The A B C of Vitamins Ageing Health / Dietary Supplements

Vitamins are important to maintain good health. It’s derivation itself says a lot about it – vital and amine, meaning life and ammonia respectively, combining it would give “vitamine,” meaning an ammonia derivative essential for life.

There are 13 essential vitamins and all of them have to be sourced from the outside world. Our body generates most of the required compounds from our body cells, but vitamins. They are found in abundance in the basic food available. Vitamins are also known as micro-nutrients because they are required in very small amounts (milligrams). However, despite their little requirement and abundant availability, most of us suffer from their deficiency. This is because vitamins are organic and can be easily broken down by heat, air, or acid. Factors like moisture, storage, over cooking practices evaporate the vitamin content from the food itself.

Vitamins are crucial for body growth, function, maintenance and repair. Based on absorption and usage, vitamins are categorised as either water soluble or fat soluble. MWH Nourishtra give you a detailed list.

Water-soluble vitamins

These cannot be stored in the body. Excess water-soluble vitamins are flushed out regularly through urination, thus these category vitamins must be consumed daily at every meal.


Nutrient Function Deficiency most likely to be found in Deficiency effects/symptoms Sources
Thiamine (vitamin B1) Processes fat and alcohol. Enables nerve functionality. Alcoholics and those eating insufficient cereal foods. Permanent brain damage and memory loss (Korsakoff’s psychosis). Damages eye movements. Pork, whole-grain or enriched breads and cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) Enables growth and production of red blood cells. Important for normal vision and skin health Cervical cancer, migraine headaches. Milk and dairy products, egg, nuts, liver, fish, meat, leafy vegetables, whole-grain, enriched breads and cereals
Niacin (vitamin B3) Processes cholesterol. Important for nervous system, digestive system, and skin health Pellagra Meat, poultry, fish, whole-grain or enriched breads and cereals, vegetables (especially mushrooms, asparagus, and leafy green vegetables), peanut
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) Boosts energy metabolism Premature greying of the hair, elevates heart rate. Meat, egg, milk, vegetables, legumes and cereal grains.
Biotin (vitamin H) Boosts energy metabolism. Promotes growths and maintains bones, nerves and sweat glands. Hair loss (alopecia), seborrheic dermatitis (dry or scaled skin), anemia, depression, lethargy, hallucinations Liver, egg, nuts fruits and berries and vegetables.
Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) Processes proteins, fats and carbohydrates to produce energy; helps make red blood cells Alcoholics Seizures in infants, depression, and confusion. Meat, fish, poultry, fruits, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, cereals, milk, beans and nuts.
Folate, Folic Acid
(vitamin B9)
An enzyme needed for making DNA and new cells, especially red blood cells. Prevent neural tube defects. People who consume an unbalanced diet

Anaemia, low white blood cell counts, and infections.

Deficiency in pregnant women, causes spina bifida and other neural tube defects in newborns.

Leafy green vegetables and legumes, seeds, orange juice, and liver; now added to most refined grains.

Folic acid supplementation (400ug/day) is recommended for all pregnant women.

Cobalamin (vitamin B12) Enzyme needed for making new cells; important to nerve function Damage to brain and nervous system. May also cause depression and memory problems Meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, milk and dairy products
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) It is an antioxidant. Promotes protein metabolism. Boosts immune system. Aids in iron absorption Scurvy, heart disease, strokes and cancers. Found in citrus fruits (especially orange and grapefruit), and vegetables belonging to the cabbage family. Ascorbic acid is also found in cantaloupe, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, papayas, mangoes, kiwifruit


Fat-soluble vitamins

These vitamins do not dissolve in blood or water but are stored in the body, thus can be consumed 2-3 times a week. Excessive intake of such vitamins can prove harmful as they get accumulated in the liver and fatty tissues of the body.


Nutrient Function Deficiency most likely to be found in Deficiency effects/symptoms Sources
Vitamin A

Enables bone growth and tissue development.

Vital for vision, healthy skin and mucous membranes (e.g. linings of the nose, eyes and throat) which prevents bacteria and viruses from entering the body. Helps in tooth growth. builds immune system.

Keratomalacia and blindness, skin damage and frequent infections . Fortified milk, cheese, cream, butter, fortified margarine, eggs, liver, green vegetables, dark orange fruits (apricots, cantaloupe), and other vegetables (carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin).
Vitamin D Needed for proper absorption of calcium and phosphate. Promotes health to bones and teeth. Common in countries having long winters. Usually fond in house-bound individuals Osteomalacia (bone softening) or rickets in children. Egg yolk, liver, fatty fish, fortified milk, fortified margarine. When exposed to sunlight, the skin can make vitamin D.
Vitamin E It is an antioxidant. Protects cell membranes Low levels may add risks of heart disease. Polyunsaturated plant oils (soy bean, corn, cotton seed, safflower); fish, leafy green vegetables; whole-grain products; egg; nuts and seeds
Vitamin K Needed for proper blood clotting (healing wounds). Development of bones and kidney. Plays a key role in proper development of the fetus.

Bleeding within the digestive tract and blood in the urine. Underdevelopment of newborns/fetus.

Leafy green vegetables and vegetables belonging in the cabbage family, milk, vegetable oils and cereals.


multivitamin gummiesMWH source of vital vitamins:

MWH Nourishtra Junior Multivitamin and Mineral Gummies: It is infused with 7 vitamins: A, D, E, C, B5, B9, B12. It is developed with such meticulous research that no harmful ingredient are included in it. It is free from allergens, such as dairy, wheat, gelatin, eggs, soy, tree-nuts, milk, peanuts, shell-fish and corn. It is pleasant to the taste buds, enriched with fruit-derived flavours & colours, 100% vegan, and lactosefree. It boosts immune system, promotes healthy eye-sight, gums and memory, and strengthens bones and teeth.