Vitamin A, B, C, PP… You start to lose your alphabet. What is the role of each vitamin ? That can lead to deficiencies ? What are the recommended intakes ? Overview of vitamins and their properties.
Learn more about vitamin A
Vitamins are organic substances necessary in very small quantity, to the body. Has the exception of vitamin D, vitamins cannot be synthesized by our body and must be present in the diet. Inadequate intakes of vitamins cause more or less long-term disruption to biological more or less serious. But don’t worry, our diet we can usually cover all our needs for vitamins. In industrialized countries, the case of a deficit serious are rare.
Vitamin A (or retinol)
Vitamin A is present only in foods of animal origin, especially liver. However, some plants contain provitamins A (carotenes), that is to say, substances that the body is able to transform into vitamin A. It is essential to the vision and growth of the bronchial tubes, intestines or the skin. Vitamin A is also involved in bone growth, in the synthesis of certain hormones such as progesterone and in the immune mechanisms.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin A vary with age. Its deficiency results in vision problems and eye damage up to blindness. This disease, xerophthalmia, affects to varying degrees many children in developing countries. Numerous research projects, often contradictory, are in progress on the role of vitamin A in the prevention of cancers, in particular broncho-pulmonary.
about vitamin A
Vitamin B1 or thiamin
Vitamin B1 is involved in the degradation of sugars and therefore in the use of energy reserves of the body. The severe deficiency of vitamin B1 causes beriberi, found in developing countries. In France, the lack of vitamin B1 can cause polynévrites, a pathology that may be aggravated by alcoholism. The complete cereals, dry vegetables, pork, and eggs are rich in vitamin B1.
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Vitamin B2 or riboflavin
Vitamin B2 is needed for the manufacture of many enzymes. The derivatives of this vitamin are involved in the degradation of fatty acids, amino acids and proteins. There is no disease due to the deficiency of vitamin B2, but it can be part of a general absence of vitamins of the B group (polycarences).
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Vitamin PP or B3, or niacin,
Vitamin PP is involved in the breakdown of glucose. Its deficiency causes a disease called pellagra with skin problems, digestive and nervous.
The contributions advised in niacin are from 6 to 14 mg per day in children, depending on age, 15 to 18 mg) in adolescents and adults, and 20 mg for pregnant or lactating women. Meat and meat offal, fish, pulses, some fruits and roasted coffee beans are rich in vitamin PP.
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Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the synthesis of lipids and proteins such as hemoglobin. Its deficiency causes skin changes, depression, anaemia and immune problems. This lack may be favored by some contraceptives and medications.
The dietary recommended vitamin B6 is 2 to 2.2 mg per day in adults and 2.5 mg per day for pregnant and lactating women.
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Vitamin B9, or folic acid
Folic acid is involved in the metabolism of amino acids. Deficiency in humans results in anemia and can sometimes lead to anorexia or depression. In pregnant women the deficiency results in a risk for the formation of the nervous system of the fetus.
The dietary recommended level of folic acid is about 400 micrograms per day for adolescents and adults, and 800 micrograms for pregnant women.