Any literature on diet is always
discussing which foods contain which vitamins, but few discuss their benefits.
Provided below is some information to inform you of the benefits of each
of these vitamins.
Vitamin A: This is useful for vision in dim
light. It is also useful in treating night blindness (caused as a
result of vitamin A deficiency) and for foetal development because of its
important physiological role in visual cycle in the retina of the eye.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Acts as a co-enzyme in carbohydrate
metabolism. It is useful in treating Beri Beri, in which there is
a deficiency of not only thiamine but also of other vitamin B factors.
It also plays some role in neuromuscular transmission, and hence is useful
in treating neuritis (inflammation of nerves) associated with pregnancy.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Vitamin B2 is useful in well-defined
riboflavin deficiency syndrome that results in problems such as ulcers
of the mouth, inflammation in the food pipe and inflammation in the intestine.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin/Niacinamide): Vitamin B3 deficiency leads to a
condition called pellagra, which is characterized by loss of appetite,
lethargy, weakness and mental and neurological changes. Niacin in
large doses is also used as a vasodilator, particularly for skin vessels.
It also lowers plasma lipids (cholesterol).
Vitamin B6: As a nutritional supplement, it
is usually employed in conjugation with other vitamins of B group.
It plays a major role in treating peripheral neuritis (inflammation of
Vitamin B12: It is useful in treating anemia
(caused by vitamin B12 deficiency) during pregnancy.
Vitamin C: Helps in building resistance against
common infections. Vitamin C is used in treatment of scurvy (outcome
of severe vitamin C deficiency), anemia, common colds, asthma, cancer,
and hardening of the arteries. Sufficient intake of vitamin C is necessary
for expectant mothers since clinical scurvy is still occasionally found
Vitamin D: This is necessary for the absorption
of calcium and phosphate. It helps in the growth and development of bones.
Its deficiency causes rickets in children.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E has emerged as a useful
anti-oxidant in a wide range of disorders such as cardiac and metabolic
problems. It is useful in combating oxygen-toxicity in pre-term infants.
Vitamin K: This is needed for normal clotting
Folic Acid Folic acid is a useful member of
the vitamin B group. It is useful in treating anemia caused due to
folic acid deficiency.
The various vitamins described above
are present in varying amounts in a variety of foods. It is therefore important
that your child eats a nutritious and varied diet that consists of fresh
fruit, green leafy vegetables, dals, milk products, chapatis and rice.
This will not only protect him against common illnesses but will also lead
to an overall healthy development.
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