Vitamins are organic compounds found in foods and supplements
are vital for health. There are 14 official (and four
vitamins, all of which are essential for the proper functioning of our
We list all vitamins in the vitamin list below. Each name links to
information on the functions, deficiency symptoms, sources, and RDA of
the vitamin :
nutrients with vitamin-like qualities considered by some as vitamins,
but not widely or officially recognized as such.
Fat-Soluble Vitamins vs Water-Soluble Vitamins
are usually classified according to whether they are fat soluble or
water soluble. Vitamins A, D, E, K, and CoQ10 are fat
soluble. The rest in the vitamin list above are water soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins need the presence of fats and certain minerals to
be absorbed by the digestive system, and are stored mainly in the liver
and fatty tissues. Since they are stored in the body, they do
not need to be consumed as regularly as water soluble vitamins, but
pose greater risk of toxicity when taken in excess.
Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are not stored in the body
in significant amounts. They are normally readily excreted in
urine, and so must be replenished into the body daily to avoid
being depleted. They are also more easily lost in cooking.
What Vitamins Do
the vitamins are essential for sustaining life. A deficiency
in any vitamin causes disease symptoms that can only be cured by intake
of the vitamin.
Each vitamin has a number of functions, some of which overlap with
those of other vitamins. They are needed for normal growth,
and play a part in the health of almost every organ. They
enable many critical bio-chemical processes that take place in the body
to sustain health and life.
Some play a role in absorption and metabolism of
carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and minerals. Others
are important for brain function, resistance to infection, fertility,
and proper functioning of the digestive system.
All have a role in fighting disease and aging. Vitamins have
been tested to slow or reverse diseases such as cancer, dementia,
fatigue syndrome, high blood pressure,
atherosclerosis, heart diseases, and many others.
Vitamins must be taken with food to be absorbed by
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