As other nutrients vitamins form an essential component of nutrients needed in our body for various functions though in small quantities. Vitamins exist in two major categories: fat soluble (A, D, K and E) and water-soluble (Vitamin B-Complex and C). Unlike fat-soluble vitamins water-soluble vitamins require regular replacement in the body. Dietary reference intakes advocate for water-soluble vitamins. This means that vitamins should be taken in levels that are sufficient to maintain a healthy body store. If this is exceeded or taken in less quantity then it leads to toxicities or deficiencies respectively.
Vitamin B-complex is very essential in variety of activities in human body. It exists in different nutrient values as vit. B1, vit. B2, vit. B3, vit. B5, vitB6, vit. B7. vit. B8, vit. B9 and vit. B12, all, which are obtained from foods, like bananas, spinach and oranges. There are several ways in which our body can be deprived of the vitamin B complex. These include emotional, physical and spiritual stress, retimed sugar, eating processed food most of the time, recreational drugs and prescriptions drugs, poisons from environment malnutrition and cooking.
Once human body is deprived of vitamin B-complex one to one or combination of the above reasons then the following are the likely symptoms. Mental problem, heart palpitations indigestions, heart arythimiasis, chronic fatigue and exhaustition, frustrations, insomnia tingling hands, crying spells, rashes and sores all over the body among others. Vitamin B complex is responsible for wide variety of metabolic and biosynthesis activities in the human body.
These activities among others are, transmission of nerve electricity, muscular contradiction, cellular differentiation, health of nerve cells, energy production, and brain function and heart pulse rate. Without adequate supply of vitamin B complex then one is bound to experience chronic B deficiency. Chronic deficiency of Vitamin B complex leads to failure in the adrenal system, which is the major back up system for making energy. The adrenal glands are therefore forced to produce adrenaline hormones to cater for the severely needed energy to cope with the body functions.
Continued quick ejection of adrenaline leads to wearing out of the adrenal glands which leads to severe chronic fatigue and exhaustion and may even lead to death. As earlier said vitamin B-complex is very essential and since it’s a combination of Several vitamin nutrients the following is a summary of some deficiency symptoms that can be seen for specific components: Thiamine (vit. B) deficiency leads to the following; lost appetite, easy fatigue, confusion and loss of memory, stomach pains and constipation and irritability. Riboflavin (Vit.
B2) deficiency leads to sore tongues, burning eyes, cracks and sores in the corners the mouth, sensitivity to light, dizziness, oily skin and itchy vaginal truck. According to Dr. Shayne, niacin, niacinamide, nicotinomide, and narcotic acid (vit. B3) and panthothenic acid (vit. B5) are always having rare signs of deficiency. Cyanocobalamine (vit. B12) deficiency leads to nerve damage soreness and weakness of the arms and legs, anemia, decreased sensory perception and neuritis fatigue. Biotin (vit. B7) deficiency leads to latitude, depression, skin disorders and sleeplessness.
While choline deficiency leads to heart failure, bleeding stomach ulcers and kidneys, fatty deposits in the liver, kidneys failure, hardened arteries and high blood pressure. As much as they are essential consumption of high amounts of vitamin B- complex is can be very harmful as well. The following are some of the reported cases of toxicities of vitamin B –complex: vitamin B1 causes headaches and irritability, vitamin B3 toxicity leads to itching, liver damage, stomach upsets, impaired glucose tolerance and red face as well as red upper parts of the body.
Vitamin B6 toxicity leads to numb feet, lost sense of touch, lost gait, and lost coordination. While choline consumption for a long time and accumulated overdose leads to vitamin B6 deficiency. Vitamin C also known as ascorbic acid is also very essential in human body as it functions physiologically as water-soluble antioxidant by virtue of its reducing power. It’s also a cofactor for enzymes that are involved in the biosynthesis of collagen and neurotransmitters. Vitamin C can also quench variety of reactive nitrogen and oxygen species in aqueous environments.
Vitamin C deficiency may lead to; nosebleeds, low resistance to infections, bleeding gums, slow healing of wounds and tendency of having bruises even at slight scratch. According to NIH clinical center (2001) many people and animals lack the ability to biosynthesis vitamin C compound from glucose because they lack enzyme guenons Therefore there is need for these people to take supplements of vitamin C since they are the most active antioxidants. This then indicates that vitamin C deficiency is caused by lack of enzyme guenon that is responsible for biosynthesis of vitamin C from glucose.
Vitamin C deficiency can be measured by urinary isoprostane excretion. This is done by clinical process of searching for reactive oxidants in activated gastric mucus and leucocytes lung as well as diminished lipid per oxidation. Stryer (2000) pointed out that there are no known signs of vitamin C toxicity. However high doses may lead to reduced fertility in women, temporary stomach cramps and diarrhea, may interfere with some laboratory tests on infections and may also decrease copper absorption into body system.
To avoid deficiencies and toxicities resulting from water-soluble vitamins we have to eat well. Foods do not induce any toxic or deficient dose of vitamins in blood.
Dietary Reference intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E Selenium and Caroteoids (2002) Washing Ton D. C. National Academy Press. Facts About Dietary. Supplements (2001) N. H. Clinic Center. Shayne PhD V. C, (2001) Illness isn’t caused by a Drug Deficiency! Stryer, PhD, (2000) Biochemistry 2nd Ed Standard University WH freeman & 10 San Francisco