So, you might have wondered which of the following vitamins is synthesized by intestinal bacteria.
Vitamins and organic substances are necessary for proper growth and good functioning of the organism, that the body produce in insufficient amount to cover all the needs (vitamins B6, B8, D, K) or that cannot synthesized.
Therefore, vitamins should be brought by food, and if necessary, by medications or supplements. All of them are contained by breast milk, but not always in sufficient amounts (especially vitamin K needs to be provided through systematic supplements on delivery). The chemical structure and biological role of the 13 known vitamins are very different. In fact, vitamins act in small doses, alone or synergistically, and have no energy value.
Vitamins are generally classified in 2 groups:
- Water-soluble vitamins, which group vitamin C and vitamin B (B1, B2, B5, B6, B8, B12).
- Liposoluble vitamins.
Vitamins are synthesized by vegetal organisms and some microorganisms. Animal organisms can synthesize some vitamins based on the existing pro-vitamins in food and in some conditions endogenous and exogenous (e.g. vitamin D can be synthesized by the human organism if the food contains ergosterols and if the body benefits from ultraviolet).
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It`s extremely sensible to light, especially ultraviolet radiation. In plants, it`s found in the form of provitamin A – carotenoids, among which the most well known is beta-carotene. In the liver and its intestine are converted in retinol.
Beta-carotene is a toxic natural dye, which is used in food, pharmaceutical, medical, cosmetic industry and animal nutrition. It`s found in all vegetables and fruits, but in larger quantities in:
- Rose hip seeds.
- Citrus fruit.
The daily requirement of beta-carotene is 5,000 – 8,000 IU.
Vitamin A itself is found in fish oil, liver, milk, egg yolk, butter. This vitamin has an important role in the development of young organisms, mucosal protection and vision process.
Hypervitaminosis A causes fragility and toxicities.
Group B Vitamins
The most important sources of group B vitamins are beer yeast, liver, cereal seeds, green vegetables with leaves. Intestinal bacteria synthesizes group B vitamins, providing some of the body`s requirements. Bacterial synthesis is more intense in individuals fed with rations rich in milk and low in fats.
Vitamin B1 is also called thiamin. It was isolated in 1911 by Funk from wheat bran. Windaus and Wiliam establish in 1931 its chemical constitution. This vitamin is soluble in water, alcohol. Its solubility increases in an alkaline medium. It has a characteristic odor and decomposes at over 100° C.
Absorption and Metabolism
Vitamin B1 is absorbed by simple diffusion in the small intestine. Through intestinal resorption, it reaches the bloodstream in free form.
The excretion of vitamin B1 is made by the kidneys in quantities of 50 – 250 μg. Values of less than 40 μg indicate vitamin B1 deficiencies.
Vitamin B1 intervenes in metabolic processes of the body, acting as coenzymes. It takes in general processes of oxidation reduction, regulates gas exchange, plays an important role in the central and peripheral nervous systems functions and endocrine glands. Also, it intervenes in the water`s metabolism and regulates motor, secretion functions and digestive absorption.
Vitamin B1 is extracted from foods or synthesized by intestinal bacteria
- Cereals, less vegetables.
- Peels and seeds of wheat grain.
- Beer yeast.
Anti-vitamin B1 (piritiamina, neopiritiamina etc.) produce paralytic phenomena.
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is thermostable (resistant to 120° C), soluble in water and alcohol and has an increased solubility in the alkaline medium.
Vitamin B2 was isolated for the first time in 1933 and synthesized in 1935.
Absorption and Metabolism
Riboflavin decomposes in the intestine as a free form, then it reaches the liver and kidneys. It isn`t stored in the organism, it`s excreted in faeces and less in urine. It intervenes in the processes of oxidation reduction, in the metabolism of carbohydrates, in lipids in the functions of the nervous system, visual system and has n antitoxic role (plumb, mercury).
- Green salad.
Vitamin B2 can be synthesized by some intestinal bacteria.
Vitamin B3 comprises nicotinic acid (niacin) and amide of nicotinic acid, with similar properties, such as a series of nicotinic acid derivatives. – More info!
The vitamin`s core is the pyrimidine core with 5 carbon atoms and 1 nitrogen atom. Nicotiinc acid and amide of nicotinic acid are crystalline substances, colorless, soluble in water and alcohol, and thermostable.
Absorption and Metabolism
These vitamins are absorbed by the intestines from where they enter the bloodstream. They are excreted by urine, faeces and sweat.
Vitamin B3 prevents and cures pellagra, characterized by the “3 D” symptoms (dementia, diarrhea, dermatitis). It also takes part at the oxidation reduction processes, the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, pigment products and influences the nervous system and the activity of internal secretion glands. The vasodilator action of vitamin B3 is well known.
- Peels of cereal grains.
- Beer yeast.
Anti-vitamin B3 (acetilpirimidina) is a substance similar with the structure of vitamin B3, but with antagonistic action.
Vitamin B4, also known as adenine), has are less known therapeutic functions and indications. It intervenes in the functions of the nervous and hematopoietic systems, along with other vitamins from the B group.
The deficiency of vitamin B4 changes the leukocyte balance by producing leucopenia and granulopenia.
The administering of antibiotics and sulfonamides increases the consumption of vitamin B4. It has an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat, sodium chloride, and adrenal functions and growth processes.
- Animal foods.
- Vegetal foods.
- Beer yeast.
The synthesis of vitamin B4 in humans in reduced.
Absorption and Metabolism
The absorption of vitamin B4 is made in the small intestine. In blood, the highest concentration of vitamin B4 is in red blood cells.
This vitamin is excreted in the urine, faeces and sweat.
Vitamin B6 includes pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine. In alkaline medium and acid, it`s sensible to light.
The sources of this vitamin are the same with other vitamins from the B group. Vegetables are an important source of vitamin B6.
Absorption and Metabolism
The absorption of vitamin B6 is carried in the intestine as a free form and better combined with proteins. In animals, pyridoxamine dominates. Vitamin B6 intervenes in the metabolism of organic substances and enters the composition of a large number of enzymes with an oxidation reduction function. It participates in the biosynthesis of sfingozin with a role in the metabolism of lipids.
Vitamin B6 is excreted mostly by the kidneys and decreases with age.
Vitamin B12 is composed of crystallized substances of red color, soluble in water and alcohol, stable in air and acidic environment. They don`t behave well to the action oxidants, bases and strong acids. It resists to 120° C, for about 20 minutes.
Vitamin B12 is found less in vegetables and more in animal foods (liver, spleen, brain, muscles). The main source of vitamin B12 is microbial synthesis.
Bitamin B12 is synthesized by the action of many soil bacteria and intestinal bacteria, especially bacteria of the colon.
Absorption and Metabolism
The absorption of vitamin B12 is made in the intestinal mucosa, in the presence of an intrinsic factor produced by the stomach lining and which form the anti-pernicious factor stored in the liver.
Vitamin B12, absorbed and retained in the intestine, lose ownership of broadcast, reconstructing the first phase of intestinal absorption. The intrinsic factor has a role of protection in the intestinal absorption by the formation of some compounds of inactivation of vitamins B12. The active intrinsic factor sets up to 264 μg of vitamin B12mg.
This vitamin has a role of hematopoiesis and especially erythropoiesis. The most important action of this vitamin is type Banner pernicious anemia, where changes of platelets occur and even degenerative nerve damages.
Vitamin B13 has a structure similar to nitric acid and is a key component of the B complex, with a role in stimulating the growth of chickens or pigs.
Vitamin B14 is extracted from human urine and has a role of hematopoiesis.
Vitamin B15, also known as pangamic acid, can be found in foods of animal origin and it intervenes in nezymatic processes.
This is a less known, but more controversial vitamin in the medical world. After years of research, biochemist Dr. Ernest Krebs has isolated in 1950 a new vitamin that he named B17, also known as amygdalin or laetrile.
The idea, according which cancer is a disease caused by a nutritional deficiency, is more and more popular. It wouldn`t be about a virus, bacteria or mysterious toxin, but rather the absence of a substance that the modern man has eliminated from his diet: vitamin B17.
- Fruit seeds (except citrus).
Apricots, which we used to like so much when we were children, seem to be the richest source of vitamin B17. According to Dr. Krebs, a daily consumption of 7 – 10 apricot seeds prevents cancer.
It`s also known as ascorbic acid or anti-scurvy vitamin. It has an essential importance for the organism, intervening in the processes of oxidation reduction. It also has an anti-infectious role, toning, participates in the processes of detoxifying the body and use of iron reserves, protects vitamins A, E and those from the B group.
This vitamin is sensitive to high temperatures, oxygen`s action and light.
Vitamin C catalyzes the formation and maintenance of collagen (the basic component of intercellular ground substance). In the absence of this vitamin C, the collagen substance of capillary endothelial cells degrades and occurs bleeding in gums, muscles, skin, etc. Due to blood loss and lower iron absorption, anemia found in scurvy occurs.
Gums bleed easily, spontaneously or from minimal trauma, and teeth become mobile and fall. The skeletal mineralization is altered, the fractures heal more difficult and wound healing is poor. The ability of the organism to fight infections decreases, like flu or pulmonary tuberculosis. – Click here!
Vitamin C increases resistance to toxic effects of certain drugs or chemicals in the environment (lead, mercury, benzene, etc).
The muscle effort, cold and fever increase the consumption of vitamin C. It has been proven that 10 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis represents the necessary intake for preventing scurvy. However, for an adult the daily intake is estimated at cca. 30 mg.
It`s water-soluble, easily oxidized and can easily be lost during storage or preparation.
Animal products, cereals, products with sugar lack in vitamin C. The only natural source consists of fresh fruits and vegetables. In areas with temperate or cold climates where fruit production is seasonal, there`s a risk of hypovitaminosis during winter and spring, when it`s recommended a drug intake of vitamin C.
Vitamin D presents itself in the form of several fat-soluble substances, which have effects of preventing and combating rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults). The most important are vitamins D2 and D3.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is obtained by UV irradiation of pro-vitamins contained in certain plants (mushrooms, yeast, etc).
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is formed by irradiation with a ultraviolet component of sebum secreted b the skin.
After the intestinal absorption, respectively by cutaneous synthesis, vitamin enters the blood and is stored mainly in the liver, where some of it converts in active products (a second activation taking place in kidneys).
Due to this behavior (mode of synthesis, activation, mechanism of action), vitamin D is similar to hormones; by a distant comparison, skin, liver and kidney may be similar to endocrine glands.
Vitamin D intervenes in the absorption of calcium and its fixation on the bone matrix. In case of vitamin D deficiency, the uptake and usage of calcium reduces, bones may deform slightly under the influence of mechanical factors (own weight, thrust, small injuries), occurs typical signs of rickets (change of bone conformation with demineralization, sweating, lack of reduction or muscle strength, digestive and growth disorders). Children are tired, present a big belly, have a low resistance to infections and experience severe forms of diseases (pneumonia, enterocolitis, etc). In fact, rickets is more dangerous through these infectious complications.
Hypervitaminosis D (made especially by drugs – attention, as fat-soluble vitamin is accumulated in the organism if consumed excessively during long periods of time) is translated by varied manifestations, such as digestive disorders (constipation, nausea, vomiting), loss of appetite, physical and mental fatigue, dehydration, nervous and behavioral disorders.
Because the main source of vitamin D is cutaneous synthesis, under the action of sunlight, the daily intake for humans isn`t well defined. The opinions of experts are different, some considering that for a normal adult that spends part of daily activity outdoors there isn`t a necessary intake required, being sufficient the amounts of vitamin D formed in the areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Others consider that a security intake of cca. 250 – 400 μg on a daily basis is relatively important, and it`s absolutely necessary for small children and pregnant women. The necessary daily intake of vitamin D for adults is of 100 – 150 μg, and for children is of 120 – 200 μg. It`s recommended that in case of fractures or occurrence of metabolic disorders of calcium or phosphorus, the daily intake be increased to 500 – 700 μg.
Vitamin D is found especially in products of animal sources and dairies, like egg, fish, butter, fatty cheeses or milk. Liver and vitaminized margarine represents other sources of vitamin D. Excess of this vitamin leads to bone demineralization.
Also known as tocopherol, this vitamin is essential involved in maintaining the structure and function of genitals, being more widely known as the “fertility vitamin.” Subsequent research showed that vitamin E offers the necessary nutrition of the muscular system and other organs and tissues. Lack of deficiency of vitamin E may lead not only to sterility, but also cardiovascular disorders, in neuromuscular physiology or lipid metabolism. – Check this out!
The needs of the organism are between 10 and 20 μg on a daily basis, the best sources being oils extracted from seeds (soybeans, corn, germ, sunflower), peas, beans and whole or black bread (a lot more healthy than white bread).
The human body cannot synthesize vitamin E, but it can store important reserves from this vitamin in the liver, but also in fat tissue from the heart and muscles, and in the genitals (testicles and uterus), such as the pituitary.
The name of vitamin F given to essential fatty acids (they cannot be synthesized by the human body) is justified by the fact that they are essential for the organism, just as vitamins. In this category (vitamin F) enters 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: linoleic acid (or linoleic), linolenic acid and arachidonic acid.
Research on the role of these fatty acids in the organism are recent and are related to their ability of preventing the formation of atheroma and atherosclerosis (heart disease).
Polyunsaturated fatty acids enter in the structure of cell membranes and are the base substrate for the synthesis of some compounds that act as tissue hormones.
The requirements of the human body in polyunsaturated fatty acids is relatively small, representing between 1% and 3% of the total caloric intake (cca. 6 – 8 g/day).
In the organism, vitamin K has an important role in the process of coagulation the blood, intervening in the synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids necessary for the biosynthesis of prothrombin (a product of major importance in blood coagulation, in case of bleeding). – Read this!
Although its chemical structure interests us less, it should be mentioned that there are 3 known vitamins K.
Vitamin K1 is synthesized by green leaves and is present in green vegetables.
Vitamin K2 is synthesized by decay microorganisms.
Vitamin K3 is produced by synthesis with the property of being water-soluble (unlike the other vitamins K).
Deficiency of vitamin K either by a reduced food intake or reducing the normal intestinal bacteria due to various treatments of high doses and/or antibiotics for the long term, being known that the main source is the synthesis of intestinal bacteria.
Hypovitaminosis K favors spontaneous bleeding or minor trauma, blood coagulation being disturbed.
The necessary daily intake isn`t known, being described doses of 2 μg daily in adults.
- Green vegetables.
- Egg yolks.
Vitamin P, also known as citrine, acts synergistically with vitamin C (partially having a role of protecting it). Some of the symptoms of scurvy are due to deficiency of vitamin P, this being easier to treat with lemon juice than synthetic vitamin C.
Natural sources of vitamin P are fruits and vegetables: lemons, oranges, grapes, tangerines, etc).