Guide to Vitamins

Vitamins are known to be essential to good health since they help the body utilise the energy stored in food. If you eat a balanced, varied diet, supplementing with vitamin and minerals, whether it is in your beverage, foods or indeed tablet form, you will be helping your body maximise the nutrients available from your diet.

We now know that vitamins are crucial to the normal maintenance of healthy cells, as they perform an extraordinary range of functions in the human body. We know they not only help convert food into usable energy, but they also assist in the manufacture of blood cells, hormones and the chemicals of the nervous system.

Vitamins are divided into two categories, these being water-soluble and fat-soluble. The four fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K are absorbed into body fat and may be stored for later use. If taken in excess however, some fat-soluble vitamins can accumulate in toxic amounts, as such should always be treated with respect. Vitamin C and the eight B vitamins are all water-soluble meaning that they dissolve in the body fluid, with most of the excess being eliminated through sweat or urine.

Vitamin Function RDA
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, otherwise known as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is responsible for many functions in your body. You need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential for healing wounds and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. It is also thought to help the body in the absorption of iron. 60 mg
Beta-Carotene The beneficial effect of beta-carotene are partly due to its conversion to vitamin A but it also has a potent activity of its own. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant, with one molecule of beta-carotene being able to wipe out many free radicals and may also prevent them from forming. This antioxidant ability may underlie the protective effect of Beta-carotene against disorders such as heart disease and cancer. There is no RDA for beta-carotene, but an intake of 6mg daily is needed in order to meet the vitamin A RDA 'Retinol Equivalent'. 6 mg
Biotin Biotin is a B vitamin that's needed for the formation of fatty acids and glucose, which are essential for the production of energy. It also helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Biotin can be synthesised by intestinal bacteria. However, antibiotics and intestinal disturbances can disrupt its production. 50 µg
Choline Choline is a nutrient that helps with brain and memory development. It is an essential nutrient that is required for life's most basic functions, such as normal cell activity, liver function and transporting nutrients throughout the body. Not Applicable
Folic Acid Folic acid is very important for the development of a healthy foetus, as it can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. It is also known as vitamin B9. It plays a significant role in DNA synthesis and required for cell reproduction. Ideal for promoting hair and fingernail growth, along with aid to wounds. 200 ?µg
Inositol Inositol is one of the many B complex vitamins. It has an important function to play in the formation of lecithin, which protects cells from oxidation and is an important factor in the building of cell membranes. It also has a metabolic effect on the body, in that it prevents fat from being stored in the liver. Hence Inositol vitamin is also called as lipotropic, playing an essential part in maintaining good health of the individual. Not Applicable
Niacin (Vitamin B3) Vitamin B3 is also known as niacin and is necessary for the normal release of energy from food, it helps the release of energy from fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Niacin contributes to healthy skin, along with a healthy nervous system and it also contributes to the normal structure of mucous membranes, the tissues that line body cavities or canals such as the throat, nose and mouth. 16 mg
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin that is found widely in nature, it is very important for human and animal alike. Used for growth, reproduction and in normal physiological function. Utilised in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. 6 mg
Phylloquinone (Vitamin K) Vitamin K's primary function is to regulate normal blood clotting (due to its role in the synthesis of prothrombin). It also plays an important role in bone metabolism and bone health. It is thought to help reduce the risk of bone fractures, particularly in postmenopausal women who are at risk for osteoporosis. 75 µg
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) Vitamin B6 performs a wide variety of functions in your body and is essential for your good health. It is thought to be needed for more than 100 enzymes involved in protein metabolism. It is also essential for red blood cell metabolism. The nervous and immune systems also need vitamin B6 to function efficiently. It is also needed for the conversion of tryptophan (an amino acid) to niacin (a vitamin). 1.4 mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) Riboflavin is vital for normal reproduction, growth, repair and development of the skin, eyes, connective tissue, mucous membranes and immune and nervous systems. Riboflavin is utilised in the production of, and regulation of, certain hormones, aiding in emotional health and well being. 1.4 mg
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) Thiamin helps the body's cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system. 1.1 mg
Vitamin A Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. It promotes good vision, especially in low light, it may also be needed for reproduction and breastfeeding. Retinol is an active form of the vitamin. 800 µg
Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal metabolism of nerve tissue, along with maintaining the insulation of our nerves, the myelin sheath. It is also needed to create red blood cells, as such, key in helping to prevent certain anaemia. 2.5 µg
Vitamin D Vitamin D encourages the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorous, which is crucial for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones. It is also needed to support the immune function. 5 µg
Vitamin E Vitamin E is well known for its anti-ageing effects, although it benefits the body in more ways than reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Being a potent antioxidant, it is particularly important for the protection of our cell membranes as well as keeping your heart and circulation, nerves, muscles and red blood cells healthy. 12 mg

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