A vitamin is defined as a natural molecule or in other words closely related vitamins chemically speaking. Vitamin is an important microelement whose structure needs in the form of a small amount for the smooth operation of its metabolism. It is to be understood that important nutrients cannot be incorporated in the organism at ease, either completely or not in desired adequate quantities necessitating intake through the diet. In terms of Vitamin, C incorporation is possible by some species but others cannot, which in fact not a vitamin in the first occurrence but lies in the second. Mind you, the word vitamin is not inclusive of three other groups, that is, important nutrients in the form of minerals, important fatty acids, and vital amino acids. It is worth noticing that most of the vitamins are not single molecules, they are in fact groups of related molecules known as vitamers instead. To further elaborate take an example of Vitamin E, wherein, it consists of four tocopherols and tocotrienols each.
There is an interesting fact here that Vitamins happen to possess diverse biochemical functions, wherein, Vitamin A behaves as a facilitator in regulating cell as well as tissue growth and differentiation. Hormone like function is provided by Vitamin D through regulating mineral metabolism needed for bones and other organ’s sake. Enzyme cofactors and/or coenzymes or precursors role is performed by the Vitamin B complex. Vitamin C and E role are of antioxidants. It is worth noting that any deficiency or excess intake of a vitamin can potentially lead to causing clinically significant illness, however, any excess intake of water-soluble vitamins may provide fewer chances to act so.
The only source of vitamins before the year 1935 used to be from food. Should there had been a lacking in Vitamin intake will result in Vitamin deficiency and consequent deficiency diseases as well. Yeast extracted Vitamin B complex and semi Synthetic Vitamin C became a remedy to this issue. By the 1950s mass production together with the marketing of vitamin supplements, including multivitamins as to offset vitamin deficiencies in the general population was actively followed. The addition of Vitamins as part of the Government mandate was initiated to staple foods, that is, flour or milk, in terms of food fortification, in order to prevent deficiencies. Folic acid supplementation during pregnancy was recommended for reducing the risk of infant neural tube defects as well.
Mind you, we commonly use the term VITAMIN which in fact was derived from the word VITAMINE, by Casmir Funk a Polish Biochemist in 1912. Casmir Funk presumed important to live the complexities of micronutrients as AMINES, which was later proved not true and E was dropped from VITAMINE to make it VITAMIN, resulting in the discovery and/or identification of all Vitamins between 1913 ~ 1948.
Vitamins are distinguished as fat-soluble or water-soluble, that is, out of 13 Vitamins, there happen to be Four Fat-Soluble Vitamins – A, D, E, and K, whereas, Nine Water Soluble Vitamins meaning 8 B Vitamins + 1 C Vitamin.
|SN||VITAMIN||SOLUBILITY||US DIETARY QUOTA MALE/FEMALE AGE 19 ~ 70||DEFICIENCY DISEASE||OVERDOSE|
|1||A||Fat||900 µg/700 µg||Hyper keratosis, and Keratomalacia, Night Blindness||Hypervitaminosis A||Carrots, Dairy Products, Fish, Liver, Orange, Pumpkin, Squash, Spinach|
|2||B1||Water||1.2 mg/1.1 mg||Beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome||Drowsiness and muscle relaxation||Brown Rice, Eggs, Red Meat, Liver, Potatoes|
|3||B2||Water||1.3 mg/1.1 mg||Ariboflavinosis, Glossitis, Angular Stomatitis||Asparagus, Bananas, Dairy Products, Green Beans|
|4||B3||Water||16 mg/14 mg||Pellagra||Liver Damage (Doses > 2g/day and other problems||Eggs, Fish, Free Nuts, Meat, Mushrooms, Various Vegetables|
|5||B5||Water||5 mg/5 mg||Paresthesia||Diarrhea, Possibly Nausea and Heartburn||Avocados Broccoli, Meat|
|6||B6||Water||1.3 ~ 1.7 mg/1.2 ~ 1.5 mg||Anemia, Peripheral Neuropathy||Impairment of Proprioception, Nerve Damage (Doses > 100 mg||Bananas, Meat, Tree Nuts,|
|7||B7||Water||AI: 30 µg/30 µg||Dermatitis Enteritis||Leafy Green Vegetables, Peanuts, Raw Egg Yolk, Liver|
|8||B9||Water||400 µg/400 µg||Megaloblastic Anemia and Deficiency during Pregnancy is associated with birth defects, such as, neural tube defects||May mask symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency, other effects||Bread, Cereal, Leafy Vegetables, Pasta, Liver|
|9||B12||Water||2.4 µg/2.4 µg||Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia||None Proven||Meat, Poultry, Fish, Milk|
|10||C||Water||90 mg/75 mg||Scurvy||Stomach Pain Diarrhea and Flatulence||Eggs, Liver, Many Fruits and Vegetables|
|11||D||Fat||15 µg/15 µg||Rickets and Osteomalacia||Hypervitaminosis D||Certain Fish Species, such as, Sardines, Certain Mushroom Species, such as, Shiitake, Eggs, Liver|
|12||E||Fat||15 mg/15 mg||Deficiency is very rare, Mild Hemolytic Anemia in Newborn Infants||Possible increased incidence of congestive heart failure||Many fruits and vegetable, Nuts and Seeds and Seed Oil|
|13||K||Fat||AI: 110 µg/120 µg||Bleeding Diathesis||Decreased anticoagulation effect of warfarin||Egg Yolks, Leafy Green Vegetables, such as, Spinach, Liver|