Food, vitamins and minerals

01 June 2016

Vitamins and minerals are a vital part of a healthy diet. Know everything about this, with Sweetcare.

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Vitamins are essential micronutrients that our body requires in small quantities.
They may be fat soluble (A, D, E and K) or water-soluble (vitamin B and vitamin C).

The B vitamins include vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B6 (pyridoxine), pantothenic acid, niacin, biotin, folic acid (folate), and vitamin B12 (cobalamin). For each vitamin was determined the daily recommended quantity (QDR), which is the daily quantity required to be wealthy. A person who consumes too little or too much of certain vitamins can develop a nutritional disturbance. 
Vitamins A and D become toxic when ingested in doses greater than 10 times the recommended daily amount, but it is the same with vitamins E and K (phylloquinone). Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C are toxic when we take high doses, but the remaining water-soluble vitamins do not have this toxicity. 

Only two fat-soluble vitamins (A and E) are kept in the body in variable amounts; D and K do it in small quantities.
According to the needs, vitamin C is the one that lays in a fewer quantity and B12, on the other hand, is the one that accumulates the most. It takes about 7 years to spend all the reserves of the organism, which are 2 mg or 3 mg. 


Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are a vital part of a healthy diet.

If a person ingest different types of food, the probability of developing a deficiency of these nutrients is very low. However, those who follow very strict diets may not ingest enough of a determine vitamin or a particular mineral. For example, strict vegetarians may have B12 deficiency, which can only be obtained from animal products. On the other hand, consumption of large amounts of vitamin and mineral supplements without medical supervision can have deleterious effects (toxic). 



Fat soluble Vitamins

Nutrient Main Sources Main Function Effects caused by deficiency and excess Daily adult needs
Vitamin A (retinol) Vitamin A: fish liver oils, beef liver, egg yolk, butter, cream.Carotene (converted into vitamin A in the intestine): green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables and fruits, red palm oil. Normal vision, healthy skin and superficial tissues, defense against infection Deficiency: night blindness;thickening of the skin around the hair follicles, dehydration of the sclera and the cornea (progressing to finally protrusion, corneal ulceration and disruption with leakage of ocular content); blindness, eye spots on the sclera; risk of infection and death. Excess: headache, peeling skin;enlargement of the spleen and kidneys, bone and joint pain thickening. 900 


Vitamin D Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): irradiated yeast, fortified milk. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): fish liver oils, egg yolk, milk enriched. Vitamin D is formed in the skin when exposed to sunlight (ultraviolet rays). Calcium and phosphorus absorption in the intestine, mineralization, growth and repair of bones. Deficiency: growth and repair of bones abnormally, rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults, muscle spasms (occasional). Excess: Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, increased urination, weakness, nervousness, thirst, burning skin, kidney failure, calcium deposits throughout the body.

10 micrograms

 Vitamin E  Vegetable oil, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, margarine, vegetables. Antioxidants. Disabilities: breakdown of red blood cells, nerve damage.Excess: increasing needs for vitamin K. 10 


Vitamin K  

Green leafy vegetables, pork, liver, vegetable oils. Vitamin K is produced by bacteria in the gut.

Formation of blood clotting factors, normal blood clotting. Disability: bleeding 65 



Water soluble vitamins 

Nutrient Main sources Main Function Effects caused by deficiency and excess Daily adult needs
Vitamina B1 (tiamina) Dried yeast, whole grains, meat (especially pork and beef liver), nuts, vegetables, potatoes. Metabolism of carbohydrates, nerve function and heart. Deficiency: beriberi in children and adults with heart failure and abnormal functioning of the nervous system and brain. 1.2 miligrams
Vitamina B2 (riboflavina) Milk, cheese, liver, beef, eggs, cereal products fortified. Metabolism of carbohydrates, maintenance of mucous membranes. Deficiency: peeling lips and the corners of the mouth, dermatitis. 1,5 miligrams
Niacina (ácido nicotínico) Dry yeast, liver, meat, fish, vegetables, products enriched with whole grains. Chemical reactions in the cells, metabolism of carbohydrates.. Deficiency: pellagra (acne, inflammation of the tongue, change in bowel and brain function). 16 miligrams
Vitamina B6 (piridoxina) Dry yeast, liver, offal, whole grains, fish, vegetables. Metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids, nervous system function, healthy skin. Deficiency: convulsions in children, anemia, nerve and skin disorders. 2 miligrams
Biotina Fígado, rins, gemas de ovo, levedura, couve-flor, nozes, legumes. Metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids. Deficiency: i inflammation of the skin and lips. 60 micrograms
Vitamina B2 (cobalamina) Liver, kidney, egg yolks, yeast, cauliflower, nuts, vegetables Maturation of red blood cells, nerve function, DNA synthesis. Desability : pernicious anemia and other anemia (in strict vegetarians and people who have a tapeworm infestation), some psychiatric disorders, decreased vision.


2 micrograms

Ácido fólico

Vegetables fresh green leaves, fruits, liver and other offal, dry yeasts Maturation of red blood cells, DNA and RNA synthesis. Deficiency: decrease in the number of all types of blood cells (pancytopenia), large red blood cells (especially in pregnant women, children and people who have problems due to malabsorption). 200 micrograms
Ácido pantoténico Liver, yeast, plant. Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.

Deficiency: eurological diseases, burning feet.

6 milligrams
Vitamina C Citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, vegetables. Bone and connective tissue growth, wound healing, operation of blood vessels, antioxidant.  Deficiency: eurological diseases, burning feet. 60 milligrams


Nutrient Main sources Main Function Effects caused by deficiency and excess Daily adult needs
Sodium Salt, beef, pork, sardines, cheese, green olives, cereal bread, chips, fermented cabbage (choucroute). Balance acid-base, nerve and muscle functioning. Deficiency: low sodium levels in the blood, confusion, coma.Excess: High sodium levels in the blood, confusion, coma. 1 gram

Same as sodium.

Balance of electrolytes. Deficiency:  change in acid-base balance 1.5 gram
Potassium Fat and skim milk, bananas, prunes, raisins. Nervous and muscle function, acid-base balance and water metabolism.. Deficiency: low concentrations of potassium in the blood, paralysis, cardiac abnormalities. Excess: High potassium levels in the blood, paralysis, cardiac abnormalities. 2 gram
Calcium Milk and milk products, meat, fish, eggs, products from cereals, beans, fruits, vegetables. Formation of bones and teeth, blood clotting, nerve and muscle function, normal heart rhythm. Deficiency: low calcium concentrations in blood and muscle spasms. Excess: high calcium concentrations in blood, loss of intestinal tone, renal failure, abnormal behavior (psychosis). 1 gram
Match Milk, cheese, meat, poultry, fish, cereals, nuts, legumes. Formation of bones and teeth, acid-base balance, nucleic acid component, energy production. Deficency: irritability, weakness, changes in blood cells, intestinal and renal disorders. Excess: For people who have kidney failure, high phosphate concentrations in the blood. 0,9 gram
Magnesium Green leafy vegetables, nuts, grains, seafood. Formation of bones and teeth, nerve and muscle function, activation of enzymes. Deficiency: low magnesium levels in the blood, abnormal nerve function. Excess: High concentrations of magnesium in the blood, hypotension, respiratory failure, abnormal heart rhythms. 0.3 gram


Nutrient Main sources Main Function Effects caused by deficiency and excess Daily adult needs
Iron Soy flour, beef, kidney, liver, clams, peas.However, less than 20% of the dietary iron is absorbed by the body. Formation of enzymes that modify many chemical reactions in the body and are the main components of red blood cells and muscle cells Deficiency anemia, difficulty swallowing, spoon shaped nails, intestinal disorders, decreased performance at work, deterioration of learning ability. Excess: iron deposits in the liver injury (cirrhosis), diabetes mellitus, skin pigmentation. 12 miligrams
Zinc Viscera, oysters, nuts, dehydrated vegetables, whole grains. Component enzymes and insulin, healthy skin wound healing, growth. Deficiency: poor growth, delayed sexual maturation, decreased sense of taste. 15  miligrams
Copper Viscera, oysters, nuts, dehydrated vegetables, whole grains. Component enzymes, red blood cell formation, bone formation. Deficiency anemia in malnourished children. Excess: copper deposits in the brain, liver injury. 2  miligrams


Whole grains, nuts.

Component enzymes. Deficiency: weight loss, skin irritation, vomiting, changes in hair color, delay in hair growth.Excess: nerve damage. 3,5  miligrams


Dairy products, cereals.

Activation of enzymes. Disability: acidosis, increased heart rate, rapid breathing, vision black spots, night blindness, irritability. 150  miligrams

Meat and other animal products. Its concentration in the soil affects the content of the plant.

Required for the synthesis of an antioxidant enzyme. Deficiency: muscle pain and weakness. Excess: hair loss and nails, skin inflammation, nerve alterations. 60  miligrams
Iodine Shellfish, iodized salt, dairy products, drinking water in varying amounts (depending on the region). Formation of thyroid hormones, which regulate power control mechanisms. Deficiency: increased thyroid size (goiter), cretinism, deaf-mutism, altered fetal growth and brain development. Excess: sometimes causes elevated thyroid hormone concentrations.  150 miligrams
Fluorine Tea, coffee, water with fluoride. FFormation of bones and teeth. Deficiency: increased risk of tooth decay, possible thinning of the bones. Excess: fluorosis (excessive accumulation of fluorine), and dotted spots in permanent teeth, spinal bony outgrowths. 2.5 miligrams