Vitamins are nutrients that should be considered as an organic compound that are required in growth, survival, and nutrition of the organism.
Often they are synthesized by the organism itself and are essential to metabolism.
When the organisms do not produce enough vitamins alone – the remaining vitamins must be obtained through diet.
The word “vitamin” is a very general term that does not encompass all compounds.
Certain foods therefore are much more rich in vitamins then others.
The health associated with vitamins has a long history.
Vitamins are classified by their biological and chemical activity, not their structure.
Until around the mid-1930s, when the first commercial yeast-extract vitamin B complex and semi-synthetic vitamin C supplement tablets were sold, vitamins were obtained solely through food intake, and changes in diet (which, for example, could occur during a particular growing season) usually greatly altered the types and amounts of vitamins ingested.
This term does not include the following
- Essential Nutrients
- Dietary Minerals
- Essential Fatty Acids
- Essential Amino Acids
In Humans There are 2 Main Categories of Vitamins
1.) Water Soluble
- Easily dissolves in water
- Easily removed from body through urinary output
- Can not be stored
- Daily intake is essential
- Some can be synthesized by bacteria
- 9 water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C)
2.) Fat Soluble
- Absorbed by the intestines
- This is done with the help of lipids
- 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E, and K)
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B7
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
The need of vitamins can not be overstated for development and growth.
Deficiencies of vitamins can lead to problems
- Beriberi – Thiamine deficiency
- Scurvy – Vitamin C deficiency
- Rickets – Vitamin D deficiency
- Pelleagra – Niacin deficiency
- Are taken to ensure adequate intake of vitamins
- Food and Drug Administration places a disclaimer on supplements and their effectiveness.
- Overdose or excess amounts has been seen to lead to side effects and illness