Essential Vitamins: What Their Superpower Are and What They Do

Vitamins are natural compounds which can be needed in small portions to sustain life. We need to take nutrients from meals due to the fact the human body either does not produce sufficient of them or none at all.

Each organism has specific vitamin requirements. For instance, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is important for humans however no longer for dogs, because dogs can produce (synthesize) enough for their very own desires, whilst humans can not.

This article describes what vitamins are, what they do, and what foods provide every type.

Fast data on nutrients

Here are a few key points approximately vitamins. More detail and assisting information is within the primary article.

  • There are 13 known nutrients
  • Vitamins are both water-soluble or fat-soluble
  • Fat-soluble vitamins are easier for the frame to keep than water-soluble
  • Vitamins always contain carbon, so they’re described as “organic.”

Credits: MultivitaminGuide

What are vitamins?

Nutrition is an organic compound and a vital nutrient that an organism requires in restricted quantities. A natural chemical compound (or an associated set of compounds) is referred to as a diet while the organism can not manufacture the compound in sufficient portions, and it must be received thru the weight loss program; for this reason, the term nutrition is conditional upon the occasions and the precise organism. For example, ascorbic acid (one form of diet C) is nutrition for human beings, however not for maximum different animal organisms. Supplementation is crucial for the treatment of certain fitness troubles. However, there may be little evidence of nutritional gain while utilized by in any other case wholesome people.

By convention, the term diet does now not include different essential nutrients, such as dietary minerals, critical fatty acids, vital amino acids (which might be wished in more amounts than vitamins) or the numerous different vitamins that promote health, and are required less frequently to preserve the fitness of the organism. Thirteen vitamins are universally recognized at present. Vitamins are categorized by their biological and chemical activity, no longer their structure. Thus, each nutrition refers to some vitamer compounds that everyone display the organic hobby related to a specific nutrition. Such a hard and fast of chemical substances is grouped under an alphabetized diet “everyday descriptor” identify, inclusive of “nutrition A,” which includes the compounds retinalor retinol, and 4 known carotenoids. Vitamers by definition are convertible to the active form of the diet within the frame and are now and again inter-convertible to each other, as well.

Vitamins have numerous biochemical features. Some, which includes diet D, have hormone-like functions as regulators of mineral metabolism, or regulators of mobile and tissue growth and differentiation (consisting of some types of vitamin A). Others function as antioxidants (e.G., vitamin E and every now and then vitamin C). The largest quantity of vitamins, the B complex vitamins, feature as enzyme cofactors (coenzymes) or the precursors for them; co-enzymes help enzymes of their paintings as catalysts in metabolism. In this role, nutrients can be tightly bound to enzymes as part of prosthetic agencies: For instance, biotin is a part of enzymes involved in making fatty acids. They will also be much less tightly bound to enzyme catalysts as coenzymes, detachable molecules that function to hold chemical agencies or electrons between molecules. For example, folic acid might also deliver methyl, formyl, and methylene groups inside the cellular. Although those roles in supporting enzyme-substrate reactions are nutrients’ nice-recognised function, the other diet capabilities are equally essential.

Until the mid-1930s, whilst the first business yeast-extract diet B complex and semi-artificial vitamin C supplement tablets had been bought. Vitamins were received totally thru meals consumption, and modifications in weight loss program (which, as an example, should happen all through a selected growing season) usually significantly altered the types and quantities of vitamins ingested. However, nutrients had been produced as commodity chemicals and made widely to be had as less expensive semisynthetic and artificial-supply multivitamin dietary and food supplements and additives, since the middle of the 20 th century. Study of structural activity, characteristic and their position in preserving health is referred to as baraminology.

List of vitamin

Below, we run via the extraordinary forms of nutrients.

Vitamin A

Carrots contain diet A
Carrots are a very good supply of nutrients A and B3.
Chemical names – retinol, retinal, and 4 carotenoids (which includes beta carotene)
Fat soluble
Deficiency may additionally cause night-blindness and keratomalacia (a watch sickness that consequences in a dry cornea)
Good resources include: liver, cod liver oil, carrots, broccoli, candy potato, butter, kale, spinach, pumpkin, collard veggies, a few kinds of cheese, egg, apricot, cantaloupe melon, and milk
More statistics are available in our Vitamin A article.

Vitamin B

Chemical name – thiamine
Water soluble
Deficiency may also reason beriberi and Wernicke-Korsakoffsyndrome
Good assets encompass: yeast, beef, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, entire-grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver, and eggs
More statistics are to be had in our Vitamin B article.

Vitamin B2

Chemical name – riboflavin
Water soluble
Deficiency can also cause ariboflavinosis
Good sources consist of asparagus, bananas, persimmons, okra, chard, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish, and green beans.

More statistics are available in our Vitamin B2 article.

Vitamin B3

Chemical names – niacin, niacinamide
Water soluble
Deficiency may purpose pellagra (characterized by diarrhea, dermatitis, and mental disturbance)
Good sources consist of liver, heart, kidney, chicken, legumes, beef, eggs, fish (tuna, salmon), milk, avocados, dates, sweet potatoes, asparagus, nuts, entire-grains, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and brewer’s yeast

More statistics are available in our Vitamin B3 article.

Vitamin B5

Chemical name – pantothenic acid
Water soluble
Deficiency may additionally reason paresthesia (“pins and needles”)
Good resources include: meats, complete-grains (milling may also dispose of it), broccoli, royal jelly, avocados, and fish ovaries
More information is to be had in our Vitamin B5 article.

Vitamin B6

Chemical names – pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal.
Water soluble.
Deficiency may purpose anemia, peripheral neuropathy (damage to parts of the worried gadget aside from the brain and spinal twine).
Good resources encompass meats, bananas, entire-grains, veggies, and nuts. When milk is dried, it loses about 1/2 of its B6. Freezing and canning also can lessen content.
More records is available in our Vitamin B6 article.

Vitamin B7

Chemical name – biotin
Water soluble
Deficiency may additionally reason dermatitis or enteritis (infection of the intestine)
Good sources consist of avocados, egg yolk, a few veggies
More facts are available in our Vitamin B7 article.

Vitamin B9

Chemical names – folic acid, folinic acid.
Water soluble.
Deficiency throughout being pregnant is linked to beginning defects. Pregnant girls are encouraged to complement folic acid for the entire 12 months before they get pregnant.
Good resources consist of leafy greens, legumes, liver, baker’s yeast, a few fortified grain products, and sunflower seeds. Several end result has mild quantities, as does beer.
More records are to be had in our Vitamin B9 article.

Vitamin B12

Chemical names – cyanocobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, methylcobalamin
Water soluble
Deficiency may additionally motive megaloblastic anemia (a circumstance wherein bone marrow produces strangely big, peculiar, immature red blood cells)
Good sources encompass: fish, shellfish, meat, chicken, eggs, milk and dairy merchandise, some fortified cereals and soy merchandise, as well as fortified nutritional yeast. Vegans are advised to take B12 dietary supplements nowadays.

More information is available in our Vitamin B12 article.

Vitamin C

Deficiency may additionally reason megaloblastic anemia.
Good resources consist of: fruit and vegetables. The Kakadu plum and the camera came fruit have the very best diet C contents of all foods. Liver additionally has high levels. Cooking destroys vitamin C.
More facts is to be had in our Vitamin C article.

Vitamin D

Chemical names – ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol.
Fat soluble.
Deficiency may additionally motive rickets and osteomalacia (softening of the bones).
Good sources: produced within the skin after exposure to UV (ultraviolet) B mild from the solar or synthetic assets. Also located in fatty fish, eggs, red meat liver, and mushrooms.
More data is available in our Vitamin D article.

Vitamin E

Almonds on a white background
Almonds are a very good supply of vitamin E.
Chemical names – tocopherols, tocotrienols.
Fat soluble.
Deficiency is uncommon. Deficiency may also purpose hemolytic anemia in newborns (a circumstance in which blood cells are destroyed and eliminated from the blood too early).
Good sources encompass kiwi fruit, almonds, avocado, eggs, milk, nuts, leafy green vegetables, unheated vegetable oils, wheat germ, and complete-grains.

More data is available in our Vitamin E article.

Vitamin K

Chemical names – phylloquinone, menaquinones.
Fat soluble.
Deficiency may additionally motive bleeding diathesis (an unusual susceptibility to bleeding).
Good resources encompass leafy green vegetables, avocado, kiwi fruit. Parsley carries lots of vitamin K.
More records are to be had in our Vitamin K article.

The US National Library of Medicine says that the quality way to get sufficient vitamins for proper fitness is to comply with a balanced food plan with a huge range of meals. Some humans may additionally want to take an each day multivitamin.

More data is available in our Vitamin K article.

Health consequences

Vitamins are critical for the normal growth and improvement of a multicellular organism. Using the genetic blueprint inherited from its dad and mom, a fetus starts of evolved to broaden from the vitamins it absorbs. It calls for certain nutrients and minerals to be present at sure times. These vitamins facilitate the chemical reactions that produce among other matters, pores and skin, bone, and muscle. If there may be the serious deficiency in a single or extra of those nutrients, a child can also increase a deficiency sickness. Even minor deficiencies may additionally reason everlasting damage.

For the most component, nutrients are obtained with meals, but some are obtained by another approach. For example, microorganisms within the intestine — generally called “intestine flora” — produce diet K and biotin, at the same time as one form of diet D is synthesized in the skin with the help of the herbal ultraviolet wavelength of sunlight. Humans can produce a few nutrients from precursors they devour. Examples encompass vitamin A, constructed from beta carotene, and niacin, from the amino acid tryptophan.

Once growth and development are finished, vitamins remain crucial nutrients for the healthful upkeep of the cells, organs, tissues, that make up a multicellular organism; additionally they allow a multicellular lifestyles shape to use chemical electricity provided by food it eats efficaciously, and to assist method the proteins, carbohydrates, and fat required for mobile respiration.


In those who are otherwise healthful, there may be little evidence that supplements have any benefits with admire to cancer or heart ailment. Vitamin A and E supplements now not handiest provide no health advantages for usually wholesome individuals, but they’ll growth mortality, though the 2 massive studies that support this conclusion blanketed smokers for whom it becomes already recognized that beta-carotene dietary supplements may be harmful. While other findings propose that vitamin E toxicity is restricted to only a particular shape while taken in excess.

The European Union and other nations of Europe have regulations that outline limits of nutrition (and mineral) dosages for their secure use as dietary food supplements. Most vitamins which can be offered as meals dietary supplements can’t exceed a most each day dosage. Vitamin merchandise above those criminal limits aren’t considered food supplements and need to be registered as prescription or nonprescription (over the counter pills) because of their potential side outcomes. As an end result, most of the fats-soluble vitamins (which includes the nutrients A, D, E, and K) that contain amounts above the each day allowance are drug merchandise. The day by day dosage of a vitamin supplement as an example can not exceed 300% of the endorsed every day allowance, and for diet A, this limit is even lower (200%). Such rules are applicable in most European nations.

Dietary supplements often include nutrients, but might also include other substances, which includes minerals, herbs, and botanicals. Scientific proof helps the benefits of dietary supplements for people with positive fitness situations. In some instances, nutrition supplements can also have unwanted results, in particular, if taken before a surgical procedure, with different nutritional dietary supplements or drug treatments, or if the character taking them has positive fitness conditions. They may additionally contain ranges of vitamins frequently better, and in one-of-a-kind bureaucracy, than one can also ingest via meals.


Humans need to eat nutrients periodically however with differing schedules, to avoid deficiency. The body’s stores for one of a kind vitamins vary widely; nutrients A, D, and B12 are stored in huge quantities, especially in the liver, and a grownup’s weight-reduction plan can be poor in vitamins A and D for lots months and B12 in some instances for years, before developing a deficiency condition. However, diet B3 (niacin and niacinamide) isn’t stored in giant amounts, so stores may final simplest multiple weeks. For diet C, the first symptoms of scurvy in experimental research of complete diet C deprivation in humans have diverged extensively, from a month to greater than six months, depending on previous nutritional history that determined frame shops.

Deficiencies of vitamins are categorized as either number one or secondary. A primary deficiency occurs when an organism does not get sufficient of the vitamins in food. A secondary lack may be due to an underlying infirmity that stops or limits the absorption or use of the diet, because of a “way of life factor,” inclusive of smoking, immoderate alcohol use, or the use of medications that intrude with the absorption or use of the nutrition. People who devour a numerous food regime are not going to increase an intense primary vitamin deficiency. In comparison, restrictive diets have the capability to reason extended vitamin deficits, which may result in frequently painful and probably lethal illnesses.

Well-acknowledged human vitamin deficiencies contain thiamine (beriberi), niacin (pellagra), vitamin C (scurvy), and vitamin D (rickets). In an awful lot of the evolved global, such deficiencies are rare; that is because of an ok deliver of meals and the addition of vitamins and minerals to commonplace meals (fortification). In addition to those classical diet deficiency illnesses, a few evidence has additionally suggested links between vitamin deficiency and a number of exclusive disorders.


In massive doses, a few vitamins have documented side-results that tend to be greater extreme with a higher dosage. The possibility of consuming too much of any diet from meals is faraway, but overdosing (nutrition poisoning) from vitamin supplementation does occur. At excessive enough dosages, a few nutrients purpose facet-outcomes together with nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. When aspect-outcomes emerge, recuperation is often performed by decreasing the dosage. The doses of nutrients fluctuate due to the fact individual tolerances can vary extensively and look like related to age and nation of health.