Vitamin Deficiency & Functions Chart

Feb 14 2020

Vitamin Deficiency & Functions Chart


Vitamin Sources Indication Efficacy Claims

Fat Soluble Vitamins can be stored in the body and need not be consumed daily. While it is difficult to "overdose" on them from ordinary sources, consuming mega doses of fat-soluble vitamins, especially A and D, can lead to a dangerous buildup in the body.

Abbreviations: IU=International Units; mg=milligrams; mcg=micrograms.

Vitamin A


Men: 3 000 IU

Women: 2 700 IU
Liver, fortified Milk (Retinol form - see below for Carotene sources.) Essential for eyes, skin and the proper function of the immune system. Helps maintain hair, bones and teeth. Deficiency: Night blindness; reduced hair growth in children; loss of appetite; dry, rough skin; lowered resistance to infection; dry eyes.

Overdose: Headaches; blurred vision; fatigue; diarrhea; irregular periods; joint and bone pain; dry, cracked skin; rashes; loss of hair; vomiting, liver damage.

Beta Carotene

(Pro-Vitamin A)

(See Vitamin A)

Carrots, Squash, Broccoli, Green Leafy Vegetables Antioxidant. Converted to Vitamin A in the body. (See Vitamin A)   The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer.

Vitamin D

Men: 100 IU

Women: 100 IU
Egg Yolk, Milk, Exposure to sun enables body to make its own Vitamin D. Helps build and maintain teeth and bones. Enhances calcium absorption. Deficiency: Rickets in children; bone softening in adults; osteoporosis.

Overdose: Calcium deposits in organs; fragile bones; renal and cardiovascular damage.

Vitamin E

Men: 9-10 mg

Women: 6-7 mg
Corn or Cottonseed Oil, Butter, Brown Rice, Soybean Oil, Vegetable oils such as Corn, Cottonseed or Soybean, Nuts, Wheat Germ. Antioxidant. Helps form red blood cells, muscles and other tissues. Preserves fatty acids. Deficiency: Rare, seen primarily in premature or low birth weight babies or children who do not absorb fat properly. Causes nerve abnormalities.

Overdose: Unknown.

The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer.
Vitamin K

None established.

Estimated at 0.03 mcg/kg

Green Vegetables, Liver, also made by intestinal bacteria. Needed for normal blood clotting. Deficiency: Defective blood coagulation.

Overdose: Jaundice in infants.


Water Soluble Vitamins are not stored in the body and should therefore be consumed daily.


Vitamin B1

Men: 0.8 - 1.3 mg

Women: 0.8 mg
Sunflower Seeds, Pork, whole and enriched Grains, dried Beans. Necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and muscle coordination. Promotes proper nerve function. Deficiency: Anxiety; hysteria; depression; muscle cramps; loss of appetite; in extreme cases beriberi (mostly in alcoholics).

Overdose: Unknown, although excess of one B vitamin may cause deficiency of others.


Vitamin B2

Men: 1.3 - 1.6 mg

Women: 1.1 mg

Liver, Milk, Spinach, enriched Noodles, Mushrooms. Needed for metabolism of all foods and the release of energy to cells. Essential to the functioning of Vitamin B6 and Niacin. Deficiency: Cracks and sores around the mouth and nose; visual problems.

Overdose: See Vitamin B1.


Vitamin B3

Men: 16-23 mg

Women: 14-16 mg

Niacin is converted to niacinamide in the body.
Mushrooms, Bran, Tuna, Chicken, Beef, Peanuts, enriched Grains. Needed in many enzymes that convert food to energy. Helps maintain a healthy digestive tract and nervous system. In very large doses, lower cholesterol (large doses should only be taken under the advice of a physician). Deficiency: In extreme cases, pellagra, a disease characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea and mouth sores.

Overdose: Hot flashes; ulcers; liver disorders; high blood sugar and uric acid; cardiac arrythmias.

Pantothenic Acid

Vitamin B5

Men: 2.5 mg

Women: 2.5 mg
Abundant in animal tissues, whole grain cereals and legumes. Converts food to molecular forms. Needed to manufacture adrenal hormones and chemicals that regulate nerve function.

Deficiency: Unclear in humans.

Overdose: See Vitamin B1.

Vitamin B6


Men: 1.8 mg

Women: 1.5 mg
Animal protein foods, Spinach, Broccoli, Bananas. Needed for protein metabolism and absorption, carbohydrate metabolism. Helps form red blood cells. Promotes nerve and brain function.

Deficiency: Anemia, irritability, patches of itchy, scaling skin; convulsions.

Overdose: Nerve damage.

Vitamin B12


Men: 2 mcg

Women: 2 mcg
Found almost exclusively in animal products. Builds genetic material. Helps form red blood cells. Deficiency: Pernicious anemia; nerve damage. (Note: Deficiency rare except in strict vegetarians, the elderly or people with malabsorption disorders.)

Overdose: See Vitamin B1.


60 mcg
Cheese, Egg, Yolk, Cauliflower, Peanut Butter Needed for metabolism of glucose and formation of certain fatty acids. Essential for proper body chemistry. Deficiency: Seborrheic dermatitis in infants. Rare in adults but can be induced by consuming large amounts of egg whites - anorexia, nausea, vomiting, dry scaly skin.

Overdose: See Vitamin B1

Folic Acid (Folacin)

Men: 180-220 mg

Women: 160-190 mg
Green, leafy vegetables, Orange Juice, organ Meats, Sprouts. Essential for the manufacture of genetic material as well as protein metabolism and red blood cell formation. Deficiency: Impaired cell division; anemia; diarrhea; gastrointestinal upsets.

Overdose: Convulsions in epileptics. May mask pernicious anemia (see Vitamin B12 deficiency).

Adequate amounts of this nutrient in the first stage of pregnancy may reduce the risks of neural tube birth defects.
Vitamin C

Ascorbic Acid

Men: 40 mg

Women: 30 mg

Citrus Fruits, Strawberries, Broccoli, Green Peppers Antioxidant. Helps bind cells together and strengthens blood vessel walls. Helps maintain healthy gums. Aids in the absorption of iron. Deficiency: Muscle weakness, bleeding gums; easy bruising. In extreme cases, scurvy.

Overdose: Unknown.

The antioxidant properties of this nutrient may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer. May reduce the effects of the common cold.


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