1.3.7. Vitamins: Summary Chart

Summary of Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Table Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin Sources Recommended intake for adults Major functions Deficiency diseases and symptoms Groups at risk of deficiency Toxicity Upper limit
Vitamin A (retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, carotene, beta-carotene) Retinol: beef and chicken liver, skim milk, whole milk, cheddar cheese; Carotenoids: pumpkin, carrots, squash, collards, peas 700-900 mcg/day Antioxidant, vision, cell differentiation, reproduction, immune function Xerophthalmia, night blindness, eye infections; poor growth, dry skin, impaired immune function People living in poverty (especially infants and children), premature infants, pregnant and lactating women people who consume low-fat or low-protein diets Hypervitaminosis A: Dry, itchy skin, hair loss, liver damage, joint pain, fractures, birth defects, swelling of the brain 3000 mcg/day
Vitamin D Swordfish, salmon, tuna, orange juice (fortified), milk (fortified), sardines, egg, synthesis from sunlight 600-800 IU/day (15-20 mcg/day) Absorption and regulation of calcium and phosphorus, maintenance of bone Rickets in children: abnormal growth, misshapen bones, bowed legs, soft bones; osteomalacia in adults Breastfed infants, older adults people with limited sun exposure, people with dark skin Calcium deposits in soft tissues, damage to the heart, blood vessels, and kidneys 4000 IU/day (100 mcg/day)
Vitamin E Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts 15 mg/day Antioxidant, protects cell membranes Broken red blood cells, nerve damage People with poor fat absorption, premature infants Inhibition of vitamin K clotting factors 1000 mcg/day from supplemental sources
Vitamin K Vegetable oils, leafy greens, synthesis by intestinal bacteria 90-120 mcg/day Synthesis of blood clotting proteins and proteins needed for bone health and cell growth Hemorrhage Newborns, people on long term antibiotics Anemia, brain damage ND

Source: Fat Soluble Vitamins

Summary of Water-Soluble Vitamins

Table Water-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin Sources Recommended intake for adults Major functions Deficiency diseases and symptoms Groups at risk of deficiency Toxicity Upper limit
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) Orange juice, grapefruit juice, strawberries, tomato, sweet red pepper 75-90 mg/day Antioxidant, collagen synthesis, hormone and neurotransmitter synthesis Scurvy, bleeding gums, joint pain, poor wound healing, Smokers, alcoholics, elderly Kidney stones, GI distress, diarrhea 2000 mg/day
Thiamin (B1) Pork, enriched and whole grains, fish, legumes 1.1-1.2 mg/day Coenzyme: assists in glucose metabolism, RNA, DNA, and ATP synthesis Beriberi: fatigue, confusion, movement impairment, swelling, heart failure Alcoholics, older adults, eating disorders None reported ND
Riboflavin (B2) Beef liver, enriched breakfast cereals, yogurt, steak, mushrooms, almonds, eggs 1.1-1.3 mg/day Coenzyme: assists in glucose, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, electron carrier, other B vitamins are dependent on Ariboflavinosis: dry scaly skin, mouth inflammation and sores, sore throat, itchy eyes, light sensitivity None None reported ND
Niacin (B3) Meat, poultry,  fish, peanuts, enriched grains 14-16 NE/day Coenzyme: assists in glucose, fat, and protein metabolism, electron carrier Pellagra: diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, death Alcoholics Nausea, rash, tingling extremities 35 mg/day from fortified foods and supplements
Pantothenic Acid (B5) Sunflower seeds, fish, dairy products, widespread in foods 5 mg/day Coenzyme: assists in glucose, fat, and protein metabolism, cholesterol and neurotransmitter synthesis Muscle numbness and pain, fatigue, irritability Alcoholics Fatigue, rash ND
B6 (Pyridoxine) Meat, poultry, fish, legumes, nuts 1.3-1.7 mg/day Coenzyme; assists in amino-acid synthesis, glycogneolysis, neurotransmitter and hemoglobin synthesis Muscle weakness, dermatitis, mouth sores, fatigue, confusion Alcoholics Nerve damage 100 mg/day
Biotin Egg yolks, fish, pork, nuts and seeds 30 mcg/day Coenzyme; assists in glucose, fat, and protein metabolism, amino-acid synthesis Muscle weakness, dermatitis, fatigue, hair loss Those consuming raw egg whites None reported ND
Folate Leafy green vegetables, enriched grains, orange juice 400 mcg/day Coenzyme; amino acid synthesis, RNA, DNA, and red blood cell synthesis Diarrhea, mouth sores, confusion, anemia, neural-tube defects Pregnant women, alcoholics Masks B12 deficiency 1000 mcg/day from fortified foods and supplements
B12 (cobalamin) Meats, poultry, fish 2.4 mcg/day Coenzyme; fat and protein catabolism, folate function, red-blood-cell synthesis Muscle weakness, sore tongue, anemia, nerve damage, neural-tube defects Vegans, elderly None reported ND
Choline Egg yolk, wheat, meat, fish, synthesis in the body 425-550 mg/day Synthesis of neurotransmitters and cell membranes, lipid transport Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, muscle damage, interfered brain development in fetus None Liver damage, excessive sweating, hypotension 3500 mg/day

Source: Water Soluble Vitamins


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Fundamentals of Health and Physical Activity by Kerri Z. Delaney and Leslie Barker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.