Vitamins & Minerals List

Written by: SphynxCatVP
Link to original:

The bulk of the information in the following list is taken from a book called The New Professional Chef, and published by the Culinary Institute of America - if you can find a copy, I highly recommend buying it! (Mine's old - 1991 - but still very VERY useful) It's not just a cookbook, it also teaches you about kitchen sanitation and hygiene, the various kinds of food poisoning, it goes into detail about the different kinds of cooking oils and the pros and cons of each, and lots and lots and LOTS of other good stuff. This is essentially a professional chef's handbook on HOW to be a professional chef.

I have added additional notes (solubility and the additional notes under vitamin C, for example) as I have run across it in my additional research. I don't believe in taking chances with my health, and don't think anyone should take chances with theirs, so this will be updated as I add new information.

Disease links link to information on the E-Medicine site where possible, or to a lengthy blurb at the bottom of this page if I can't find it there. If you're medically trained or have sufficient knowledge of "medical-ese", you can do a search for the info in the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy as well.

Be aware that the diseases listed under "deficiencies" are not necessarily a complete list! This is just from what's in the book I'm pulling the vitamin list from. If you do a search for <the vitamin in question> + deficiency through Google or the Merck Manual you'll come up with a list of enough other deficiency related ailments that it will probably scare you. :) Also be aware that "RDA" is "Recommended Daily Allowance" - which is usually the minimum needed to avoid a deficiency disease or ailment, assuming otherwise optimum health. Some vitamins you can do better - thrive, rather than survive - with more (the water soluble vitamin C, for instance, is not stored in the body, so taking several hundred - or even a few thousand - mg a day won't hurt, even if most doctors say it won't help either. I've found doing this shortens the duration and reduces the severity of colds.) Some fat soluble ones you run into problems if you have too much. It's a delicate balancing act to get enough vitamins to thrive without getting too much of the ones that cause problems in excess.

If I have found more current info on RDA amounts from the online resources I've used, I will make a note for "updated from <source>" with the updated information instead of just using in the book, because the book is 10 years old.

You also might find information on vitamin/mineral supplemental dose limits @ DoctorYourself to be of interest.

  • Vitamin: A - Retinol - fat soluble (stored in the body)
    The Beta Carotene form is safe - it is converted into Retinol by the body as it needs it, the rest is flushed.
    • RDA: 5,000 I.U. (Information updated from emedicus)
    • Sources: Liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, milk fat
    • Function: Building of body cells, bone growth, healthy tooth structure, normal vision in dim light
    • Deficiencies: Night blindness
    • Overload: Joint pain, nausea, rashes. (See also Vitamin A Toxicity)
  • Vitamin: B1 - Thiamine - water soluble (excess is flushed)
    • RDA: Men 1.4mg, Women 1.0mg
    • Sources: Pork, liver legumes, fresh green vegetables
    • Function: Carbohydrate metabolism, maintaining healthy nerves, normal appetite
    • Deficiencies: beri-beri
    • Stability: Destroyed by heat and water
  • Vitamin: B2 - Riboflavin - water soluble (excess is flushed)
    • RDA: Men 1.7mg, Women 1.5mg
    • Sources: Milk, liver, lean meats, eggs, leafy vefetables
    • Function: Breakdown of fatty acids for energy, release of energy from food
    • Deficiencies: pellagara sine pellagra - rare, except in alcohol abusers
    • Stability: Destroyed by UV rays and flourescent lights, but stable in heat and acid
  • Vitamin: B3 - Niacin - water soluble (excess is flushed)
    • RDA: Men 18mg, women 14-18mg
      (Safe at up to at least 3 grams, although you may experience a warm flush depending on the form. ~Sphynx)
    • Sources: Seeds, yeast, bran, peanuts (especially with skins), wild rice, brown rice, whole wheat, barley, almonds, and peas. Tryptophan is found in protein foods (meat, poultry, dairy products, fish). Turkey and milk are particularly excellent sources of tryptophan.
    • Function: Carbohydrate metabolism
    • Deficiencies: Pellagara
    • Stability: ???
    • Overload: Liver damage, skin rashes, peptic ulcer
    • Notes: Tryptophan is converted by the body to Niacin. Tryptophan is found in milk, as well as famously large amounts in turkey.
  • Vitamin: B6 - Pyridoxine - water soluble (excess is flushed)
    • RDA: 2 to 2.2mg
    • Sources: Meat, liver, whole grain cereals, vegetables
    • Function: Aids in synthesis of nonessential amino acids, fat and carbohydrate metabolism
    • Deficiencies: Convulsions, sideroblastic (iron overload) anemia, depression, nausea
    • Stability: Stable to heat, light and oxygen
  • Vitamin: B12 - water soluble (excess is flushed)
    • RDA: 3 micrograms
    • Sources: Liver, meats, milk, eggs (Only foods from animals)
    • Function: Growth, blood formation, amino acid synthesis
    • Deficiencies: Pernicious anemia
    • Stability: Stable during normal cooking
  • Vitamin: C - Ascorbic Acid - water soluble (excess is flushed)
    • RDA: 60mg
    • Sources: Citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli, cabbage
    • Function: Production and maintenance of collagen (base for all connective tissue), healing, disease resistance.
    • Deficiencies: Scurvy Also, smoking cigarettes seems to interfere with the body's absorption/use of C.
    • Stability: Destroyed by oxygen and water, also by high heat/pasturization processes.
    • Overload: Loose bowels, a/k/a diarrhea or "the runs"
      (The amount of vitamin C it takes to give you loose bowels will vary depending on your state of health. If you are sick, either severely or chronically, it will take a surprisingly large amount compared to when you are truly healthy. I have successfully taken large doses of Vitamin C - several thousand mililgrams per day, over a long term period - with absolutely no harm whatsoever. Feel free to take as much as you want. just slow down on the intake if you start getting to the characteristic "loose bowels" stage. After the loose bowels comes painful abdominal gas - it doesn't kill you, you just feel awful. I haven't gone beyond this point. ~Sphynx)
  • Vitamin: D
    • RDA: Unknown
    • Sources: Animal fat, fortified milk, exposure to sunlight
    • Function: bone development (promotes the absorption of calcium and phsophorus)
    • Deficiencies: Rickets
    • Overload: Hypercalcemia
    • Stability: Stable to heat, aging, and storage
  • Vitamin: E - Tocopherol
    • RDA: 10 I.U.
    • Sources: Leafy vegetables, egg yolk, legumes, vegetable oils, peanuts
    • Function: protects cell structure, antioxidant
    • Deficiencies: Mild hemolytic anemia, spinocerebellar disease (affecting the cerebellum connected to the brain; a common symptom is unsteadiness and clumsiness)
    • Stability: Destroyed by rancidity (when foods go rancid and spoil)
  • Vitamin: Folacin - Folic Acid
    • RDA: 400 micrograms
    • Sources: Green leafy vegetables, liver, milk, eggs
    • Function: blood formation, amino acid metabolism
    • Deficiencies: Megaloblastic anemia, diarrhea
    • Stability: Not stable in heat or oxidation
  • Vitamin: K
    • RDA: Unknown
    • Sources: Cabbage, leafy vegetables, liver, vegetable oils
    • Function: Essential for blood clotting
    • Deficiencies: Lack of prothrombin (important in blood clotting)
    • Overload: Jaundice (Most visible symptom is obvious yellowing of the skin and eyes.)
    • Stability: Destroyed by strong acids, alkalis and oxidizing agents
  • Mineral: Calcium
    • RDA: 800mg
    • Sources:Milk, dairy products, canned salmon with bones
    • Function: bone and tooth formation, coagulation of blood, regulates muscle contraction
    • Deficiencies: Osteoperosis
    • Stability: N/A
  • Mineral: Iodine
    • RDA: 150 micrograms
    • Sources: iodized salt, seafoods
    • Function: Necessary for the formation of thyroxine (a hormone of the thyroid gland)
    • Deficiencies: Goiter
    • Stability: N/A
  • Mineral: Iron (stored by the body)
    • RDA: Men 10mg, Women 18mg
    • Sources: Liver, meat, whole or enriched grains, green vegetables
    • Function: Essential for hemoglobin production, constituent of tissue cells, transporting oxygen
    • Deficiencies: Iron-deficiency anemia
    • Overload: Iron is stored by the body. Thus, men and women of menopausal age or older can have problems with too much.
    • Stability: N/A
  • Mineral: Phosphorus
    • RDA: 800mg
    • Sources: Milk, poultry, fish, meats, cheese, nuts, cereals, legumes
    • Function: Energy exchange, buffer system
    • Deficiencies: unknown
    • Stability: N/A
  • Mineral: Potassium
    • RDA: Unknown
    • Sources: Meats, cereals, vegetables, legumes, fruits
    • Function:Regulates electrolyte and water balance (intracellular fluids), muscle contractions
    • Deficiencies: Unknown
    • Stability: N/A
  • Mineral: Sodium
    • RDA: Unknown
    • Sources: Common salt, some canned foods, salt-cured meats, pickles
    • Function: regulates electrolyte and water balance (extracellular fluid)
    • Deficiencies: Unknown
    • Overload: Linked to hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Stability: N/A


(From Steven B. Harris on the Usenet group [] )

"The word pellagra means "rough skin". When skin is subjected to mechanical wear and tear and can't repair itself well, it acts like a burn which cannot heal. You get an inflammatory response, redness, cracking into deeper layers along stress lines, but no new tissues from dividing fibroblasts. In niacin deficiency the outer layers of the skin don't come off very well in these areas, and these dead layers act as a sort of protectant for the areas under them, which remains cracked and reddened. That outer layer is the part that feels rough. In riboflavin deficiency the electron transport system in mitochondria still doesn't work and the cells still can't respire aerobically, and you get all the same problems, but for some reason I don't understand, the outer layers of the skin slough more readily, so all the underlying damage and failure of repair is more easily seen. Thus, pellagra without the roughness- pellagra sine pellagra."