• 26 JUL 17
    • 0
    Multivitamins and Minerals: Their uses and Sources

    Multivitamins and Minerals: Their uses and Sources


    Multivitamin is a healthy mixture of nutritional elements, dietary minerals and vitamins. It is used as a dietary supplement. It does not include an herb, drug or hormone. It is a mixture of 3 or more minerals and vitamins where each one is added below its upper limit permissible with no side effects.


    Multivitamins are present in the form of capsules, tablets, powders, pastilles, liquid and also in injectable formulations.

    Ingredient vitamins:

    Any usual multivitamin formula is picked from the list of vitamins A, B1-B12 (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12), C, D2, E, K, Zinc, Potassium, Iodine, Iron,  Borate, selenium, Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium, Molybdenum and Beta-carotene. Depending on the profile of the consumer, ingredient inclusion varies.

    Detailed information:

    Detailed information on each vitamin is:

    Vitamin A:

    Sources: Broccoli, carrot, butter, cod liver oil, liver, sweet potato, red capsicum, spinach, pumpkin, egg, mango, pea, tomatoes, milk, cheddar cheese.


    • Oral and tropical retinoids are used for treatment of acne and other skin conditions.
    • Treatment for measles and dry eye.
    • Essential in sufficient quantities for development of foetus in pregnant women and for nursing mothers to enable infant growth.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Partial/night Blindness
    • Blindness
    • Impairment of immunity
    • Improper growth of foetus and infant through mother

    Vitamin C:

    Sources: Sea buckthorn, blue berry, broccoli, chilli and red pepper, guava, peach, carrot, apple, watermelon, banana, beetroot, plum, grape, apricot, garlic, mango, potato, tomato, milk, liver, brain, oysters and all citrus fruits in general.


    • Immune system needs vitamin C for functioning properly
    • Prevents cell damage
    • Helps in making protein collagen, which builds muscles and bones
    • Makes key hormones which act as signal carriers from brain to rest of the body

    Deficiency leads to: Scurvy, leading to weakened healing and increase in bleeding

    Vitamin D (D2 and D3):


    • Body when skin is exposed to sunlight makes vitamin D.
    • Supplements are usually given to infants because their exposure to sun and capacity to make vitamin D is limited.


    • Helps body in absorption of calcium and phosphorus
    • Used in treatment and prevention of bone and body disorders

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Soft and brittle bones
    • Bone deformations
    • Risk of cardiovascular disease
    • Cancer
    • Cognitive impairment
    • Chronic asthma

    Vitamin E:

    Sources: Sunflower oil, almonds, hazelnuts, peanut butter, spinach, papaya, olives, rockfish


    • Used in treatment of ataxia, a movement related genetic disorder.
    • It dissolves fats
    • Treats and prevents heart and blood vessels from hardening thereby preventing high blood pressure, heart attack, chest pain and leg pain
    • Used for treating diabetes and complications in diabetes
    • Used to prevent leakage of chemotherapy drug into tissues in surroundings
    • Used to prevent beta-thalassemia, a blood disorder

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Nerves, eyes and immune system will be harmed-peripheral neuropathy
    • Ataxia
    • Destruction of red blood cells
    • Myopathy

    Vitamin K (K1 and K2):

    Sources: Green leafy vegetables, cabbage, sprouts, broccoli, asparagus for K1 and meat, cheese, eggs for K2.


    • Required for complete synthesis of some of the proteins in body which help blood coagulation.
    • Also controls binding of calcium in bones and other tissues.
    • Key role in blood clotting, preventing excess blood loss in injuries, accidents and surgeries.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Osteoporosis, a condition where bones weaken, arteries and other soft tissues are calcified
    • Uncontrolled bleeding

    Vitamin B:

    Sources (common across vitamin B):

    • Unprocessed foods are rich source.
    • Low quantities in processed sugar and white flour.
    • Meats of turkey, tuna and liver.
    • Bananas, legumes, whole grains, yeast and molasses and chilli peppers.
    • Dietary supplements like energy drinks.

    Vitamin B1-Thiamine:


    • Plays a key role in release of carbohydrate energy.
    • It is involved in DNA and RNA production.
    • Plays a key role in metabolism

    Deficiency leads to: Beriberi, a nervous disorder leading to several complications of emotional well being and heart

    Vitamin B2- Riboflavin:

    Uses: Useful in energy release for catabolism of fatty acids, citric acid cycle and electron transport chain.

    Deficiency leads to: Ariboflavinosis, a condition that results in high sensitivity to sunlight, sore throat, cracks in lips, tongue inflammation.

    Vitamin B3- Niacin:


    • Useful in energy transfer during metabolism of glucose, fat and alcohol
    • Useful as a coenzyme in lipid and nucleic acid synthesis

    Deficiency leads to: Pellagra, a condition which induces aggression, weakness, sleeplessness, diarrhoea and mental confusion

    Vitamin B5- Pantothenic acid:


    • It is involved in oxidation of carbohydrates and fatty acids.
    • It synthesises a coenzyme A, which in turn is useful in synthesis of cholesterol, steroid hormones, amino acids, ketone bodies, neurotransmitters and antibodies.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Acne
    • Tingling, burning, pricking sensation of skin

    Vitamin B6- Pyridoxine:

    Uses: A co factor in several enzyme reactions, more so in amino acids in metabolism and biosynthesis of neurotransmitters.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Pink eye
    • Neurological disorders
    • Skin infections

    Vitamin B7- Biotin:


    • Plays key role in carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism.
    • Helpful in synthesis of fatty acids from acetate.
    • Involved in metabolism of cholesterol, amino acid and energy.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Neurological disorders and stopped or slowed growth in infants
    • Multiple carboxylase Deficiency-MCD, a condition which is most likely neonatal and sometime onsets later, in which problems related to feeding, smell of urine, skin exfoliation are observed

    Vitamin B9- Folate:


    • Folate plays key role in metabolism of nucleic and amino acids through transfer of single carbon units.
    • THF, which has B9 as ingredient is useful in normal cell division during pregnancy and infancy where the growth is rapid.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Macrocytic anaemia, which grows red blood cells without cell division.
    • Inflammation of blood vessels
    • In pregnant women, it leads to birth defects.

    Vitamin B12- Cobalamin:


    • Involved in carbohydrate, lipid and protein cellular metabolism.
    • It is essential for production of blood cells in bone marrow.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Macrocytic anaemia, which grows red blood cells without cell division.
    • Inflammation of blood vessels.
    • Memory loss and cognitive defects.
    • May also cause symptoms of mania and psychosis.


    Sources: Oysters, beef, crab, pork, cashews, lobster, chicken, cheese, yoghurt, almonds, oat meal, milk and kidney


    • It has role in signal transduction, gene expression, metabolism of DNA and RNA.
    • It is stored in bones, brain, kidney, liver and muscle in moderate concentrations while it is high in concentration in prostate, parts of eye and semen, relating to growth.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Diarrhoea
    • Malaria
    • Pneumonia
    • Skin problems
    • Reproductive system issues
    • Gastrointestinal tract problem
    • Skeletal system and immunity


    Sources: Apricots, banana, beans, beef, broccoli, cantaloupe, dates, orange, potato chips, pumpkin, raisins, tomato, turkey, yogurt and zucchini


    • Potassium decreases blood pressure, protecting from high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease.
    • Reduces risk of kidney stones
    • It increases bone strength by guarding against bone loss
    • Reduces calcium in urine

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Hypokalemia, a condition leading to weakness, feeling tired, cramps and constipation
    • Diarrhoea
    • Diabetes
    • Vomiting
    • Chronic kidney disease


    Sources: Sea vegetables, cranberries, strawberries, yogurt, Potatoes and cheese


    • Iodine is heaviest and essential element of human body.
    • It is useful for synthesis of growth regulating thyroid hormones

     Deficiency leads to:

    • Goitre, a condition where thyroid grand swells
    • Mental handicaps called cretinism


    Sources: Banana, avocado, almonds, yogurt, spinach, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and figs


    • Useful in addressing constipation
    • Reduces blood pressure during pregnancy
    • Used for treating eclampsia, which is development of seizures
    • Reduces symptoms of heartburn and indigestion

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Hypomagnesaemia, a condition where kidney, diarrhoea leading to several organ issues.
    • Vomiting, nausea and diarrhoea
    • Hormone imbalance



    • Tea, coffee, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, sweet potato, spinach, pineapple and berry fruits, grains like wheat, millets and oats, bean and nuts among vegetarian.
    • Tofu, tempeh, bass and mussels among non vegetarian food.


    • Promotes body growth among children
    • Together with other vitamins improves bone strength and protects from osteoporosis

    Deficiency leads to: Liver failure or cirrhosis, a condition which could lead to neurological problems and Parkinson type symptoms.


    Sources:  Milk, cheese, broccoli, yogurt, leafy vegetables, legumes, seafood, soybeans, almonds, okra, oranges, fish, Shrimp, crab, chicken and eggs.


    • Majority share in bone and teeth is calcium.
    • Helps in digestion of food
    • Used in treatment for hypocalcaemia.
    • Prevents kidney failure which is as a result of controlling heavy phosphate levels

    Deficiency leads to: Hypocalcaemia



    • Legumes, grain products.
    • Animal products are usually low in Molybdenum.


    • It acts as a catalyst in the process of breaking certain amino acids by enzymes in the body.
    • It combines with sulphate oxidase and catalyses sulphur containing amino acids that are crucial for proper health.

    Deficiency leads to:

    • Neurological damage by accumulation of large amount of sulphate, a situation termed as Molybdenum cofactor deficiency
    • Molybdenum arrests growth of esophageal cancer.



    • Red meat, insects and poultry.
    • Lentils, leafy vegetables, beans and breakfast cereals.


    • Carries oxygen from tissues to lungs.
    • Acting as transport medium for electrons within the cell.
    • Facilitates oxygen use and storage in muscles.

    Deficiency leads to: Iron deficiency anaemia, most common vitamin deficiency in the world. It leads to irregular heartbeat, pregnancy problems, and delayed growth in infants if untreated


    Sources: Apricot, carrot, spinach, sweet potato and fresh fruits

    Uses: It converts into vitamin A in the body

    Deficiency leads to: Same as vitamin A deficiencies

    Leave a reply →

Leave a reply

Cancel reply