Vitamins are organic compounds required by organisms as vital nutrients in limited amounts. Vitamins are therefore essential to a balanced diet. Vitamins have a variety of functions in the body. Some vitamins are coenzymes, which means that they help enzymes to catalyse a reaction efficiently. Some are responsible for regulating metabolism or act as regulators of cell and tissue growth and differentiation.
|Vitamin A||Needed for proper functioning of eyes||liver, carrots, egg||night blindness|
|Vitamin B (A group of vitamins with related functions)||Carbohydrate, protein, lipid, nucleic acid and alcohol metabolism; neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve function; red blood cell production||grains, potatoes, bananas||B1- beriberi, B3- pellagra, B6, B9, B12- anaemia|
|Vitamin C||Combines with key enzymes in metabolic reactions||citrus fruit (oranges, lemons etc)||scurvy (results in bleeding gums)|
|Vitamin D||Metabolites important in absorption of minerals from the gut (such as calcium and phosphate)||sunshine||rickets (resulting in soft bones, with bowed legs and widened wrists)|
|Vitamin E||Acts as an anti-oxidant||margarine, soybean oil, fortified cereals, condensed cow’s milk, cheese, orange juice||depressed immune system, anaemia, poor nerve conduction|