Vitamin is one of the most essential organic compounds that organisms require for the growth and maintenance of the body.
Unlike other nutrients, vitamins are classified by their biological and chemical activity, instead of their structure.
The term vitamin was derived from a compound word namely "vitamin."
The Polish biochemist Kazimierz Funk, first used the compound word ‘vitamin’ in 1912.
Usually, vitamins are represented by the English capital letters, e.g. A, B, C, E, etc.
The body of a human being stores different vitamins widely; the vitamins A, D, and B12 are stored in substantial amounts, generally in the liver.
Deficiency of vitamins causes disease.
Based on solubility, vitamins are classified as water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins can dissolve easily in water.
On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins can be dissolved easily in fat.
Further, fat-soluble vitamins get absorbed easily through the intestinal tract.
By the time, thirteen vitamins are comprehensively recognized.
The following table illustrates the list of vitamins with their properties −
|Vitamins||Chemical Name||Solubility||Deficiency disease|
|Vitamin A||Retinol||Fat||Night blindness, keratomalacia, etc.|
|Vitamin B2||Riboflavin||Water||Ariboflavinosis, glossitis, etc.|
|Vitamin B5||Pantothenic acid||Water||Paresthesia|
|Vitamin B9||Folic acid||Water||Megaloblastic anemia|
|Vitamin B12||Cyanocobalamin||Water||Pernicious anemia|
|Vitamin C||Ascorbic acid||Water||Scurvy|
|Vitamin E||Tocopherols||Fat||Hemolytic anemia (in children)|
|Vitamin K||Phylloquinone||Fat||Bleeding diathesis|
Vitamins have different biochemical functions, significant of them are −
Like hormone, vitamin D regulates and helps in mineral metabolism
Vitamin D also regulates and helps cells and tissue growth
Vitamin C and vitamin E act as antioxidants
Vitamin B complex acts as co-enzymes or the precursors of enzymes and helps them as catalysts in metabolic activities.