Vitamin ABCDE and Immunity


Vitamins are an essential class of organic compounds in the process of human life activities, playing a vital role in all stages of the immune response. Function. Vitamins are found in natural foods and are generally not synthesized by the human body, but must be supplied by food, and can be classified as fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, and E). (E, K) and water-soluble (B vitamins, vitamin C) in two categories.

Vitamin A - the first line of defense of the immune system "guardian angel."

Vitamin A is the generic name for a group of compounds that contain retinol, a bioactive compound that maintains normal vision and promotes epithelial tissue proliferation and differentiation. and promote the growth and development of children and other functions. It is involved in the whole process of maturation of the human immune system, can improve the stability of cell membranes, maintain the integrity of the mucosal barrier, is the immune force The first line of defense, the "guardian angel".

The recommended intake of vitamin A for adults in China is 800 μg RAEd for men and 700 μg RAEd for women. The foods that we have access to the most vitamin A are liver and eggs, which are also rich in vitamin A. A healthy adult has the most vitamin A per month. Eating about one to two servings of porcini will easily satisfy your vitamin A needs. Carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables can be converted into vitamin A in the body, especially dark green and red-yellow vegetables such as Broccoli, carrots and spinach are high in carotenoids and can also be used as a vitamin A supplement.

B vitamins - "assist" the normal functioning of the immune system.

B vitamins is a "big family", including vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, etc. B vitamins are involved in the metabolism of the body's three major nutrients. B vitamins are important coenzyme involved in the metabolism of the body's three major nutrients, is essential to maintain the normal function of the body's water-soluble The B vitamins mediate immune regulation and aid in the proper functioning of the immune system, e.g. vitamin B6 is involved in lymphocyte Proliferation, differentiation, maturation and activation, regulating the production of cytokines and chemokines; vitamin B12 as cellular immunity Regulator; folic acid supports the immune response, etc.

Vitamins B1 and B6 are abundant in meat, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Vitamin B2 is widely distributed in food, with relatively high levels in animal foods, especially liver, kidneys, eggs, and milk. The vast majority of vitamin B12 comes from meat, such as fish, animal organs, eggs, and milk.

Vitamin C - the "number one helper" in enhancing immune function.

Vitamin C has a variety of effects such as promoting collagen synthesis, wound healing, and skin brightening, and contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions in both non-specific and specific immune responses.

The recommended intake of vitamin C for the adult Chinese population is 100 mgd. The main food sources of vitamin C are fresh vegetables and fruits. A pound of vegetables and half a pound of fruit a day, such as broccoli, peppers, cabbage and prickly pears, kiwi, strawberries, etc., is enough to provide the daily requirements. Vitamin C, the general population does not require additional supplementation.

Vitamin C supplementation through daily diet needs to be aware that vegetables and fruits should be eaten fresh, as the vitamin C content will be higher after a long time. Greatly reduced. In addition, vitamin C is easily broken down by heat, and for vegetables, it is recommended not to overcook what you can eat raw. Vegetable soups cooked with healthy fats leave a lot of vitamin C behind, and drinking it will provide both vitamin C and quality fats.

Vitamin D - the immune regulator

In the last century, researchers have experimentally demonstrated that the component of cod liver oil that treats rickets is vitamin D. Because it was the fourth named vitamin, hence the name vitamin D.

Also known as the anti-rickets vitamin, vitamin D's main role is to regulate calcium and phosphorus metabolism, promote intestinal calcium and phosphorus absorption and bone calcification. Maintain the balance of calcium and phosphorus in blood. When the human body is deficient in vitamin D, rickets, rickets, osteomalacia, osteomalacia and so on will appear. Vitamin D receptors are widely found in immune cells, so they can participate in the proliferation and differentiation of many immune cells. In addition, vitamin D can not only enhance the innate immune response, but also suppress the acquired immune system, thus playing a role in regulating the immune response. Effects.

The recommended intake of vitamin D for the adult Chinese population is 10 μgd. Vitamin D is abundant in animal foods, such as Liver, eggs, dairy products, etc., with fat-rich fish being a good source of Vitamin D. Sunlight exposure is also the main, most natural and economical source of vitamin D, which is why it is called the "sunshine vitamin".

Vitamin E - the first line of defence against lipid peroxidation

Vitamin E protects the structural integrity of cells and their interior and prevents the destruction of certain enzymes and internal cellular components. In addition, it enhances the secretion of luteinizing hormone and facilitates the completion of fertilization, which is where the name tocopherol comes from. Vitamin E (tocopherol) is an important fat-soluble antioxidant in cell tissues and is the body's first line of defense against lipid peroxidation. This protects cell membranes from damage by free radicals and is important for maintaining the normal function of immune cells.

The appropriate intake of vitamin E for the adult Chinese population is 14 mg α-TEd. Foods rich in vitamin E are widely distributed. Cooking oils are usually the main source of vitamin E that people get from their diet. Vitamin E is also found in beans, nuts, and vegetables in certain amounts.

The vitamin is essential for maintaining proper immune function, and a healthy balanced diet can provide the body with all the vitamins it needs to build an impenetrable defense!

Author: Rong Shuang, Member of Public Nutrition Branch, Chinese Society of Nutrition, Associate Professor, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, China

Special acknowledgement: Recommended Expert of the Chinese Society of Nutrition

This work was originally published by "Popular Science China - Frontiers of Science and Technology Master Talks", please make sure to indicate the source when reproducing.

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