Vitamins The thirteen vitamins are categorized as either water-soluble or fat-soluble. The water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and all the B vitamins, which include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folate and cobalamin. Unneeded water soluble vitamins are excreted from the body. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Vitamins are required to perform many functions in the body such as making red blood cells, synthesizing bone tissue, and playing a role in normal vision, nervous system function, and immune system function. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the body in fat (and can become toxic when too much is consumed, almost always from supplements).

Vitamins and Their Major Functions3

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Water Soluble

Vitamin Major Function

Thiamin (B1) Coenzyme, energy metabolism assistance

Riboflavin (B2 ) Coenzyme, energy metabolism assistance

Niacin (B3) Coenzyme, energy metabolism assistance

Pantothenic acid (B5) Coenzyme, energy metabolism assistance

Pyridoxine (B6) Coenzyme, amino acid synthesis assistance

Biotin (B7) Coenzyme, amino acid and fatty acid metabolism

Folate (B9) Coenzyme, essential for growth

Cobalamin (B12) Coenzyme, red blood cell synthesis

C (ascorbic acid) Collagen synthesis, antioxidant

Fat Soluble


Vitamin Major Function

A Vision, reproduction, immune system function

D Bone and teeth health maintenance, immune system function

E Antioxidant, cell membrane protection

Vitamin Major Function

K Bone and teeth health maintenance, blood clotting

Vitamin deficiencies can cause severe health problems and even death. Some vitamins have been found to prevent certain disorders and diseases such as scurvy (vitamin C), night blindness (vitamin A), and rickets (vitamin D).