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vitamins, their chemical names and functions

Source: Institute of Medicine - Food and Nutrition Board

In humans there are 13 vitamins: 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E and K) and 9 water-soluble (vitamin C and 8 B vitamins)
VitaminsChemical NamesFunctions
ARetinolto promote good vision and to form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant and is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is derived from two sources: preformed retinoids and provitamin carotenoids
B1Thiamine or Thiaminto help the body cells convert carbohydrates into energy and to maintain proper functioning of the heart, muscles and the nervous and digestive systems. Thiamine is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin
B2Riboflavinit is a water-soluble vitamin and works with the other B vitamins. It is necessary for normal cell function, growth, and energy production
B3Niacin (nicotinic acid)it is a well-accepted treatment for high cholesterol, especially when combined with cholesterol-lowering drugs. It is also important for the conversion of food to energy and assists in the functioning of the digestive system and nerves. Niacin is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin. This vitamin is also called niacinamide
B5Pantothenic acidit is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin. It helps break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It is required to sustain life
B6Pyridoxineit is a water-soluble vitamin and is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins. It helps the immune system produce antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells
B7Biotinit is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin. It helps break down proteins and carbohydrates. Biotin is necessary for cell growth
B9Folic acid (folate)it is a water-soluble vitamin and is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins. It is effective in the treatment of megaloblastic and macrocytic anemias. It also helps prevent certain birth defects before and during pregnancy
B12Cobalamin (cyanocobalamin)it is a water-soluble vitamin and is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins. It helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. It is also used to treat pernicious anemia
CAscorbic acidit is a water-soluble vitamin. It acts as an antioxidant (reduces harm from damaging chemical processes in the body). It is essential for the production of collagen, the basic protein in bones, blood vessels, tendons, and ligaments. It is also essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth
DErgocalciferol (vitamin D2) and Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)it is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium. It is essential for the absorption of calcium into the bone and for normal bone growth. Vitamin D is known as the 'sunshine vitamin' because the body manufactures the vitamin after being exposed to sunshine
ETocopherolit is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to protect body tissue from damage caused by unstable substances called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs. Free radicals are formed primarily in the body during normal metabolism and also upon exposure to environmental factors such as cigarette smoke or pollutants
KPhylloquinone (vitamin K1) and Menaquinones (vitamin K2)it is a fat-soluble vitamin, which is necessary for normal clotting of blood. Vitamin K is required for the liver to make factors that are necessary for blood to properly clot (coagulate)





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