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Nutritional & Vitamin Supplementation

Joyce Wong April 5, 2020 0 comments

Nutrition is the process of consuming, absorbing and using the nutrients needed by the body for growth, development and maintenance of life. A healthy diet is important in order to obtain adequate nutrition and perform daily activities. Nutrients are chemical substances found in food that are needed for life. It may be divided into two groups, depending on the quantity of the nutrients required by the body (i.e. macronutrients and micronutrients).

Macronutrients: must be consumed in large quantities and include protein, carbohydrates, fats, water and some minerals.

Micronutrients: require only small quantities, and include vitamins and minerals.

However, in some cases, people may not be able to consume sufficient quantities of nutrients resulting in nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies include maldigestion or malabsorption, increased nutritional demands and metabolic disorders.

Vitamin A

Patient presents with the following symptoms probably has Vitamin A deficiency:

Night blindness, xerophthalmia, dry, rough skin, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, retarded growth, reduced resistance to infection.

Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes and vision; growth, repair; protection against infection; a healthy reproductive system.

Daily recommended dietary intake for men is 3,333 IU, for women is 2,666 IU and for pregnant and breastfeeding women is 3,000 IU.

Good sources include leafy green and yellow vegetables, root crops such as sweet potato, butter whole milk and egg yolks.

Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin D

Patient presents with the following symptoms probably has Vitamin D deficiency:

Children: Rickets (bones lose calcium and become soft and curved). Symptoms may include bone pain/tenderness, skeletal deformities, dental deformities, muscle cramps, impaired growth and short stature

Adults: Bone pain, tenderness and muscle weakness, increased risk of osteoporosis, arthritis and cancer

Vitamin D is important for the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus (for bone and teeth development); healthy nervous and immune system; regulation of some hormones; normal cell growth and maturation.

Daily recommended dietary intake for men and women is 200 IU (if above 50 years: 400 IU; above 70 years is 600 IU) and for pregnant and breastfeeding women is 200 IU.

Good sources include flesh of fish (salmon, tuna and mackerel, liver oil, cheese, egg and mushrooms).

Vitamin E

Patient presents with the following symptoms probably has Vitamin E deficiency:

Infants: Irritability, fluid retention and anaemia

Adults: Lethargy tiredness, fatigue, loss of balance and anaemia

Vitamin E is important for its action as antioxidants to provide protection for cells against free radical damages which may lead to disorders, e.g. heart disease and cancer. It is particularly important in protecting fats, cell membranes, DNA and enzymes against damage.

Daily recommended dietary intake for men is 15 IU, for women is 12 IU, for pregnant women is 15 IU and for breastfeeding women is 18 IU.

Good sources include wheat germ, nuts and seeds, whole grain cereals, eggs and leafy greens.

Vitamin E
Vitamin K
Vitamin K

Patient presents with the following symptoms probably has Vitamin K deficiency:

Prolonged clotting time, easy bleeding and bruising (rarely occur in adults)

Vitamin K is important for blood clotting, bone metabolism and kidney function.

Daily recommended dietary intake for men is 80 mcg and for women (including those pregnant and breastfeeding) is 65 mcg.

Good sources include dark leafy green, oils from green plants and some dairy products.

Vitamin B1

Patient presents with the following symptoms probably has Vitamin B1 deficiency:

Fatigue, depression, reduced mental function, muscle cramps, nausea, heart enlargement, beri-beri

Vitamin B1 is important for releasing energy from food; carbohydrates and fatty acid metabolism; healthy growth; healthy skin, blood, hair and muscles; a healthy brain and nervous system; and alcohol metabolism.

Daily recommended dietary intake for men is 1.2mg, 1.1mg for women and 1.4mg for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Good sources include meat, whole grains, fish and nuts.

Vitamin B1
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B2

Patient presents with the following symptoms probably has Vitamin B2 deficiency:

Red, swollen, cracked mouth and tongue; fatigue; depression; anaemia; greasy, scaly skin on the fave, body and limbs

Vitamin B2 is important for the production of energy from food; normal growth and development; a healthy immune system; healthy skin, hair and blood cells; a healthy nervous system and brain; and hormone function.

Daily recommended dietary intake for men is 1.3mg, women is 1.1mg, for pregnant women is 1.4mg and for breastfeeding women is 1.6mg.

Good sources include meat, dairy products and fortified grains.

Vitamin B3

Patient presents with the following symptoms probably has Vitamin B3 deficiency:

Pellagra with symptoms of dermatitis on the hands and face, weakness, loss of appetite, sore mouth, diarrhoea, anxiety, depression and dementia

Vitamin B3 is important for the release of energy from food; healthy skin, blood cells and digestive system; normal growth and development; a healthy brain and genetic system; repair of genetic material and hormone production.

Daily recommended dietary intake for men is 16mg, for women is 14mg, for pregnant women is 18mg and for breastfeeding women is 17mg.

Good sources include meat, fish, pulses (peas and beans) and whole grains.

Vitamin B3
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6

Patient presents with the following symptoms probably has Vitamin B6 deficiency:

Weakness, poor appetite, dermatitis, sore mouth, susceptibility to infection, and eventually convulsion and anaemia

Vitamin B6 is important for the release of energy from food; healthy cardiovascular, nervous and immune systems; protein metabolism and hormone production; healthy skin, hair and red blood cells; manufacture of the genetic material of the cell.

Advice

  • Eat a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals
  • Stop smoking. Smoking also cause a depletion of the Vitamin C reserves in the body.
  • Get enough of sunlight (not later than 10am).
  • Avoid the excessive administration of these supplements. There is such a thing known as mega dosing that may be harmful to the body.
  • Natural products are still the best source of vitamins and other nutrients required by an individual.

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