Have your parents ever pestered you to take Vitamin supplement? And have you been ignoring them? Well, you should pay heed to them. It is very important to get your vitamin requirements because your body cannot produce vitamins for itself! That’s right, the human body relies solely on outside sources for its vitamin requirement. Let us learn more about such interesting facts about vitamins.
Vitamins are a group of organic compounds that are extremely necessary and essential for normal growth and functioning of the human body. They are required in very small quantities but cannot be synthesized by the body itself, and can only be sourced from outside.
Whereas they are not possible to be synthesized in our bodies they are easily synthesized in plants. So we must rely on these sources for our daily requirements of vitamins. Like for example, we eat oranges and lemons for Vitamin C. So all our vitamins are obtained via our diet or other supplements.
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Function of Vitamin
Vitamins are essential nutrients for our body because they perform hundreds of functions. Right from promoting growth to absorption of calcium and blood clotting, they are everywhere. They are also responsible for providing cofactors or coenzymes to amino acids for them to carry out their catalyzing functions.
Particular vitamins are responsible for certain important functions. Let us have a brief look
- Vitamin A: Required to enable night vision in humans. Cells need for transfusion of light require Vitamin A
- Vitamin B: Necessary for the creation of serotonin, myelin, dopamine and epinephrine. Also lowers cholesterol levels
- Vitamin C: Boosts the immune system and helps fatigued muscles.
- Vitamin D: Formation of RNA needs Vitamin D. Also helps bones absorb calcium to stay healthy and strong and reduce the risk of fractures
- Vitamin E: Has antioxidant properties that help our bodies get rid of free radicals and assists in formation of red blood cells
- Vitamin K: Essential in creating some important proteins
Types of Vitamins
Around 17-20 types have been discovered and studied up till now. They fall into two classifications, namely
Fat Soluble Vitamins
As the name suggests these are soluble in lipids i.e. in fats. They are insoluble in water. Their absorption into the bloodstream happens in the intestines. They are stored in human bodies as adipose tissues in the liver. Fat-soluble types of the vitamin are not easily excreted, Hence it is very much possible to overdose on them if they reach toxic levels in your body, This disease is hypervitaminosis. The fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E and K.
Water Soluble Vitamins
These are readily dissolvable in water. Excess water-soluble vitamin in your body passes out through urine. Since they are excreted so easily they also need to be replaced regularly. Water Soluble Vitamins are Vitamin B and Vitamin C.
Solved Example for You
Q: Anti haemorrhagic vitamin is:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Both of the above
- None of the above
Sol: The correct answer is “A”. Vitamin K is the anti haemorrhagic vitamin. It is essential for blood clotting which means it helps wounds heal faster.