Vitamin Primary function Rec. Intake Toxicity Symptoms Def. Symptoms Food Sources
Thiamin Assists in energy metabolism (esp. 1.2 mg/day men None reported Beriberi, apathy, anorexia, Pork, seeds,
CHO metabolism). Involved in 1.1 mg/day women weight loss, muscle fortified
nerve processes. weakness, enlarged heart, cereals, soy
confusion. In alcoholics,
Wernicke-Korsakoff Destroyed by
Syndrome heat and in
Riboflavin Assists in energy metabolism (esp. 1.3 mg/day men None reported Ariboflavinosis, sore throat, Milk, liver,
CHO and Fats), helps with normal 1.1 mg/day women cheilosis, inflammation of shrimp, greens,
vision and skin health. mucus membranes of the fortified
mouth, glossitis, light cereals.
sensitivity, skin problems.
Niacin Assists in energy metabolism (esp. 16 mg/day men Excess supplement Pellagra (4 – D disease - Protein foods,
CHO, alcohol & fats), involved in 14 mg/day women cause niacin flushing, diarrhea, dermatitis, tomatoes,
DNA replication and repair. 60 mg. tryptophan = liver damage, glucose dementia, death), rash, whole grains,
1 mg. Niacin. intolerance, blurred vomiting, apathy, fatigue, nuts.
Niacin vision. memory loss, headache.
often stated in NE
Biotin Co-enzyme component used in AI for 19 and up 30 None reported Skin rash, depression, In many foods,
energy metabolism, fat synthesis, mcg/day hallucination, burning, organ meats,
amino acid metabolism, glycogen tingling. whole grains.
Pantothenic Component of coenzyme A, helps AI for 19 & up - 5 None reported Rare. Could affect digestive Beef liver,
Acid with fatty acid metabolism, mg/day & nervous system, GI yogurt,
involved in synthesis of distress, neurological sunflower,
neurotranmitters, steroids, disturbances, “burning feet” seeds, legumes,
hemoglobin. syndrome in WW II. broccoli
B6 Part of co-enzyme involved in 19-50 years - 1.3 Neurological damage Scaly dermatitis, microcytic Liver, halibut,
amino acid metabolism, involved mg/day with large doses anemia, depression, legumes, leafy
in synthesis of blood cells. CHO After 50, men - 1.7 (2g/day), skin lesions. confusion, infant seizures vegetables.
metabolism, helps convert mg/day, women and convulsions
tryptophan to niacin or serotonin, need 1.5mg/day
helps make the “heme” part of
hemoglobin, affects thinking,
immune function & steroid
Folate Part of coenzyme involved in Ages 19 & up - Can mask symptoms Macrocytic anemia, neural Legumes,
DNA synthesis, also in amino acid 400mcg/day of B-12 deficiency, tube defects, weakness, whole grains,
metabolism, involved in neurological damage fatigue, irritability, high leafy green
metabolism of homocysteine, homocysteine levels, vegetables
helps convert B-12 to active form. headache
B-12 Part of coenzymes helping with Ages 19 & up - 2.4 None reported Pernicious anemia, pale Animal foods,
blood formation, nervous system mcg/day fatigue, shortness of breath, clams, fortified
function, and homocysteine tingling and numbness in cereals, and
metabolism. Maintains sheath hands and feet, memory fortified soy
that surrounds and protects nerve loss, dementia, milk.
fibers and helps with normal nerve disorientation, abnormal
growth, involved in bone cell gait.
metabolism and activity.
Intrinsic factor needed for
Choline Helps with metabolism of Men – 550 mg/day Excess supplements – Fatty liver, liver damage In many foods
homocysteine, helps with Women – 425 Fishy body odor,
synthesis of phospholipids and mg/day sweating, vomiting,
other cell membrane components diarrhea, low blood
C Antioxidant, helps with synthesis Men – 90 mg/day With megadoses – Scurvy, bleeding gums, Citrus,
of collagen, enhances immune Women – 75 mg/day nausea, abdominal broken capillaries, more tomatoes, bell
response, enhances absorption of Smokers – an extra cramps, diarrhea, too atherosclerosis, rough, dry peppers,
iron, involved in stress reactions, 35 mg/day much iron absorption, scaly skin, poor wound strawberries,
helps make hormones possibly kidney healing, decreased bone mangoes.
stones, false positive rebuilding – more stress
for DM, rebound fractures, pain, increased Easily
scurvy. infections. destroyed by
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins A, D, E, K
Vitamin Primary Function Rec. Intake Toxicity Symptoms Def. Symptoms Food Sources
Vitamin Vision; maintenance of Men: 900 Increased activity of Hypovitaminosis A Retinol: fortified milk, and
A cornea, epithelial cells, mcg RAE/day; osteoclasts causing Night blindness, corneal milk products.
mucous membranes, skin; Women – 700 reduced bone density; drying (xerosis, infectious Beta carotene: spinach and
bone and tooth growth; mcg RAE/day liver abnormalities; birth diseases, blindness other dark leafy greens,
reproduction; immunity Upper Level – defects (xerophthalmia), broccoli, deep orange fruits
3000 mcg/day keratinization (apricots, cantaloupe) and
vegetables (squash, carrots,
sweet potatoes, pumpkin)
Vitamin Mineralization of bones. Ages 19 -50 – Hypervitaminois D. Rickets – children Synthesized in the body with
D 5 mcg/day; Elevated blood calcium; Osteomalacia – adult the help of sunlight; fortified
Ages 51-70 – calcification of soft Inadequate calcification of milk, margarine, butter, cereals
10 mcg/day; tissue, formation of bones, enlargement of and chocolate mixes; egg yolks,
Ages >70 - 15 stones. ends of long bones, liver, fatty fish and their oils
mcg/day deforminities of ribs,
Upper levels – muscle spasms.
Vitamin Antioxidant Adults - 15 Augments the effects of Red blood cell breakage, Polyunsaturated plant oils
E mg/day anti-clotting medications. nerve damage. (PUFA), leafy green
Upper Level – vegetables, wheat germ, whole
1000 mg/day grains, liver, egg yolks, nuts,
Vitamin Needed for clotting of Men – 120 None known Hemorrhaging Bacterial synthesis in the
K blood. mcg/day digestive tract, liver, leafy
Women – 90 green vegetables, cabbage-type
mcg/day vegetables, milk
Primary Function Rec. Intake Toxicity Symptoms Def. Symptoms Food sources
Water Carries nutrient and waste 2-3 liters daily None under normal Dehydration; Water, beverages, fruits,
products throughout the circumstances Thirst, fatigue, weakness, vegetables, juices, cheese,
body; maintains structure impaired physical margarine, oils, meats
of molecules; solvent for performance, dry mouth,
reactions; needed for reduction in urine.
lubricants, regulates body
Approximately 60% of the
adult body is water.
Major minerals: Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulfur, Sodium, Chloride, Magnesium
Trace minerals: Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Iodine, Selenium
Minerals Primary Function Rec. Intake Toxicity Symptoms Def. Symptoms Food Sources
Sodium Maintains normal 19-50 – 1500 Edema, acute Muscle cramps, mental Table salt, soy sauce; moderate
fluid and electrolyte mg/day hypertension apathy, loss of appetite amounts in meats, milks,
balance; assists in 51-70 – 1300 breads, vegetables; large
nerve impulse mg/day amounts in processed foods.
muscle contractions Upper intake –
Chloride Maintains normal 19-50 – 2300 Vomiting Do not occur under normal Table salt, soy sauce;
fluid and electrolyte mg/day; 51-70- circumstances moderate amounts in meats,
balance; part of 2000 mg/day; milk, eggs; large amounts in
hydrochloric acid, >70 - 1800 processed foods.
necessary for proper mg/day
Potassium Maintains normal AI – 4700 Muscular weakness; Muscular weakness, All whole foods, meats, milks,
fluid and electrolyte mg/day vomiting; if given into paralysis, confusion fruits, vegetables, grains,
balance; facilitates a vein, can stop the legumes.
many reactions; heart.
integrity; assists in
Calcium Mineralization of Ages 19-50 – Constipation; increased Stunted growth in children; Milk and milk products, small
bones and teeth; also 1000 mg/day risk of urinary stone osteoporosis in adults. fish with bones, tofu, greens,
involved in muscle Ages >51- 1200 formation and kidney legumes.
contraction and mg/day. dysfunction;
relaxation, nerve interference and
functioning, blood absorption of other Calcium tetany – muscle
clotting, blood minerals. spasms caused by low
pressure and immune calcium levels.
mineral in the body.
Phosphorus Mineralization of 700 mg/day Calcification of Muscular weakness, bone All animal tissues – meat, fish,
bones and teeth; part nonskeletal tissues, pain. poultry, eggs, milk.
of every cell; Upper level – particularly the
important in genetic 4000 mg/day kidneys.
material, part of
in energy transfer and
in maintaining acid
Magnesium Bone mineralization, Men - 400 From nonfood sources Weakness; confusion; if Nuts, legumes, whole grains,
building of protein, mg/day only; diarrhea, extreme, convulsions, dark green vegetables, seafood,
enzyme action, Women - 310 alkalosis, dehydration. bizarre muscle movements. chocolate, cocoa.
normal muscle mg/day
maintenance of teeth,
and functioning of
Sulfur As part of protein, Would only occur if None known; protein All protein containing foods
stabilizes their shape; sulfur-containing deficiency would occur (meats, fish, poultry, eggs,
part of the vitamins amino acids were eaten first. milk, legumes, nuts)
biotin and thiamin in excess;
and hormone insulin
Iron Part of the protein Men – 8 mg/day GI distress, iron Anemia; weakness, fatigue, Red meats, fish, poultry, shell
hemoglobin; part of Women 19 -50 overload; infections, headaches; impaired fish, eggs, legumes, dried
protein myoglobin in – 18 mg/day; fatigue, joint pain, skin immunity; pale skin, nail fruits.
muscles; necessary >51 - 8 mg/day pigmentation, organ beds, mucous membranes
for energy damage and palm creases; concave
metabolism. nails; inability to regulate
Zinc Part of insulin and Men – 11 Loss of appetite; Growth retardation, Protein containing foods: red
many enzymes; mg/day impaired immunity, delayed sexual maturation, meats, fish, shellfish, poultry,
involved in making Women – 8 low HDL, copper and impaired immune function, whole grains.
genetic material and mg/day iron deficiencies. hair loss, eye and skin
protein, immune lesions, loss of appetite.
reactions, transport of
vitamin A, taste
healing, making of
sperm, normal fetal
Iodine A component of the 150 mcg/day Underactive thyroid Underactive thyroid gland, Iodized salt; seafood; plants
thyroid hormones that Upper level – gland, elevated TSH, goiter, mental and physical grown in iodine-rich soil and
help to regulate 1100 mcg/day goiter. retardation (cretinism) animals fed those plants.
and metabolic rate.
Selenium Part of an enzyme 55 mcg/day Nail and hair brittleness Associated with Keshan Seafoods, organ meats; other
that defends against Upper level – and loss; fatigue, disease meats, whole grains, and
oxidation; regulates 400 mcg/day irritability and nervous vegetables (depending on soil
thyroid hormone. system disorders, skin content)
rash, garlic breath odor
Copper Helps form 900 mcg/day Liver damage Anemia, bone Seafood, nuts, legumes, whole
hemoglobin; part of Upper level – abnormalities grains, seeds.
several enzymes 10,000 mcg/day
Manganese Cofactor for several Men – 2.3 Nervous symptom Rare Nuts, whole grains, leafy
enzymes mg/day disorders vegetables, tea.
Women – 1.8
Upper level –
Fluoride Helps form bones and Men – 3.8 Fluorosis (pitting and Susceptibility to tooth Drinking water if fluoride
teeth; confers decay mg/day discoloration) of teeth decay. containing or fluoridated, tea,
resistance on teeth. Women – 3.1 seafood.
Upper level –
Chromium Enhances insulin Men – 35 None reported Diabetes-like condition Meats (liver), whole grains,
action mcg/day brewer’s yeast
Women – 25
Molybdenum Cofactor for several 45 mcg/day None reported Unknown Legumes, cereals, organ meats.
enzymes Upper level – 2