What Does Each Vitamin Do For Your Body?
A B C D E F G…. What do vitamins do for me? Gotcha singin’ it didn’t we? Yeah we did.
As you pop your multi-vitamin, do you ever wonder what benefits vitamins offer your body?
Ever wonder why we don’t have a vitamin J? We used to. Yep.
If your hungry mind has been searching for all there is to know about vitamins, we’ve got a buffet of vitamin education just ready for your brain to dig in.
So onto it—let’s chow down on some knowledge. Mmmm, knowledge.
A Short Background on Vitamins
Vitamin is a word coined in 1912 by a Polish biochemist, and it means, in pertinent part, vital.
Vitamins are vital to normal functioning of the body and maintenance of metabolism.
While needed in small amounts, vitamins possess complex and diverse biochemical functions. Some have functions similar to hormones and regulate metabolism, others function as anti-oxidants, and the largest set of vitamins, the B vitamins, operate as co-enzymes that help enzymes carry out their utility as catalysts in metabolism.
Each vitamin is essential to certain functions. While most are obtained through food, some vitamins are produced by the body. Microorganisms in the intestines produce Vitamin K, and Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin with sunlight exposure. Others can be produced through the consumption of other nutrients, as well.
So, now that we know a bit about vitamins, let’s talk about each one, shall we?
Vitamin A is an antioxidant and is can be found in meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. It’s imperative for the following:
- Immune system
- Bone growth
- Cell functions
- Helps heart, kidneys and lungs function normally.
DOSE: The amount of vitamin A for 14 years and older range between 700 and 900 micrograms (mcg) per day.
- Helps the body get, make and use energy.
There are several types of vitamin B. They help the body get, use or make energy from food. They also help form red blood cells.
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B7 (biotin)
- Folic acid
B vitamins can be obtained from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and leafy green veggies, peas and beans. Being deficient in B vitamins can cause anemia and low energy.
DOSE: The dosing on B vitamins vary by type, age and gender and can be found here.
- Protects cells
- Body uses it to make collagen
- Supports the immune system
It can be found in citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes and tomatoes.
DOSE: Average for adults is between 75-90mg.
Vitamin D is notorious for helping the body maintain strong bones.
- Muscles need it to move.
- Nerves use it to carry messages throughout the body.
- Supports immune system.
Vitamin D is found in foods like eggs, fish and milk. It can also be obtained through sunlight exposure.
DOSE: Average adult does is 600 IU.
Vitamin E, like C, acts as an antioxidant.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Widens blood vessels to prevent closing.
- Is used by other cells to carry out essential functions.
It can be obtained through the diet in veggie oils like sunflower, safflower, corn and soybean oils, nuts—especially almonds, sunflower seeds and green veggies.
DOSE: Average adult does is 15mg.
Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting.
It can be found in veggie oils, meat, cheese, soybeans, eggs and green leafy veggies.
DOSE: Average adult between 90-120mcg per day.
Vitamin J—ust Kidding.
We actually used to have vitamins E through J. The reason vitamins skip from E to K is because original vitamins named F, G, H, I and J were discarded and renamed for their relationship to B. That is why you read through such a long list of vitamin Bs above. Learn somethin’ new everyday, huh?
In case you need a visual for vitamin sources, here you go.
So, there you have it—your very own list of vitamins, what they do for you and from what sources you can obtain them. Is your brain unbuttoning its pants from feasting on all this info?
Gooood. Gooood. Just make sure your neck can hold it up.