Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals

What Are Vitamins and Minerals?

Vitamins: are organic substances that are generally classified as either fat-soluble or water-soluble.

A. Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K) dissolve in fat and tend to accumulate in the body.

B. Water-soluble vitamins (vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins, such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and folate) must dissolve in water before they can be absorbed by the body, and therefore cannot be stored.

Any water-soluble vitamins unused by the body are mainly lost through urine. So, it is necessary to follow the diet to fulfilled it daily needs of the body.

Minerals: They are inorganic elements that come from soil and water, and are absorbed by plants or by animals. The human body needs heavy amounts of minerals, such as calcium, to grow and stay healthy. Other minerals are chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc are called trace minerals because you need only very small amounts of them.

What are the Importance, Source and daily intake of Vitamins and Minerals?

Sr. No.Vitamin NameSynonymImportance in BodyDaily IntakeSource of VitaminsTake a Note
 1Vitamin ARetinolImportant in Vision and Eye health.

For body’s natural defense against illness and infection (the immune system).

Keep skin and the lining (Coating) of some parts of the body, such as the nose.
700 µg a day for men

600 µg a day for women
Fortified low-fat spreads
Milk and yoghurt
Liver and liver products
Seafood such as shrimp and salmon.
More than 1,500 µg/ day of vitamin A over many years may affect your bones.   Over Vit. A may affect unborn baby.
 2Beta-caroteneNAIt’s turned into vitamin A in the body, so it can perform the same jobs in the body as vitamin A.NABeta-carotene gives yellow and orange fruit and vegetables their colour.NA
 Vitamin B Complex     
 3Vitamin B1ThiaminNeeded to the body for break down and release energy from food

Required for nervous system healthy

Thiamin deficiency can lead to beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (with alcohol abuse)
1.1 mg/day for men

0.8 mg/day for women
Green Peas,
Some fresh fruits (such as bananas and oranges)Nuts,
Some fortified breakfast cereals
Sunflower seeds, Yogurt
Thiamin is destroyed with high-heat cooking or long cooking times.
 4Vitamin B2Riboflavin Required to keep skin, eyes and the nervous system healthy.

Key component of Coenzymes of body.

To release energy from food it might help prevent migraines

It gets its name from the Latin word “flavus” for yellow as a lot of B2 will turn your pee a bright Color.
1.3 mg/day for men

1.1 mg/day for women
Fortified breakfast cereals
Plain yoghurt,
UV light can destroy riboflavin, so ideally these foods should be kept out of direct sunlight.  

Excess amount is quickly excreted in the urine.
 5Vitamin B3Niacin   There are 2 forms of niacin:  

A. Nicotinic acid
B. Nicotinamide.
the body release energy from food

keep the nervous system and skin healthy

Niacin works in the body as a coenzyme, with more than 400 enzymes dependent on it.

To create and repair DNA, and exert
antioxidant effects
16.5 mg/day for men

13.2 mg/day for women  

8 mg NE for pregnant women,  

17 mg NE for lactating women.
Red meat
Wheat flour
Nuts and Seeds
Brown Rice
Corn * 

*Corn is naturally high in niacin, but it is bound to carbohydrates which makes it difficult for the human body to absorb. Nixtamalized Corn (a traditional process in tortilla making where corn is treated with calcium hydroxide, cooked, and ground) the niacin becomes absorbable because of the calcium hydroxide treatment.
Taking high doses of nicotinic acid supplements can cause skin flushes.

Taking high doses for a long time could lead to liver damage.
 6Vitamin B5Pantothenic acidIt is a chemical compound that helps enzymes to build and break down fatty acids as well as perform other metabolic functions

antioxidant activity that reduces low-grade inflammation
5 mg daily for adult.

6 mg daily for pregnancy  

7 mg daily for lactating women.
Liver and kidneys
Breakfast cereals
200mg or less a day of pantothenic acid in supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
 7Vitamin B6PyridoxineRequired to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food

To maintain normal levels of homocysteine.

It protects against memory loss, colorectal cancer.

To support immune function and brain health.
1.4mg a day for men

1.2mg a day for women

1.9 mg/day for pregnancy  

2.0 mg/day for lactating women.
Poultry, such as chicken or turkey
Some fish
Some fortified breakfast cereals
More than 200mg a day of vitamin B6 may lead to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs known as peripheral neuropathy.  

Pyridoxal 5’ phosphate (PLP) is the active coenzyme form and most common measure of B6 blood levels in the body.   Unused amounts will exit the body through the urine.
 8Vitamin B7BiotinBiotin is needed in very small amounts to help the body make fatty acids.  

It also helps to regulate signals sent by cells and the activity of genes
For Adult & Pregnant women need is 30 mg/daily.  

Lactating women need 35 mg/daily.
Eggs (cooked)
Sweet potato
Nuts, seeds
The bacteria that live naturally in your bowel are able to make biotin
Used for treatment for hair loss and to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails.
 9Vitamin B9Folate [Folic acid] or FolacinHelps the body to form healthy red blood cells

It will reduce the risk of birth defects called neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in unborn babies

A lack of folate could lead to folate deficiency anaemia.

Folate helps to form DNA and RNA and is involved in protein metabolism.
Recommended dose is 200 micrograms (µg) of folate a day  

600 micrograms /day for pregnancy  

500  micrograms /day for lactating women
Brussels sprouts
Leafy green vegetables (turnip greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, asparagus) 
Chickpeas and kidney
Liver (but avoid this during pregnancy)Breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid
Sunflower seeds
Higher than 1mg can mask the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can eventually damage the nervous system if it’s not spotted and treated.

Drinking alcohol impair its absorption, so users need to aim 600 micrograms /day.
 10Vitamin B12CobalaminHelps to make red blood cells and keeping the nervous system healthyrelease

energy from food

Development of Brain and nerve cell.

A lack of vitamin B12 could lead to vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia.
2.4 micrograms a day of vitamin B12.  

2.6 micrograms /day for pregnancy  

2.8  micrograms /day for lactating women
Red Meat
Some fortified breakfast cereals
Soya or Rice milk
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, so any unused amount will exit the body through the urine.

Deficiency may lead to:

Fatigue, weakness
Nerve damage with numbness,
tingling in the hands and legs
Memory loss, confusion
 11Vitamin CAscorbic acidPlays a role in controlling infections and maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage

Required for Wound healing

Lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy.

Powerful antioxidant.
It is needed to make collagen, a fibrous protein in connective tissue.

Vitamin C is needed for make several hormones and chemical messengers.
90 mg/day for men

75 mg/day for women.  

For pregnancy and lactation, the amount increases to 85 mg and 120 mg daily required.
Citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice
Brussels sprouts
Potatoes, Tomatoes
Broccoli, Cabbage and Cauliflower
Not stored in Body as water soluble.  

More than 1,000 mg per day of vitamin C can cause: stomach pain
 12Vitamin DVitamin D supplements are available in two forms:

vitamin D2 (“ergocalciferol” or pre-vitamin D)


vitamin D3 (“cholecalciferol”)
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate

It reduces cancer cell growth and help to control infections and inflammation.
800 IU/daily for adultMainly from sun lights.
oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
Red meat
Fish, Sword Fish,
egg yolks
fortified foods – such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
Symptoms of toxicity:
Weight loss
Irregular heart beat
Hardening of blood vessels and tissues due to increased blood levels of calcium,
potentially leading to damage of the heart and kidneys  
 13Vitamin EVitamin E exists in eight chemical forms  (Tocopherol)Vitamin E required for skin and eyes, defence against illness and infection (the immune system).  


alpha-tocopherol meets human requirements.
15 mg/day for men

3 mg/day for women  

Lactating women need slightly more at 19 mg (28 IU) daily.
Plant oils – such as rapeseed (vegetable oil), sunflower, soya, corn and olive oil
Nuts and seeds
Wheatgerm – found in cereals and cereal product
Red bell pepper
Deficiency may leads to
Retinopathy (Damage to retina)
Ataxia (Loss of body movements)
Compromised in Immunity
 14Vitamin K1. Phylloquinone (found in green leaf)  

2. Menaquinones (found in animal and bacteria)
Vitamin K needed for blood clotting (Prothrombin Protein- Vit K depended), wounds to heal.  

Osteocalcin is another protein that associated with vitamin K to produce healthy bone tissue.
1 microgram a day of vitamin K for each kilogram of their body weight.Green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, Cabbage and spinach
Vegetable oils-Soyabean and Canola oil
Cereal grains
Small amounts can also be found in meat and dairy foods.
Deficiency may leads to A longer time for blood to clot .
Osteopenia or osteoporosis  


Sr. No.NameSynonymImportance in BodyDaily IntakeSource of VitaminsTake a Note
 15CalciumCaTo build bones and keep teeth healthy

Regulating muscle contractions, including your heartbeat.

For blood clotting.  
1000 mg of calcium a dayMilk,
cheese and other dairy foods (Cheese, Tofu, Yogurt)
Green leafy vegetables – such as curly kale, okra but not
spinach (spinach does contain high levels of calcium but the body cannot digest it all)Soya drinks with added calcium
Bread and anything made with fortified flour
Fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards
More than 1,500mg a day could lead to stomach pain and diarrhoea.  

A lack of calcium could lead to a condition called rickets in children, and osteomalacia or osteoporosis in later life.  

Postmenopausal women- Estrogen required to increase Ca+ absorption, so may lead supplement for those women.
 16IodineNAIodine required to make thyroid hormones, which help keep cells and the metabolic rate.140 micrograms (μg) of iodine a day.  

220 mcg/daily for pregnant.   290 mcg/daily for lactating
Sea fish
Beef Liver

Iodine can also be found in plant foods, such as cereals and grains, but the levels vary depending on the amount of iodine in the soil where the plants are grown.
Excess Iodine may affect Thyroid gland works, Weight Gain.
17 IronFeIron is important in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.  

A lack of iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.
8.7mg a day for men over 18 years old

14.8mg a day for women aged 19 to 50 8.7mg a day

for women over 50   Women who lose a lot of blood during their monthly period and may  risk of iron deficiency Anemia
Liver (but avoid this during pregnancy)
Red meat
Beans, such as red kidney beans, edamame beans and chickpeas
Dried fruit – such as dried apricots
Fortified breakfast cerealsSoy bean flour
Excess dose may create constipation, feeling sick, stomach pain.
 18CopperCuProduce red and white blood cellsTrigger the release of iron to form haemoglobin,

the substance that carries oxygen around the body

It’s also thought to be important

for infant growth, brain development,

the immune system and strong bones.
1.2mg of copper a dayNuts
Excess dose may create stomach pain, sickness, diarrhoea, damage to the liver and kidneys.
19 MagnesiumMgturn the food we eat into energymake sure the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones important for bone health, work normally300mg a day for men (19 to 64 years)

270mg a day for women (19 to 64 years)
meal bread
Excess dose may create diarrhoea.
 20Manganese  MnManganese helps make and activate some of the enzymes in the body. Enzymes are proteins that help the body carry out chemical reactions, such as breaking down food.1.8–2.3 mg per dayBread
Breakfast cereals (especially wholegrain)
Green vegetables – such as peas
Deficiency might cause bone demineralization and poor growth in children; skin rashes, hair depigmentation, decreased serum cholesterol, and increased alkaline phosphatase activity in men; and altered mood and increased premenstrual pain in women
 21MolybdenumMoMolybdenum helps make and activate some of the proteins involved in chemical reactions (enzymes) that help with repairing and making genetic material.76 micrograms per day for women  

109 micrograms per day for men.
cereal grains,
leafy vegetables, and organ meats
  Deficiency may lead to: brain dysfunctiondevelop seizures
 22PhosphorusPsecond most abundant mineral in the body build strong bones and teeth, and helps release energy from food.550mg of phosphorus a dayRed meatDairy foodsFishPoultryBreadBrown riceOatsExcess may cause Diarrhea or stomach pain.  

For longer period taken may leads to replace Calcium in bone and possible bone fracture.
 23Potassium  KIt is an electrolyte because it carries a small electrical charge that activates various cell and nerve functions  

It helps to control the balance of fluids in the body, and also helps the heart muscle work properly.
3,500mg of potassium a dayBananas
Some vegetables – such as broccoli, parsnips and brussels sprouts
Beans and pulses
Coconut Waters
Nuts and seeds
Too much potassium              (hyperkalaemia.)  can cause stomach pain, feeling sick and diarrhoea
 24SeleniumSeSelenium helps the immune system work properly, as well as in reproduction.

It also helps prevent damage to cells and tissues.

Required for Thyroid Hormone metabolism, DNA Synthesis.  
75μg a day for men (19 to 64 years)

60μg a day for women (19 to 64 years)
Brazil nuts
Too much selenium causes selenosis, a condition that, in its mildest form, can lead to loss of hair and nails.
 25Sodium chloride (salt)NaClSodium and chloride are minerals needed by the body in small amounts to help keep the level of fluids in the body balanced.

Chloride also helps the body digest food.
6g of salt (2.4g of sodium) a day.Ready meals
Meat products – such as bacon
Some breakfast cereals
Tinned vegetables with added salt
Some bread
Having too much salt is linked to high blood pressure, which raises your risk of serious problems like strokes and heart attacks.
 26ZincZnTo make new cells and enzymes

Required for processing of carbohydrate, fat and protein in food

Wound healing

Required for creation of DNA, growth of cells, building proteins
11 mg/day for men (aged 19 to 64 years)
Pregnant women   8 mg/day for women
Dairy foods – such as cheese
Legumes (Hindi:  फलियां)
Cereal products – such as wheatgerm
Taking high doses of zinc reduces the amount of copper the body can absorb. This can lead to anaemia and weakening of the bones.



You cannot copy content of this page