what are the vitamins ?

  • Vitamins
  • what are the vitamins ? ;These are special organic materials that are not normally produced in the body of beings. Therefore their presence in food is essential.
  • They do not get energy but they participate in various metabolic activities.
  • They are needed in small quantities, yet they are deficient in the body. Diseases resulting from their deficiency are called deficiency disease.
  • Vitamins were discovered by Lunin ( 1881 ) and the word 'VITAMINE' was coined by Funk ( 1912 ).
  • Durmond ( 1920 ) removed the word 'E' from the word VITAMINE and renamed it VITAMIN '.
  • Vitamins are also called organic amines and the term Vitamine has been rendered on this basis.
  • Funk first isolated vitamin B from rice shavings.
  • So far, a total of 30 vitamins are known, including the presence of 13 vitamins in our diet.

Depending on the solubility , there are two types of vitamins -

(i) Water soluble vitamins
  • Vitamin-B Complex and Vitamin-C
(ii) Fat soluble vitamins
  • Vitamin-A, Vitamin-D, Vitamin-E, Vitamin-K


History of vitamins

  • Vitamins were discovered by Lunin ( 1881 ).
  • The word VITAMINE was rendered by Funk ( 1912 ).
  • The rendering of the word VITAMIN is Drummond ( 1920 ) Nekia.
  • Vitamin-A was discovered by Mac Colum and Davis (Mc Collum & Davis - 1913 ).
  • Vitamin-B1 was discovered by Ejakmann- 1897 .
  • The word Vitamin-B1 was rendered by Funk.
  • The name Vitamin B6 was given by Gyorgy.
  • Vitamin Q was discovered by Quick.
  • The bitamine -C was formed by the Kings.
  • Pauling discovered vitamin-C.
  • Vitamin-C was first isolated by Gyorgy.
  • The term folic acid was coined by Michell.
  • Vitamin 12 was separated by Smith & Parker.
  • Khurana was synthesized by Vitamin B3.
  • Vitamin B12 was discovered by Minote.

(A) Vitamin-A

  • It was discovered by Mc collum.
It has two chemical forms -
A1 - Retinol - It participates in the manufacture of vision rhodopsin in the eye.
A2 - Dehydro retinol - It participates in the manufacture of tears.
  • This vitamin also acts as anti-infective.
  • Its deficiency causes Nightblindness or Nyctalpia and Xerophthalamia or Cornea keratinization diseases.
  • This vitamin is highest in fish liver oil. We get it from yellow fruits, yellow vegetables (carrots), milk, eggs and meat.
  • It does not occur in citrus fruits

(B) Vitamin B-complex

Vitamin B-complex
                Vitamin B-complex

  • It is a group of many vitamins that are soluble in water.
  • These vitamins act as co-enzymes in various biological functions.
Following are the key vitamins of this family -

(1) Thiamine or B1

  • Funk ( 1912 ) first separated it from rice shavings.
  • It was discovered by Ejakmann- 1897
  • Its deficiency causes beri-beri disease.
  • (Symptoms - weak heart muscle, indigestion and constipation)
  • Its deficiency also leads to Polyneuritis disease.
  • This vitamin is obtained from yeast, grain shells, milk, eggs, meat etc.

(ii) Riboflavin-B2

  • This enzyme is a component of FAD & FMN.
  • It is found in yeast, cheese, milk, eggs, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Deficiency of it causes cheilosis and mouth dermatitis.

(ii) Pantothenic acid or B3

  • It is a component of Co-enzyme A.
  • Due to its deficiency, Burning feer syndrome is a disease in which there is numbness, tiredness, hair, white etc. in the hands and feet.
  • This vitamin is found in eggs, meat, milk, jaggery, beast etc.

(iv) Niacin or Nicotinic acid B5

  • It is a component of NAD and NADP.
  • It is also called Peelagra prevention.
  • Its deficiency leads to Pellagra or 4-Dsyndrome disease,
  • Symptoms- [Dermatitis (red skin), Diarhoea (diarrhea), Dementia (breast disease) and Death (death)]
  • It is found in yeast, eggs, milk, meat, vegetables etc.

(v) Pyridoxine or B6 -

  • This name was rendered by Gyorgy.
  • It acts as a co-enzyme in the metabolism of amino acids.
  • Its deficiency causes Insomnia, Nervousness, Anemia.

(vi) Biotin or Vitamin-H

  • It is a sulfur-containing co-enzyme that participates in fat and glycogen synthesis.
  • Lack of this causes hair loss, dermatitis etc.
  • This vitamin is found in vegetables, fruits, yeast, milk, eggs, meat etc.

(v) Folic acid or B8

  • This vitamin participates in blood formation and DNA synthesis.
  • Its deficiency causes anemia.
  • It is found in eggs, milk, meat, yeast etc.

(vii) Cyanocobalamine or B12

  • It is a cobalt-rich vitamin that acts as a co-enzyme in blood formation and synthesis of nucleic acids.
  • Its deficiency causes Pernicious anemia.
  • Castle's factor is helpful in its absorption by the stomach.
  • It is found in milk, fish, moss and eggs. This vitamin is not found in vegetables and fruits.

(ix) Pogonic acid or B15

  • Its deficiency causes liver defects.
  • It is found in milk, eggs, moss, vegetables.

(x) Vitamin-B17

  • It is a recently known vitamin that acts as an anti-cancer.

(C) Vitamin-C

  • Vitamin-C


  • It is also called ascorbic acid.
  • This is the oldest known vitamin, which was first reported by Pauling.
  • It was first separated by Gyorgi and the Kings explained its structure.
  • It is destroyed on heating and is excreted with urine.
  • This vitamin keeps bones, teeth dentin, gums, collagen fibers, etc. healthy.
  • It is least known as Scurvy disease, which is the first known deficiency disease .
  • Keeps it healthy
  • It is least known as Scurvy disease, which is the first known deficiency disease. In the squi, blood starts coming out from the teeth and gums and teeth start falling.
  • This vitamin shows anti-viral and anti-cancer properties and helps in healing of wounds.
  • It is found in amla, citrus fruits (lemon, orange, seasonal etc.) and green chillies.
  • It is lacking in milk.

(D) Vitamin-D


 It has three forms -
  1. (i) D1-Calciferol
  2. (ii) D2-Ergocalciferol
  3. (iii) D3-Cholecalciferol
  • It is produced in the presence of para-violet rays of sunlight in human skin respectively D
  • Hydroxysterole (Dehydor-Cholesterol) and Argasterol .
  • It helps in the absorption of vitamins Ca and P and helps in the formation of bones and teeth.
  • It is also called sunshine vitamin.
  • Its deficiency causes Rickets in children and Osteomalacia in adults.
  • This vitamin is found in milk, eggs, meat etc.

(E) Vitamin-E 



  • It is also called Tocopherol.
  • This vitamin acts as an anti-oxidant in the body ie Protects tissues from the side effects of oxygen
  • This is required in gametogenesis.
  • Its deficiency leads to sterility.
  • It is also called Beauty Vitamin.
  • It prevents the formation of wrinkles and scars on the skin by maintaining skin health.
  • This vitamin is found in eggs, moss, cereal coverings etc.

(F) Vitamin-K

 It has three forms -
  1. (i) K1-Naphthoquinone or Phylloquinone
  2. (ii) K2-quinone
  3. (iii) K3 -thioco (Pthioco)
  • It is found in green leafy vegetables, eggs, meat etc.
  • It is also produced by symbiotic bacteria in the intestine.
  • It helps in the formation of prothrombin in the liver.
  • Its deficiency does not cause blood clotting.
  • It is also known as anti-haemorrhagic.
  • It controls the permeability and contractility of blood vessels.
  • It is found in citrus fruits and green vegetables.
Next Post »