Vitamins are essentially the basic building blocks of our immune system and enable our body to
function in a regulated way. There are a variety of vitamins that can be acquired naturally and
through tablet form or injections.
There are 13 essential vitamins. This means that these vitamins are required for the body to work
optimally. They are:
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
Folate (folic acid and B9)
Further, Vitamins are also divided into 2 categories,
1. Fat-soluble Vitamins
2. Water-soluble Vitamins
Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in body fatty tissues.The four fat-soluble vitamins are
Vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are absorbed more easily by the body in the presence of dietary fat.
On the other hand, there are 9 water-soluble Vitamins. They include,
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, and Pyridoxine), Focalin, Vitamin B12, Biotin, and Pantothenic Acid.
They are not stored in the body. Any leftover water-soluble vitamins leave the body through the urine. Although the body keeps a small reserve of these vitamins, they must be taken on a regular basis to prevent a shortage in the body.
Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years.
Vitamins are in fact essential micronutrients needed in small quantities for your body’s regular and regulated metabolism. The saying that “anything in excess is harmful to one’s health” even goes for Vitamins. Therefore, we need to make sure that our daily consumption of Vitamins must happen in a limited and permissible amount only.Excess Vitamins can cause many health issues like chronic toxicity, nausea, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and sometimes even fatigue.
The permitted levels of Vitamins are explained in the table below:-
The tale of "Vitamine" to Vitamin
On a fun note, in 1910, the first vitamin complex was isolated by Japanese scientist Umetaro Suzuki. He had succeeded in extracting a water-soluble complex of micronutrients from rice bran and named it acetic acid. This discovery was published in a Japanese scientific journal.
But unfortunately, when the article was translated into German, the translation failed to state that it was a newly discovered nutrient, a factmentioned in the original Japanese article.Hence, his discovery failed to gain publicity.
In 1912 Polish-born biochemist Casimir Funk, in London, isolated the same complex of micronutrients and proposed the complex be named "vitamin". It was later to be known as vitamin B3 (niacin). Funk proposed the hypothesis that other diseases, such as rickets, pellagra, coeliac disease, and scurvy, could also be cured by vitamins. Max Nierenstein, a friend and reader of Biochemistry at Bristol University, reportedly suggested the "vitamin" name (from "vital amine")
Later in due time and further discovery in medicine,it was discovered that not all vitamins are amines.Hence, in 1920 the word vitamine was changed to vitamin as the word was already very ambiguous and well known.
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