of vitamin E. Its primary source is green leafy vegetables such as broccoli or spinach, and vegetable oils, as well as certain breakfast cereals. Discover the five foods with vitamin E.
Vitamin K: Phytomenadione
It is called an anti-hemorrhagic vitamin because it forms an essential component in the clotting process, being vital for it to take place. It also affects bone metabolism as it is necessary to create certain hormones. Inadequate concentrations can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The primary source of this vitamin is green leafy vegetables and fruits such as spinach, lettuce, and particularly kiwi. However, it can also be found in good quantity in the liver of animals. Another source of vitamin K is the metabolism of the bacteria that inhabit our stomach.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.