Rich food sources of this crucial vitamin are cod-liver oil, halibut liver oil, liver, butter, cheese, eggs and milk. It can be taken as beta-carotene in carrots, greenvegetables, tomatoes, asparagus, apricots, peaches and melons.Vitamin A is vital to your sight and is important if you want to see in the dark or if you work with video display units. It also helps to maintain healthy skin chlamydia treatment, bones and teeth, and builds resistance to infection. Deficiency can lead to dry, scaly skin, susceptibility to skin infections, rough “goose flesh” and night blindness. It is destroyed by light, high temperatures, and iron and copper pans.
Vitamin BI (thiamine)
A member of the vitamin B complex. Rich sources of this vitamin are yeast, wholegrains, meat, offal and greenvegetables. Most foods contain some, but it is easily destroyed by heat and alkalies (e.g. baking powder), and lost when the water from thawed food is discarded. Vitamin Bi converts carbohydrate into energy in the muscles and nervous system. Deficiency can cause fatigue, nausea, muscle weakness and digestive problems. Requirements increase during pregnancy, when breast feeding or under stress. The elderly also need extra amounts.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
A member of the vitamin B complex. Rich sources of this vitamin are yeast, liver, wheatgerm, cheese, eggs, milk, green leafy vegetables and pulses. Vitamin B2 assists in the production and repair of body tissues. Deficiency leads to cracks and sores at the corners of the mouth, scaly skin, itchy eyes, hair loss and mouth ulcers. An increased supply may be needed by drinkers, smokers and women on the contraceptive pill.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
A member of the vitamin B complex. Rich sources of this vitamin are yeast, whole- grains, nuts, meat, fish, potatoes, green leafy and root vegetables, eggs, bananas and dried fruits. Vitamin B6 is the antidepressant vitamin and helps to regulate the nervous system. It may be used to treat premenstrual syndrome, morning sickness, travel sickness and depression induced by the Pill. Deficiency may lead to skin complaints, mild depression, premenstrual problems, convulsions and heart problems.
Vitamin R12 (cobalamin)
A member of the vitamin B complex. Rich sources of this vitamin are offal, meat, fish, eggs, poultry, cheese, yoghurt and milk. Vitamin Bit is an essential element in normal cell division, maintaining the energy reserve in muscles, and nerve fibre insulation. Deficiency in B I2 can lead to nervous and menstrual disorders, and severe deficiency can lead to pernicious anaemia. Animal sources mean vegans can have problems, but it is now possible to obtain B12 from a non-animal mould fermentation (enquire at your local health shop or chemist).
A member of the vitamin B complex. Rich sources of this vitamin are yeast, offal, eggs, wholegrains, fish, meat, milk, cheese and yoghurt. (Biotin is also produced by intestinal bacteria.) Biotin is involved in many metabolic processes and is essential for maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and the regulation of the sex hormones.
A member of the vitamin B complex. Rich sources of this vitamin are yeast, whole- grains, nuts, offal, citrus fruits, eggs, fish, greenleaf and rootvegetables, cheese, meat, milk and pulses. Folic acid is essential for protein synthesis and production of normal red blood cells. Deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anaemia where blood cells change shape and size and have a shorter life span. It functions with vitamin Bit in blood formation.
A member of the vitamin B complex. Rich sources of this vitamin are yeast, whole- grains, chicken, nuts, liver, fish, cheese, eggs and pulses. Niacin assists in the break-down and utilisation of fats, protein and carbohydrates. It helps maintain a healthy brain, nerves, skin and digestive organs. Severe deficiency is responsible for pellagra (Italian for rough skin), which progresses from dermatitis, diarrhoea and dementia to death.
A member of the vitamin B complex. Rich sources of this vitamin are yeast, offal, nuts, wholegrains, meat, eggs, poultry, pulses, leaf and rootvegetables, cheese, yoghurt and fruits. Pantothenic acid is known as the anti-stress vitamin because it promotes a healthy nervous system. It may reduce the adverse effects of antibiotics. It has been used therapeutically to decrease allergic skin reactions in children and to relieve morning stiffness in arthritis.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
Rich sources of this vitamin are most fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C plays a strong part in the manufacture of collagen, strong capillaries and resistance to bacterial and viral diseases. It helps any type of wound- healing process. Deficiency leads to slow healing, bruising, bleeding gums, weakness and lassitude. Great deficiency leads to scurvy, the scourge of old-time sailors, who suffered from this disease until the discovery that it could be prevented by taking fruit and vegetables on long voyages. Vitamin C is easily lost in cooking. More will be needed after injury, during infection, when taking antibiotics, by the elderly, athletes, smokers, alcohol drinkers and women on the Pill.
Rich sources of this vitamin are cod-liver oil, oily fish, tinned fish — salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna — dairy products and eggs. Significant amounts are produced by sunlight on the skin. Vitamin D has a prime role in bone formation. Deficiency leads to rickets and osteomalacia (an adult form of rickets), which are both characterised by softening of the bones. Toxicity has been found when doses of 10 000 units were taken daily over a long period of time. As 400 units is the recommended daily limit without prescription, there is little likelihood of running into any trouble.
Rich sources of this vitamin are vegetable and fish oils, shellfish, liver, brown rice, potatoes, most fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E is an anti-blood-clotting agent. It strengthens capillary walls, neutralises the effect of harmful free radicals, counteracts premature ageing and helps form new skin. Increased intakes have been found helpful in aiding healing after burns and reducing menopausal symptoms such as flushing, depression and panic attacks. It is used also for circulatory problems. Deficiency of vitamin E can cause premature ageing, lack of vitality and disinterest in physical and sexual activity.