Vitamins Overview, Health Benefits, Source Food, Deficiency, Side effects
A vitamin is one of a group of organic substances, present in minute amounts in natural foodstuffs, that are essential to normal metabolism; insufficient amounts in the diet may cause deficiency diseases.
An organic chemical compound (or related set of compounds) is called a vitamin when the organism cannot synthesize the compound in sufficient quantities, and must be obtained through the diet; thus, the term "vitamin" is conditional upon the circumstances and the particular organism. For example, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a vitamin for humans, but not for most other animal organisms. Supplementation is important for the treatment of certain health problems, but there is little evidence of nutritional benefit when used by otherwise healthy people.
All kinds of vitamins can be found in plants and animals. One major function of vitamins is as coenzymes in enzymatic catalysis and enzyme system reactions. The class of compounds known as enzymes are biochemical catalysts or reaction activators important in all the chemical reactions that occur on a continual place in the human body. Many enzymes have different kinds of vitamins as a fundamental part of their structure. Some kinds of vitamins also perform other functions and role in addition to their role as coenzymes. The essential vitamin E has the role of an antioxidant in the body, while the vitamin D has a hormone like role. Once they are absorbed into the body, the vitamins are assimilated into the body becoming parts of the cells, part of enzymes and hormones, as well as becoming part of the muscles, the blood and the bones. The length of residence of the vitamins in the body is different for various vitamins. Some types of vitamins are utilized over a long period of time, while some vitamins are utilized as soon as they are assimilated. There are two major groups of the vitamins, the first are known as the water-soluble vitamins - these vitamins have short residence times in the human body, the second group is the fat-soluble vitamins - this class of compounds stays for longer periods of time in the body.
List Vitamins Health Benefits, Source Food, Deficiency, Side effects
Vitamins are essential for the normal growth and development of a multicellular organism. Using the genetic blueprint inherited from its parents, a fetus begins to develop, at the moment of conception, from the nutrients it absorbs. It requires certain vitamins and minerals to be present at certain times. These nutrients facilitate the chemical reactions that produce among other things, skin, bone, and muscle. If there is serious deficiency in one or more of these nutrients, a child may develop a deficiency disease. Even minor deficiencies may cause permanent damage.
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