Water Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins are nutrients that are needed by our body to perform certain functions and maintain health. There are two types of vitamins:

  1. *Fat soluble vitamins
  2. *Water soluble vitamins

Water soluble vitamins are those vitamins that are dissolved in water and are not stored in the body. There is a daily requirement of these vitamins in our diet as they are thrown out of the body along with urine. Basically, Vitamin B- complex group and vitamin C are water soluble vitamins.

Important Facts About Water Soluble Vitamins

  • Loss of water soluble vitamins occurs during the process of food storage and preparation as they are easily washed away or destroyed.
  • Use of vegetable stock to prepare food, refrigerating fresh food items and storing items like milk and food grains in cool places aids in retaining water soluble vitamins in food items.

What are the water soluble vitamins?

Vitamin C and eight Vitamin B complex are classified as under water soluble vitamins. The vitamins that make up the vitamin B complex vitamins function as coenzymes and help the body to derive energy from food. They help in maintaining

  1. Normal appetite
  2. Good vision
  3. Better functioning of the nervous system
  4. Red blood cell formation
  5. Supports healthy skin

What happens due to deficiency of Water Soluble Vitamins?

Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion
  • Impaired growth
  • Beri Beri


  • Malignancy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cracks in the corner of the mouth
  • Light sensitivity
  • Cataracts
  • Sore
  • Red tongue
  • Dermatitis on nose & lips


  • Pellagra
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Mental confusion
  • Several skin problems

Vitamin B6

  • Skin disorder
  • Dermatitis
  • Cracks at the corner of the mouth
  • Anemia
  • Kidney stone
  • Nausea
  • Causes mental confusion in infants


  • Affects cell growth & protein production
  • Leads to overall impaired growth
  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea

In case of pregnancy the child may be born with neural tube defects

Vitamin B12

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Neurological disorders
  • Degeneration of nerves


  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Muscle pain
  • Heart abnormalities
  • Anemia

Vitamin C

  • Loss of collagen strength results in a disease called scurvy
  • Loss of teeth, bleeding and swollen gums
  • Improper wound healing

9 Important Water Soluble Vitamins



Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

  1. Peas
  2. Pork, liver
  3. Legumes
  4. Whole grains
  5. Cereals
  6. Bread
  7. Pasta
  8. Rice
  9. Tortillas
  • Promotes normal appetite
  • Helps to release energy from food
  • Helps in proper functioning of the nervous system
1.2 mg/ 1.1 mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

  1. Liver
  2. Eggs
  3. Dark green vegetables
  4. Whole & enriched grain products
  • Helps to release energy from food
  • Promotes good vision and healthy skin
  • Helps to convert amino acid tryptophan into niacin
1.3 mg/ 1.1 mg
Niacin (Vitamin B3, nicotinamide nicotinic acid)

  1. Fish
  2. Poultry
  3. Meat
  4. Peanuts
  5. Whole & enriched grain products
  • Helps in energy production
  • Normal enzyme function
  • Helps in digestion
  • Promotes normal appetite
  • Helps with healthy skin and nerves
16 mg/ 14 mg
Pyridoxine/Pyridoxal/ Pyridoxamine (Vitamin B6)

  1. Pork
  2. Meats
  3. Whole grains
  4. Cereals
  5. Green leafy vegetables
  • Protein metabolism
  • Red blood cell formation
  • Helps in the production of insulin & hemoglobin
1.3 mg/1.3 mg
Folate (Folic acid/Folacin)

  1. Dark green leafy vegetable
  2. Fish
  3. Whole grains
  4. Cereals
  5. Fortified grains
  6. Citrus fruits
  • Promotes red blood cell production
  • Helps in protein metabolism
  • Reduces risk of neural tube birth defects
  • Reduces risk of coronary heart diseases by controlling homeocysteine levels
400 mcg/ day for both
Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)

  1. Fish Eggs milk
  2. Milk product
  3. Oysters
  4. Shellfish
  5. Fortified foods
  • Helps in building genetic material.
  • Aids in production of normal red blood cells.
  • Helps in maintenance of the nervous system.
2.4 mcg/day for both

  1. Egg yolk
  2. Milk
  3. Fresh vegetable
  4. Yeast bread & cereals
  • Helps to release energy from carbohydrates.
  • Aids in metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
30 mcg/day for both
Pantothenic Acid

  1. Egg yolk
  2. Meat
  3. Whole grains
  4. Legumes
  • Helps in hormone formation.
  • Aids in metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates from food.
5 mg/day for both
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid or ascorbate)

  1. Orange
  2. Kiwi fruit
  3. Grapefruit
  4. Red sweet pepper
  • Helps the body to maintain proper working conditions.
  • Holds cells together by Collagen synthesis.
  • Helps to heal wounds.
  • Helps in tooth and bone formation.
  • Strengthens walls of the blood vessels.
  • Improves functioning of the immune system.
  • Acts as an anti oxidant by absorbing and utilizing iron.
90 mg/ 75 mg

*RDA – Recommended Dietary Allowance.

What happens if too much water soluble vitamins are consumed?

There are no complications associated with too much consumption of Thiamin, Cobalamin, Biotin and Riboflavin.

  • Conditions of flushed skin, rashes and liver damage occurs due to overconsumption of niacin supplements
  • Overconsumption of vitamin B6 causes nerve damage
  • Too much folate consumption may interfere with medication
  • Overconsumption of Pantothenic acid may lead to diarrhea and water retention
  • Overconsumption of vitamin C causes kidney stones, gout, diarrhea and recurrence of scurvy

Who needs more Vitamin C?

  • Chain smokers
  • Growing children
  • Pregnant women
  • People suffering from infection or fever
  • People who have injuries or wounds
  • People who use certain medications or drugs

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