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Vitamins A, B, C, D, E & K
Vitamin C is a vitamin. Some animals can make their own vitamin C, but people must get this vitamin from food and other sources. Good sources of vitamin C are fresh
fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits. Vitamin C can also be made in a laboratory.
Most experts recommend getting vitamin C from a diet high in fruits and vegetables rather than taking supplements. Fresh-squeezed orange juice or fresh-frozen concentrate is a better pick than ready-to-drink orange juice. The fresh juice contains more active vitamin C. Drink fresh-frozen orange juice within one week after reconstituting it for the most benefit. It you prefer ready-to-drink orange juice, buy it 3 to 4 weeks before the expiration date, and drink it within one week of opening.
Historically, vitamin C was used for preventing and treating scurvy. Scurvy is now relatively rare, but it was once common among sailors, pirates, and others who spent long periods of time onboard ships. When the voyages lasted longer than the supply of fruits and vegetables, the sailors began to suffer from vitamin C deficiency, which led to scurvy.
These days, vitamin C is used most often for preventing and treating the common cold
. Some people use it for other infections including gum disease, acne and other skin infections,
bronchitis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, stomach ulcers caused by bacteria called
disease, physical and mental stress, fatigue, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Other uses include increasing the absorption of iron from foods and correcting a protein imbalance in certain newborns (tyrosinemia).
Vitamin D is a vitamin. It can be found in small amounts in a few foods, including fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines and tuna. To make vitamin D more available, it is added to dairy products, juices, and cereals that are then said to be “fortified with vitamin D.” But most vitamin D – 80% to 90% of what the body gets – is obtained through exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D can also be made in the laboratory as medicine.
Vitamin D is used for preventing and treating rickets, a disease that is caused by not having enough vitamin D (
). Vitamin D is also used for treating weak bones (
), bone pain (osteomalacia), bone loss in people with a condition called hyperparathyroidism, and an inherited disease (
) in which the bones are especially brittle and easily broken. It is also used for preventing falls and
in people at risk for osteoporosis, and preventing low
and bone loss (renal osteodystrophy) in people with
Vitamin D is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, including
. It is also used for
, muscle weakness,
, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),
and gum disease.
Vitamin D in forms known as calcitriol or
is applied directly to the skin for a particular type of psoriasis.
Vitamin E is a vitamin that dissolves in fat. It is found in many foods including vegetable oils, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and wheat germ oil. It is also available as a supplement.
Vitamin E is used for treating vitamin E deficiency, which is rare, but can occur in people with certain genetic disorders and in very low-weight premature infants.
Some people use vitamin E for diseases of the brain and
including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, night cramps,
, and for epilepsy, along with other
. Vitamin E is also used for Huntington’s chorea, and other disorders involving nerves and muscles.
Vitamin E is sometimes used for improving physical endurance, increasing energy, reducing muscle damage after
, and improving muscle strength.
Some people apply vitamin E to their skin to keep it from aging and to protect against the skin effects of chemicals used for cancer therapy (chemotherapy).
How does it work?Vitamin E is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body. It is also an antioxidant. This means it helps to slow down processes that damage cells.