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'Both vitamins and minerals are necessary to a well-balanceddiet.
As a matter of fact, vitamins control your body's utilization ofminerals.
In addition, each vitamin seems to have a specific role to play innormal body function.
On the other hand, if the mineral supply is deficient,there is little benefit from the vitamins.
Without vitamins, your body canstill appropriate some minerals from the reserve in your system.
On the otherhand, vitamins are powerless without minerals.
Thus it is essential that onereceives the necessary amounts of both '.
-Dr.
John B.
Lust.
Vitamins are organic chemical substances, widely distributedin natural foods (fruits and vegetables) that are essential to normal metabolicfunctions of human beings and lower animals.
Only very small amounts are neededbut lack of the necessary amount, however small, results in a vitamindeficiency disease (avitaminosis).
Among the classical examples of suchdiseases are rickets, scurvy, beriberi and pellagra.
A Polish chemist, Casimir Funk, invented vitamin in 1911while trying to extract from rice hulls a chemical substance that would cureberiberi.
He thought that he had found an amine chemical vital to life.
He hadnot, but his theory was correct; lack of certain chemical substances causeddisease.
Vitamins are distinguished as fat-soluble, notably A, D, Eand K, and water-soluble most of the others.
Some are heat-labile, destroyed bycooking notably vitamin C; most are heat-stable.
Taking vitamin pillsis not necessary.
A good mixed diet ofcommon foods, including protective foods, supplies all the vitamins one needs.
Vitamin pills without a good mixed diet will not increase pep and vigour orresistance to disease.
Vitamin supplements are necessary.
They are needed when thedietary intake of vitamins is inadequate.
This condition often appears in casesof chronic disease, after delivery, after surgical operation, and duringpregnancy.
Vitamin needs differ with age and many other factors.
Thusvitamin D is much more essential to infants and growing children than toadults.
Rarely is only a single vitamin missing from the diet.
Most vitamindeficiencies are multiple; therefore vitamin pills and other vitaminpreparations prescribed for preventing or treating disease contain a balancedsupply of many vitamins.
Vitamin A, once called 'anti-infective vitamin', helps topreserve the integrity of the skin and mucous membranes and other epithelialtissues, making them more conducive to growth of bone and tooth formation.
Itsdeficiency may cause night-blindness, changes in the eye, general weakness,retarded growth, problems of respiratory tract, genito-urinary troubles, gastro­intestinaldisorders, and nervous troubles.
It is essential to the formation of 'visualpurple' rods and cones in the retina of the eyes; its lack causes night­-blindness.
Vitamin A is found in fish, liver, milk, egg-­yolk and in many green fruits andvegetables like garlic, lemon, musumbi, apple, onion, potato, carrot, beet,orange, radish, cucumber, grape, pineapple, parsnip, cauliflower, sweet potato,turnip, brinjal, and in dark green leafy vegetables.
VitaminB-complex includes a large number of water soluble vitamins like thiamine,riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, biotin, pantothenic acid, inositol, folic acidand vitamin B-12.
Thiamine is essential for utilization of carbohydrates andnormal appetite and function of the digestive tract.
Its deficiency may cause abdominal pains,heart irregularities, muscle tenderness, emotional instability, constipationand irritability.
Thiamine is not stored in the body as effectively as manyother vitamins; and it is apt to be lacking in the adult diet.
Thiamine isoften given to restore or improve appetite.
Best sources of thiamine are porkand brewer's yeast; it is also found in whole grain, dried peas and beans,liver and egg yolk.
Raw fruits and vegetables are also good source of thiamine,especially beet roots, cucumber, brinjal, onion, pumpkin, carrots, spinach,grape, orange peel, and raisin.
Riboflavin is necessary for normal growth and for theintegrity of skin tissues and mucous membranes.
Lack of riboflavin may causethe lips to sore and show slight fissures at the corners, the tongue to be redand sore, the eyes to itch and be extremely sensitive to light.
Milk is thebest source of riboflavin; other good sources are liver, kidneys, lean meat andpeanut.
Niacin, also called nicotinic acid, is the pellagrapreventive vitamin.
Lack of niacin induces the symptoms of pellagra, namelydiarrhea, skin eruptions and mental depression.
Other symptoms are loss ofappetite, loss of weight, and a sore tongue.
Good sources are brewer's yeast,liver, kidney, salmon, lean meat, poultry and eggs.
Vegetarian diet isdeficient in niacin.
Vitamin B-12 derived from liver appears to increase theformation of red blood cells and has specific usefulness in treating perniciousanemia.
Vitamin B deficiency causes general lassitude, constant tiredness,loss of vitality, slow heart-beat, gastric disorders, beriberi, nervousness,and poor appetite.
It is found in asparagus, avocado, beans, beet, cabbage,carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, radish, potatoes, tomato, apples, bananas,grapes, lemons, oranges, pineapple, onions, pumpkins, spinach, grapes, raisinsetc.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a delicate vitamin, not wellstored in the body and easily destroyed by heat (cooking).
It must bereplenished daily.
It supplies a kind of cementing substance that binds cellstogether in the blood vessels, teeth, bones and other tissues.
Lack of itcauses the capillary blood vessels to break rather easily causing bleedinggums, loosened teeth, toothache, gumache, sores in the mouth or tongue,physical weakness, headache, tender joints, scurvy, restlessness, indigestion.
The best sources of vitamin C are cabbage, green peas, tomato, lemons, lime,orange, musumbi, beans, carrots, beets, lettuce, raw onions, garlic, apples,bananas, pine- apples, cauliflower, pumpkin, pears, papaya, marmelos, turnipsetc.
Vitamin D is practically non-existent in fruits andvegetables.
It is essentially available in sunlight and for this reason it isknown as 'sunshine vitamin'.
It is essential to the utilization of calcium andphosphorus, especially in the formation of bone and teeth.
Infants and growingchildren particularly need this vitamin.
Its deficiency causes rickets, poorteeth formation, poor bone formation, convulsions, pigeon breasts, curvature ofthe spine, retarded growth, constipation, lack of vigour and vitality etc.
Adults have little need of vitamin D.
When exposed to sunlight, the human bodymanufactures its own vitamin D.
The ultraviolet rays of the sun turn sterols,fatty substances found in the human skin, into vitamin D.
Exposure of milk toultraviolet light produces vitamin D milk.
Cod liver oil and other fish oilsare excellent sources of vitamin D; so are liver, butter and egg-yolk.
Vitamin E is described as a group of oil-soluble alcohols.
Its deficiency causes impotency, miscarriage, loss of hair, sexual frigidity,impaired mentality, sterility, abortion etc.
It also develops black and whitepatches in the skin.
Best sources of vitamin E are wheat-germ oil, cottonseedoil, egg-yolks, and beef­ liver.
It is also found in spinach, watercress,lettuce, celery, parsley, turnip leaves, etc.
Vitamin K is necessary to stop internal bleeding (gastriculcer).
It may be given by injection.
This vitamin is available in cabbage,kale, cauliflower, spinach, tomato and in dark green leafy vegetables.

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