Vitamins (Water-soluble) 16 - 08 - 2001

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Vitamins (Water-soluble) Good day to you all, Last week we learned all about fat-soluble vitamins. Today lets look at the water-soluble vitamins Vit C and all the B vitamins dissolve in water but not in fat as with A, D, E, & K. Vitamin C is more easily destroyed than any of the other vitamins. Heat, light, copper and Iron are especially destructive. VITAMIN C ( ascorbic acid ) was isolated chemically in 1932. 200 years before the identification of Vit C it was found that feeding that compound prevented the occurrence of scurvy Most forms of life synthesise the Vit C they need and thus do not need a dietary source. However, humans do not synthesise this vitamin. When Vit C is supplied to the body, the tissues quickly become saturated and excesses are eliminated in the urine. The body uses Vit C in many important ways. The main one is the formation of connective tissue, the underlying structure of bone, cartilage, blood vessel walls and most tissues. Without Vit C the body cannot rebuild injured tissues. Vit C is also needed for normal cellular metabolism, and enzyme function, for the normal metabolism of iron and folic acid ( a B Vit ) and for the formation of adrenal gland hormones Vit C is supplied in fruits 7 vegetables, especially citrus fruits, tomatoes & peppers. Other foods also contain smaller amounts of this vitamin. Symptoms a deficiency include joint pain, irritability, growth retardation, anaemia, shortness of breath, poor wound healing, bleeding of the gums, and pinpoint haemorrhages. VITAMIN B1 ( thiamine ) The existence of this vitamin was first theorized in 1897 by a Dutch doctor who found that eating polished rice would result in a serious disease called Beriberi. Thiamine was clinically isolated from rice bran in the 1920s Vit B1 is readily destroyed in the cooking process. Vit B1 plays a crucial role in body's energy-producing processes. In the body, when glucose is burned in the cells, energy is produced. This energy is stored when an organic substance named ATP is produced. Vit B1 is needed for the formation of ATP. The requirement for Bit B1 is approximately mg daily for infants & children and 1 - 1 for adults. Sources of Vit B1 are, fruit 7 vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes,& sprouted grains. When grains are refined, much of the vitamin is lost. A deficiency of B! results in serious breakdown of cellular metabolism. Manifestation of this breakdown include fatigue, emotional upset, appetite loss, weakness, vomiting and abdominal pain, heart failure and nervous breakdown of the nervous system. VITAMIN B2 ( riboflavin ) discovered in the 1920s. Vit B2 is more stable to heat than Vit B1, but is easily destroyed by light. The function of Vit B2 is much the same as Vit B1, although neither vitamin can substitute for the other. Requirements are the same as for B1 and sources are green leafy vegetables, seeds 7 nuts. Deficiencies include the eyes becoming sensitive to light, easy fatigue to the eye, blurred vision, itching and soreness of the eyes, crack in the skin at the corners of the mouth, purplish red appearance of the lips & tongue and eczema. VITAMIN B3 (niacin ) Niacin deficiency disease called Pellagra, was written about hundreds of years ago. It was not until the 20th century, however, that this disease was related to a dietary deficiency. This vitamin is more stable than most other Vit Bs, it is not easily destroyed by heat, light or exposure to oxygen. Not all niacin needed by the body need be supplied as niacin. Tryptophan, an amino acid ( subunit of protein ) is easily converted by the body into niacin. Therefore, to have a niacin deficiency, the diet must be deficient in both, niacin and tryptophan. Niacin is intimately involved in cellular metabolic reactions which release energy from the oxidation ( burning ) of fats , carbohydrates and proteins. In this function it is quite similar to Vit B1 & B2 but it cannot replace the other B vitamins. The requirements of niacin are about 5-10 mg per day for infants and children and 15-20 mg per day for adults. There are many sources of niacin in the diet, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, nuts & seeds to name a few. A deficiency leads to pellagra, which involves the gastrointestinal tract, skin and nervous system. Common symptoms are: fatigue, headache, weight loss, backache, appetite loss, poor general health, red sore tongue, sore throat & mouth, lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach ( with result of anaemia from Vit B12 deficiency ) nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, red, swollen and cracked skin, confusion, dizziness, poor memory and, in advance cases, severe mental illness. Intake of excess has been found to cause liver damage, high level of blood sugar, unsafe levels of uric acid in the blood stream, and gastrointestinal distress ( stomach-ache ) Next week we will conclude the chapter on vitamins with a description of: Vitamin B6, Pantothenic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 & Folic acid See you all then, The Crazy Nut team



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