Vitamins in the human body

High School ・Biology ・APA ・9 Sources

Vitamins are natural, essential compounds that the body needs even though the body cannot build them. They are well-known stimulants in our body. Vitamins can be gotten through the food we eat in small or large quantities. They are categorized into two groups based on solubility; fat-soluble or water-soluble. Vitamins are found in different forms of vitamins A, B-complex, C, D, E and K. Vitamin C and B are water-soluble while Vitamin A is a fat-soluble, and also known as retinol. The vitamin is regularly found in different variety of foods, mostly in green leafy vegetables, carrots, and pumpkin al rich in beta-carotene which is a vitamin A constituent. Vitamin A contributes to many body functions such as; helping the pupil of the eyes adjust to different light intensities, vital for tooth development, cell division and also bone growth. It has deficiency symptoms associated with it. Extremely dry and rough skin and night blindness and very dry and experienced slow rate of bone growth present some of the deficiencies (O’Byrne and Blaner 2013, p. 1731). Some of the toxic symptoms associated with vitamin include, itchy and skin, loss of appetite, nausea, and headache. Severe sign of overuse of these vitamins may result to blurred visions and dizziness.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is classified as a fat-soluble type of vitamins. It has a critical role within the body. Since our bodies require calcium, vitamin D increases the amount of calcium and phosphorus in our bodies. It also plays as immunity and cell growth controller. In children, the vitamin helps in the formation of strong and healthy bones and teeth. Some of its principal sources are simply dairy products such as milk. It can also occur in oily fish. But the sun acts as the major contributor of vitamin D. It associated deficiency may include the skull experiencing some flattening at the back, bone and muscle weaknesses and also osteoporosis which is simply the bone mass reduction (Feldman et al. 2014, p. 348). Deficiency associated with kids is rickets. A Tolerable intake for vitamin D is 100 mcg from the age of nine years and above. It taken in excess, it is considered as toxic. Symptoms of vitamin D toxicity range from retarded physical and mental growth and decreased appetite.

Vitamin E

Vitamin C or tocopherol is also under the fat-soluble type of vitamin. It is known as an antioxidant catalyst in various body reactions. Vitamin C offers protection from pathogenic destructions offered of essential fatty acids, red blood cell and also to vitamins A and C. It may as well help in preventing heart diseases. Its main sources are vegetable oil that constitutes of 60%. It can be found in grains and seeds, and nuts. Its associated deficiency is found mainly in premature infants cases where there are high chances of fats in absorptions (Niki and Traber 2012, p. 209). Vitamin E toxicity is in a rare case, but in excess supplements, people consuming medications for blood-thinning conditions may be at risk.

Vitamin K

Vitamins K also falls under fat-soluble vitamins. In respect to its occurrence, bacteria within the intestines produce it as it. It is utilized in the blood clotting, manufacture of proteins for bones and blood, and the in the development of healthy bones. Foods are considered to be the main sources for Vitamin K. Green leafy-vegetables comprising of spinach and cabbages. Vegetable oils that include soybean, olive, and cottonseed oil are also a good source of this vitamin. In regards to it associated deficiency, Vitamin K deficiency may be experienced in infants and individuals that are under anticoagulants drugs (De Caterina et al. 2013, p. 1096). People consuming under antibiotics may also lack vitamin K due to the long use of antibiotic drugs. Vitamin K toxicity ranges in its excessive consumptions. Excess vitamin K is a factor of blood clotting inhibitor.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C are water soluble and is also known as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is beneficial the body as it helps in holding cells together. It also helps in tooth and bone developments and the healing of wounds. It is also used for strengthening the blood vessel and the improvement of the immune system (Aslam et al. 2017, p.2376). It also acts as an antioxidant in various body reactions. Vitamin C is essentially not produced nor stored in the body; hence its daily consumptions is imperative for optimum health. The consumption of citrus, rich fruits provides the best source of vitamin C. Its associated deficiency may lead to scurvy, a disease known for causing reduction of collagen strength in the body. The result of the effects would range from loose teeth and swollen gums. In regards to its toxicity, vitamin causes kidney stones and rebound scurvy when taken in excess.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B just like vitamin C is the only water-soluble classified vitamins. However, vitamin B occurs is eight main constituents also referred to complex forms of vitamin B. Below are the respective constituents.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 or thiamin being under soluble type helps to release energy generated from foods thus promoting normal appetite. Thiamin largely helps in maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system. Sources of vitamin B1 include; pork, peas, legumes, and liver. Whole and fortified grain are its main source. Products like bread and rice are the daily sources easily consumed (Baumgartner 2013, p. 1803). In regards to its deficiency ranges from mental effects, muscle impaired growth and weakened muscles. In regards to the thiamin toxicity, there are no health problems experienced with overconsumption of thiamin or vitamin B1.

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 also referred to as riboflavin is under soluble type classification. Vitamin B2 is known for it helps in releasing energy from the foods consumed. The vitamin is also associated with healthy skin and good vision. Indigestion, vitamin B2 helps in converting amino acids into niacin which is a form of a protein essential to the body. Some of the principal sources include dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, and legumes. Milk and whole grain products are also sources of vitamin B2 (Baumgartner 2013, p. 1806). Concerning its deficiency, the later is experienced with the consumption alcohol. Visible deficiencies are cracking of the mouth at the edges and sore tongue. There is no known toxicity experienced with overconsumption of vitamin B2.

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 also referred to as niacin is under soluble type classification of vitamins. Vitamin B3 facilitates energy production in the body together with the normalizing functions of the enzymes responsible for the digestion process. It sources largely comprises; fish, meat, whole grain products and peanuts. Niacin deficiencies are associated with protein malnourishment and low intake of diets high in carbohydrates (Baumgartner 2013, p. 1801). Some of the symptoms include; nausea, skin ailments, and cramps, experienced by ladies. In regards to its toxicity, large consumptions damage the liver and the development of rashes on the skin.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin Bs also referred to as pyridoxine is under water-soluble type classification of vitamins. Pyridoxine helps in the metabolism of protein together with the formation of cells. It produces insulin and hemoglobin both required in the body. The primary sources Vitamin B6 include green leafy vegetables, pork, legumes, cereals and whole grains. Deficiencies associated with Vitamin B6 are skin disorders, cracks at the edges of mouth, nausea and kidney stone. If experienced in infants, vitamin B6 deficiency in infants causes mental confusion (Bridwell-Rabb and Drennan 2017, p. 64). Too much of vitamin B6 is not harmful, but when taken in excess the user may suffer from nerve damage.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 also referred to as cobalamin is also under soluble type classification of vitamins. Vitamin B12 helps in building genetic material. Red blood cells are also formed through the help o vitamin B12. It also helps in maintaining the body's nervous system. The main source is foods from animal origin. They include; oysters, shellfish, kidney, meat, eggs, and fish. Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among vegetarians. Some of its associated deficiencies are; fatigue, anemia, and nerves degeneration causing seasonal numbness (Stabler 2013, p. 153). In respect to toxicity involvement of vitamin B12, there is no toxic effect associated with its overconsumption.

Folate (folic acid)

Folate or folic also referred is under soluble type classification of vitamins. Folate takes active functions in aiding the formation of red blood cells and protein metabolism. It is also known for lowering defects associated with neural tube births and the risk of heart disease. In respect to its primary sources, folate can occur in kidney, liver, kidney, fish meat and green leafy vegetables. Citrus fruits, legumes and fortified grains and cereals are also other sources for the folic acid. Folate deficiencies are associated with the effects on the growth of cells and in the production of protein (Boyles et al. 2016, p.470). The results would be impaired growth, anemia and diarrhea. In regards to its toxicity, folate may only interfere with various medications.


Biotin is also under soluble type classification of vitamin. It helps in the release of energy from the intake of carbohydrates. It is also known for the metabolism aiding of proteins and fats from food. Biotin can be found in various foods such as; liver, egg yolk, kidney, milk, bread, and cereals. Deficiencies related to biotin are, nausea, depression, fatigue comprising of muscle pains and loss of appetite (Boyles et al. 2016, p.472). In respect to toxicity involvement of biotin, there is no known associated toxicity experienced with its overconsumption.

Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid is also under soluble type classification of vitamins. It is known for its high involved in the production of energy and helps to for hormones in the body. Metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats from food also gains from pantothenic acid. Food sources are the primary source of pantothenic acid. Liver, egg yolk, kidney, milk, bread, and cereals are the main sources. Pantothenic acid deficiency is a common condition since the acid is commonly found in food items (Boyles et al. 2016, p.474). Too much of pantothenic acid is harmful to the user. However, when taken in excess, the user may experience water retention and diarrhea.


Aslam, M.F., Majeed, S., Aslam, S. and Irfan, J.A., 2017. Vitamins: Key Role Players in Boosting Up Immune Response-A Mini Review. Vitam Miner, 6(153), pp.2376-1318.
Baumgartner, M.R., 2013. Vitamin-responsive disorders: cobalamin, folate, biotin, vitamins B1 and E. Handbook of clinical neurology, 113, pp.1799-1810.
Boyles, A.L., Yetley, E.A., Thayer, K.A. and Coates, P.M., 2016. Safe use of high intakes of folic acid: research challenges and paths forward. Nutrition reviews, 74(7), pp.469-474.
Bridwell-Rabb, J. and Drennan, C.L., 2017. Vitamin B 12 in the spotlight again. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 37, pp.63-70.
De Caterina, R., Husted, S., Wallentin, L., Andreotti, F., Arnesen, H., Bachmann, F., Baigent, C., Huber, K., Jespersen, J., Kristensen, S.D. and Lip, G.Y., 2013. Vitamin K antagonists in heart disease: Current status and perspectives (Section III). Thrombosis and haemostasis, 110(6), pp.1087-1107.
Feldman, D., Krishnan, A.V., Swami, S., Giovannucci, E. and Feldman, B.J., 2014. The role of vitamin D in reducing cancer risk and progression. Nature reviews cancer, 14(5), pp.342-357.
Niki, E. and Traber, M.G., 2012. A history of vitamin E. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 61(3), pp.207-212.
O'Byrne, S.M. and Blaner, W.S., 2013. Retinol and retinyl esters: Biochemistry and physiology Thematic Review Series: Fat-soluble vitamins: vitamin A. Journal of lipid research, 54(7), pp.1731-1743.
Stabler, S.P., 2013. Vitamin B12 deficiency. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(2), pp.149-160.

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