Vitamin B12 is also known as Cobalamin as it contains cobalt. It helps in the synthesis of red blood cells and in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 can be stored in the body in small amounts in the liver and absorbed by the ileum in the small intestine.
Meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, shellfish etc.
The deficiency does not occur due to its lack in the diet, but occurs as a result of the failure in absorption. The lack of intrinsic factor secreted by the cell lining of the stomach can cause a failure in the absorption of vitamin B12 which leads to pernicious anemia.
Neurological changes (such as numbness in the feet and hands), fatigue, depression, loss of memory and soreness of the tongue and mouth also occur due to the deficiency of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B9 or Folic acid is yet another water soluble vitamin. It is essential in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats. It helps in the proper functioning of the digestive and nervous system. It helps in the production of the genetic materials DNA and RNA. The body demands Folic acid more during periods of infancy and pregnancy. It also helps prevent heart diseases.
Green leafy vegetables, beans,rice, legumes, salmon, soy beans, milk, turnip, yeast, beet root and oranges.
The deficiency of folic acid will lead to poor growth, tongue inflammation, loss of appetite, breathing problems, diarrhea, forgetfulness etc. Pregnant women deficient in folic acid will have children with birth defects.
PARA-AMINO BENZOIC ACID:
Para-amino benzoic acid (PABA) though known as vitamin B-x, is not actually considered to be a vitamin. It forms a part of the folic acid structure. It is synthesized by the bacteria in our intestines. It also helps in the production of Folic acid by the intestinal bacteria.
PABA ointments are used to prevent and treat sunburns as it contains sun screening properties. It also helps in bringing back the natural colour of the hair in cases where there has been graying.
Grains, liver, kidney and molasses.
In the case of PABA, the occurrence of deficiency problems is very rare. The deficiency could result in depression, nervousness, headaches, digestive disorder, premature graying of hair, eczema etc.
Choline is an essential nutrient distributed widely in foods. It is essential in maintaining healthy cell membranes and nervous system. Choline assists in controlling weight and cholestrol levels.
Oats, egg yolks, beef, cauliflower, peanut, soya etc.
A deficeincy of choline does not happen easily, but when there is deficiency it may lead to disease of the liver, raise the levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure and can cause kidney problems too. The brain function also could be impaired.
Inositol, though classified as a member of the Vitamin B complex, it is not considered a vitamin because our body can synthesize it. It is essential in maintaining healthy cell membranes, eyes, intestines, bone marrow and the brain.
Wheat germ, brown rice, bananas, liver, oat flakes, nuts, raisins, vegetables, brewers yeast and unrefined molasses.
Insufficient intake of inositol may cause symptoms such as hair loss, constipation, eye problems, high cholestrol and eczema.
Multivitamins, available in the form of pills or tablets, are a combination of more than one vitamin. They are dietary supplements that cater to the additional nutritional requirements of the body.
Multivitamins are usually given to people with dietary imbalances or with different nutritional needs. It is needed when a person’s diet does not provide all the essential nutrients required by the body.
Multivitamins are usually given to people who do not have a balanced diet.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers should take multivitamins, but after consulting their doctors.
Strict vegetarians, who do not consume animal products, might be deficient in vitamin B12, zinc, iron and calcium. Even those who indulge in smoking and drinking might be deficient in certain vitamins. These lacks can be compensated with multivitamin tablets.
People over the age of 60 do not get the nutrients they need from the diet, for various reasons. For example, aging itself makes it difficult to absorb and utilize the nutrients. Vitamin D, C, B6, B12 and folic acid are such vitamins. And minerals include zinc, calcium and magnesium. Hence they need to be provided with extra doses of vitamins.
Before consuming the multivitamins, one has to look for the ingredients and the dosage given on the label. It should contain 100% Daily Value of all vitamins and minerals.
Minerals are also micronutrients that help in the growth and proper functioning of the body. Minerals are usually got from the water and the food that we eat, and also from dietary supplements.
Dietary minerals are of two types, bulk minerals, which are required in relatively larger amount, and the other is trace minerals, which are required in very small amounts.
Macro minerals comprise of calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, sulphur, magnesium and phosphorus.
Trace minerals comprise of iron, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, selenium, fluoride and manganese.
Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth. The food items rich in calcium are: dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt; green leafy vegetables like broccoli; canned sardines and salmon.
Iron helps in carrying oxygen from the lungs to the other parts of the body. Iron plays a vital role in the formation of hemoglobin. Food items rich in iron are: whole grains, red meat, eggs, dried fruits, tuna and salmon.
Potassium helps the muscles and the nervous system function effectively. Potassium ensures a balance of water levels in the blood and body tissues. Food items that contain potassium are: bananas, citrus fruits, dried fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and legumes.
Zinc is yet another mineral required by the body to strengthen the immune system. It also helps in cell growth and healing wounds. Zinc rich food items are: beef, pork, lamb and legumes.
Regular and sufficient supplies of all the minerals are important for the overall growth, development and effective functioning of the body.