Vitamins are organic substances that serve as catalysts in the body’s metabolic processes. Vitamins work in subtle ways that ensure the smooth running of the metabolic machine but they do not supply the body with either calories or energy directly.
A lot of individuals, both male and female do not have enough consumption of natural vitamins or vitamin supplements. This can lead to problems as each vitamin entails different health benefits and can lead to various health disorders when not taken in sufficient amounts.
Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms
We will now discuss vitamin deficiency symptoms of the A, B and C classes.
Vitamin A – also known as retinol and is often found in foods such as whole milk, butter, eggs, liver, and vegetables. Deficiency symptoms of vitamin A include dry skin and night blindness. This is a fat-soluble vitamin that should not be taken in large amounts.
B Vitamins – these are known as water-soluble vitamins; the body will excrete excessive amounts through urine, sweat and stools. There are different types of B vitamins that are often found in the same foods.
- Vitamin B1—also known as thiamine and is found in fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grain, bran and cereals. Alcoholism can cause vitamin B1 deficiency and some of the symptoms of depletion of this vitamin include tingling, numbness, shooting pains and loss of sensation in the extremities particularly in the legs.
- Vitamin B2—also known as riboflavin and is found in milk, liver, eggs and vegetables. Some of the vitamin deficiency symptoms of B2 include cracked lips, ulcers, and dimness in vision.
- Vitamin B3—also known as nicotinic acid or niacin. This is normally found in cereals, meat, fish, vegetables and whole grains. Vitamin B3 deficiency can lead to burning sensation on the tongue, diarrhea, weakness, rough skin, sores in the mouth and weight loss.
- Vitamin B6—this is commonly known as pyridoxine and low levels of this vitamin can lead to nausea, dizziness, depression and sores in the mouth. B6 is found in vegetables, bran and meat.
- Vitamin B9—also known as folic acid or folate is found in dairy products such as milk and yogurt; fish, green leafy vegetables and fruits. Vitamin B9 deficiency can cause birth defects, depression and gingivitis.
- Vitamin B12—commonly called as cyanocobalamine and is found in milk, meat and fish. B12 deficiency symptoms include tingling and numbness in the extremities, feelings of weakness, and shortness of breath.
Vitamin C – this is often referred to as ascorbic acid and is mostly found in vegetables and citrus fruits. This is a water-soluble vitamin that can be taken in large dosages. Insufficient intake of vitamin C can lead to bleeding gums, infected or swollen gums, and skin bruising.
There are other vitamins that are essential for having a healthy body such as vitamin D, E, and K; these will be discussed in a future vitamin deficiency symptoms article. Visit this page for the second part of this series.