Vitamins play an important role in protecting your health. Some dietary and environmental factors may contribute to vitamin deficiency which can result in serious health problems. Ongoing clinical studies show that dietary factors represent 30 percent of the factors influencing the development of cancer. Most children do not need supplemental vitamins. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a diet based on the Food Guide Pyramid provides adequate amounts of all the vitamins a child needs. As much as possible, try to maximize the vitamins your child receives in regular meals and snacks. Children whose nutrition may be improved with multivitamins include those who are very picky eaters, have poor appetite or have a highly selective diets. Examples of children who may need multivitamin supplements include those who do not eat meat or dairy products, or eat too little vegetables.
In addition, children with certain medical conditions may need vitamins to supplement their diet. Beware megavitamin therapy in your children. This has no proven scientific value and may pose risk to your child's health. For example, consuming megadoses of vitamin C in hopes of minimizing or preventing a cold, can cause headaches, diarrhea, nausea and cramps. Keep multivitamins securely closed and in a medical cabinet, so that your child does not accidentally takes too many.
Fat-Soluble and Water-Soluble Vitamins
All vitamins are organic compounds made of the same elements: carbon,
hydrogen, oxygen, and sometimes nitrogen (vitamin B12 also contain
cobalt). Vitamins do not provide energy, nor do they construct or build any part
of the body. They are needed for transforming food into energy and body
Vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K have two characteristics in
common: they all dissolve in fat, and all are stored in fatty tissues.
Fat-soluble vitamins also have common structural traits: each is composed either
entirely or primarily of five-carbon isoprenoid units (that is, related to
isoprene, 2-methyl-1,3-butadiene) derived initially from acetyl-CoA in those
plant and animal species capable of their biosynthesis.
In contrast, water-soluble vitamins ((vitamin C and eight B vitamins) show
little structural similarity, but they have functional uniformity, whereas
fat-soluble vitamins have diverse functions. Water-soluble vitamins function as
coenzymes while fat-soluble vitamins do not.
Water-soluble vitamins enter directly into blood and do not require carriers,
while fat-soluble vitamins first enter into the lymph system and need protein
All water-soluble vitamins must be constantly replenished because they are
rapidly eliminated from the body in the urine. They are carried in the
bloodstream, are needed in small quantities, and are unlikely to be toxic,
except when taken in unusually large doses.
All fat-soluble vitamins are generally stored in the body in larger
quantities than water-soluble vitamins. They are needed in periodic doses, and
are more likely to be toxic when consumed in excess of need.
Vitamin A (retinol)
Vitamin A (Retinol) is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for the production of adrenal and thyroid hormones, proper function of nerve cells, immune system and cell growth, normal vision and skin.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Vitamin B1 for energy and healthy heart. Vitamin B1 plays an important role in production of energy in every cell of the body, but especially in the heart and brain. A deficiency of vitamin B1 leads to heart failure and digestive problems.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 for energy, healthy eyes and skin. Vitamin B2 deficiency results in skin problems, visual disturbances, cataract formation and anemia.
Vitamin B3 (niacin). Vitamin B3 (niacin) for energy and healthy skin. Vitamin B3 deficiency results in skin problems and may increase risks of blood and skin cancer.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) for energy, low cholesterol and healthy heart. Vitamin B5 helps to fight stress, lower cholesterol levels and decrease risks of heart disease.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Vitamin B6 for healthy heart, skin, kidneys and strong immune system. Vitamin B6 deficiency results in depression, seizures (especially in infants and young children), glucose intolerance, migraine, chronic pain, and impaired nerve function.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin). Vitamin B12 for healthy nerve cells. Vitamin B12 plays important role in protecting your health. Poor nutrition can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 deficiency is also reported to be a risk factor for heart disease, stroke and accelerated ageing.
Biotin. Biotin for healthy hair and skin. Biotin deficiency results in seborrheic dermatitis and alopecia in infants. In adults, it may lead to sleep disturbances, muscle pain and eye problems.
Choline. Choline for healthy liver and good memory. Choline performs a vital function in the proper utilization of fats and the development of the brain.
Vitamin D. Vitamin D is both a hormone and a vitamin. It plays an important role in control of calcium concentration in the body, proper regulation of immune syste and prevention of certain types of cancer.
Vitamin K. Vitamin K plays an important role in bone, liver, kidney and arteries health. A deficiency of vitamin K leads to osteoporosis and other health disorders.
Essential Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (Vitamin F). Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids play a number of important roles in your body. Deficiency or imbalance of essential fatty acids is linked to a long list of serious health conditions.