21/02/2024
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Vitamins are compounds that are essential for your body to function. And at the highest level, they are classified as fat soluble or water soluble. To keep your body running at peak performance, you need both types.

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The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K.

Water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and all vitamins starting with the letter B (they are known as B-complex vitamins or simply B vitamins). Water-soluble vitamins are important for brain function, immune health, energy and more.

Family Physician Matthew Goldman, MD, shares more about water-soluble vitamins and how to get the most out of these important nutrients.

Which vitamins are water soluble?

There are nine water-soluble vitamins:

  • C vitamin.
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine).
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin).
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin).
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).
  • Vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin).
  • Vitamin B9 (folate).
  • Vitamin B12.

Soon aside: Because we know your math brain wonders where B4, B8, B10, and B11 are, right? Those compounds were once considered vitamins. But scientists and doctors now know they’re not really essential to health, so they’ve lost their vitamin status. (Think of them like Pluto of the vitamin world.)

Dr. Goodman shares more about each of these essential nutrients.

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C vitamin

Vitamin C is probably one of the most famous out there. You probably already know its role in your immune system. It is also a powerful antioxidant. And it helps keep skin and bones strong and healthy.

How much should you get

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that adults and children ages 4 and older get 90 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C each day.

Vitamin C foods

Oranges usually get all the credit for their high vitamin C content, but vitamin C is abundant in a number of fruits and vegetables, not just citrus fruits.

Food Portions Milligrams per serving
red pepper 1/2 cup 95
Orange juice 3/4 cup 93
Orange 1 medium orange 70
Grapefruit juice 3/4 cup 70
Kiwi 1 medium kiwi 64
green pepper 1/2 cup 60
Broccoli (cooked) 1/2 cup 60
Strawberries 1/2 cup 48
Brussels sprouts 1/2 cup 48
Grapefruit 1/2 medium grapefruit 39

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 also goes by the name of thiamine or thiamine. It is important for energy metabolism. It essentially helps turn the food you eat into energy to keep you going.

How much should you get

The FDA recommends that adults and children over the age of 4 receive 1.2 mg of vitamin B1 each day.

Foods with vitamin B1

Thiamine occurs naturally in some animal products and grains. Some packaged foods may also be fortified with thiamine.

Food Portions Milligrams per serving
Cereal fortified with thiamine 1 serving (per serving size on label) 1.2
Enriched egg noodles 1 cup 0.5
Pork chops 3 oz 0.4
Cooked trout 3 oz 0.4
Black beans 1/2 cup 0.4
Enriched English Muffin 1 scone 0.3
Cooked bluefin tuna 3 oz 0.2
Wholemeal macaroni 1 cup 0.2
Acorn squash 1/2 cup 0.2
Long grain brown rice 1/2 cup 0.2

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2 (also called riboflavin) helps keep blood and blood vessels healthy. This is because (along with other B vitamins) it helps regulate levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Too much homocysteine ​​can lead to blood clots or blood vessel blockages. Vitamin B2 helps convert homocysteine ​​into other chemicals your body needs.

How much should you get

The FDA recommends that adults and children over the age of 4 receive 1.3 mg of riboflavin each day.

Foods with vitamin B2


Some foods, especially animal products, are naturally high in riboflavin. Some red meats, such as steak and beef liver, contain high levels of vitamin B2. Eating too much red meat, however, has also been linked to conditions like cancer and heart disease. Aim for no more than one or two servings of red meat per week (6 ounces total per week, maximum).

Food Portions Milligrams per serving
Beef liver 3 oz 2.9
Fortified breakfast cereals 1 serving (per serving size on label) 1.3
Fortified oats 1 cup 1.1
Yogurt 1 cup 0.6
2% milk 1 cup 0.5
Fillet steak 3 oz 0.4
Clams 3 oz 0.4
Dry roasted almonds 1 oz 0.3
Swiss cheese 3 oz 0.4

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3 also goes by the name of niacin. Helps regulate cholesterol and blood pressure. It also helps support brain and skin health.

How much should you get

The FDA recommends that adults and children over the age of 4 take 16 mg of niacin per day.

Foods with vitamin B3

You will find high levels of niacin in some meats, fish, rice and nuts.

Food Portions Milligrams per serving
Beef liver 3 oz 14.9
Chicken breast 3 oz 10.3
Spaghetti sauce 1 cup 10.3
Turkey breast 3 oz 10
Sockeye salmon 3 oz 8.6
light tuna (canned) 3 oz 8.6
Pork tenderloin 3 oz 6.3
Ground beef 3 oz 5.8
brown rice 1 cup 5.2
Dry roasted peanuts 1 oz 4.2

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, helps make and break down fats.

How much should you get

The FDA recommends 5 mg of vitamin B5 per day for adults and children over the age of 4.

Foods with vitamin B5

The National Institutes of Health states that vitamin B5 is present in nearly all plant- and animal-based foods. But some foods contain higher amounts.

Food Portions Milligrams per serving
Beef liver 3 oz 8.3
Fortified breakfast cereals 1 serving (per serving size on label) 5
Shitake mushrooms 1/2 cup 2.6
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 2.4
Chicken breast 3 oz 1.3
Fresh bluefin tuna 3 oz 1.2
Avocado 1/2 avocado 1

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps produce red blood cells. It can also protect your heart and even improve your mood.

How much should you get

The FDA recommends that adults and children over the age of 4 get 1.7 mg of vitamin B6 each day.

Foods with vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is commonly associated with animal products, grains, vegetables and nuts.

Food Portions Milligrams per serving
Chickpeas 1 cup 1.1
Beef liver 3 oz 0.9
Fresh yellowfin tuna 3 oz 0.9
Sockeye salmon 3 oz 0.6
Chicken breast 3 oz 0.5
Fortified breakfast cereals 1 serving (per serving size on label) 0.4
Potatoes 1 cup 0.4
Turkey 3 oz 0.4
Banana 1 medium banana 0.4
Spaghetti sauce 1 cup 0.4

Vitamin B7

Biotin is another name for vitamin B7. You may know it best as an ingredient in some hair, nail and skin care products.

The effectiveness of biotin in your beauty routine is still up for debate. But we know it plays an important role in converting carbohydrates, fats and proteins into energy as part of your diet.

How much should you get

The FDA recommends that adults and children ages 4 and older get 30 micrograms (mcg) of biotin each day.

Foods with vitamin B7


Food Portions Micrograms per serving
Beef liver 3 oz 30.8
Egg 1 egg 10
Canned salmon 3 oz 5
Pork chops 3 oz 3.8
Hamburger patty 3 oz 3.8
Sunflower seeds 1/4 cup 2.6
Sweet potato 1/2 cup 2.4
Toasted almonds 1/4 cup 1.5
Canned tuna 3 oz 0.6
Spinach 1/2 cup 0.5

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is also called folate. It is the vitamin most associated with prenatal vitamins. This is because folate and folic acid are important for healthy fetal development during pregnancy.

But it’s not just for pregnant people. Vitamin B9 is also essential for the formation of red blood cells and DNA.

How much should you get

The FDA recommends that adults and children ages 4 and older get 400 mcg of folate each day. Pregnant people are advised to get 600 mcg of folate per day.

Foods with vitamin B9

Unlike other B vitamins, vitamin B9 is not found in abundance in many foods. That is why people who are pregnant or trying to conceive are advised to take supplements to ensure they are getting adequate amounts.

Food Portions Micrograms per serving
Beef liver 3 oz 215
Spinach 1/2 cup 131
black Eyed Peas 1/2 cup 105
Fortified breakfast cereals 1 serving (per serving on label) 100
White rice 1/2 cup 90
Asparagus 4 spears 89
Enriched paste 1/2 cup 74
Romaine lettuce 1 cup 64
Avocado 1/2 cup 59
Spinach 1 cup 58

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 helps make red blood cells, supports healthy brain function, gives you an energy boost, and may even help keep your eyesight sharp.

How much should you get

The FDA recommends that adults and children ages 4 and older get 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day.

Foods with vitamin B12

Food Portions Micrograms per serving
Beef liver 3 oz 70.7
Clams 3 oz 17
Fortified nutritional yeast 1 serving (per serving size on label) From 8.3 to 24 (depending on the brand)
Atlantic salmon 3 oz 2.6
Light canned tuna 3 oz 2.5
Ground beef 3 oz 2.4
2% milk 1 cup 1.3
Yogurt 6 oz 1
Fortified breakfast cereals 1 serving (per serving size on label) 0.6
Cheddar cheese 1 1/2 oz 0.5
Egg 1 large egg 0.5

How water soluble vitamins work

Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. This means that the water in your body absorbs these vitamins in order to use them.

Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins are not stored for long in the body.

Water-soluble vitamins move through your system quickly, explains Dr. Goodman. Hence, they need to be replenished frequently.

This means that it is important to eat plenty of foods containing vitamins C and all of the B vitamins on a regular basis. This helps you to make sure you have enough of them circulating in your system.

And because they don’t stay around for long, it’s rare to have too much vitamin C or any of the B-complex vitamins in your system. What isn’t used is simply passed through the kidneys and leaves the body in the urine.

Foods vs supplements

The best advice is to take a food-based approach to getting the nutrients your body needs, rather than relying on supplements. Whole foods have so many compounds that your body uses to stay healthy that supplements can’t replicate as effectively.

But if you choose to take a supplement to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C or B-complex vitamins, it’s safe for most people to do so, says Dr. Goodman.

That’s because, for most people, your body will get rid of the extra water-soluble vitamins. So, if you’re also getting vitamins from food in your diet, the supplements can mean you’re peeing out a lot of what you’re ingesting. (Money literally down the toilet).

If you’re concerned that you aren’t getting enough water-soluble vitamins in your diet, talk to a healthcare professional, such as a primary care physician or dietitian, about your intake and their advice.


#water #soluble #vitamins #Cleveland #Clinic

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