Humans need a certain daily intake of vitamins and the best way to supply one’s organism is through the diet. The most important vitamins are: vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps your body’s neurological system to function properly, promotes red blood cell health, and is involved in sugar metabolism. It is found naturally in beans, whole grains, meat, eggs and fish.
Most people receive sufficient amounts of vitamin B6 from a healthy diet. Vitamin A is a nutrient that describes a number of related compounds, including retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid. Vitamin A is critical for numerous functions in the body: a healthy vision, immune system action, bone growth, reproduction, and the proper regulation of gene expression. Most of the vitamin A found in your body is derived from beta-carotene, a present in some plants and foods, such as pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.
Vitamin D takes part in the absorption and utilization of calcium, which is beneficial for maintaining good bone health. Exposure to sunlight is the major source for of a person’s vitamin D since there are only a few natural dietary sources. While sunscreen use blocks the vitamin D production in the skin, excessive sun exposure is not recommended as it is a risk factor for skin cancer and related conditions. Dietary sources of vitamin D include some fatty fish, fish liver oils, and milk or cereals fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in how your brain and nervous system function. It helps to keep red blood cells healthy and is a critical component for synthesis and regulation of your DNA. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in foods of animal origin including meat, fish, poultry, eggs and milk products.
A healthy diet typically provides sufficient vitamin B12, although vegetarians, vegans, older people, and those with problems absorbing B12 due to digestive system disorders, may be deficient. Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is acquired from dietary sources, as humans are unable to synthesize it. Some dietary sources of vitamin C include lemons, oranges, red peppers, watermelons, strawberries and citrus juices or juices fortified with vitamin C. While a severe deficiency of vitamin C ultimately leads to scurvy, variations in vitamin C levels are also associated with a wide range of chronic complex diseases, such as atherosclerosis, type-2 diabetes and cancer.