Examine the Functions of Vitamins for Health
Examine the Functions of Vitamins for Health
The body needs a variety of nutrients to support the performance of its organs in order to remain optimal. One type of nutrition that the body needs are vitamins. There are various vitamins, namely vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, which have different functions for the body.
Vitamins themselves can naturally be obtained from the food and drinks consumed. In general, vitamins are divided into two types, namely fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins.
Fat-soluble vitamins, namely vitamins A, D, E, and K, will be stored in the liver and fat tissue after being absorbed from food intake. Meanwhile, water-soluble vitamins, namely vitamin C and vitamin B groups, if there are excessive amounts in the intake, will be wasted through urine and feces, so they are not stored in the body.
Various Functions of Vitamins for Health
Vitamins play a role in various processes in the body. The following are the functions of vitamins for the body:
Vitamin A or also known as retinol functions in maintaining a healthy body, especially the eye organs. In addition, vitamin A is also useful for maintaining the immune system, maintaining healthy skin, supporting fetal development, and maintaining the growth of teeth and bones. Vitamin A also plays a role in preventing the risk of complications and worsening of measles, especially in children. To avoid vitamin A deficiency, consume a variety of foods that are good sources of vitamin A, such as carrots, spinach, liver, fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy products.
Vitamin B complex
Vitamin B complex is a group of vitamins consisting of eight types of B vitamins, namely:
- B1 (thiamine),
- B2 (riboflavin),
- B3 (niacin),
- B5 (pantothenic acid),
- B6 (pyridoxine),
- B7 (biotin),
- B9 (folate),
- B12 (cobalamin).
Basically, all of these B complex vitamins have important roles in the body, such as preventing infection, improving brain function, supporting the production of red blood cells, increasing energy, helping the digestive process, and maintaining healthy heart and nerves. You can meet the needs of vitamin B complex by consuming dairy products, eggs, chicken, spinach, chickpeas, soybeans, kidney beans, oranges, bananas, and watermelon.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is one type of vitamin that plays a role in the growth and repair of bone cells, teeth, and skin. In addition, vitamin C also functions to protect the body from various infections, helps absorb iron, accelerates wound healing, and acts as an antioxidant that can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Foods that are a source of vitamin C are oranges, cantaloupe, guava, tomatoes, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, cabbage, and red peppers.
Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is produced by the body naturally when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D can also be obtained from food. Vitamin D is needed by the body to help the process of absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Not only that, vitamin D is also useful for preventing bone disorders, such as rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis, as well as strengthening the immune system. Although produced naturally in the body, there are still some people who experience a deficiency of this vitamin, especially people who live in cold climates and are rarely exposed to sunlight. That is why you still need to increase your intake of vitamin D from foods, such as fish, egg yolks, liver, and milk.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage. Not only that, the function of vitamin E also plays a role in boosting the immune system, smoothing blood vessels, nourishing red blood cells, and maintaining blood clotting. Some studies even reveal that vitamin E is also useful for preventing heart disease, hypertension, atherosclerosis, and even cancer. You can meet the needs of vitamin E intake by consuming vegetable oils, nuts, green vegetables, and eggs.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin K plays an important role in the process of blood clotting, maintaining bone health, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Lack of vitamin K will result in bleeding that is difficult to stop, easy bruising, blood clots under the nails, and dark stools. Usually, vitamin K deficiency is more common in infants than adults. Some healthy foods that contain sources of vitamin K are soybeans, green leafy vegetables, milk, and yogurt.
The function of vitamins is very important for the health of the body. However, don't overdo it, especially for fat-soluble vitamins. This is because excess fat-soluble vitamins can cause vitamin poisoning that can damage organs.
If you intend to take additional vitamin supplements, it is advisable to consult with a nutritionist first.
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