What Are the Functions and Benefits of Vitamins?

What Are the Functions and Benefits of Vitamins: Vitamins and minerals help maintain the biochemical functions of the body. Vitamins are essential nutrients for the continuation of life. For this reason, experts say that there is no healthy life without vitamins. What are vitamins? What do vitamins do? If you are curious about these questions, you will find the most detailed information about the benefits of Vitamins in this article.

Table of Contents

What is a Vitamin?

Vitamins and minerals in all processes that take place in our body They are nutritional elements that ensure the fulfillment of many tasks in the organism without interruption by working instead of other nutrients that play a key role in common functions. Vitamins are complex chemical substances that act as regulators, coenzymes or partners of an enzyme. Minerals are nutrients that form an important part of cells in tissues such as bones, teeth and nails, work together with enzymes and accelerate the enzymatic reactions that take place in the organism.

When compared to carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the organism’s vitamin and mineral requirement is very small. For this reason, vitamins and minerals called micronutrients are not a direct source of energy, but they are elements that act as regulators in many energy-providing mechanisms.

Vitamins fall into two groups according to their solubility in water or oil.

What Are Fat Soluble Vitamins?

Fat-soluble vitamins: Contains vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. These vitamins are fat soluble and can be stored in the body. These vitamins are involved in the metabolic activities of different body structures such as skin, vision, immune system, bone and muscular system.

What Are Water Soluble Vitamins?

Water-soluble vitamins include the vitamin B complex B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12, Folate, and vitamin C. These vitamins must be dissolved in water in order to be absorbed and stored by the body. Excess water-soluble vitamins that are not used by the body are excreted through the kidneys. These nutrients are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. In this way, they take part in energy generation. They also contribute to the reduction of fatigue and fatigue, immune system, protein, glycogen metabolism and cell formation.


It is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the body. For this reason, deficiency symptoms are seen when vitamin A is not taken for a long time. Vitamin A deficiency is more common in those who have insufficient and unbalanced nutrition and during childhood, pregnancy and breastfeeding periods when growth is rapid.

What is the daily vitamin A requirement?

It is found in foods as vitamin A retinol and vitamin A precursor carotene. The daily requirement is 1000 mcg for adult men and 800 mcg for women.

What are the functions of vitamin A?

  • It is necessary for vision, growth, reproduction, embryo development, blood production, immune system and tissue cell growth.
  • It helps in the formation of the body’s immune system against diseases.
  • It is involved in the formation, development and protection of epithelial tissue such as intestines and skin.
  • It protects against infections by providing a healthy continuity of skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach and small intestines and urinary tract.
  • Carotenoid forms work as an antioxidant and may have a protective effect against various types of cancer and aging-related diseases.
  • It helps the eyes to see normally in the dark and get used to the twilight.

Which foods contain vitamin A?

Vitamin A is provided in two ways.

Retinol form vitamin A from animal origin

  • Liver,
  • Fish oil,
  • It is taken from foods such as milk, butter and eggs.

Vitamin A can also be derived from some Carotenoid antioxidants found in plants.

  • Most often yellow orange (Carrots, winter squash, etc.)
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • It is found in yellow and orange fruits (apricot, peach, etc.).
  • What happens in vitamin A deficiency?
  • The most common symptom of Vitamin A deficiency is night blindness.
  • Dry eyes
  • Hair loss and dandruff
  • Drying of the skin and skin
  • Corneal cloudiness
  • Increase in infectious diseases due to weakened immune system
  • Growth retardation in children
  • Blindness.

Is excess vitamin A harmful?

If 10 times more vitamin A is taken than the daily requirement, poisoning effect can be seen. The first symptoms of poisoning are headache, dizziness and vomiting.


Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It needs oil and bile for absorption. Its most important task is to balance calcium and bone metabolism. In order to be produced, exposure to sunlight is required.

What is the daily vitamin D requirement?

The need for vitamin D varies according to age and person. While 400 IU is sufficient for babies up to 1 year old, 600 IU should be taken after 1 year old. After the age of 70, the daily need for vitamin D increases.

What are the functions of vitamin D?

The main task of vitamin D in metabolism is to regulate calcium and phosphorus balance in the body by providing calcium and phosphorus absorption. In the absence of vitamin D, calcium absorption is at the level of 10-15%, in the presence of vitamin D, this rate increases up to 30-80%.

  • The use of vitamin D prevents the loss of calcium in the kidneys.
  • It increases bone resistance.
  • It has positive effects on insulin production.
  • There are many studies suggesting that the use of vitamin D in the right proportions plays a protective role against many types of cancer.
  • What foods are vitamin D found in?
  • It is recommended to sunbathe for 20-30 minutes with the arms and legs open during the hours when the sun rays are steep.
Foods containing and rich in vitamin D and yellow pills

Foods with the most vitamin D;

  • Fish oil,
  • The fish,
  • Liver,
  • Egg yolk,
  • Butter

What happens in vitamin D deficiency?

Insufficient sunbathing and small amounts of vitamin D in natural foods are common causes of vitamin D deficiency.

  • In insufficient vitamin D intake, an adult bone disease called Osteomalasia can be seen.
  • Bone metabolism cannot improve.
  • It prepares the ground for obesity.
  • Sleep disturbances may occur.
  • It can prepare the ground for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Chronic fatigue

Is excess vitamin D harmful?

Because it is a vitamin stored in fat and not excreted in urine, its haphazard use can cause high blood levels. Using too much vitamin D;

  • Tissue and joint calcifications
  • It prepares the ground for kidney stone formation and kidney damage.
  • It can cause high blood pressure.
  • Excessive use of vitamin D can lead to poisoning. Depending on the poisoning; Dry mouth, headache, nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat may be experienced.


It is another fat-soluble vitamin. Since it is abundant in natural foods, deficiency is not common. It is a very powerful antioxidant.

How much is vitamin E daily usage?

The daily requirement for adults is 8-10 mg / day.

What are the functions of vitamin E?

It has vital functions for the body. It is a very powerful antioxidant and has a protective effect on the cell membrane. Its antioxidant properties are enriched with other nutrients such as C, vitamin B3 and selenium. It also has a protective effect from vascular occlusion (atherosclerosis). It takes part in the production of proteins involved in blood coagulation.

What foods are vitamin E found in?

  • Vegetable oils
  • Cereal grains
  • Oily seeds
  • Soy
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • It is abundant in legumes.

What happens in vitamin E deficiency?

Vitamin E deficiency is very rare, as it is found in many foods. It can be seen in intestinal or liver diseases that prevent vitamin E absorption.

  • Frequent illness due to weakening of the immune system
  • Skin wounds and difficult to heal
  • Muscle weakness
  • Balance and walking difficulties
  • Shake,
  • Vision problems
  • Anemia
  • Heart disease
  • Neurological problems,
  • Howling or ringing in the ears

Is excess vitamin E harmful?

There is no known toxic effect of taking large amounts of vitamin E.


It is another fat-soluble vitamin. Its deficiency is rare because it is synthesized by beneficial bacteria in the intestines and is abundant in foods. Vitamin K is divided into two main groups as K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is found in plant-based foods, while Vitamin K2 is mostly seen in animal-sourced foods.

How much is the daily use of vitamin K?

The daily required dose for adults is 65-80 mcg.

What are the functions of vitamin K?

Its main task is to control blood fluidity. It plays an important role in blood coagulation. Although its main task is to control blood fluidity, it supports bone health and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Which foods contain vitamin K?

  • Spinach and similar green leafy vegetables
  • Liver
  • Dry beans
  • The fish

What happens to vitamin K deficiency?

Absorption decreases, especially in cases where beneficial bacteria in the intestines are reduced and in bile duct diseases. Unlike vitamins A and D, vitamin K is not stored in a significant amount in the body. Its deficiency can be felt in a short time. In its deficiency, there are bleeding problems.


It melts in water, is not resistant to heat, it oxidizes when exposed to air. It takes part in many enzymatic reactions in the body.

What is the daily use of vitamin C?

The daily vitamin C requirement is 75-90 mg. The amount of vitamin C needed in breastfeeding, burns and febrile diseases can be increased 5-10 times.

What are the functions of vitamin C?

  • It provides flexibility and strength to the skin and connective tissue by keeping the cells together in the connective tissue and facilitating the production of collagen.
  • It strengthens the immune system and is protective against infections.
  • It is an antioxidant vitamin and especially slows down the development of breast cancer and skin cancer.
  • It facilitates the absorption of folic acid and iron, thus protecting it from the development of anemia.

What foods is vitamin C found in?

  • Citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, tangerine
  • Strawberry, blackberry, rosehip,
  • Tomato,
  • Cabbage,
  • Spinach with potatoes,
  • Lettuce,
  • There are green leafy vegetables such as green peppers and vine leaves.

What happens with vitamin C deficiency?

  • Bleeding in teeth and flesh, abnormalities in teeth
  • Tiredness,
  • Unwillingness
  • Joint pain
  • It causes scurvy disease with joint pain.
  • Frequent infections cause lack of resistance to inflammatory diseases.

Is excess vitamin C harmful?

The excess vitamin C taken is excreted in the urine. Taking very high doses of vitamin C can cause problems such as diarrhea, allergic skin manifestations and kidney stones.


It is a water-soluble vitamin. It is one of the most important vitamins used in energy metabolism in the body. Since it is a vitamin that is not stored in the body, the unused part is excreted through the kidneys.

How much is the daily use of thiamine (B1) vitamin?

It is 0.4 milligrams for every 1000 kcal that a person should take.

What are the functions of thiamine (B1) vitamin?

  • Provides the conversion of nutrients such as carbohydrates, which are the main sources of energy, into energy in the body
  • Thiamine is also effective in maintaining heart health.
  • It is an essential vitamin for brain functions and energy production in the brain.
  • Has a protective effect against aging
  • Reduces the harmful effects of smoking and alcohol
  • Against muscle fatigue and contractions
  • Good for the digestive system

What foods is thiamine (B1) found in?

  • Liver and other organ meats
  • Milk
  • Dry beans
  • Cereals (Wheat, corn, ricȩ)
  • Walnuts, hazelnuts
  • It is abundant in eggs.

What happens with thiamine (B1) vitamin deficiency?

  • Fatigue and reluctance
  • Vomiting and digestive system problems,
  • Heart failure
  • Unrest,
  • Swelling and pain in joints called beriberi
  • Tables with a feeling of imbalance can be seen.


It is a heat-sensitive and water-soluble vitamin. Foods containing this vitamin should not be kept for too long and cooking vegetables and yogurt should not be poured.

What are the functions of riboflavin (B2) vitamin?

  • It takes part in protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
  • It also helps in the absorption of iron and vitamin B6.
  • plays an important role in growth and development

What foods is riboflavin (B2) found in?

  • Liver, meat
  • Milk and dairy products,
  • Egg
  • The fish
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Cereals

What happens with riboflavin (B2) deficiency?

  • Nervous system disorders
  • Dermatitis
  • Skin complaints such as cracks around the lips and mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Light sensitivity can be seen.

NIASIN B3 Vitamin

It is one of the B group vitamins and is insensitive to heat and soluble in water. It acts as a regulator in energy metabolism.

B3 What are the functions of niacin?

  • It contributes to energy generation metabolism.
  • It contributes to the protection of the mucosa.
  • It contributes to the protection of the skin.
  • It contributes to the reduction of fatigue and exhaustion.

Which foods contain Vitamin B3?

  • Meat, fish, poultry,
  • Liver,
  • Cereals,
  • Dry beans
  • It is abundant in green leafy vegetables.

B3 What happens with niacin deficiency?

  • Symptoms are detected in the nervous, digestive system and especially sun-exposed skin areas.
  • The disease with skin and nervous system symptoms called pellagra disease can be observed.
  • Depressive mood is observed in weakness.
  • Tryptophan amino acid is converted to niacin in protein-containing foods.
  • Metabolism slowdown and cold resistance can be seen.


Folic acid is water soluble and is not stored in the body. In addition to being able to be synthesized by bacteria in the intestinal flora, it must be taken in sufficient quantities with nutrition. Folic acid deficiency is common in pregnant women and alcoholics.

What is the daily folic acid use?

The daily dose needed is 400 mcg. The need increases in pregnant and lactating women. Pregnant and breastfeeding people are required to take 600 mcg daily.

What are the functions of folic acid?

  • It takes part in protein metabolism and blood cell production.
  • It plays an important role in the nervous system organization and the development of the fetus
  • It plays an important role in cell division.
  • It prevents diseases such as heart attack, dementia and paralysis by reducing vascular stiffness.

What foods is folic acid found in?

  • Liver
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Dry beans
  • It is abundant in cereals.

What happens with folic acid deficiency?

  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Depression
  • Wounds inside the mouth
  • Insufficient intake of folic acid by the expectant mother during pregnancy may cause some problems in the development of the brain and spine of the unborn baby.


It is a vitamin that is involved in energy metabolism, is very important in the production of blood cells and the functioning of the nervous system. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body. Vitamin B 6 is sensitive to heat and light. It can easily be spoiled by the effect of sunlight or cooking.

What is the daily B6 (Pyridoxine) requirement?

The daily dose needed is 1.5-2 mg / day. This rate increases during breastfeeding or pregnancy.

What are the functions of B6 (Pyridoxine)?

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in protein synthesis, amino acid reactions and the breakdown of glucose.
It strengthens the immune system.
Provides absorption of amino acids from the small intestine.
It plays a role in the production of serotonin and dopamine, which affects appetite, mental health, or sensitivity to pain.
It is involved in the production of hemoglobin.
Prevents kidney stone formation
Protects the heart against cholesterol accumulation
Takes part in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism

In which foods is B6 (Pyridoxine) found?

  • Meat, liver, kidney
  • Cereals
  • It is abundant in dried legumes.

What happens in B6 (Pyridoxine) deficiency?

  • Anemia
  • Unrest
  • Anorexia
  • Digestive disorders
  • Tongue and lip cracking
  • Nervous system symptoms such as convulsion may occur.


It is a water-soluble vitamin. It is affected by heat. It is also known as cobalamin because of the cobalt mineral it contains. It can be stored in different parts of the liver and body, albeit a little.

What is the daily vitamin B12 requirement?

The daily need for B 12 is 2-3 mcg. The amount of need increases in pregnant and breastfeeding women.

What are the functions of vitamin B12?

  • It functions in the correct and fast operation of the nervous system.
  • It strengthens the immune system.
  • It is involved in cell production in the bone marrow.
  • It takes part in protein metabolism.
  • Which foods contain vitamin B12?
  • Vitamin B 12 is not found in plant foods. It is abundant in meat, milk, cheese, eggs and fish.

What happens with B12 deficiency?

  • Unrest
  • Numbness in hands, arms and legs
  • Contraction
  • Loss of feeling
  • Anemia can be seen.
  • Retardation in growth and development in babies
  • Memory loss and dementia

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