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Health Essay

2963 words - 12 pages

The Water-Soluble Vitamins: B Vitamins and Vitamin C

I. The Vitamins—An Overview
Vitamins differ from carbohydrate, fat and protein in structure, function and food contents. Vitamins are similar to the energy-yielding nutrients in that they are vital to life, organic and available from foods. Both deficiencies and excesses of the vitamins can affect health.

A. Bioavailability is the rate and extent that a nutrient is absorbed and used.
B. Precursors, also known as provitamins, are consumed in an inactive form and become active vitamins in the body.
C. The organic nature of vitamins means they can be destroyed by exposure to light, oxidation, cooking, and ...view middle of the document...

II. The B Vitamins—As Individuals
The B vitamins are very active in the body. Several of the B vitamins form part of the coenzymes that assist enzymes in the release of energy. Other B vitamins participate in metabolism and cell multiplication. Recommendations for the B vitamins come from RDA, AI, and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels. There are deficiencies, toxicities and food sources that are unique for each vitamin.

A. Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – Thiamin is involved in energy metabolism as part of the coenzyme thiamin pyrophosphate (TPP).
1. Thiamin Recommendations (1998 RDA)
a. RDA Men: 1.2 mg/day
b. RDA Women: 1.1 mg/day
2. Thiamin Deficiency and Toxicity
a. Deficiency Symptoms
1. Enlarged heart and possible cardiac failure
2. Muscular weakness
3. Apathy, poor short-term memory, confusion, and irritability
4. Anorexia and weight loss
b. Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a severe deficiency that develops in those who abuse alcohol.
c. Deficiency results in the disease beriberi.
1. Wet beriberi presents with edema.
2. Dry beriberi presents with muscle wasting.
d. No reported toxicities
3. Thiamin Food Sources
a. Whole-grain, fortified or enriched grain products
b. Moderate amounts in all foods
c. Pork
d. watermelon
4. Other Information
a. Steaming and microwaving are cooking methods that conserve thiamin.
b. Thiamin leaches into water with boiling or blanching.
c. The vitamin is easily destroyed by heat.

B. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) –Riboflavin is involved in energy metabolism. Flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are the coenzyme forms.
1. Riboflavin Recommendations (1998 RDA)
a. RDA Men: 1.3 mg/day
b. RDA Women: 1.1 mg/day
2. Riboflavin Deficiency and Toxicity
a. Deficiency Symptoms
1. Inflamed eyelids, sensitivity to light, and reddening of the cornea
2. Sore throat and cracks and redness at the corners of the mouth
3. Painful, smooth and purplish red tongue
4. Skin lesions covered with greasy scales
b. Deficiency disease is ariboflavinosis
c. No reported toxicities
3. Riboflavin Food Sources
a. Milk products, including yogurt and cheese
b. Enriched and whole grains
c. Liver
d. Mushrooms
4. Other information
a. Easily destroyed by ultraviolet light and irradiation
b. Not destroyed by cooking

C. Niacin (Vitamin B3) – Niacin is involved in the metabolism of glucose, fat, and alcohol. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), and NADP, the phosphate form of NAD, are the coenzyme forms.
1. Niacin Recommendations (1998 RDA)
a. The body can obtain niacin from dietary niacin and dietary...

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