Vitamin D is a nutrient that is needed for health and to maintain strong bones. Vitamin D does so by helping the body absorb calcium from food and supplements. People who receive too little vitamin D develop soft, thin, and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. Vitamin D is required for muscles to move, and nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and other parts of the body. The immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in some foods. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, within the body, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are exposed to free radicals within the environment from sunlight, cigarette smoke and air pollution.
The body needs vitamin C to make a protein called collagen, which helps to heal wounds. Vitamin C supports the body’s immune system allowing it to work properly protecting it from disease. Vitamin C aids the absorption of iron.
Who benefits from Vitamin C?
Certain groups of people are more likely to be at risk of low levels of vitamin C:
People who smoke and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke, in part because smoke increases the amount of vitamin C that the body needs to repair damage caused by free radicals. People who smoke need 35 mg more vitamin C per day than nonsmokers.
People who eat a very limited variety of food. People with certain medical conditions such as severe mal absorption, some types of cancer, and kidney disease requiring hemodialysis
Vitamin K has several vital functions, including blood clotting, which helps the body to heal wounds properly.
There is increasing evidence that vitamin K is also needed to help build strong bones.
Vitamin B6 is required for the production of the neurotransmitters and the effective performance of the nervous system and is also is required for a healthy immune system and the synthesis of red blood cells. During pregnancy Vitamin B6 is required for the infant’s brain development as well as a healthy immune function.
Scientist suggests that adequate levels are obtained from food if a good balanced diet is followed. However, people on a high protein diet with no leafy green vegetable or cereal and those that consume large amounts of alcohol may need more Vitamin B6.
Some evidence has revealed the contraceptive pill may inhibit Vitamin B6 therefore women using the medication may need to take higher doses.
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. People are exposed to free radicals in the environment, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and sunlight. Vitamin E supports the immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It aids to widen blood vessels and keeps blood from clotting within them. Furthermore cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many vital functions.