Vitamin Basics Breakdown

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In conjunction with our Vitamins 101 show, we want to provide a quick written overview of the major functions, signs of deficiency/toxicity and excellent food sources of each vitamin! For all of you vegetarians out there, we give you both the meat and vegetable sources of each nutrient. Hope this helps!


Vitamin A

  1. Major Functions: Growth, Reproduction, Vision, Cell differentiation, Immune Function, Bone Health
  2. Deficiency: Night blindness, XerophthalmiaHyperkeratosis
  3. Toxicity: Blurred vision, Birth defects, Liver Damage, Osteoporosis
  4. Excellent Food Sources: Liver, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Carrot

Vitamin D

  1. Major Functions: Calcium homeostasis in the body, Bone health, Cell differentiation
  2. Deficiency: Rickets, Osteomalacia, Osteoperosis
  3. Toxicity: Elevated Calcium in the blood
  4. Excellent Food Sources: Fish, Shiitake mushrooms, Fortified milk, Fortified cereals

Vitamin E

  1. Major Functions: Antioxidant, Cell membranes, Eye health, Heart health
  2. Deficiency: Neuromuscular Problems, Hemolytic anemia
  3. Toxicity: Hemorrhage
  4. Excellent Food Sources: Tomatoes, Nuts, Seeds, Spinach, Fortified Cereals

Vitamin K

  1. Major Functions: Blood clotting, Bone health, Tooth health
  2. Deficiency: Bleeding
  3. Toxicity: No known effects
  4. Excellent Food Sources: Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts





  1. Major Functions: Energy metabolism, Synthesis of DNA, RNA, Nerve function
  2. Deficiency: Beriberi
  3. Excellent Food Sources: Whole grains, Legumes, Fortified and enriched foods, Tuna, Soy milk, Pork

 Riboflavin (B2)

  1. Major Functions: Energy metabolism
  2. Deficiency: Ariboflavinosis 
  3. Excellent Food Sources: Liver, Mushrooms, Dairy products and fortified and enriched foods, Tomatoes, Spinach

 Niacin (B3)

  1. Major Functions: Energy metabolism, Making protein, Making cholesterol, DNA repair, Keeping our glucose stable
  2. Deficiency: Pellagra 
  3. Toxicity: Skin inflammation and flushing
  4. Excellent Food Sources: Liver, Fish, Meat (including chicken), Fortified and enriched foods, Tomatoes, Mushrooms

 Pantothenic Acid (B5)

  1. Major Functions: Energy Metabolism, Making Cholesterol and Fatty acids.
  2. Deficiency: Burning feet syndrome
  3. Excellent Food Sources: Liver, Mushrooms, Sunflower seeds, Fortified Foods, Yogurt, Turkey

Vitamin B6

  1. Major Functions: Creating amino acids, Creating neurotransmitters and hemoglobin, Regulating hormones
  2. Deficiency: Microcytic Hypochromic Anemia
  3. Toxicity: Neurological problems
  4. Excellent Food Sources: Fish, Chickpeas, Liver, Fortified Foods, Potatoes, Bananas


  1. Major Functions: Energy metabolism, Regulation of gene expression
  2. Deficiency: Depression, Loss of muscle control, Skin irritations
  3. Excellent Food Sources: Peanuts, Almonds, Egg yolk, Tomatoes, Avocados


  1. Major Functions: Metabolizing amino acids, creating DNA and RNA
  2. Deficiency: Macrocytic Anemia
  3. Excellent Food Sources: Organ meats, Legumes, Okra, Leafy veggies, Fortified and Enriched foods

Vitamin B12

  1. Major Functions: Energy metabolism
  2. Deficiency: Macrocytic Anemia
  3. Excellent Food Sources: Mollusks, Liver, Salmon, Meat, Fortified Foods, Cottage Cheese, Nutritional Yeast

Vitamin C

  1. Major Functions: Antioxidant, “Recharging” enzymes, Collagen synthesis, Hormone synthesis, Protection from free radicals
  2. Deficiency: Scurvy
  3. Toxicity: Gastrointestinal problems
  4. Excellent Food Sources: Peppers, Papayas, Citrus fruits, Broccoli, Strawberries, Brussels Sprouts

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2 Comments on Vitamin Basics Breakdown

  1. Avatar
    June 13, 2015 at 10:23 am (4 years ago)

    since vitamin k helps your blood to clot, when you have had too much it can case serious blood clotting issues. for example, a stroke. i learned this the hard way.


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