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Functions of water soluble vitamins

Functions of water soluble vitamins

Functions of water soluble vitamins : Generally, we take vitamins supplements to boost our body resistance power. We can get water soluble vitamins supplements from the foods we consume and sunlight we are exposed to. Water soluble vitamins are absorbed into the body in many ways and eliminate from the body at various rates.

Basically, vitamins are classified into two categories those are water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins. Water soluble vitamins are those which dissolve in water when entered into the body. Due to this reason, our body can’t store an excess level of water soluble vitamins for later use.

The water-soluble vitamins are absorbed into the tissues for immediate use. We can find water-soluble vitamins in cereal grains, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, milk, fruits, and fresh vegetables which are healthy foods to eat. These water-soluble vitamins are easily destroyed when storage of food and cooking.

The water soluble vitamins are eight B-complex group and vitamin C.

Those are:

  • Vitamin B1/ Thiamine
  • Vitamin B2/ Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B3/ Niacin
  • Vitamin B5/ Pantothenic Acid
  • Vitamin B6/ Pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B7/ Biotin
  • Vitamin B8/ Folate
  • Vitamin B12/ Cobalamin
  • Vitamin C
  1. Vitamin B1 / Thiamine:

Thiamine is an essential water-soluble vitamin because it can’t be made by the human body we must consume it in our diet. It is required by the brain and every cell of the body. Vitamin B1 plays a vital role in the chemical process which has done by the human body. It helps you to release energy from the foods. Thiamine is rich in peas, liver, pork, and legumes.

There are different kind of thiamine those are:

Thiamine Pyrophosphate

Thiamine triphosphate

Thiamine mononitrate

Thiamine hydrochloride

  • Thiamine pyrophosphate:

It is also known as thiamine diphosphate. It is the most abundant form of thiamine in your body. It is the main form found in whole foods.

  • Thiamine triphosphate:

It can be found in animal-sourced foods. It is less abundant than thiamine pyrophosphate. It is hard to believe that less than 10% of total thiamine found in animal tissue.

  • Thiamine mononitrate:

Generally, a synthetic form of thiamine is added to processed foods or animal feed.

  • Thiamine hydrochloride:

It is a standard synthetic form of thiamine used in supplements.

Role and functions:

Thiamine pyrophosphate is most one is involved in many essential chemical reactions like converts nutrients into energy and supports sugar formation. It serves as a coenzyme in the body and It applies to all its active forms. Coenzymes are small compounds that help enzymes to trigger chemical reactions.

  1. Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin:

Riboflavin is one of the water-soluble vitamins used as a food coloring. The name riboflavin itself represents the color in Latin words flavus means yellow. Basically, it works as a coenzyme which is required for a wealth of different enzymatic processes in the body. The low levels of coenzymes can result in anemia with all the issues. It might lead to fatigue, muscle cramp, and dizziness.

Foods rich in vitamin B2:

The foods which are rich in vitamin B2 are meat, dairy, and vegetables. It will ensure you’re getting enough riboflavin in your diet. Milk, mushrooms, almonds, eggs, spinach, and salmon all these foods are very rich in vitamin B2.


Vitamin B2 deficiency is very rare in refined countries. But old age, poor diet, lung disease, and alcoholism might increase the risk to get the deficiency. Severe deficiency of vitamin B2 can lead to ariboflavinosis which causes inflamed tongue, sore throat, anemia.

  1. Vitamin B3 / Niacin:

Niacin is the only B vitamin which can produce another nutrient called an amino acid tryptophan in our body. Niacin is also one of the essential water-soluble vitamins. There are two different kinds of niacin those are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Nicotinic acid:

It is the most common form in supplements. It found in both animal-sourced foods and plants. If we consume a high dose of nicotinic acid supplements, it can cause a condition called niacin flush.


Nicotinamide has been found in foods and supplements. The compound called nicotinamide riboside has vitamin B3 activity. It is found in large amounts in baker’s yeast and whey protein.

Role and functions:

All dietary forms of vitamin B3 are eventually converted into (NADP+) nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate or (NAD+) nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide which works as coenzymes.

It functions like other B vitamins as a coenzyme in the body and plays an essential role in cellular function and acts as an antioxidant. One of the most important roles is to control a metabolic process called glycolysis.


Niacin deficiency is known as pellagra. It is very rare in developed countries. The symptoms of pellagra are diarrhea, inflamed skin, insomnia, mouth sores, and dementia. We can easily get all the niacin which is needed from a varied diet. Especially cereal grains are low in niacin.

Side effects and toxicity:

High supplemental doses of niacin might cause niacin flush, vomiting, nausea, liver damage, and stomach irritation. When the immediate release of nicotinic acid supplements, it causes the side effect as niacin flush. It is characterized by a flush in the face, arms, neck, and chest.

If we take high doses of niacin for long-term, it leads to liver damage. It may raise blood sugar levels and increases insulin resistance.

  1. Vitamin B5 / Pantothenic Acid:

Pantothenic acid shows an impact on the body as an ingredient in the production of coenzyme A. Cysteine is a chemical process in the body that combines amino acids and vitamin B5 to create all-important coenzyme. Pantothenic acid is one of the essential water-soluble vitamins. Pantothenic acid is virtually found in all food. The name of pantothenic also derived from the Greek word pantothen which means “from every side”.

Types of pantothenic acid or compounds that release the active form of vitamin when digested are

Coenzyme A:

Coenzyme A releases the pantothenic acid in the digestive tract. It is a common source of a vitamin in foods.

Acyl carrier protein:

Acyl carrier protein can be found in foods and it releases pantothenic acid during digestion like coenzyme.

Calcium pantothenate:

It is the most common form of pantothenic acid in supplements.


Panthenol is another common form of pantothenic acid often used to supplements.

 Role and function:

Pantothenic acid plays a major key role in a wide range of metabolic functions. It is required to form coenzyme A which is required for the synthesis of fatty acids, steroid hormones, amino acids, neurotransmitters and various other important compounds.


Pantothenic acid deficiency occurs very rarely. This vitamin is widespread in foods so deficiency is virtually unheard except severe malnutrition. The people who with diabetes and those who consume an excessive amount of alcohol requires a higher amount of pantothenic acid.

  1. Vitamin B6 / pyridoxine:

Pyridoxine helps in the production of norepinephrine and serotonin which help to transmit signals in the brain It benefits a large range psychological and physical conditions like protein metabolism, nerve function, production of antibodies, and healthy hemoglobin.

Vitamin B6 also helps you to regulate hormonal imbalance and the central part of the storage. It is another water-soluble vitamins where toxicities are possible, but they are most unlikely. Vitamin B6 is an essential water-soluble vitamins because vitamin B6 is a group of nutrients which are required for the synthesis of a coenzyme involved in more than a hundred metabolic processes and pyridoxal phosphate.

Types of Vitamin B6:

Like the other B vitamins that are under water-soluble vitamins, vitamin B6 is a family of related compounds those are


This form can be found in vegetables, grains, fruits, and supplements. Processed foods also might contain added pyridoxine.


Now the FDA considered pyridoxamine as a pharmaceutical drug. It is used until recently in dietary supplements in the US. Pyridoxamine phosphate is the most common form of vitamin B6.


Pyridoxal phosphate is the main kind of vitamin B6 and it is rich in animal-sourced foods.

Role and function:

Like other B vitamins which are in the list of water-soluble vitamins, vitamin B6 acts as a coenzyme in various chemical reactions. It plays a major role in the formation of red blood cells as well as amino acid metabolism and energy.

When the release of glucose from glycogen, it is also required. It supports the formation of red blood cells and helps the body synthesize several neurotransmitters.


Vitamin deficiency is very rare but the people who alcoholic they might have more chance to get a deficiency. The symptoms are like skin rashes, convulsions, anemia, depression, and confusion. The deficiency might lead to a risk of cancer.

  1. Vitamin B7 / Biotin:

Biotin is known as the beauty vitamin. Biotin breaks down the fatty acids which are disturbing the vital organs around the body and skin. These fatty acids can protect skin cells from damage and water loss. It also helps the skin to moisture and protects from the itchy and dry skin. It also gives similar benefits to the hair and nails by helping to protect and strengthen them against breakage. So, it is a more needed vitamin when compare with others water-soluble vitamin.

Role and function:

Biotin is required for the function of five carboxylases which are involved in several fundamental metabolic processes. It also plays an essential role in fatty acid synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and glucose formation.


The people who take antiepileptic medications, infants with Leiner disease or who are genetically predisposed to deficiency. The risk is very high for the people who are fed formula low in biotin.

High deficiency of biotin leads to neurological symptoms like mental retardation, seizures, and loss of muscle coordination.

Benefits of Biotin:

Biotin supplements might improve health in those who get adequate amounts from their diets. It might improve the symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis.

  1. Vitamin B8 / Folate:

Folate is known as folic acid. It plays a crucial role in cell division and replication. It is an essential nutrient unlike other water-soluble vitamins it cannot be made in the human body. We should ensure that we are getting enough vitamin B8 in our diet or not. It is particularly most important for a pregnant woman. It helps to reduce the neural tube birth defects in pregnant women.


Like other B vitamins who are in the list of water-soluble vitamins, vitamin B8 comes in different forms those are


Folate is a family of vitamin B9 compounds. It naturally found in foods.

Folic Acid:

A folic Acid is a synthetic form which is commonly added to processed foods or sold as supplements. Some scientists are said that high dosage of folic acid can cause harm.


It is also known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. It is an active form of vitamin B8 in the human body. As a supplement, L-methylfolate is healthier than folic acid.

Role and functions:

Vitamin B8 works as a coenzyme and it is essential in cell growth, amino acid metabolism, and DNA formation. It is more important when during periods for rapid cell growth and division, such as pregnancy and infancy. The deficiency can lead anemia because it is required in the formation of red blood cells and white blood cells.


Anemia is one of the most common symptoms of vitamin B8 deficiency. The deficiency can become a verse when associated with other nutrient deficiency like vitamin B12 deficiency. It leads to birth defects of the neural chord and the brain known as neural tube birth defects.

  1. Vitamin B12 / cobalamin:

It plays a major role in the human body like in the production of energy and in the maintenance of the nervous system. It is also essential for proper function of nerve cells, red bold cells, and neurotransmitters. It is only found in animal-derived foods. It is only vitamin that contains a metallic element called cobalt.


There are four types of vitamin B12 those are cyanocobalamin, adenosyl cobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and methyl cobalamin.

All are can be found in supplements. Cyanocobalamin is the most common and it is stable due to this reason it is considered as ideal for supplements. Hydroxocobalamin is the common form of vitaminB12 and found in animal-sourced foods. The natural forms methyl cobalamin and adenosyl cobalamin have become popular supplements.

Role and function:

Like other water-soluble vitamins, vitamin b12 acts as a coenzyme.

If we take adequate amount of vitamin B12, it helps to maintain brain function, development, production of red blood cells, and neurological functions. It is also help to convert fat and protein into energy. It is also essential for DNA synthesis and cell division.

  1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the water-soluble vitamin that doesn’t belong to the B vitamin group. It is required for the collagen synthesis and it is most important antioxidants for the body.


Vitamin C has two forms those are ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid.

Role and functions:

Vitamin C is essential for many body functions like:

Collagen formation:

The human body can’t synthesize collagen without vitamin C. It is the main protein in connective tissue. So, deficiency can affect your tendons, skin, ligaments, and bones.

Antioxidants defences:

Vitamin C is the most important antioxidant. Our body uses antioxidants to protect against oxidative stress.

Immune system:

During an infection, vitamin C levels are quickly depleted because immune cells contain high levels of vitamin C.

All water-soluble vitamins are included like eight B vitamins and vitamin C. The role of each water-soluble vitamins is different in the human body and all the water-soluble vitamins are easy to get in our diet. These are the functions of water-soluble vitamins in the human body.

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