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Health

The Vitamin Breakdown

We’re told that vitamin intake is an important part of maintaining our health. But when there’s a vitamin for every letter in the alphabet, how are we supposed to know which ones we need and if they even work? Here’s a breakdown of (most of) the vitamins our body needs and how they affect our bodies.

According to Pharmacy Times, there are 13 essential vitamins. Normally, we should get a sufficient amount of these vitamins through the foods we eat, but due to dietary restrictions some people are deficient in certain vitamins.

Vitamin A

Have you ever thought about the health of your eyes? Vitamin A is important for vision and produces a protein that helps your eyes absorb light in the retinal receptors! In addition to helping your eyesight, it also supports cell growth!

Found in: vegetables, salmon, eggs, whole milk, animal liver, some cereals!

*Information from National Institutes of Health

Vitamin B

Things get a little complicated here. Vitamin B itself is split up into 8 different parts, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B8 and B12.

B1 & B2: helps the body produce energy from food!

B3: creates energy and keeps skin, nervous system and digestive system healthy.

B5 & B12: aids natural development.

B6 & B7: helps breakdown proteins and carbs.

B8: helps cells make and maintain DNA.

Found in: almost all foods!

*Information from Pharmacy Times

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a part in creating collagen in your body, which helps your connective tissue, skin and hair! It is unclear if Vitamin C helps prevent colds, but it could help shorten the cold’s duration.

Found in: citrus fruits, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli!

*Information from Health Professional

Vitamin D

Go outside! Vitamin D can be found through ultraviolet rays. It promotes calcium absorption which improves our bone health, and helps prevent long term problems like heart disease. Vitamin D deficiency could cause rashes in individuals with skin conditions like eczema, so Vitamin D supplements could help reduce these skin sensitivities.

Found in: fatty fish, cereals, sunlight!

*Information from Health Professional

Vitamin E

Vitamin E strengthens the immune system and helps red blood cells! Research is being done to see if Vitamin E could decrease the risk of conditions like cancer and Alzheimers.

Found in: Nuts, seeds, vegetable oil, cereals, soybeans, corn

*Information from Health Professional

Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps your blood clot and prevents excessive bleeding! It’s uncommon to take Vitamin K supplements.

Found in: spinach, beans, eggs, strawberries

*Information from WebMD

Now that you have a basic guide to vitamins, hopefully you’ll expand your palate to include more of these nutritious goodies!

Chloe is a second year Communication major who's loving her time at UCSB. When she's not studying, you can find her binge watching shows, eating hot pot or hanging out with friends in IV with a Blenders cup in her hands. Keep up with her on her Instagram page: @chloechoww
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