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Vitamins are organic compounds that are needed to sustain life. Most vitamins need to come from food because the human body either does not produce enough of them, or it does not produce any at all. The best way to get enough vitamins is to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods.

There are 13 known vitamins, different vitamins have different roles, and they are needed in different quantities. Examples of the 13 vitamins are:

  • Vitamin A
  • B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Vitamins are essential to normal metabolism. If we do not take enough of any kind of vitamin, certain medical conditions can result. For example, if you don’t get enough vitamin C, you could become anaemic… Vitamin A prevents night blindness etc.

So, what is the difference between a vitamin and a mineral? Vitamins are organic compounds that are made by plants or animals. Vitamins are operated into two key groups being water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble can be stored in the body for long periods where as fat soluble can be stored in the body tissue.

Water soluble vitamins:

  • Vitamin C
  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Pantothenic acis
  • Biotin
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate

Fat soluble vitamins:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Can vitamins be toxic?

Due to the pathways water soluble vitamins assimilated, any excess that cannot be absorbed by the body is processed by the kidneys and excreted through urine. Fat soluble toxins pose a slightly higher risk of toxicity due to their storage in tissue. It is highly unlikely for this to occur through normal food intake, or additionally through supplementation (within boundaries) It is far more likely to be deficient.

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