What is a Vitamin?

In 1912, Polish biochemist Casimir Funk coined the word vitamine. He had isolated a complex of micronutrients essential to life, and concluded incorrectly, that they were all amines. As a result, the”e” was dropped from the name, and vitamines became vitamins.

All vitamins essential for human well being were identified between 1913 and 1948

vitamin is an essential micronutrient  needed in small quantities for the proper functioning of the metabolism.

An essential nutrient cannot be synthesised (or produced) in the body of a living organism, either at all or in the necessary minimum amount required for good health. A deficiency of a specific vitamin will manifest in related deficiency symptoms – eg scurvy is caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.

The human metabolism needs the following 13 vitamins in order to function properly : 

What Vitamins are needed for the human metabolism to remain healthy?

Because the body cannot make its own needed amount of a vitamin, it will need to be sourced externally from either diet or supplementation.

  • vitamin A  –
    • trans-retinol
    • trans-retinyl-esters
    • trans-beta-carotene
    • provitamin A carotenoids
  • vitamin B1 – thiamine
  • vitamin B2 – riboflavin
  • vitamin B3 – niacin
  • vitamin B5 – pantothenic acid
  • vitamin B6 – pyridoxine
  • vitamin B7 – biotin
  • vitamin B9 – folic acid or folate
  • vitamin B12 -cobalamins
  • vitamin C – ascorbic acid
  • vitamin D – calciferols
  • vitamin E
    • tocopherols
    • tocotrienols
  • vitamin K – quinones

Overdosing on vitamins

Every now and then, an alarmist headline such as “Too much Vitamin C Can Be harmful.”

This scares people into avoiding supplementation of vitamins all together, which is entirely their choice.

However, it has to be noted that too much of anything can be harmful.

At the same time, how much is too much?

And how can deficiencies be avoided?

Taking responsibility for your own health is vital if you are serious about the living a vibrantly health life. Don’t leave it to chance. Keep yourself informed, think carefully about what you learn, take action, and take the road less travelled – It will make all the difference…