More than you ever wanted to know about vitamins

Ever wanted to know just why you need vitamin B2? Well, once again, boredom has allowed me go beyond what most people feel is normal. I have compiled a list of several vitamins and what they do for you. As well as what happens when you take too much, or not enough of them. And as a special bonus I've included what you can eat to get more of them! Yes, I know you're totally ecstatic, don't thank me, I'm just doing my part as an able bodied citizen.

Disclaimer: I'm NOT a doctor! In fact I don't know the first thing about medicine! So if you're going to start a diet based on this data I've compiled from the totally inaccurate Internet, chances are: you will die! Don't take my word on any of this stuff, because even I don't believe half the stuff that's here!

Name: Vitamin A
Group: Fat Soluble
Effects: Vitamin A helps in the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin. It is also known as retinol because it generates the pigments in the retina. Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in dim light. It may also be required for reproduction and lactation. Beta carotene, which has antioxidant properties, is a precursor to vitamin A.
Sources: Found in milk, cheese, cream, liver, kidney, and cod and halibut fish oil. All of these sources, except for fortified skim milk, are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. However, vegetable sources of a vitamin A precursor called beta carotene are fat and cholesterol free. The body regulates the conversion of beta carotene to vitamin A based on the body’s needs. Beta carotene comes from carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, apricots, broccoli, spinach and most dark green leafy vegetables. The more intense the color of a fruit or vegetable, the higher the beta carotene content.
Deficiencies: Increase the susceptibility to infectious diseases, as well as cause vision problems.
Over Doses: Can cause abnormal fetal development in pregnant women. Increased amounts of beta-carotene can turn the color of skin to yellow or orange. The skin color returns to normal once the increased intake of beta-carotene is reduced.


Name: Vitamin D
Group: Fat Soluble
Effects: Promotes the body’s absorption of calcium, which is essential for the normal development of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain adequate blood levels of the minerals calcium and phosphorus.
Sources: Vitamin D is found in cheese, butter, margarine, cream, fortified milk (all milk in the United States is fortified with Vitamin D), fish, oysters, and fortified cereals. Vitamin D is also known as the "sunshine vitamin" because the body manufactures the vitamin after being exposed to sunshine. Ten to 15 minutes of sunshine 3 times weekly is adequate to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D.
Deficiencies: A vitamin D deficiency leads to soft bones or rickets.
Over Doses: Can result in increased calcium absorption from the intestinal tract, and possibly also to increased calcium resorption from the bones, leading to elevated levels of calcium in the blood. This can lead to abnormal calcium deposition in soft tissues, such as the heart and lungs, reducing their ability to function.


Name: Vitamin E
Group: Fat Soluble
Effect: Important for cell health and the proper functioning of the immune system, and it prevents the oxidation of fat.
Sources: Vitamin E is found in wheat germ, corn, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, and other green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils (corn, sunflower, soybean, and cottonseed) and products made from them such as margarine.
Deficiencies: May cause Hemolytic anemia (death of red blood cells)
Over Doses: May interfere with Vitamin K activity leading to prolonged clotting and bleeding time.


Name: Vitamin K
Group: Fat Soluble
Effect: Essential for the formation of prothrombin, a blood-clotting compound.
Sources: Vitamin K is found in cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and other green leafy vegetables, cereals, soybeans, and other vegetables. Bacteria in the intestines normally also produce vitamin K.
Deficiencies: Vitamin K deficiency is very rare. It occurs when there is an inability to absorb the vitamin from the intestinal tract, and can also occur after prolonged treatment with oral antibiotics.
Over Doses: May cause hemolytic anemia and Jaundice in infants.


Name: Vitamin B1
Group: Water Soluble
Effect: Participates in many of the chemical reactions in the body. Thiamine is important in the production of energy.
Sources: Thiamine (vitamin B1) is found in fortified breads, cereals, pasta, whole grains (especially wheat germ), lean meats (especially pork), fish, dried beans, peas, and soybeans. Dairy products and milk, fruits, and vegetables are not very high in thiamine, but when consumed in large amounts they become a significant source.
Deficiencies: A deficiency of thiamine can cause weakness, fatigue, psychosis, and nerve damage. Thiamine deficiency is most commonly seen in alcoholics. A total absence of thiamine can cause the disease called beriberi, which is very rare in the United States.
Over Doses: Thiamine is easily cleared by the kidneys, no evidence of thiamine toxicity has been noted from oral intake.


Name: Vitamin B2
Group: Water Soluble
Effect: Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin works with the other B vitamins and is important for body growth and red cell production. Similar to thiamine, it helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.
Sources: Lean meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, green leafy vegetables, dairy products, and milk provide riboflavin in the diet. Breads and cereals are often fortified with riboflavin. Because riboflavin is destroyed by exposure to light, foods with riboflavin should not be stored in glass containers that are exposed to light.
Deficiencies: Deficiency of riboflavin is not common in the U.S. because this vitamin is plentiful in the food supply. Deficiency symptoms include dry and cracked skin and eyes that are sensitive to bright light.
Over Doses: There is no known toxicity to riboflavin. Because riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin, excess amounts are excreted by the body in the urine. However, it may interfere with anticancer mediations.


Name: Vitamin B3
Group: Water Soluble
Effect: Aids in energy metabolism. Maintains normal functioning of the nervous and digestive tract. May lower blood cholesterol.
Sources: Niacin (vitamin B3) is found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meats, nuts, and eggs. Legumes and enriched breads and cereals also supply some niacin.
Deficiencies: Pellegra, characterized by dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), diarrhea and dementia, Irritability, Loss of appetite, Weakness and dizziness.
Over Doses: Vascular dilation, resulting in flushing, Liver damage, Ulcers.


Name: Vitamin B5
Group: Water Soluble
Effect: Vitamin B5 Pantothenic acid and biotin: pantothenic acid is essential for the metabolism of food. It is also essential in the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol. Biotin is essential for the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates, and in the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol.
Sources: Pantothenic acid and biotin are found in eggs, fish, milk and milk products, whole-grain cereals, legumes, yeast, broccoli and other vegetables in the cabbage family, white and sweet potatoes, lean beef, and other foods.
Deficiencies: Retards growth, Infertility, Fatigue, Irritability.
Over Doses: Doses of 10 to 20 grams may result in diarrhea and water retention.


Name: Vitamin B6
Group: Water Soluble
Effect: Also known as pyridoxine. The more protein a person eats, the more B6 is required to use the protein. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of normal brain function. It also assists in the synthesizing of antibodies in the immune system.
Sources: Vitamin B-6 is found in beans, nuts, legumes, eggs, meats, fish, whole grains, and fortified breads and cereals.
Deficiencies: Anemia, Epileptiform convulsions, Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
Over Doses: May cause neurological disorders and numbness.


Name: Vitamin B9
Group: Water Soluble
Effects: Also called Folate. Important in the synthesis of DNA and acts with vitamin B12 in the formation of red blood cells. Folate requirements are increased during pregnancy. Like most water soluble vitamins, excess intake of folate is excreted and not stored in the body. Folate is sensitive to heat, oxygen and ultraviolet light. Like other water soluble vitamins, folate leaches into cooking water.
Sources: Major dietary sources of folate include green leafy vegetables, organ meats, meat, poultry, seafood, legumes (dried beans), seeds, and whole grain breads and cereals.
Deficiencies: Pernicious anemia (large cell type), Depression.
Over Doses: May mask symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.


Name: Vitamin B12
Group: Water Soluble
Effect: Like the other B vitamins, is important for metabolism. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system. Vitamin B12 is sensitive to ultraviolet light.
Sources: Vitamin B12 is found in eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, and milk and milk products.
Deficiencies: Pernicious anemia (large cell type), degeneration of peripheral nerves leading to paralysis, sore tongue and weakness.
Over Doses: No evidence of Vitamin B12 toxicity has been noted from oral intake.


Name: Vitamin C
Group: Water Soluble
Effect: Also known as ascorbic acid. It promotes healthy teeth and gums, helps in the absorption of iron, and helps maintain normal connective tissue. It also promotes wound healing.
Sources: Found in citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. Most other fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C; fish and milk contain small amounts.
Deficiencies: Scurvy, resulting in loss of appetite, irritability, depression, bleeding gums and loss of teeth, Wounds fail to heal, Bruises and petechiae. (spots of blood under the skin's surface)
Over Doses: Diarrhea at large doses, Kidney stones are a possibility.


Pointless