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Vitamins are organic substances present in very small amounts in food, but necessary for metabolism. The human being needs 13 vitamins in his body to be healthy, (A, B, C, D, E, K) most of them are obtained in food. In case of not receiving an adequate diet, the body can present deficiencies or deficiencies of these vitamins causing that the organism does not respond equally and can produce certain complications. These are childhood diseases caused by lack of vitamins.
Retinol is the main form of vitamin A in human diets. It is found only in animal products. Carotenes, which act as precursors of vitamin A, are yellow substances that exist in many plant substances. In some foods their color may be masked by the green plant pigment chlorophyll, beta-carotene is the most important source of vitamin A.
In children, vitamin A stores are depleted by infections. Its deficiency causes a pathological dryness of the eye, called xerophthalmia, which if not treated can lead to blindness, according to the report prepared by the Complutense University of Madrid under the title Manual of Nutrition and Diet. In other cases, such as children with measles, deficiency of this vitamin can cause death.
His treatment would consist of increasing the consumption of foods rich in vitamin A: butter, eggs, milk, meats, mainly liver, carrots, watercress, pumpkin, chard and spinach, guava, red paprika among others. But you also have to be careful: children 1 to 3 years old should not consume more than 600 mcg per day, and children 4 and older should not consume more than 900 mcg per day.
Thiamine plays a very important role in carbohydrate metabolism and acts on the central nervous system. It can be easily found in foods of plant and animal origin. The richest sources are cereal grains, seeds, green vegetables, fish, meat, fruit, and milk.
As it is very soluble in water, when food is washed a lot or overcooked, there is a greater chance of losing it, and if it is ingested in small quantities in children it can produce infantile beriberi. This disease is associated when the diet is only based on rice or rice drinks and it occurs between two and six months of age.
In the acute form, the baby develops dyspnea and cyanosis and soon dies of heart failure. In the longer variety, the classic sign is aphonia. The child wears out and becomes thin, has vomiting and diarrhea. Its treatment is to inject vitamin B1 intramuscularly, indicate vitamin B1 to the mother if she is breastfeeding and if she no longer breastfeeds and the baby eats, foods rich in this vitamin are indicated.
Its main function in the body is tissue oxidation. It is found in foods of animal and plant origin. Particularly good sources are meat (especially liver), peanuts, cereal bran and germ. Beans, peas, and other seeds contain amounts similar to those found in most cereals.
Its deficit produces a disease called pellagra. This pathology can be caused by a diet based only on corn or corn drinks. Pellagra is the 3 D disease (dermatitis, dementia, diarrhea). In children it evolves little by little, mainly in the skin with dermatitis and diarrhea produces a state of malnutrition and weakness. Most of these children deserve to be hospitalized and should be supplemented with vitamin B3, as well as at least 10g of foods rich in B3.
A combination of folate (B9) and B12 (cyanocobalamin) deficiency can lead to megaloblastic anemia.
By itself, vitamin B9 or folic acid deficiency can cause celiac disease and hemolytic anemia, finding that children can present weakness, tiredness, paleness or insufficient growth. Vitamin B9 can be found in beans and legumes, citrus fruits, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, poultry, pork, shellfish, wheat bran and other whole grains.
In contrast, vitamin B12 deficiency alone is not very common in children, but it can cause dizziness, poor concentration, or blurred vision. This vitamin is found mainly in sources of animal origin. That is why those who eat a vegetarian diet should take supplements of this vitamin.
Ascorbic acid is necessary for the formation and maintenance of collagen. It is a common belief that large doses of vitamin C prevent and reduce symptoms of the common cold (coryza). This claim has not been proven. A large study suggests a modest reduction in the severity of symptoms in those who take vitamin C medicinally, but the vitamin did not prevent colds.
Its biggest food source is, for example, broccoli, kiwi, cauliflower, orange, lemon, tomato, melon, red and truth peppers, strawberries, mango, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, guava. Its deficiency produces scurvy, which causes tiredness and weakness, swollen gums that bleed easily, nosebleeds, blood in the urine or stool, and anemia.
Vitamin D has two forms: D2 ergocalciferol and D3 cholecalciferol. In humans, the most important is D3. It is obtained mainly from ultraviolet rays and from some foods. As children should not be exposed to ultraviolet rays, a vitamin D3 supplement is indicated from birth to 6 months or 12 months, who can begin to obtain it from food after one year.
Vitamin D is found naturally only in the fat of certain animal products. Eggs, cheese, milk, and butter are good sources in normal diets. Meat and fish contribute in small amounts. Fish liver oils are very rich.
The role of vitamin D in the body is to allow proper absorption of calcium. Vitamin D that is formed on the skin or absorbed from food influences calcium metabolism. Its deficiency in children produces rickets, a disease in which there is a lack of calcium in certain tissues. In this case, they are not due to a lack of calcium in the diet but rather to a lack of vitamin D, which allows the correct use of calcium from food.
Children who suffer from rickets are different from children who suffer from nutritional deficiency, because they are chubby and plump children. A feature of rickets is a general disturbance of normal development. The child is slow to reach the stages of early childhood, such as teething, learning to sit and walk. Other general symptoms include gastrointestinal upset and excessive head sweating.
But the most important characteristic is bone deformities, for example, when you start to walk, bow legs are evident. Treatment is to administer vitamin D and calcium, and children are sent cod oil and milk.
It is related to prothrombin and blood clotting. Because of this it is used successfully to treat bleeding in newborns (hemorrhagic disease of the newborn). Newborns have an intestine free of microorganisms, and therefore do not obtain vitamin K from bacterial synthesis, which is why this dose of vitamin is administered at birth.
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