Vitamins are a group of nutrientss required in tiny amounts for essential cell functions, growth and development of living organisms. A few of them can be obtained in sufficient quantities by synthesis in the body, but most of them cannot, and therefore must be obtained from the diet.
A balanced food intake provide all the required vitamins and there is no need to take uncontrolled supplements that can produce adverse effects on our health.
There are 13 essential vitamins. That means they are needed for the body to function. They are:
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin K
• Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
• Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
• Vitamin B3 (niacin)
• Vitamin B5 Pantothenic acid
• Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal
• Vitamin B7 Biotin
• Vitamin B9 Folate (folic acid)
• Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, methylcobalamin
Vitamins are grouped into two categories:
a) Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s fatty tissue.
b) Water-soluble vitamins must be used by the body right away. Any left over water-soluble vitamins leave the body through the urine. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years.