Vitamins - Types, Sources and its Significance

What are Vitamins?

The vitamins are natural and essential nutrients, required in small quantities and play a major role in growth and development, repair and healing wounds, maintaining healthy bones and tissues, for the proper functioning of an immune system, and other biological functions. These essential organic compounds have diverse biochemical functions.

There are thirteen different types of vitamins and all are required for the metabolic processes. The discovery of the vitamins was begun in the year 1912 by a Polish American biochemist Casimir Funk. Based on his research and discoveries on vitamins, their sources, functions and deficiency disorders, he is considered as the father of vitamins and vitamin therapy.

Similar to minerals, vitamins cannot be synthesized by our body. Therefore, we need to get them from the food we consume or in extreme cases supplements to keep ourselves healthy.

Also refer: Vitamins and Minerals

Types of Vitamins

Based on the solubility, Vitamins have been classified into two different groups:

  • Fat-Soluble Vitamins.
  • Water-Soluble Vitamins.

Fat-soluble vitamin

Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fat cells and as the name suggests, these vitamins require fat in order to be absorbed. Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins.

Water-soluble vitamin

Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in our body as its excess gets excrete through the urine. Therefore, these vitamins need to be replenished constantly. Vitamin B and C are water-soluble vitamins.

Also Read: Difference between Vitamins and Minerals

Sources of Vitamins

The human body is so designed that it takes what it needs from the food we eat and then it passes out waste as excreta.

These organic substances are abundantly found in both plants and animals source and play a vital role in both growth and development and optimal health.

Listed below are the different types of vitamins along with their sources.

The best sources of fat-soluble vitamins include:

  • Vitamin A: Found in potato, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, beef and eggs.
  • Vitamin D: Found in fortified milk and other dairy products.
  • Vitamin E: Found in fortified cereals, leafy green vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
  • Vitamin K: Found in dark green leafy vegetables and in turnip or beet green.

Also Read: Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms

vitamin C are abundantly found in all citrus fruits. Other sources of Vitamin B and C include:

  • Vitamin B1 or Thiamin: Found in pork chops, ham, enriched grains and seeds.
  • Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin: Found in whole grains, enriched grains and dairy products.
  • Vitamin B3 or Niacin: Found in mushrooms, fish, poultry, and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid: Found in chicken, broccoli, legumes and whole grains.
  • Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine: Found in fortified cereals and soy products.
  • Vitamin B7 or Biotin: Found in many fruits like fruits and meats.
  • Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid: Found in leafy vegetables.
  • Vitamin B12: Found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy products.
  • Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits and juices, such as oranges and grapefruits.

Also read: Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

Learn more in detail about the Vitamins, different types of Vitamins, its sources, deficiency and other related topics at BYJU’S Biology.

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