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Classification of Vitamins: Water Soluble and Fat Soluble Vitamins Characteristics, Sources

Classification of Vitamins: Water Soluble and Fat Soluble Vitamins Characteristics, Sources

Are there days when you feel exhausted and good even after getting proper sleep? 

Well! When the three S's — sleep, stress, and illness — fail to explain why you're exhausted, it's time to get your vitamin D levels checked. This vitamin is unlike any other. When your skin is exposed to the sun, your body produces it, but it isn't found naturally in many foods. Similar to Vitamin D, there are many other vitamins which are important for the proper functioning of our body. When a poor diet leaves your body short on the nutrients it needs for a long time, it’ll send a sign. You can reverse most of these issues with foods rich in the missing nutrient.


Let’s try to understand them in detail now.

Table of Contents:

Vitamins

Organic compounds required in the diet in small amounts to perform specific biological functions for normal maintenance of optimum growth and health of the organism are known as Vitamins. Most vitamins cannot be synthesised in our bodies. All the vitamins are generally available in our diet.

Classification of Vitamins

Vitamins can be classified as


Let’s understand what water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins are.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

These are insoluble in fat and oil but soluble in water. Water-soluble vitamins are easy to ingest on a regular basis. They can be found in a variety of meals, particularly green vegetables and fresh fruits. Various examples of water-soluble vitamins are discussed below:

Water-soluble vitamins
CommonName Scientific      Name Food Sources
Vitamin B1      Thiamine Fresh fruits, corn, cashew nuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, wheat, milk, dates, black beans, etc.
Vitamin B2                Riboflavin Bananas, grapes, mangoes, peas, pumpkin, dates, yoghurt, milk, mushrooms, popcorn, beef liver, etc.
Vitamin B3              Niacin Meat, eggs, fish, milk products, guava, mushroom, peanuts, cereals, green peas, etc.
Vitamin B5              Pantothenic Acid Meat, kidney, egg yolk, broccoli, peanuts, fish, chicken, milk, yoghurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, etc.
Vitamin B6            Pyridoxine Pork, chicken, fish, bread, wholegrain cereals, eggs, vegetables, soya beans, etc.
Vitamin B7            Biotin Walnuts, peanuts, cereals, milk, egg yolks, salmon, pork, mushroom, cauliflower, avocados, bananas, raspberries, etc.
Vitamin B9  Folic Acid Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beets, etc.
Vitamin B12          Cobalamin Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, etc.
Vitamin C  Ascorbic acid Fresh citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruit, broccoli, goat milk, black currant and chestnuts.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

They are stored in the fat cells and as the name suggests, these vitamins require fat in order to be absorbed. Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins. They are stored in fatty tissue. Various examples are discussed below:

Vitamin Characteristics
Vitamin A
  • Also known as retinol.
  • Source: Papaya, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
  • Deficiency causes night blindness and xerophthalmia.
Vitamin D
  • Also known as calciferol.
  • Source: Meat, egg, yolk, fish etc.
  • Deficiency causes rickets.
Vitamin E
  • Also known as tocopherol.
  • Source: Almonds, peanuts etc.
  • Deficiency causes muscle weakness.
Vitamin K
  • Source: Green leafy vegetables.
  • Deficiency causes poor blood clotting and poor bone development.

Sources of Vitamins

Organic compounds are numerous in both plants and animals, and they play an important role in growth and development as well as overall health. This table depicts many types of vitamins as well as their sources.

CommonName Scientific      Name Food Sources
Vitamin A                 (Fat-soluble) Retinol Green leafy vegetables, nuts, tomatoes, oranges, ripe yellow fruits, guava, milk, liver, carrots, broccoli and watermelon.
Vitamin B1       (Water-soluble) Thiamine Fresh fruits, corn, cashew nuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, wheat, milk, dates, black beans, etc.
Vitamin B2                (Water-soluble) Riboflavin Bananas, grapes, mangoes, peas, pumpkin, dates, yoghurt, milk, mushrooms, popcorn, beef liver, etc.
Vitamin B3              (Water-soluble) Niacin Meat, eggs, fish, milk products, guava, mushroom, peanuts, cereals, green peas, etc.
Vitamin B5             (Water-soluble) Pantothenic Acid Meat, kidney, egg yolk, broccoli, peanuts, fish, chicken, milk, yoghurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, etc.
Vitamin B6           (Water-soluble) Pyridoxine Pork, chicken, fish, bread, wholegrain cereals, eggs, vegetables, soya beans, etc.
Vitamin B7            (Water-soluble) Biotin Walnuts, peanuts, cereals, milk, egg yolks, salmon, pork, mushroom, cauliflower, avocados, bananas, raspberries, etc.
Vitamin B9 (Water-soluble) Folic Acid Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beets, etc.
Vitamin B12          (Water-soluble) Cobalamin Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, etc.
Vitamin C (Water-soluble) Ascorbic acid Fresh citrus fruits such as orange and grapefruit, broccoli, goat milk, black currant and chestnuts.
Vitamin D (Fat-soluble) Calciferol Fish, beef, cod liver oil, egg yolk, liver, chicken breast and cereals.
Vitamin E (Fat-soluble) Tocopherol Potatoes, pumpkin, guava, mango, milk, nuts and seeds.
Vitamin K (Fat-soluble) Phytonadione Tomatoes, broccoli, mangoes, grapes, chestnuts, cashew nuts, beef and lamb.

Vitamin Deficiencies

A well-balanced diet is extremely important for a person's overall health. Any dietary imbalance could result in an excess or insufficient consumption of particular nutrients. A deficiency disease can result from a lack of a certain nutrient. Some of the deficiency diseases that can be caused by some vitamin-deficient diet are given below.

Types of Vitamins Deficiency Diseases
A (Retinol) Night blindness
B1 (Thiamine) Beri-beri
B2 (Riboflavin) Retarded growth, bad skin
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) Anaemia
C (Ascorbic acid) Scurvy
D (Calciferol) Rickets
K (Phylloquinone) Excessive bleeding due to injury

Practice Problems on Vitamins
 

Question 1. Which of the following food sources has the highest levels of vitamin C?

a. Parsley
b. Broccoli
c. Black currants
d. Orange juice

Answer: Black currants.
Option C is the correct answer. 

Question 2. Which of the following vitamin helps in blood clotting?

a. Vitamin A
b. Vitamin
c. Vitamin D
d. Vitamin K

Answer: Vitamin.
Option D is the correct answer. 

Question 3. Which is the leading cause of blindness in children worldwide?

a. Glaucoma
b. Cataracts
c. Colour blindness
d. Vitamin A deficiency

Answer: Vitamin K
Option D is the correct answer. 

Question 4.  Which of the following vitamin deficiency causes Beriberi?

a. Vitamin B1
b. Vitamin B2
c. Vitamin B6
d. Vitamin B12

Answer: Vitamin B1
Option A is the correct answer. 

Question 5. Who is most likely to develop scurvy – a Vitamin C deficiency?

a. A pregnant woman
b. A malnourished child
c. A long-time alcoholic
d. A person with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa

Answer: A long-time alcoholic
Option C is the correct answer.

Question 6. Which of the following is a Fat-Soluble Vitamin?

a. Vitamin B
b. Vitamin C
c. Vitamin B12
d. Vitamin K

Answer: Vitamin K
Option D is the correct answer.

Question 7. Which of the following Vitamins is also known as Cobalamin?

a. Vitamin B11
b. Vitamin B2
c. Vitamin B6
d. Vitamin B12

Answer: Vitamin B12
Option D is the correct answer.

Question 8. Which of the following is the scientific name of Vitamin K?

a. Ascorbic acid
b. Phytonadione
c. Tocopherol
d. Pantothenic Acid

Answer: Phytonadione
Option B is the correct answer.

FAQ's on Vitamins
 

Question 1. What are the differences between Vitamins and Minerals?

Answer: Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients required by the body. These nutrients perform several roles in the body. These are not produced by the body in larger amounts, therefore, need to be taken through food. Some of the differences between them are given in the table.

Vitamins Minerals
These are the organic compounds obtained from animals and plants These are the inorganic compounds that originated on the earth
All the 13 vitamins are needed All the minerals are not needed by the body
Vitamins are classified as water-soluble and fat-soluble. Minerals are classified as macrominerals and microminerals.
Vitamins develop red blood cells and help in blood clotting. They also release energy from the food and help in maintaining healthy skin, eyes, and hair. Minerals help in blood coagulation and muscle contraction. They also help in bone and tooth formation.
Examples: Vitamin A, B and C Examples: Iron and Calcium.

Question 2. Why are Vitamins important for us?

Answer: Vitamins aid in the production of energy by ensuring that carbohydrates and lipids are appropriately used. Vitamins are essential for human survival as the human body cannot create them on its own (except for vitamin D and Vitamin B3). As a result, it should be obtained in sufficient quantities from other sources, such as the foods we eat, vitamin capsules, and so on. Vitamins can be present in a variety of foods, including meat, leafy green vegetables, and fruits.

Question 3. I know that carrots are healthy and have lots of vitamin A. But I’ve also heard that too much vitamin A can be dangerous, so do I need to limit how many carrots I eat?

Answer: Vitamin A can be toxic at high doses, causing liver damage and birth defects if a woman is pregnant. However, this applies only to the form of vitamin A—called preformed vitamin A or retinol—that is found in foods from animals, such as beef liver, milk, milk products, and some dietary supplements. Plant foods, such as carrots, spinach, and red peppers, contain a form of vitamin A called beta-carotene. Consuming high amounts of beta-carotene can turn the skin yellow-orange, but this condition is harmless. Beta-carotene does not cause birth defects or the other more serious effects caused by getting too much-preformed vitamin A. So enjoy plenty of carrots and other fruits and vegetables without worrying about getting too much vitamin A.

Question 4. I know bananas contain potassium. Can I get enough potassium by eating a banana every day?

Answer: Bananas do have a lot of potassium compared to many other foods but eating one banana a day won’t meet your potassium needs alone. A medium banana has about 420 milligrams (mg) of potassium, so you would have to eat at least 6 to 8 bananas to meet the 2,600 to 3,400 mg of potassium that adults should get each day. Obviously, that’s not the best approach. Instead, eat a nutritious variety of foods that contain potassium to ensure you get enough of this important nutrient.

Related topics:

Carbohydrates- Sugars-classification of carbohydrates and their structure Nucleic acids-Functions of nucleic acids
Enzymes Denaturation of protein-Test for protein
Classification of Proteins Nucleic acids-Types of Nucleic acids
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