All About Vitamin A and Vitamin B


All About Vitamin A and Vitamin B

All About Vitamin A

Vitamin A was given the first letter of the alphabet for a name because it was the first vitamin to be discovered. It was found that vitamin A has a large number of uses in the body including keeping eyes healthy, aiding cell growth and also helping boost the immune system. However, vitamin A is not only absorbed directly but it is also created by the body by converting beta carotene into vitamin A.

Vitamin A itself is found in a number of foods such as eggs, milk, liver and meat. Beta carotene that the body can convert into vitamin A is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially the red, orange and green coloured ones. The most important point to remember that consuming too much pure vitamin A can be toxic. It is essential not to exceed the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A. The actual recommended allowance of vitamin A varies depending on a person’s age, sex and other factors. While the actual amount of vitamin A consumed may be toxic if the recommended daily allowance is exceeded, there is a far higher limit to how much beta carotene can be consumed. Therefore it is advisable to concentrate on obtaining the greatest amount of beta carotene which the body can then convert to vitamin A, rather than consuming vast quantities of pure vitamin A rich foods.

Many people will remember being told that eating lots of carrots helps you to see in the dark and that is down to the vitamin A that is produced from the high levels of beta carotene that are found in the vegetables. Other foods which have high levels of beta carotene that can be converted to vitamin A include tomatoes and dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach. Beta carotene is not only used to form vitamin A, but it is also a powerful antioxidant in itself. None of the beta carotene that is absorbed is wasted as any excess after conversion to vitamin A has taken place is used to fight the harmful free radicals within the body. Vitamin A also helps fight infections and illnesses by helping tissues that line various parts of the body, including the eyes, mouth, nose, throat and lungs, to grow and also to repair them if they are damaged to prevent infection. Children also need plenty of vitamin A to help their bones and teeth to develop properly.

The Different Types of B Vitamins

There are a large number of B vitamins that are needed to keep all of the body functions performing properly. All of the B vitamins are essential for a number of different processes. Without sufficient B vitamins the blood supply would not be healthy and this leads to a variety of illnesses and diseases. The brain needs B vitamins to function correctly and the heart also needs B vitamins to stay healthy and prevent heart disease and food is broken down into the various nutrients by B vitamins. In fact, just about every organ and process within the body requires at least one form of the B vitamin.

Thiamin, or B1, is the B vitamin that the body needs to keep all of its cells, especially the nerves, functioning correctly. It is especially important for memory and general mental health and is one of the B vitamins that is required to convert food into energy.

Riboflavin, or B2, is the B vitamin that is essential for releasing the enrgy from food that has been consumed. Without this B vitamin the body cannot grow or develop properly as red blood cells will not be as healthy as they should be.

Niacin, or B3, is the B vitamin that is involved in over fifty processes, ranging from detoxifying chemicals to making hormones and releasing energy from food.

Pantothenic acid, or B5,works with several other B vitamins for a number of essential processes including breaking down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into energy and is also the B vitamin that is needed to form vitamin D, a variety of hormones, and red blood cells.

Pyridoxine, or B6, is the B vitamin that is largely responsible for redistributing the amino acids to create over five thousand proteins that are needed by the body and is also one of the B vitamins needed to form various enzymes.

Biotin, or B7, is one of the B vitamins that are involved in a number of processes within the body, including the breaking down of fats, carbohydrates and proteins into useable energy forms.

Folic acid, or B9, is the essential B vitamin for aiding in cell growth and division, especially during pregnancy. This B vitamin is also necessary to make natural chemicals which control the appetite, moods and quality of sleep. It is also the best B vitamin for helping lower the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke by keeping the arteries open.

Cobalamin, or B12, is one of the B vitamins that is important in the process of converting the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy. This B vitamin is also vital in forming the protective covering of nerve cells and to keep red blood cells healthy, and help prevent heart disease.

A Guide to the B Complex Vitamins

There is a lot of discussion about the B complex vitamin and how it is essential for the body to perform a multitude of functions. However, the B complex vitamin is not simply one very complicated vitamin, as the name might suggest. There are actually eight B vitamins that are in the B complex vitamin as well as a few other related substances. The eight vitamins that make up the B complex vitamin are thiamine or vitamin B1, riboflavin or vitamin B2, niacin or vitamin B3, pyridoxine or vitamin B6, cobalamine or vitamin B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid and biotin.  The other related substances that are also in the B complex vitamin include choline, inositol and para-aminobenzoic acid.
Every part of the B complex vitamin performs its own individual function within the body but it is when they work together as the B complex vitamin that they provide essential maintenance for the body to remain healthy. The B vitamin complex comprises B vitamins which are water soluble and it is essential that enough of these vitamins are consumed on a daily basis. The body cannot store water soluble vitamins such as the B complex vitamin and this leads to a regular intake being required.
The B complex vitamins are extremely beneficial for a number of conditions and may be needed in additional quantities at certain times in a person’s life. Of course, there is a recommended daily allowance for the B complex vitamins that varies according to the sex and age of a person. However, doctors and other health professionals have discovered the benefits of increasing the intake of the B complex vitamin to help overcome certain illnesses.
Many people suffer from anxiety and stress at one time or another and research has found that the B complex vitamin can be beneficial in helping alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and stress. If a person has been unwell the B complex vitamin can be extremely valuable in aiding the recovery process. Fatigue can be a symptom of a multitude of illnesses as well as simply overdoing things but the B complex vitamin can help alleviate general tiredness and lethargy.
Interestingly, some skin conditions, such as dermatitis, can also benefit from addition B complex vitamin intake. In fact, a number of creams and other skin preparations contain added vitamin B complex that can be absorbed by the skin to alleviate the condition. The condition of a person’s hair will also be greatly improved with sufficient B complex vitamin intake.

B12 Vitamin Basics

The b12 vitamin is just one of the essential b vitamins that are needed to maintain a healthy body and mind. Cobalamin is the alternative name for the 12b vitamin. The body needs the b12 vitamin for a number of different processes including converting the fats, carbohydrates and proteins from all food that is consumed into energy. One of the most important processes that the b12 is essential for is to create healthy red blood cells. The prevention of heart disease relies on the production of healthy blood cells and therefore the b12 vitamin is vital. The b12 vitamin is also vital for keeping the immune system functioning at its maximum efficiency. Not only this, but the b12 vitamin also works to form the protective covering of all the nerve cells in the body.

The production of red blood cells is not the only type of cells that the b12 vitamin is essential for. In fact, all of the cells in the body require the b12 vitamin, including white blood cells and nerve cells. The white blood cells are an important part of the immune system and without the b2 vitamin the effectiveness of the immunity of the body to germs and viruses is heavily reduced. The nerve cells need the b12 vitamin to create the fatty layer that will protect them from damage. The brain cells are particularly open to disease and damage if there is not enough b12 vitamin present to form this protective layer.

Even though the b12 vitamin is involved in so many essential processes the actual recommended daily amount that a body needs is quite small. The fact is that the majority of people consume much more of the b12 vitamin than  their body actually requires. The only issue is that the body cannot absorb the b12 vitamin very easily and has to create its own aid to the process. The intrinsic factor that the body produces helps the body to absorb the b12 vitamin that it needs from food but this still amounts to only half of the total b12 vitamin available. A deficiency in the b12 is extremely rare in most people and is made even less likely because the body can recycle the b12 vitamin that it already has absorbed.

A few groups of people may develop anaemia due to a lack of b12 vitamin in their diet. Young children often have a problem getting enough of the b12 vitamin because they may be extremely fussy eaters and it is important to encourage them to eat as wide a variety of foods as possible. This is not only the case with the b12 vitamin but is true for all essential vitamins and minerals.

The Importance of the 12 B vitamin

The 12 b vitamin is one of the b vitamins that are essential to maintain a healthy body. Otherwise known as Cobalamin, the 12b vitamin is needed for the processes to convert the carbohydrates, fats and proteins from food into energy. 12 b also, more importantly, helps keep the red blood cells healthy and therefore prevent heart disease as well as keeping the immune system functioning at its maximum level. In addition, 12 b is used to create the protective covering of all nerve cells in the body.

The most important function of 12 b is to form healthy red blood cells. However, all cells need 12 b to keep them healthy. It is the white blood cells, amongst others, that need 12 b to help ensure that the immune system functioning properly. All of the nerve cells in the body also need 12 b to form their protective fatty layer. This is essential for all of the nerves but is especially so for those in the brain. If there is not sufficient 12 b to create this protective layer then the brain will not be functioning properly.

Interestingly, the amount of 12 b that the body needs is relatively small but is needed on a regular basis. However, 12 b on its own is not enough as the body cannot absorb it easily. To help the body absorb 12 b the stomach produces intrinsic factor which enables more of the 12 b to be absorbed. 12 b is only found in animal foods such as liver, eggs, fish and meat but most people consume far more than their recommended daily amount of 12 b. This is not a problem as the body can only absorb about half of the 12 b that is consumed. It is also worth noting that the body can recycle the 12 b which cuts down on the impact of a 12 b deficiency. However, strict vegetarians or vegans are likely to require 12 b supplements if they do not eat any animal products that contain 12 b.

If the body does not have enough 12 b then anaemia is the most obvious symptom. Obviously, this is due to the fact that there is not enough 12 b to make healthy red blood cells. Anaemia can also be caused by the body not creating enough intrinsic factor to help absorb the 12 b that is available in the food consumed. The body tends to makes less intrinsic factor once a person reaches 50 and this will lead to less 12 b being absorbed and supplements of 12 b may be required. Kids are also at risk from anaemia because they may not eat the food that contain 12 b. Pregnant women need more 12 b because the baby is absorbing 12 b during the pregnancy to grow properly.

An Overview of the B5 Vitamin

The B5 vitamin is also known as Pantothenic Acid. The B5 vitamin is the most prolific of all the vitamins and is found in every type of food. In fact, it is impossible for a person to consume less B5 vitamin than they need. That means that there is no little possibility that a person can have a B5 vitamin deficiency. For this reason, there is actually no recommended daily amount that health professionals can state as everyone obtains more than enough from their normal food consumption. However, even though there is no need to calculate a recommended daily allowance it does not mean that the B5 vitamin is not vital for a healthy body and mind. In fact, the B5 vitamin is essential for turning food into energy amongst other functions. The B5 vitamin is responsible for taking the fats and carbohydrates into energy.

Some B5 vitamin can be found in almost every food whether it is animal or vegetable. Obviously there are some sources of the B5 vitamin that are better than others but a balanced diet will provide more than enough. The foods with the highest B5 vitamin content are organ meats, salmon, eggs, beans, milk, and whole grains. It is worth noting that the B5 vitamin is lost when grains are milled into flour and tends not to beaded back in. Therefore, processed grain foods such as bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereal, and baked goods are not good sources of the B5 vitamin.

The B5 vitamin is the most effective when it is combined with other B vitamins especially thiamin or B1, riboflavin or B2, niacin or B3, pyridoxine or B6, and biotin. Along with these other B vitamins, the B5 vitamin is an integral part in a number of processes. The most important of these is the production of energy from food that is consumed and this is known as the Kreb’s cycle. The B5 vitamin is also required for releasing energy from fats.

Interestingly, the B5 vitamin is also considered to be helpful in reducing stress. This is chiefly due to the fact that during periods of stress, the body produces more of certain hormones such as adrenalin and these require the B5 vitamin. There are many theories as to the benefits of the B5 vitamin but there is no need for the majority of people to actively seek out foods that are high in B5 as they are likely to be consuming far more than is needed already. There are no adverse effects to consuming too much B5 vitamin.

A Guide to the B6 Vitamin

The B6 vitamin, also known as pyridoxine, is one of the most versatile of the B vitamins and yet the body only requires a relatively small amount.  The B6 vitamin works closely with all the other B vitamins, especially niacin, folic acid, and Cobalamin and contributes to numerous functions in the body. Amino acids are converted by the B6 vitamin into proteins and it is also required for transforming stored sugar within the body into essential energy. Basically, the B6 vitamin is essential for converting the proteins that are consumed into proteins that the body needs and also for converting the carbohydrates from the form that they are stored in the body to a form that can be used for extra energy.

The body requires a number of different proteins and it is the B6 vitamin that ensures that the correct forms are available. For example, the B6 vitamin will create haemoglobin for carrying oxygen in the blood cells, hormones for regulating blood pressure, neurotransmitters and various enzymes.

The recommended daily allowance for the B6 vitamin is only around 2.0mg but this seemingly insignificant amount is used extremely efficiently within the body to produce over sixty different enzymes. The best sources of the B6 vitamin are high-protein foods such as eggs, fish, poultry, and meat and it is also added to breakfast cereals and bread to ensure that everyone is able to consume their recommended daily allowance, even if they do not eat meat products. An additional amount of the b6 vitamin may be beneficial for the heart and immune system. B6 vitamin supplements are sometimes required by asthmatics and diabetics. However, it is important to be aware that large doses of the B6 vitamin can be toxic.

As the B6 vitamin is found in many common foods the majority of people receive sufficient amounts of the vitamin from their normal diet. There are some groups that may need to take a B6 vitamin supplement to ensure that they obtain the recommended daily allowance. For example, pregnant or breastfeeding women will need a slightly higher amount of the B6 vitamin to allow for the amount of the vitamin that is being absorbed by the baby although it is possible to obtain the extra B6 vitamin from an increased consumption of high-protein foods. Strict vegetarians or vegans, however, and children who do not eat animal products may need a B6 vitamin supplement as vegetables and fruits are poor sources of the B6 vitamin.


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