List of Vitamins, their Functions and Deficiencies

What are Vitamins ?

Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in very small amounts for supporting normal physiologic function and overall health. Our body synthesize vitamin rich diet quickly and generate enough energy to meet our daily needs. Found in many foods, from fresh fruits and vegetables to healthy energy bars, vitamins can either be water-soluble or fat-soluble. Vitamin deficiencies can create or exacerbate chronic health conditions.

Classification of Vitamins

Vitamins are classified into two groups:
Fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). These are rich in liver cells.
Water soluble vitamins (C, B-complex). These are present in much smaller amounts in cells.

Let’s see all vitamins, their Functions and Deficiencies

List of Vitamins, their Functions and Deficiencies

Vitamin A

Its a fat soluble vitamin Retinol, Retinal and four carotenoids including Beta Carotene
Functions: It promotes growth and development of the body. It maintains the immune system. It is very important for healthy eyes.
Vitamin A Deficiency: Deficiency of vitamin A causes impaired vision, particularly in reduced light. This condition is commonly known as night blindness.
Food rich in Vitamin A: Carrot, Orange, paprika, squash, red pepper, leafy vegetables, cayenne, pumpkin, chili powder, spinach, soy milk and sweet potatoes are some natural sources of vitamin A.


Vitamin B1

Thiamine is a water soluble vitamin. This means the human body does not store this vitamin.
Functions: It plays a significant role in the healthy functioning of the nervous system. It strengthens the immune system and helps the body cope with stress.
Vitamin B1 Deficiency: Its deficiency causes Beriberi and Alzheimer’s disease
Food rich in Vitamin B1: Whole grains, enriched cereals, brown rice, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pistachios, nuts, pecans, legumes, wheat germ, bran, brewer’s yeast are some natural sources of vitamin B1


Vitamin B2

Riboflavin is a water soluble vitamin.
Functions: It is necessary for proper functioning of cells. It plays an important role in energy metabolism.
Vitamin B2 Deficiency: Digestive system problem and insmnia.
Food rich in Vitamin B2: Banana, asparagus, almonds, green beans, sesame seeds, sun dried tomatoes, dried peppers and popcorn are some natural sources of vitamin B2.


Vitamin B3

Niacin is a water soluble vitamin.
Functions: It plays a major role in conversion of carbohydrates to glucose and in normal production of sex hormones and stress hormones. It is important for normal cellular growth and division. It repairs damaged DNA.
Vitamin B3 Deficiency: Its deficiency causes Pellagra and Diarrhea
Food rich in Vitamin B3: Rice bran, paprika, peanuts, vegetables, mushrooms and tree nuts are some natural sources of vitamin B3.


Vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid is a water soluble vitamin.
Functions: It plays a major role in the manufacture of red blood cells (RBC). It helps in breakdown of fats and carbohydrates in the body.
Vitamin B5 Deficiency: Its deficiency causes paresthesia
Food rich in Vitamin B5: Broccoli, lentils, split peas, avocado, whole wheat, mushrooms, sweet potato, sunflower seeds, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, eggs, squash, strawberries, liver


Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine is a water soluble vitamin.
Functions: It plays a significant role in amino acid metabolism, gluconeogenesis and lipid metabolism.
Vitamin B6 Deficiency: Its deficiency causes anemia and peripheral neuropathy
Food rich in Vitamin B6: Whole wheat, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds, potato, banana, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, peanut butter, tuna, salmon, lima beans


Vitamin B7

Biotin is a water soluble vitamin.
Functions: Also known as vitamin H, this nutrient is a coenzyme for carboxylase enzymes, involved in synthesis of valine, fatty acids and isoleucine.
Vitamin B7 Deficiency: Its deficiency causes dermatitis and enteritis
Food rich in Vitamin B7: Oil-roasted peanuts, oil-roasted sunflower seed, soy beans, dried yeast, nuts, oatmeal, cauliflower, carrots, papaya, banana, salmon, eggs, walnuts are some good sources of vitamin B7.


Vitamin B9

Folic acid is a water soluble vitamin.
Functions: It helps in conversion of carbohydrates into glucose. It is very much necessary for the proper functioning of the brain. It promotes healthy skin, eyes, hair and liver.
Vitamin B9 Deficiency: Its efficiency can cause Magaloblastic anemia, heart problems, age-related hearing loss, age related muscular degeneration, depression
Food rich in Vitamin B9: Green leafy vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, spinach, whole grains, green peas, avocado, peanuts, lettuce, banana, papaya, organ meats


Vitamin B12

Cobalamin is a water soluble vitamin.
Functions: It works with folate in making body’s genetic material. It is necessary for the production of red blood cells.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Its deficiency causes megaloblastic anemia and heart problems.
Food rich in Vitamin B12: Fortified cereals, liver, trout, salmon, tuna, egg, beef, mutton, cheese (especially Swiss cheese) are good sources of vitamin B12.


Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin.
Functions: It promotes healing of wounds and prevents bleeding from capillaries. It is required for many metabolic reactions.
Vitamin C Deficiency: Its deficiency causes scurvy. Fatigue, mood swings, joint pain, weight loss are some signs of vitamin C deficiency.
Food rich in Vitamin C: Guava, kiwi, orange, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, broccoli, sweet potato, pineapple, cauliflower, kale, lemon juice, parsley


Vitamin D

Calciferol is a fat soluble vitamin.
Functions: It plays a major role in maintaining strong and healthy bones. It promotes absorption and use of calcium and phosphates for healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D Deficiency: Its deficiency causes rickets and osteomalacia.
Food rich in Vitamin D: Sunlight, fortified foods, mushrooms, salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, eggs


Vitamin E

Tocopherol is a fat soluble vitamin.
Functions: It is an antioxidant and stops the production of reactive oxygen species formed when fat undergoes oxidation in the body.
Vitamin E Deficiency: Its deficiency is very rare and may cause mild hemolytic anemia in newborn infants.
Food rich in Vitamin E: Green leafy vegetables, almonds, sunflower seeds, olives, blueberries, most nuts, most seeds, tomatoes, avocado


Vitamin K

Phylloquinone is a fat soluble vitamin.
Functions: Required for blood coagulation. It promotes healthy bones and tissues.
Vitamin K Deficiency: Its deficiency may causes bleeding diathesis. Newborn infants are more likely to be affected by vitamin K deficiency.
Food rich in Vitamin K: Broccoli, green leafy vegetables, parsley, watercress, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans, green peas, carrots