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Vitamins and Food Sources

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Vitamins and Food Sources

Vitamins and Food Sources

shape Introduction

Vitamins are organic molecules that are essential micro nutrients required by organisms in small quantities for the proper functioning of the organism. Thus, Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed in small quantities to sustain life. They are substances that the human body requires to grow and develop normally. The article Vitamins and Food Sources present the list of Vitamins their Chemical Names and Food Sources. The 13 Vitamins required by human body are: Vitamin A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). This article plays a prominent role in GA/GK preparation in many competitive exams.


All natural vitamins are organic food substances found only in living things, i.e. plants and animals. The human body cannot manufacture or synthesize vitamins [ with few exceptions: Vitamin D & Vitamin K]. They must be supplied by the diet or in dietary supplements. They are essential for the normal functioning of our bodies. They are necessary for growth, vitality, health, and for the prevention and cure of many diseases.


shape Vitamins

Vitamins do not give calories or energy but do help to stay healthy. There are two types of vitamins: water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble include vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, vitamin C, biotin and folate. They are not stored in large amounts in the body, and any extra is lost through the urine. Fat soluble include vitamin A, D, E and K and they can be stored in body. High amounts of fat soluble are not recommended, as these can cause health problems.


Vitamin Chemical Name Solubility Deficiency Food Source
Vitamin A Retinol Fat Night blindness Liver, orange, ripe yellow fruits, leafy vegetables, carrots, pumpkin, squash, spinach, fish, soy milk, milk
Vitamin B1 Thiamine Water Beriberi Pork, oatmeal, brown rice, vegetables, potatoes, liver, eggs
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin Water Ariboflavinosis Dairy products, bananas, popcorn, green beans, asparagus
Vitamin B3 Niacin Water Pellagra Meat, fish, eggs, many vegetables, mushrooms, tree nuts
Vitamin B5 Pantothenic acid Water Paresthesia Meat, broccoli, avocados
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Water Anemia Meat, vegetables, tree nuts, bananas
Vitamin B7 Biotin Water Dermatitis, enteritis Raw egg yolk, liver, peanuts, leafy green vegetables
Vitamin B9 Folates Water Megaloblastic anemia Leafy vegetables, pasta, bread, cereal, liver
Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin Water Pernicious anemia Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk
Vitamin C Ascorbic acid Water Scurvy Many fruits and vegetables, liver
Vitamin D Cholecalciferol (D3) Fat Rickets and osteomalacia Fish, eggs, liver, mushrooms
Vitamin E Tocopherols Fat Sterility in males and miscarriage in females Many fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds
Vitamin K Phylloquinone Fat Bleeding diathesis Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, egg yolks, liver