Vitamins – Deficiency Diseases & Food Source


  • Vitamins are organic substances that an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism.
  • Vitamins are essential micronutrients that human body needs to grow and develop normally.
  • Essential nutrients cannot be synthesized in the organism.
  • So we must be obtained it through the diet.
  • In humans there are 13 vitamins
    • 4 fat-soluble – A, D, E, and K
    • 9 water-soluble – B complex and C
  • Vitamins have diverse biochemical functions.
  • Each vitamin has specific jobs in human body.
  • You may get health problems, if you have low levels of any vitamins.
  • We need to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods to maintain proper level of all vitamins.


Vitamins, Deficiency Diseases, Food Source


Fat Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin A

  • Chemical Name – Retinol, Carotenoids, beta-carotene
  • Deficiency Disease – Night blindness, Hyperkeratosis, Keratomalacia
  • Food Sources – Liver, fish, milk, orange, ripe yellow fruits, leafy vegetables, carrots, pumpkin, squash, spinach, soy milk
  • Vitamin A helps for growth and development of body.
  • It helps to maintenance of the immune system and good vision.
  • Vitamin A is needed by the retina for the light-absorbing molecule.


Vitamin D

  • Chemical Name 
    • D2 – Ergocalciferol
    • D3 – Cholecalciferol
  • Deficiency Disease – Rickets, Osteomalacia
  • Food Sources – Lichen, eggs, liver, certain fish species such as sardines, certain mushroom species such as shiitake
  • Natural source of vitamin D is synthesis of cholecalciferol in the lower layers of skin epidermis through a chemical reaction with UV radiation.
  • Vitamin D is a pro-hormone
  • Its active form is Calcitriol, normally made in the Kidney.
  • Vitamin D helps intestine to absorb calcium, magnesium, and phosphate.


Vitamin E

  • Chemical Name – Tocopherols
  • Deficiency Disease – Deficiency is very rare. Mild hemolytic anemia in newborn infants.
  • Food Sources – Many fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and seed oils.
  • Vitamin E is an antioxidant.


Vitamin K

  • Chemical Name – Phylloquinone
  • Deficiency Disease – Bleeding diathesis
  • Food Sources – Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, egg yolks, liver
  • Vitamin K synthesise of certain proteins that are needed for blood coagulation.
  • It controls the binding of calcium in bones and other tissues.


Vitamins Food Source


Water Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin B1

  • Chemical Name – Thiamine
  • Deficiency Disease – Beriberi, Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, Optic neuropathy, Leigh’s disease, African Seasonal Ataxia, Central pontine myelinolysis
  • Food Sources – Eggs, Pork, Oatmeal, Brown, rice, Edible seeds, Legumes, Vegetables, Potatoes


Vitamin B2

  • Chemical Name – Riboflavin
  • Deficiency Disease – Stomatitis, Anemia, Angular stomatitis, Prolongs recovery from malaria.
  • Food Sources – Dairy products, Eggs, Bananas, Popcorn, Green beans, Asparagus, Mushrooms, Almonds


Vitamin B3

  • Chemical Name – Niacin, Niacinamide, Nicotinamide riboside
  • Deficiency Disease – Pellagra
  • Food Sources – Meat, Fish, Eggs, Milk, Vegetables, Beans


Vitamin B5

  • Deficiency Disease – Paresthesia, Muscle cramps, Hypoglycemia
  •  Food Sources – Meat, Fish, Egg yolks, Sunflower seeds, Alfalfa, Cereal, Peanut, Mushrooms


Vitamin B6

  • Chemical Name – Pyridoxine, Pyridoxamine, Pyridoxal
  • Deficiency Disease – Anemia, Peripheral neuropathy
  • Food Sources – Meat, vegetables, tree nuts, bananas


Vitamin B7

  • Chemical Name – Biotin
  • Deficiency Disease – Dermatitis, enteritis
  • Food Sources – Raw egg yolk, liver, peanuts, leafy green vegetables


Vitamin B9

  • Chemical Name – Folic acid, Folates
  • Deficiency Disease – Megaloblastic anemia,  deficiency during pregnancy is associated with birth defects, such as neural tube defects
  • Food Sources – Leafy vegetables, pasta, bread, cereal, liver


Vitamin B12

  • Chemical Name – Cyanocobalamin
  • Deficiency Disease – Pernicious anemia
  • Food Sources – Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk
  • It’s needed for making red blood cells (erythropoiesis).
  • Cobalt deficiency causes the deficiency of B12.


Vitamin C

  • Chemical Name – Ascorbic acid
  • Deficiency Disease – Scurvy
  • Food Sources – Many fruits and vegetables, liver
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant.
  • It is involved in protein metabolism


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