Definition of Vitamins

Organic compounds and essential nutrients present in the food that help in the growth and development of the body

More About Vitamins

  • These are also termed as vital-amines
  • Vitamins are required in minute quantities in the human body and hence are known as essential micronutrients
  • They are essential for energy transfer and regulation of metabolism
  • They act as coenzymes in enzymatic system
  • Some vitamins for example Vitamin D also function as hormone regulators
  • Vitamin E and Vitamin C function as Antioxidants
  • Vitamins are synthesized mostly by plants and certain intestinal bacteria known as ‘gut flora’
  • There are about 13 different major vitamins known that include A, B complex (8 types), C, D, E, and K
  • Each vitamin has a specific metabolic function and deficiency of the particular vitamin leads to its respective deficiency disease

For Example:
Deficiency of Vitamin A leads to – Night blindness
Deficiency of Vitamin B1 leads to Beriberi
Deficiency of Vitamin B6 leads to Anaemia
Deficiency of Vitamin C leads to Scurvy
Deficiency of Vitamin D leads to Rickets 

  • Vitamins are of two types based on their solubility
  • They are
    a) Fat soluble such as A, D, E and K: These are not lost when the food containing them are cooked. Also the body can store these vitamins in the body and hence are not required to be taken on daily basis
    b) Water soluble such as B complex and C: These are readily soluble in the water. The body cannot store them and hence are required for daily replenishment of the body
    Deficiency of Vitamin in the diet leads to diseases such as night blindness, rickets, scurvy, beriberi, pellagra, anaemia, etc
    However excess intake of vitamins may be toxic and results in a condition known as Hypervitaminosis or Vitamin Poisoning

Questions based on Vitamins:

1) The condition that arises due to the excess intake of vitamins is known as ____

Solution: Hypervitaminosis

2) All the vitamins are soluble in water

a) True
b) False

Solution: (b) Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and only Vitamin B and C are water soluble

3) Which of the following best describes the function/functions of Vitamins?

a) Regulation of Metabolism
b) Act as Coenzyme
c) Act as Antioxidants
d) All the above

Solution: (d) Vitamins perform various functions and are involve in the regulation of metabolism, act as Coenzyme and also act as Antioxidants