13 Vitamins For Women That Should Be Taken For Better Health

The huge amount of energy required by the body can be obtained by the utilization of many essential and non-essential nutrients and raw materials. Some of such essential components are the substance called vitamins. These nutrients are vital for the maintenance of life. While, few are produced inside the body, most of these nutrients are not produced inside the body and thus, must be obtained from outside sources (plants and animals) in the form of food items. They can also be taken in the form of dietary supplements.

So far 13 different types of vitamins have been discovered each with a recognized specific function. Taken together, vitamins are involved in almost all body functions. They also perform the duty of catalyst in many reactions either as becoming coenzymes themselves or as being integral parts of coenzymes.

Once you have finished reading this article, you’ll get a better understanding of what job these vitamins actually perform and why their adequate amount is needed by the body.


All the essential vitamins are classified in two major groups, i.e. fat soluble vitamins or water soluble vitamins.

Water soluble vitamins are called so because they are readily soluble in water, not stored and excreted out through urination. Thus, the body needs them continuously in diet. As they are water soluble, care must be taken while washing, preparing and storing food to reduce the nutrient loss. These vitamins include the B family vitamins and vitamin C.

Fat soluble vitamins are named so because of their property to dissolve in fats. Being fat soluble they are not readily excreted out of the body and are stored in fatty tissues and liver. They can be utilized later by the body and due to long term storage in the body, if consumed in excess; they might pose more risk for toxicity compared to water soluble vitamins. These vitamins are A, D, E and K.

Vitamin B Complex

This is a family of eight members including: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), coalmine (B12), folic acid (B9) and biotin (B7).

All of these vitamins are part of many crucial bio-chemical body functions and are important for women but three of them including the vitamin B6, B12 and the folic acid are highly essential for the production of blood cells and protection and maintenance of the DNA.

“So far 13 different types of vitamins have been discovered each with a recognized specific function.”

13. Vitamin B1

VITAMIN B1Vitamin B1, also known as anti-beriberi factor, it is a main component in the biosynthesis of coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate-required in carbohydrate metabolism. Thus, it has a big role in energy production and also affects the enzymes that influence muscles, heart and the nerves. This anti-beriberi factor, if not consumed sufficiently may lead to beriberi.

Main food sources of vitamin B1 are the kidney beans, seafood, grains and potatoes.

The recommended dietary allowance is 1.2-1.4mg for man and 1-1.2mg for women.

  12. Vitamin B2

VITAMIN B2The riboflavin or lactoflavin (B2) takes part in bio-chemical oxidation and reduction by synthesizing coenzymes for several respiratory enzymes. Thus, this vitamin like the vitamin B1 is also takes part in energy production. It also affects enzymes influencing the heart, nerves and muscles. If it is not consumed in sufficient quantity, fissures in the corners of mouth, reddish purple tongue inflammation, eye irritation and skin diseases are formed. Some of the main sources of vitamin B2 are the cereals, whole grains, liver and green vegetables.

Recommended dietary allowanceis 1.4-1.7mg in men and 1.2-1.3mg in women.

  11. Vitamin B3

VITAMIN B3Nicotinic acid and nicotinamide are known to prevent pellagra. It is also known that these vitaminskeep the skin, digestive system and the nervous system healthy but, if not taken in sufficient amount may cause dementia, diarrhea, skin disease and ultimately death. These function as components of two coenzymes NAD and NADP that take part in oxidation reduction reaction. The well-known sources of vitamin B3 are liver, dried beans, whole grains and fish.

10. Vitamin B5

VITAMIN B5An important substance of coenzyme A, this vitamin influences growth and development by interfering in the metabolic reactions of fatty acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, heme group, phospholipids and steroids. This important vitamin provides a perfect DIY remedy and protection against many diseases.

Adequate intake in adult is 4-7mg. This important vitamin is present in almost all foods.

“All the essential vitamins are classified in two major groups, i.e. fat soluble vitamins or water soluble vitamins.”

9. Vitamin B6

VITAMIN B6Pyridoxine, pyridoxal and pyridoxamine, collectively form vitamin B6 and combine with phosphorous to give pyridoxal phosphate. B6 is required in the metabolism and usually helps in the breakdown of proteins, maintains RBCs, immune system functionality and the nervous system. It is also considered to reduce the morning sickness in the pregnant women.

Wheat germ, potatoes, fish, liver and beans are some of the food sources rich in the vitamin B6.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin for women is 2 milligrams. It is also the type of water-soluble vitamin which if consumed in high quantities can lead to toxic effects.

8. Vitamin B7

VITAMIN B7This important vitamin is helpful in enzyme synthesis and is needed in very small amount by the body. It is mostly produced by the intestinal bacteria but can also be obtained from food sources like peanuts, liver, egg yolk, grapefruit, watermelon and bananas.

7. Vitamin B9

VITAMIN B9Cells which undergo rapid growth and destruction processes needs a rapid supply of this vitamin due to its involvement in the production and maintenance of red blood cells and DNA. It plays a role in prevention of cancer by protecting the DNA from alterations. Its deficiency can cause many forms of anemia and also a disease called sprue in the intestinal walls.Folate deficiency during the pregnancy in females can cause neural tube defects like incomplete closure of spinal cord, known as spina bifida.

Green leafy vegetables are rich sources of folic acid. Some of the other major sources of vitamin B9 or folic acid include; mushrooms, nuts, beans, wheat, bread, liver etc.

The deficiency is usually linked to poor eating habits, alcohol intake, smoking and consumption of oral contraceptive drugs.

The recommended daily intake for women is 400mcg, whereas in pregnant and breast feeding women the daily recommended intake is 500mcg and 600mcg respectively.

6. Vitamin B12

VITAMIN B12The vitamin is present in excess amount in eggs, meat, shellfish, dairy products and milk and is needed by folic acid to fulfill its duty. It is involved in growth and development, protein synthesis, blood cell production, proper functioning of the nervous system and the body’s utilization of folic acid and the carbohydrates. People facing problems of low stomach acid or those with certain other intestinal issues sometimes face problems with absorbing vitamin B12 naturally. In such patients, the supplements and injections should be used to ensure adequate intake of vitamin B12.

5. Vitamin C

VITAMIN CVitamin C is commonly known as ascorbic acid. Some amount of vitamin C is found in almost all kinds of fruits and vegetables but green chilies, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, broccoli, pineapple, papaya and turnip greens are known to have the highest quantities of ascorbic acid. As it is a water soluble vitamin so a continuous supply of this vitamin is needed for proper functioning. This vitamin is an important antioxidant and protects the cells from the destructive effects of free radicals.It is also known to exhibit antiviral and antibacterial properties and thus prevents many infections. It helps in wound healing through formation of collagen, absorption of iron, absorption of calcium and folacin, production of immune factors and brain hormones and neurotransmitters.

Rough skin, sore joints and bones, scurvy and increased infections are some of that symptom that is caused by the deficiency of vitamin C.

“Vitamin B6, B12 and the folic acid are highly essential for the production of blood cells and protection and maintenance of the DNA.”

4. Vitamin A

VITAMIN ABeta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene and lycopene the known precursors of vitamin A- present in colored fruits and vegetables like apricots, broccoli, red peppers, pumpkins, mangoes, carrots, watermelon, guava etc. are converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A-also known as retinol helps the eye adjust to light. In addition to that, it is also involved in the building and strengthening of bones, tooth development, cell division and formation of soft tissue. It keeps the mucous membranes, eyes, nose throat and lungs moist and is also involved in gene expression. With its antioxidant and anti-aging properties, it helps in the skin rejuvenation and prevents wrinkles and fine lines.

Other food sources of beta-carotene include cantaloupe, kale, winter squash, papaya, peach, spinach and tomatoes. Vitamin A can also be obtained from foods of animal sources like dairy products, fish and liver.

Some of the symptoms produced by the deficiency of this vitamin are night blindness, retarded growth, skin problems, increased infection risks and kidney stone.

3. Vitamin K

VITAMIN KTwo types of K Vitamins have been isolated from two different sources. K1 has been isolated from the oil purified from alfalfa concentrates whereas K2 is produced by the bacteria found inside the intestine. These two forms can also be derived synthetically from a yellow crystalline solid substance known as menadione (vitamin K3). It is not considered an essential vitamin as it is produced within the intestines of human but still it plays a key part in the maintenance of strong bones in old aged people and clotting of blood.

This vitamin is also known to keep coronary artery disease and kidney stone formation at bay.

The deficiency of this vitamin is usually seen in those people who have digestive disorders. The deficiency mostly causes the symptoms of delayed wound healing in injuries, and increased bruises.

Best sources include the intestinal bacteria, alfalfa, fresh green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, legumes and fish oil.

2. Vitamin E

VITAMIN EThis vitamin is the derivative of tocopherols or tocotrienols and is found in at least eight different molecular structures among which the alpha-tocopherol is the most commonly found form in humans.

All the forms of vitamin E have usually light yellow color and are in the form of viscous oil.

Due to its innumerable health and beauty properties, the vitamin E is also known as beauty vitamin. The beauty benefits include removal of stretch scars, and burn marks. It delays the aging process when combined with vitamin A and C- and delays the formation of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin.

The antioxidant properties of this vitamin prevent the free radicals from damaging the body and keep the infections at bay. It keeps the cholesterol level balanced and thus promotes cardiac health. It also reduces the risks of breast cancer, prostate cancer and cardiac problems.

Although the deficiency of vitamin E is very rare due to the increased ability of the body to store it, the deficiency symptoms however do appear sometimes. Common symptoms include anemia, reproductive and renal system problems, cardiac and skin disorders.

Major sources include nuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, mangoes, liver avocados, sweet potatoes, yams soya, sesame and olive.

1. Vitamin D

Vitamin DVitamin D is a collective name given to two fat-soluble vitamins the cholecalciferol (D3) and calciferol (D2) Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium and phosphorous by the body and also plays a role in their metabolism.

Main food sources are dairy products and milk. Other sources include cereals, eggs, cod liver oils and fish such as sardines, salmon and herring.

This vitamin is also produced by the body with the activation of its precursor present in the skin.This vitamin regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in the body so any deficiency of it may lead to osteomalacia, rickets, sleeplessness and osteoporosis.


  • The water soluble vitamins should be taken regularly in diet as they are not stored in the body, to ensure good health and proper body functioning.
  • The fat-soluble vitamins should be taken only in adequate amounts recommended by the nutritionists to reap the highest benefits out of them.
  • To live a healthy life and ensure intake of all the vitamins a balanced diet including all types of foods should be taken.
  • If the food is deficient in any kind of nutrient, the nutrient supply should be ensured through the use of dietary supplements.


  • Do not take the vitamins in excess as they can pose threats to health.
  • Excess of fat soluble vitamin should be avoided as they are stored in the body and excess can lead to many health problems.
  • Care should be taken while using dietary supplements and no pills should be taken without the recommendation of a doctor to avoid complexities.
  • Supplements should not be taken when a balanced diet is available to avoid risk of over-dosage of vitamins.

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