Vitamins and Minerals Overview - 1/3

Uploaded by eLearningCentralia on 04.03.2010

>> Let's look at an overview of the vitamins followed
by an overview of the minerals.
Vitamins, the name, comes from vita, which means life,
and amin means containing nitrogen.
Well, we know amino acids, acids that contain nitrogen,
we see that amino acids make protein.
But these are vita amins.
The researcher that founded and gave the name
of vitamins is a Polish chemist by the name of Casimir Funk.
And we could call him the godfather of vitamins.
He was able to separate and discover a substance
in an extract made from rice bran.
And this rice, this extract in the rice bran,
was able to cure a very common disease at the time,
which was about 1911, 1912.
And the disease was berry berry.
So Casimir Funk is the man
that named these vital nitrogen containing nutrients.
What do we know about vitamins?
Well, we've just covered macronutrients.
So vitamins certainly differ
from macronutrients in their structure.
Vitamins are individual units.
They do not have to be digested.
Macronutrients, which are the carbohydrates,
fats and proteins, have to be digested.
Their function, vitamins do not give energy.
Vitamins are for regulating body processes.
What about their amounts?
The amount needed by the body regarding vitamins would be
measured in micrograms or milligrams, whereas the amount
of macronutrients were grams.
Well, how do vitamins, how are they similar to macronutrients?
A vitamin is just like a fat carbohydrate and a protein,
because they're all vital for life.
They're organic.
That is, they have carbon to hydrogen bonding.
And we can find vitamins in a mixture of food groups.
A deficiency of a vitamin, or an excessive amount
of a vitamin, can affect health.
Where we started to discover the vitamins was
because we were suffering from deficiencies.
But that was 110 years ago.
Nowadays we might be suffering from excesses.
Not because we eat too much of them, but because we tend
to have supplements in vitamins,
and we can get too much of a good thing.
Generally, if you eat a healthy diet,
you will get adequate amounts of vitamins,
not to be deficient nor to be excessive in amounts.
When we talk about vitamins, we have this unique quality,
which is called bioavailability.
Bioavailability is the rate and extent
that a nutrient is absorbed and used.
Bioavailability depends on many factors; the efficiency
of digestion, the previous nutrient intake,
other foods that are consumed at the same time,
the method of food preparation and the source of the nutrient.
So this is unique to vitamins.
Another unique quality to vitamins, some vitamins come
as precursors, sometimes known as provitamins.
Precursors, or provitamins, are forms that we can get in food.
But once we eat them, they become a vitamin.
So they might come in as beta carotene.
But once in the body, they become Vitamin A. The vitamins,
as I said, are organic.
So because of their organic nature, they can be destroyed.
Good examples.
Light, excessive light, can destroy riboflavin,
which used to be called B2.
Oxidation can destroy Vitamin C. Prolonged heating can
destroy thiamine.
So vitamins can be destroyed.
There are certainly methods to minimize the loss of nutrients,
as in vitamins from fruits or vegetables.
You can refrigerate your plant foods.
If you are going to cut them, you would store them
in airtight wrappers or closed containers and then refrigerate.
You can clean your plants before eating
or before even cutting them.
To cook your plants, microwaving, steaming
or simmering in small amounts
of water will not destroy the vitamins in the plant.
The water that you did use you should keep.
A great source of nutrient rich fluid for soups or gravies.
Also, you want to avoid high temperatures
and long cooking times, because that will destroy those fragile
organic vitamins.
What vitamins are there?
We actually have two families of vitamins.
There is the fat soluble family.
And in the fat soluble family are Vitamins A, D,
E and K. I can remember that because I always think
of Aussies detest eating koalas.
But anyway, Vitamin A can also be called retinol
or retinal or retinoic acid.
The precursor for Vitamin A is beta carotene.
Vitamin D is known
as ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol.
Vitamin D has a precursor, which is called 7 dehydrocholesterol.
Vitamin E, or otherwise known as alpha tocopherol.
And Vitamin K could be called phylloquinone
or menadione or menaquinone.
Fat soluble vitamins, there is water soluble vitamins.
Water soluble vitamins are all the Bs
and a C. You've probably heard of Vitamin C. You heard
about Vitamin C when you were probably three years old.
Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid.
But we have all of the Bs.
There's thiamine, which once was called B1; riboflavin, B2;
niacin, B3, or nicotinic acid or nicotinamide.
Niacin is the only water soluble vitamin that has a precursor,
and it's called tryptophan.
You know the turkey amino acid, tryptophan.
Pyridoxine is B6, also known as Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine.
There is also pantothenic acid.
We came across pantothenic acid before when we had CoA
that hooked up with acetyl
to become acetyl CoA in the metabolism.
Biotin is another B vitamin; folate, which also is known
as folacin, folic acid or PGA.
And then there's cobalamin, which is B12.
Which of those vitamins do you think was first discovered?
Actually, it's Vitamin A. When they first discovered Vitamin A,
because they were doing animal research,
they found something vital for life,
but they didn't know what to call it.
So they said, we'll give it that Vitamin A.
And then they discovered thiamine, which was,
at the time, they said let's call that Vitamin B.
But then they found riboflavin and niacin, so they had to go B1
and 2 and 3 and so forth.
So they actually found other substances
that they thought was a vitamin, but didn't work out.
Right now, we have 13 accepted, respected, essential vitamins.