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The Water-Soluble Vitamins


Updated July 07, 2014

The water-soluble vitamins are vital for many of the functions your body needs to stay healthy, including energy production and immune system function. Your body doesn't store most of the water-soluble vitamins very long, so they need to be replenished daily.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, strawberries, peppers and potatoes. You need vitamin C for a healthy immune system and for healthy skin. A vitamin C deficiency can reduce immune system function.  


Thiamine is found in legumes, fish, lean meats, whole grains, and fortified breads and cereals. You need thiamine to help your body make energy out of the carbohydrates you eat. 


Riboflavin is found in lean meats, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, fortified breads and cereals, and dairy products. You need riboflavin for general body growth and for energy. 


Niacin is found in dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meats, nuts, legumes and eggs. You need niacin for healthy skin and for converting the foods you eat to energy. You can also take niacin supplements, but in large amounts you may feel a niacin flush.  

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid is found in a wide variety of foods including organ meats, eggs, fish and shellfish, poultry, legumes, whole grains, dairy products, cruciferous vegetables, avocados, and mushrooms. You need pantothenic acid for energy production.  

Vitamin B-6

Vitamin B-6 is found in a variety of foods such as fish, meat, beans and legumes and many vegetables, so vitamin B-6 deficiency is rare. You need it for a healthy nervous system and for making hemoglobin. Use caution with vitamin B-6 supplements and follow label directions. Taking too much can, over time, cause a vitamin B-6 toxicity.  


Folate is found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, fruits like oranges and strawberries, legumes and whole grains. Your body needs folate to make red blood cells and for breaking down the proteins you eat. 

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is found in meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products (vegans are at risk for vitamin B-12 deficiency). You need vitamin B-12 for a healthy nervous system and blood cell production.  
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