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September 12, 2015

Feeling weak and sick? You might be lacking these vitamins

Do you often feel weak, fatigued, or sick? Was there ever a time when muscle and joint pains kept you from doing your work? You may be lacking vitamins. 

“Vitamins play vital roles in bodily functions such as metabolism, immunity and digestion. Without sufficient vitamin intake, a person may feel lethargic, be vulnerable to infection and develop other serious complications that can endanger his/her health and life.” MediCard president Dr. Nicky Montoya stated. 

Take note of these essential vitamins that your body needs to function properly: 

Vitamin A. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in bone growth, reproduction, and immune system health. Vitamin A also improves vision, reduces the risk of heart disease, and may slow skin aging. However, lack of vitamin A can cause night blindness and compromises the immune system. Vitamin A can be found in organ meats, some types of fish (e.g. salmon), carrots, and sweet potato. 

B Vitamins. The B vitamin family is made up of eight B vitamins: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Biotin, Folic Acid and Vitamin B12. These vitamins help maintain metabolism, muscle tone, and a sharp mind. They also help form red blood cells. Poor absorption of B vitamins can result in fatigue, confusion, and anemia. Skin rashes can also occur. Foods that are full of B vitamins are seeds like chia and flax, asparagus, and oats. 

Vitamin C. Also called ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is good for strengthening blood vessels, giving the skin its elasticity, anti-oxidant function and iron absorption. It is an antioxidant that promotes healthy teeth and gums. People who don’t get enough Vitamin C often experience bleeding gums, feeling lethargic, bone pain, and joint pain. Another sign are wounds that don’t heal or break open after they appear to have healed. Good sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell pepper, and cucumber.

Vitamin D. Known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D can be produced in the body with mild sun exposure. Ten to 15 minutes of sunshine three times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of vitamin D because it stimulates Vitamin D production. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is needed for the normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. Apart from spending a few minutes out in the sun, vitamin D can also be found on eggs, fortified milk, fish such as tuna, and mushrooms. 

Calcium. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. Calcium also helps the blood clot, nerves send messages, and muscles contract. When a person doesn’t get enough calcium, he/she increases the risk of developing diseases such as osteoporosis and calcium deficiency disease or hypocalcemia. Aside from milk, calcium can also be acquired in yogurt, cheese, sardines, and soybeans.

Vitamin K. This vitamin plays a key role in helping the blood clot thus preventing excessive bleeding. Vitamin K is also important for developing essential proteins for the blood and bones. However, insufficient dietary intake, inadequate absorption and decreased storage of the vitamin due to liver disease can cause Vitamin K deficiency. Hence, eating foods that are high in Vitamin K such as leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach, and broccoli) are recommended. 

MediCard has 12 free-standing clinics nationwide that offer consultations, diagnostic tests and specialty medical services for young and adult patients. 

For more information, visit a MediCard clinic located near you or check out their website at www.medicardphils.com.

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