Water-soluble vitamins include Vitamin C and the vitamin B complex group: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), Vitamin B6, biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), Vitamin B12. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are not stored by the body because they are eliminated in urine. Therefore, we require a continuous daily supply in our diet. Water-soluble vitamins are easily destroyed or washed out during food storage or preparation. Proper storage and preparation of food can minimize vitamin loss. To reduce vitamin loss, always refrigerate fresh produce, keep milk and grains away from strong light, and use cooking water from vegetables to prepare soups.
Here are the roles water-soluble vitamins play in your body
Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid
Known as “cold” fighter, this strong antioxidant can strengthen the immune system by fighting off colds and other infectious diseases. Besides, Vitamin C enhances cardiovascular and eye health. What’s more, it wards off wrinkles and the signs of aging skin.
Vitamin B1 Thiamin
Thiamine keeps your nerves healthy because it plays a vital role in the transmission of nerve impulses. Besides, thiamine participate the metabolism of alcohol, carbohydrates and amino acids. Symptoms of thiamin deficiency include: mental confusion, muscle weakness, wasting, water retention (edema), impaired growth, and the disease known as beriberi.
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin
Riboflavin, with the active forms of riboflavin flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), acts as a coenzyme taking part in a variety of flavoproteine enzyme reactions. It helps to release energy from foods, promotes good vision, good muscle and healthy skin. It also helps to convert the amino acid tryptophan into niacin. Symptoms of deficiency include cracks at the corners of the mouth, dermatitis on nose and lips, light sensitivity, cataracts, and a sore, red tongue.
Vitamin B3 Niacin
Niacin is the precursor of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), which are coenzymes for many dehydrogenases, participating in many hydrogen transfer processes. Niacin promotes normal appetite, healthy skin and nerves and plays an important role in energy production, normal enzyme function and digestion. Niacin deficiency can lead to nausea, skin and mouth lesions, anemia, headaches, and tiredness.
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid
Being produced by the intestinal flora, B5 is often well known for the anti-stress vitamin because it plays a very important role in the manufacture of the hormones associated with combating against stress. The importance of pantothenic acid also lies in being a part of coenzyme A, which is necessary for the synthesis of citrates，triglycerides and cholesterol and for the oxidation of pyruvates and alpha-ketoglutarates. Symptoms of B5 deficiency include headache, depression, nausea, muscle weakness, abdominal pains and so on.
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine
B6 is the most important vitamins for mental and physical health of human. B6 promotes growth of new cells, taking part in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fats, and at the same time controlling behavior and mood. B6 plays an important role to keep the balance between sodium and potassium. B6 is also necessary for the generation and part of the RNA and DNA. Recently, it shows that B6 can enhance immunity against cancer and inhibit conversion of cystine to homocysteine—a toxic substance detrimental to heart tissue. B6 is especially important for woman. That’s because it keeps the balance of female hormones. Deficiency of B6 will lead to severe mood swings, depression, insomnia, osteoporosis and arthritis.
Vitamin B7 Biotin
Biotin also known as, vitamin H, vitamin B7 or vitamin B8, is a water-soluble vitamin required by all organisms. Acts as a coenzyme for carboxylase enzymes，biotin takes part in various metabolic reactions involving transfer of carbon dioxide, such as gluconeogenesis and the synthesis of fatty acids and valine. It also assists in maintaining blood glucose level. Biotin is stable and can easily be absorbed, except combining to the avidin from raw eggs and refuse being absorbed. Symptoms of biotin deficiency include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, depression and so on.
Vitamin B9 Folic Acid
Chemically known as pteroylglutamic acid, folic acid can be synthesized within the body and can be accumulated to a certain amount in the liver. It plays a vital role in the synthesis of DNA, the formation of red blood cells and the generation of non-essential amino acids from protein sources. Folic acid is essential for the development of a healthy central nervous system in embryos. Folic acid deficiency can lead to folic acid anemia, with the symptoms including indigestion, depression and anxiety.
Vitamin B12 Cobalamin
Known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is a vitamin that can’t be synthesized within the body. It assists in the generation of genetic material, formation of normal red blood cells, and maintenance of the nervous system. B12 offers a hand in combatting allergies, clearing up infections and is related to cancer prevention.
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