Water-Soluble Vitamins Complete list

Main two essential vitamins group page.

VITAMIN B1 (Thiamine)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • part of co-enzyme TPP (Thiamin pyrophosphate), used in energy metabolism
  • metabolism of carbohydrates
  • biosynthesis of neurotransmitters acetylcholine & GABA
  • nerve conduction
  • production of Hcl (hydrochloric acid) produced in stomach to help digest mainly protein and kill bacteria and micro-organism that may be present in food we eat

RDI:

  • Men: 1.2mg/day
  • Women: 1.1mg/day
  • Pregnancy & Lactation: 1.4mg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • cardiac failure
  • fatigue
  • appetite loss
  • irritability
  • weight loss
  • muscular weakness
  • memory deficits
  • neuropathy

Deficiency can cause Beriberi disease:

  • Dry beriberi (neuromuscular complications)
  • Wet beriberi (cardiovascular complications)
  • Cerebral beriberi (central nervous system complications)

Deficiency of vitamin B1 can occur very easily in high alcohol consumption and may lead to condition known as Wernicke-Korsakoff disease, people with alcohol addiction need to supplement with B1.

Toxicity Symptoms: none reported

Processing Losses:

  • unstable to heat and light

Food Sources:

  • asparagus
  • beef, pork
  • wheat (wheat germ,bran, wholemeal bread, pasta), nuts & seeds, legumes

VITAMIN B2 (Riboflavin)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • part of co-enzymes FMN (Flavin mononucletide – biomolecule produced from riboflavin) & FAD (Flavin adenine mononucletide – redox cofactor in Biochemistry)
  • release of energy from nutrients
  • present in reactions where double bonds are involved
  • red cell synthesis
  • activates B6 & Folate
  • healthy growth
  • myelin sheath maintenance

RDI:

  • Men: 1.3-1.6mg/day
  • Women: 1.1-1.3mg/day
  • Pregnancy: 1.4mg/day
  • Lactation: 1.6mg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • angular stomatitis (sores at the corners of the mouth/skin cracking)
  • glossitis (smooth, purplish red tongue, swollen)
  • seborrhoeic dermatitis (inflammation, redness and flaky skin)
  • blood shot eyes
  • blurred vision

Deficiency can cause disease ariboflavinosis often due to alcoholism and protein energy malnutrition.

Toxicity Symptoms: Toxicity have not been documented in research.

Processing Losses:

  • unstable to light
  • easily destroyed by irradiation

Food Sources:

  • dairy products, eggs
  • wholegrain cereals, wheat germ
  • avocados, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms
  • almonds
  • tempeh

VITAMIN B3 (Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • part of two co-enzymes NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) & NADP (phosphate form of NAD)
  • involved in energy production
  • fatty acid synthesis
  • regulation of blood glucose
  • cholesterol & steroid synthesis

RDI:

  • Men: 16mg/day Niacin equivalents
  • Women: 14mg/day Niacin equivalents
  • Pregnancy: 18mg/day Niacin equivalents
  • Lactation: 17mg/day Niacin equivalents

UL: upper level Adults: 35mg/day (this applies to supplement form of B3)

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • abdominal pain
  • achlorhydria
  • anxiety, fatigue, headaches
  • dermatitis (butterfly rash)
  • smooth, inflamed, bright red tongue
  • memory deficit

Deficiency can cause disease Pellagra, that can present symptoms of dermatitis, dementia, diarrhoea and eventually death, however in today’s population occurrence of Pellagra are very rare.

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • skin flushing, hive, rash (“niacin flush”)
  • vomiting and nausea
  • liver damage

Processing Losses:

  • stable to heat
  • using ethylene oxide to ripen fruit causes 50% losses

Food Sources:

  • beef, poultry (chicken, turkey), fish (tuna, mackerel)
  • nuts, seeds and Tahini
  • almonds

BIOTIN (Vitamin B7)

Function Facilitated in the Body:

  • part of co-enzyme involved in energy metabolism
  • fatty acid synthesis (cofactor for acetyl CoA carboxylase)
  • amino acid metabolism
  • glycogen synthesis

AI: (adequate intake)

  • Men: 30mcg/day
  • Women: 25mcg/day
  • Pregnancy: 30mcg/day
  • Lactation: 35mcg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • lethargy, depression, insomnia, extreme fatigue
  • thinning hair, alopecia
  • anaemia
  • burning/tingling sensation in the arms and legs
  • red rash distributed around eyes, mouth, nose

Toxicity Symptoms: Non-toxic to humans.

Processing Losses:

  • unstable in acid and alkali solutions
  • grain processing 20%-30% loss

Food Sources:

  • organ meat (liver, kidney)
  • peanuts and other nuts
  • wheat and oats
  • egg yolk
  • yeast
  • wholegrain cereal
  • soy bean
  • also bacterial synthesis in gut

VITAMIN B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • part of co-enzyme A used in energy metabolism
  • synthesis of acetylcholine
  • synthesis of lipids, steroid hormones, neurotransmitters
  • protein metabolism

AI: (adequate intake)

  • Men: 6mg/day
  • Women: 4mg/day
  • Pregnancy: 5mg/day
  • Lactation: 6mg/day

Deficiency Symptoms: (very rare)

  • abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea
  • depression, fatigue, insomnia, malaise
  • hypoglycaemia
  • numbness
  • coordination difficulties

Toxicity Symptoms: Non toxic to humans and no UL has been set.

Processing Losses:

  • unstable to heat, alkali and acid solutions
  • destroyed by food processing (milling grains)

Food Sources:

  • present almost in all foods
  • egg yolk
  • pork, beef
  • fish
  • raw mushrooms
  • nuts and seeds
  • tomato, broccoli
  • oats

VITAMIN B6 (Pyridoxine)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • part of co-enzymes PLP (pyridoxal phosphate) & PMP (pyridoxamine phosphate)
  • involved in fatty acids, amino acids and protein metabolism
  • neurotransmitter synthesis (helps convert tryptophan to niacin and to serotonin)
  • helps production of red blood cells
  • supports optimum nervous system function

RDI:

  • Men: 1.3-1.7mg/day
  • Women: 1.2-1.5mg/day
  • Pregnancy: 1.9mg/day
  • Lactation: 2.0mg/day

UL: upper level intake has been established at 100mg/day.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • dermatitis
  • microcytic anaemia (small cell type)
  • depression, fatigue, lethargy
  • poor immunity, skin lesions
  • PMS fluid retention
  • weight loss

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • skin eruptions
  • irritability, headaches, depression, confusion
  • nerve damage
  • numbness and muscle weakness leading to inability to walk

Processing Losses:

  • easily destroyed by heat
  • unstable to light
  • milling flour causes about 75% loss

Food Sources:

  • wheat germ, bran, wholegrain
  • meats, poultry, oily fish
  • nuts and seeds
  • garlic, avocado, bananas, carrot
  • brewer’s yeast

FOLATE (Folic Acid, Folacin, Pteroylgltamic Acid)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • part of coenzymes THF (tetrahydrofolate) & DHF (dihydrofolate) involved in DNA synthesis
  • crucial for new cells formation and differentiation of embryonic nervous tissue
  • maturation of red blood cells
  • DNA repair

RDI:

  • Men & Women: 400mcg/day
  • Pregnancy: 600mcg/day
  • Lactation: 500mcg/day

UL: upper level intake has been established at 1000mcg/day. This applies to supplements form and fortified foods.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • anaemia (megaloblastic/microcytic)
  • cognitive delay
  • weakness, mental confusion, fatigue, irritability, headaches
  • elevated homocystine
  • skin disorders
  • smooth, red tongue

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • Folate can mask vitamin B12 deficiency

Processing Losses:

  • unstable to heat, oxygen and light
  • cooking can cause about 65% losses

Food Sources:

  • fortified grains
  • green leafy vegetables, endive, avocados, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts
  • barley
  • eggs
  • organ meats
  • yeast
  • nuts and seeds

VITAMIN B12 (Cobalamin)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • part of coenzymes methylcobalamin & deoxyadensylcobalamin
  • vital in synthesis of DNA, nucleic acid, blood cells
  • helps to break down some fatty acids and amino acids
  • maintains nerve cells
  • role in activation of folate

RDI:

  • Men & Women: 2.4mcg/day
  • Pregnancy: 2.6mcg/day
  • Lactation: 2.8mcg/day

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • pernicious anaemia (lack of vitamin B12 due to atrophic gastritis and lack of intrinsic factor)
  • fatigue, nervous system disturbances, depression
  • paresthesia (tingling and numbness in limbs)
  • loss of bowel and bladder control
  • dementia
  • muscle weakness
  • red, beefy looking tongue

Deficiency can cause Pernicious anaemia, due to condition atrophic gastritis rather then insufficient dietary intake, which is common in older people. This causes lack of intrinsic factor and HCl and B12 status decreases.

Toxicity symptoms: None reported.

Processing Losses:

  • unstable to heat, light, acid and alkali solutions

Food Sources:

  • animal products (organ meats, fish)
  • eggs and dairy foods
  • fortified cereals
  • bacterial synthesis takes place in the gut

INOSITOL (carbohydrate)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • precursor in intracellular communication (second messenger system)
  • component of the cell membrane structure
  • combines with choline to form lecithin
  • vital for healthy nervous system
  • involved in metabolism of fats and cholesterol

RDI: Has not been established.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • eye problems
  • hypercholesterolaemia
  • alopecia areata (AA)
  • eczema

Toxicity Symptoms: No specific symptoms of toxicity of inositol have been reported.

Food Sources:

  • beans, green leafy vegetables
  • brewer’s yeast
  • citrus fruit
  • lentils
  • nuts and seeds, wheat germ
  • pork and veal
  • lecithin
  • bacterial synthesis in the gut

CHOLINE

Functions Facilitated in Body:

  • synthesise of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and the phospolipid lecithin
  • detoxification of chemicals
  • muscle contraction
  • cell membrane structure
  • myelin sheath integrity
  • transport and metabolism of fats

AI: (adequate intake)

  • Men: 550mg/day
  • Women: 425mg/day
  • Pregnancy: 415mg/day (14-18yr), 440mg/day (19-50yr)
  • Lactation: 525mg/day (14-18yr), 550mg/day (19-50yr)

UL: upper level Upper Level intake was established at 3500mg/day.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • liver damage (tumors, cirrhosis, fatty liver)
  • elevated free radical damage in liver, kidney & heart
  • hardening of arteries
  • memory loss

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • nausea, dizziness
  • salivation, sweating
  • diarrhoea
  • liver damage

Food Sources:

  • milk, liver, eggs
  • beans, split peas
  • wholegrain cereals
  • lecithin
  • peanuts

CARNITINE

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • fat metabolism
  • increases HDL cholesterol/reduces LDL cholesterol
  • cell membrane structure
  • role in modulating energy production, increases heart muscle viability
  • role in modulating energy production, increases heart muscle viability

RDI: Was not established.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • CNS dysfunction, cognitive delay, fatigue
  • fatty liver, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
  • CV disease

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • diarrhoea
  • irritability, lethargy, ketosis

Food Sources: lamb, dairy products, avocado, asparagus, fish

VITAMIN C (Ascorbic Acid)

Functions Facilitated in the Body:

  • antioxidant, antihistamine function
  • blood cell formation
  • cofactor in collagen formation
  • thyroxine synthesis
  • helps with iron absorption
  • wound healing
  • involved in amino acid metabolism

RDI:

  • Adults: 45mg/day
  • Smokers: 80mg/day
  • Pregnancy: 60mg/day
  • Lactation: 85mg/day

UL has not been established, but 1000mg/day is considered to be prudent.

Deficiency Symptoms:

  • anaemia (mirocytic)
  • atherosclerosis plaque
  • bone fragility, joint pain
  • poor wound healing, bleeding gums, rough skin
  • depression, fatigue
  • greater susceptibility to infections
  • bruising easily, muscle degeneration and pain

Deficiency can cause disease Scurvy, this is due to inadequate collagen synthesis.

Toxicity Symptoms:

  • diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, gastritis
  • headaches, fatigue, insomnia
  • possible kidney stones (especially in people with gout)
  • urinary tract problems

Processing Losses:

  • unstable to heat, light, alkali solutions and oxygen

Food Sources:

  • citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, strawberries, paw paw / papaya (Latin – Carica Papaya)
  • broccoli, capsicum, cabbage-type vegetables
  • parsley, rosehip, sweet potato, peppers

Explanations:
mcg – microgram ( µg ), Recommended Daily Intake ( RDI ), Upper Level ( UL ) intake, Adequate Intake ( AI )

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